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Unmailed Postcard #2 – Nicaragua Weekend

No Rest for the… um… Traveling Teacher

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A Nicaraguan postcard. Of what? No clue!

There must be a Nicaragua for tourists, but I have yet to see it. (That postcard cathedral image you see — I have no idea what or where it is in Nicaragua!)

That's not a complaint, mind you. It's just that these teaching trips I take usually require going “full speed ahead,” even on anticipated days off. Schedules and venues change on the fly. The ability to follow the Spirit's leading, and “go with the flow” adaptability, are the key survival tools. The Lord works out all the details. The report in this “postcard” is a good example.

2nd Postcard from Nicaragua

April 9-10, 2016

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UML President Rojas-Talaveras

A weekend off. You're kidding, right?

Bobby Hoyle had set up an early Saturday morning breakfast with Dr. José Moisés Rojas Talavera, president of UML / Universidad Martín Lutero (Martin Luther University), a Pentecostal undergrad school in Managua. Later that morning, I introduced the subject of hermeneutics to 79 UML students in a packed classroom on campus. (Oh, by the way — you only have 90 minutes to give your five-hour presentation. Adapt!)

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A portion of my class at UML

Over lunch (from the school kitchen) several of the young leaders picked my brain for two hours. What other subjects could I come back to teach? Since I have a master's degree in Biblical Studies, what grad-school courses could I lead?

Intriguing questions! Perhaps this will become like the “great door and effectual” (1 Corinthians 16:8-9) that Paul mentions was opened for him in Ephesus. I always pray about opportunities like this through the “grid” of Colossians 4:2-4; perhaps you could join me in doing the same?
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L-R: Jairo López (subdirector of UML's theology degree program), yours truly, & translator Claudia Carrion

Before I left UML for the hotel at about 2 PM:
  • Bobby Hoyle was already winging his way home, readying for a trip elsewhere; and,
  • I had accepted an invitation from Misael Borges, a young Brazilian missionary to Nicaragua, to teach 15 leaders at his local church the next afternoon. (Misael is also a UML student.)

A Highlight of the Weekend

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Gisel

I awoke Sunday morning with a full-on head cold and rumbling intestines to add to my collection of other trip “souvenirs” (a bruised rib and a pinched nerve in my upper back and right shoulder). But “the show must go on” and, by God's mercy, it did. And I'm glad, not only because of the four-hour teaching session (to which not 15, but 60 showed up!), but also because of a special life that was touched.

In attendance at Misael's church was a sister named Gisel. She responded to my challenge (a foundation in all the hermeneutics classes I teach) to read through the Scriptures cover to cover annually.

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Gisel and Sister de Borges (with the latter's son) on the night Gisel received her audio New Testament and CD player

Ah, but there was a catch – Gisel lost her eyesight to lupus several years ago. Of course, we prayed for her healing; but not waiting for that alone, a temporary and practical solution presented itself. I added a gift from trip funds to the offering. From that combined amount, the Pastor Mizael and his wife purchased a CD player and New Testament on CDs in Spanish. They presented it to Gisel about a week after I returned home. I'm now trying to find out how we can provide the funds (about $75) for Gisel to have “el Antiguo Testamento” on CD as well. Know anyone who's heading to Nicaragua soon?

Gisel is going the extra mile to keep her reading commitment, and funds you provided are helping her do that.  I hope her example is an inspiration and challenge to you, too! It's the Misaels and the Gisels that keep me motivated, praying, and going.

Signing Off

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Credits: Both “postcard” images used under license from 123RF Stock Photos.
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