Thursday, September 18, 2008


Ever felt like that!? You've gotten used to something, only to find things changing again!?! Well, that's the easiest way to explain this past year. I fought going to Nicaragua for so long. I finally got the nerve to go, then move there for a year. With time I realized I didn't want to leave Nicaragua for the world, and guess what?! It's time to go home for a while!? I sure wish I could find those higher thoughts and ways of God's sometimes! (Isaiah 55:8-9) ...For those of you who may have been out of the loop...I am officially home now. I have actually been home almost 4 weeks now, which is nearly impossible to believe. I've had a hard time figuring out what to say, hence the reason there hasn't been an update in over a month. The famous question since I have been home is "Are you glad to be home?". Such a great question. but it's impossible to find a good, honest answer and not hurt anyone's feelings at the same time. Of course I love my family, my friends, my church and love to be here with them. But I came to realize I left a very important part of me back in Nicaragua...and that is my heart. If anyone has ever experienced this, it's hard to cope and especially function without it. And that is what I have been experiencing for the past 4 excrusiatingly painful weeks. (Not to mention America "just isn't the same to me" after a year in a better place. I get the funniest reaction when I tell people I don't like America anymore. they laugh. they must think I'm joking. but...unfortunately...I am not joking at all) to wrap this up, I just wanted to let everyone know that I am here in TN for a good while and at this time I unfortunately do not know when I will return to Nicaragua (or reunite with my heart!)


Saturday, August 2, 2008


that's right! another month as "Mama Brooke"! Yesterday Jean and Cheryl left for Tennessee, so that leaves me as mama Brooke now! Only this time I don't have Tamara to help me. I do have Eugene and Patricia staying in the house for 2 weeks and then Chico and Eliot for 2 weeks, but they are mainly just support. The kids and I are making a good team so far (even though it's only been 1 day! haha). I am now realizing I need to learn how to cook! these poor kids might lose 10 pounds by the time Cheryl gets back...if I was all they had!! Luckily I'm not, but I gave Esperanza and Rosa the day off today since they had worked all week with the team, so it was up to me to cook! breakfast was easy, they wanted eggs...and lunch was easy because the kids wanted sandwichs and chips. For dinner, Wilber (the driver) volunteered to cook for me. So the kids had rice (which I somewhat learned how to cook today) and beans and fried bananas. We had the same, but with an egg (with tomatoes,peppers,onions)...Wilber's cousin, Mario (the translator), has volunteered to cook dinner tomorrow night for me!!! They must all feel so sorry for the kids!!!!!! oh well, I'm trying to watch and learn...and I get a good meal out of it too, so I'm not complaining! :)
I guess that's enough for now. Don't know that I'll update much this month, just because I don't stay on the computer much when the children are my responsibility...but I'll try...and put some pictures up too (of the children losing weight!!! haha)


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


ok...Chele and his brother Wilmur (Wilby) both went up for salvation the last night of the crusade while the group was here. Granted, Chele has went before (and probably Wilmur too). So Ashton, Madison and I talked to both of them about it, along with the fact that if they were serious about their decision, then they would fix the problem they have with each other (they hate each other). I also told them that I would start going to church with them on Wednesdays and Fridays if they wanted. Well, they were supposed to be at the house at 6pm tonight, but they never showed up. I waited around for an hour, dressed and ready because I had all confidence in them coming. And now here I sit so discouraged because they didn't show up.....the worst part is, I know they want to change. If they didn't, they would live how they wanted and they surely wouldn't go up for salvation, if they weren't seeking. I know that God has great things for both of these guys, I have no doubt about it. And I can see God receiving SO much glory through this, and perhaps changing their whole family. I guess I just want them to hurry up and do a 180 degrees turn, not thinking about the difficulty of changing a lifestyle that they've lived for 15 and 16 years. I just wanna see the breakthrough, to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, so that they can show everyone around them that they truly do want to change, but they need love and shoulders to lean on, not a turned back...please pray hard core for these boys. I have truly been broken for both of them and I want to help them however I can. I want to be the love of Christ for them to take hold of, so they can truly understand what love is...and what Christ did for them...and what He wants for them now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Can't believe it's already time for another team, but I'm so excited for familiar faces tomorrow night!!!! ...I know starting tomorrow morning, it will be extra busy around here and difficult to post blogs, so I wanted to update before the madness starts!!...this past week we had little Ramon (Raymond) staying with us in the house, along with his mom and aunt. Ramon is 15 months old and weighs 8-9 lbs! I wanted to hold him, but every time I did it felt as if I were holding a skeleton. I was terrified I would break him! We think he may have a very rare disorder of Primordial Dwarfism. You can look it up on YouTube with a video of an adorable little girl named Kenadie. I think the statistics say there are around 100 kids like this, needless to say...VERY rare. even more rare, we think he also has down syndrome. Cheryl and I think we are probably looking at a one in a trillon case with Ramon!! Crazy how the rarest cases show up at our door!! Here are a few pictures of him... other news...Chico gets married on Saturday! In Nicaragua, you have a Civil Wedding with a lawyer which is the actual wedding that counts. Then, you have a Church Wedding for the celebration. So he is technically already married since his Civil Wedding was this past Sunday. But, as he says, he's waiting for the cake til after the wedding this Saturday!! He and Eliot are going to the beach for a few days, then he's coming back for the second half of the week with the group. Pretty excited to experience my first Nicaraguan wedding! Here's a pic from Sunday...

...did I tell everyone how daring I am!?....Fair rides in America are somewhat unnerving, right!? how about Fair rides in Nicaragua?? sounds a little moreso....well, last week, Eugenio, Wilber, Jean, and I went to a local Fair in Leon! And rode a few of the rides!!! Guess I figure if I can survive the ocean, I can survive the Fair rides!!! ...HAha...!?

The last ride by myself (Wilber and Jean got sick from another ride and Eugene was too scared!)

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I sure can't believe it's already been 3 weeks since I got back to Nicaragua! things have been going fast around here! I meant to write a week ago, but never got the chance. We've been really busy the past couple of weeks trying to get prepared for the group of 28 people that came on the 22nd. They represented about 5 or 6 different churches and have seen around 433 people come to receive Christ!! Experiencing a big group is completely different on this side of the fence. Cheryl, Jean, and I were the ones that had to make sure everything was bought and ready, and everyone prepared in terms of cooks, interpreters and other help. And then I had to keep up with my main "job" here, which is receipts. That can be somewhat challenging when you're going a million miles a minute, but I hope that it's helped take the stress of Cheryl at least a little bit...It is somewhat stressful at moments when something isn't the way it should be, but I am so thankful for the experience to prepare me for the future! :)

In other news...Juan is an adorable little guy!! He has already gained about 5 lbs since he has lived with Cheryl. His mom has came once since I've been back, but she doesn't even talk to him or play with him. She just sits there and holds him...he likes the Johnny jumper! And I've heard we have raised enough money to buy a pool so that we can try some water therapy with him and Magaly, without creating alot of stress on their bodies. We are actually fasting for Juan tomorrow until 4pm. And then we are having a special prayer service for him in the house, for healing of his little body!! Please join in with us if you feel led to do so!

In a bit of other news, I know I've always talked alot about Chele on here, so I'll try to give a short, but detailed update....He was hanging out at the house, helping with little things. But one day he left mad, and then came back two hours later very drunk. He ended up collapsing and we had to take him to the ER where they pumped his stomach. He had taken some kind of pills along with alot of alcohol. It was said that he could have came close to killing himself. Not that I think that is what he wanted to do, but he wanted to hurt himself. So Cheryl had a meeting with some of the board for her ministry and they came up with some conditions in order for him to come back around the house. He has to have counseling meetings with Pastor Cortez, as well as Carlos (who is a psychologist on the board). He has to continue in school on Saturdays and if Pastor Cortez says so, Chele can start coming back around in a month....some days I it's hard not to be mad at him and his "unwillingness" to change......I know God has big things for him, it's just gonna be a LONG and HARD journey!! Please pray for him...his mind and his heart. That God will break through!!!


Friday, May 30, 2008


Just want to post a couple of things that are in need of prayer right now. Number one is that a tropical storm hit Leon yesterday (Thursday). Tamara Price called me today, thinking I had perhaps talked to Cheryl, although I knew nothing about the storm. Tamara talked to Cheryl yesterday morning and the winds and rain (around 70mph winds) were pretty fierce. Reports say the storm blew roofs off of homes, and knocked out power and telephone services. We've both tried to call Cheryl, but it's still unavailable. Please be in prayer for them and that telephone services can be restored so we can get in contact with them. I'll post details when I can get them....Second prayer request is for Mario (he's the little guy that came to church in Oct that had the tumor in his liver, for all of you Fairview readers out there). I got an email from Cheryl earlier this week that said he had a CT Scan and has another cyst on his liver. Cheryl was going to send all the information to the doctor in Cinncinati that did his first surgery to see what needs to be done. Just pray for Mario (he's only 4 yrs old) and his family and wisdom for the doctors (especially the Nicaraguan ones because we know they need alot!)...Third prayer request is for Diana. As far as I know, she is a little girl that should be leaving June 1 for the U.S. for heart surgery with HeartGift. Please pray that their travels and surgery all go smoothly and they can see God's hand and give Him thanks for what He's provided.
Thanks in advance for all the prayers!


Monday, May 5, 2008

~4 days to go~

can't believe it's only 4 days to go before I'm home again!! sorta seems like I was just home, but I'm definitely excited to see familiar faces of friends and family! :) ...I actually have to pack tonight because some of us are going to Diriamba (sounds like diddy-amba) with Eugenio's ministry, and they will be taking me to the airport from there on Friday! Not sure if I'll have internet there, so if not, I'll see everyone at the airport on Friday at 10:14pm. ok!? haha
I just wanted to post a few fun pics of things that have happened around here recently (and remind you of the airport! haha)...

About to get on the boat for Monkey Island. from left to right:
Chele, Lauren, Denis, me, Wilmur (our new driver), Eugenio

Funnest picture ever!

Lola (can you tell I was a little scared?)

Chele's house (the wind made it fall)

from the inside of his house

Chele, Gabby, and Wilmur's mom, Silvia

Allan, he just got back from Houston, TX for open heart surgery with HeartGift.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

a day in Managua

i am so sorry for not updating more's gotten tougher and tougher.......yesterday we spent a day in Managua....we dropped Tamara off at the airport around 11am and then we waited for Lauren. She was supposed to come with a group last year, but didn't get her passport in all the madness with passports last year and had to use her ticket by this week. After we found her, we did the traditional site-seeing day for her (since we had to wait til 7:30 pm to pick Cheryl up at the airport). So we headed to Granada for Monkey Island which was alot of fun! Until we got off the boat. I tried to buy cokes for everyone, until they tried to charge me 18 cordobas when it should have been 10. unfortunately 3 of the guys had already opened theirs, so i had to pay for them. Then, we get to the van and started to leave. apparently, since we didn't use the boat at the restuarant where we parked, we had to pay to park!? well, we tried to ignore it, got in and tried to drive off. unfortunately we didn't get very far because a guy crossed in front of the van and we couldn't go anywhere....Wilmur tried to rev the engine to get him to move. but that only made the "family" around the restuarant start moving in toward the van. so finally i had to hand a 20 cordoba bill out the window to the guy so we could leave. all because of mine and Lauren's American faces! geez! :) we were all quite flustered after that, but we weren't about to let it spoil our day....after that, we went to Masaya for Lauren to shop for souvenirs, but it seemed they were on to our American faces too. but not too bad....after we finished there, it was back to the airport to pick up Cheryl. She got in about 8pm, we ate dinner and headed back to Leon....about 5 mins from Leon, the bus starts rattling. we got to the side of the road and Wilbur (our new driver!!) checked to find some belt was about to come off. So he had to call his brother Mario, who came to pull us back to the house with his big work truck, going about 3 mph!! :) .....we made a day of it, leaving the house at 9am and returning home at 11:45ish!!!! whew what a day! :)

Monday, April 21, 2008


very sorry to have not updated in a LONG time! but it's definitely been busy around here. Cheryl is in the states for a month, so I have been playing mommy to 5 children. definitely a full time job!!! lucky for me, I have Tamara here with me for the month and it's actually pretty fun. I love the kids and I love that they call me mama for now! :) but needless to say, I've had very little time to concentrate on the computer, especially for updating the blog. I get up at 5:30 to get the kids up and ready for school, so by the time they go to bed at 7-8, I am about to drop too! :) ...the reason I'm taking the time to write this blog is because I want to make public, the thanks that I owe God for my life. I have debated whether to write this on the blog (in part, because I have a very hard time recalling it, without getting nauseous), but it's part of my experience in Nicaragua and it is just another way God has shown me I have a purpose.........this past weekend we took the kids and everyone who helped (minus Chico) to the beach. We got some rooms at a hotel and enjoyed Friday at the beach and then had most of the day Saturday for the beach too. We had been out and about in the water Saturday morning, we'd walked around a little and came back to the water again to play some....Apparently, the water current/tide/something had changed. The waves were rougher and Chele started to head for shore and motioned for me to do the same. But the more I tried, the further I kept getting from shore. Eugenio motioned for me to come in because I was pretty far out and all I could do was throw my hands up to gesture that I was trying but couldn't get anywhere. (this is where it gets stressful for me)...I keep swimming as forcefully as I can, but I only get further and further out. Before I knew it, the ocean had taken me out past all the HUGE waves crashing on the shore. I was between those and the other occassional waves that crashed on top of me. The people on the shore appeared to be about an inch tall and I could go nowhere but where the waves wanted to take me...At this point, I began to panick. no one could come out to get me because they would end up in the same situation as me, and I couldn't go anywhere...I was in a place I had never imagined myself. I was recounting what I thought would be my last minutes of life. I was screaming, crying, begging God to not let this be the end, not to let this be how my life seemed like an ETERNITY that I just watched the shore, with a crowd of people on shore just watching me...til I was no more. Thankfully, I made myself calm down, knowing if I panicked it really would be the end. So instead, I prayed, yelled, screamed any and every scripture that came to my head. It was the only thing that kept me sane for the estimated 30ish minutes I was out there, completely helpless...I kept looking, hoping that a boat, a jetski, anything would be coming to my rescue because I didn't know how long I could continue to kick before I ran out of energy (little did I know, that Eugenio and Chele had ran 2 km to find someone with a boat that would go out and look for me)......I couldn't see anyone on shore because of the waves crashing in front of me and they couldn't see me because of the same thing, but all of a sudden I see this person coming towards me in the water, and "something" was pulling me closer to that person. because I was getting closer to the waves crashing, and they were now crashing on me and spinning me like I was in a washing machine. I start screaming for help, and it takes what seems like forever, but the guy gets to me with a boogie board, my angel from God! And then all of sudden, in like 2-3 mins I was back to shore. I couldn't believe that I was actually alive and able to carry my body with feeble legs to a table to collapse...A nice man from one of the hotels gave me a tranquilizer and some juice and some instructions on what to do for the rest of the day. If you don't know the Pacific Ocean, this thing happens quite a bit, but many people truly don't survive.....All I can say is God had mercy on me that day, because I know (along with a few workers around the beach telling us) that I should never have survived what I went through. And if I didn't know before that God still has purpose for my life, I know now! If he did not have something for me, He could've taken me easily. but he didn't. I have life...and it's just a little sweeter right now than it has been in a while. I am so thankful to God and his provision for my life!

PS - don't tell my grandparents!!!!!!! :)

Friday, March 28, 2008


Today has been a good day in the Lord! We went to Managua today, making a trip to immigration and a trip to the burn center at a hospital. The rest of us were sitting in the bus while Giselle and her mom were in to see the doctor at the burn center. Well, I decided I needed to go to the bathroom, so Eugenio walked with me to the building. After I come out, he starts talking to me a little, in his broken English. And across the room, a guy that had just walked in starts snickering a little bit at our inability to communicate. So Eugenio asks him if he knows English. He did. He was actually from somewhere in the Carribean (pretty hard for me to understand through his accent). Eugenio asks him a few questions. Then he came over to sit with us and he began to tell me about his little girl that has burns (she's only 6 months old). I had a very hard time understanding him, but he started talking about God and how he prayed for help with his daughter. And he had all the answers, that God is the only way, He's the one that knows the number of our days, etc. He talked about getting baptized soon, but he was waiting til he knew exactly what it was, I guess making sure his life sizes up to the commitment that comes with baptism!? So, that was my entry way. I just started sharing that baptism doesn't equal salvation. gave him Romans 10:9-10. That if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart, you will be saved. I asked him if he wanted to do that today and he said yes. I asked him if he wanted me to lead him through a prayer or if he wanted to pray. And this is where his accent was a problem, I'm not sure if he prayed or if he was telling me what he does pray on a regular basis, but what he prayed was in line with the scripture. So, did he pray to receive Christ today or had he already?! I'm not sure. But I know that he received truth today. And after a few more minutes of talking, he told me that he was not married but would hopefully be in the future, but he and his girlfriend are living together. So, then I couldn't just let that stand, so I had to confront him on the sin he was living in. Pretty hard, for someone (me) who has the hardest time with confrontation!!! (has seemed to be a trend for the God stretching me like I asked!?!? ut-oh!) :) ...He seemed to take it pretty well and I asked if Eugenio and I could pray for him. So we did and that was that. I pray that God sprinkles the words in a way that help this man find the Lord and/or help in his walk with the Lord and convict him of what he's doing wrong in his life. But praise God, that even through the pounding heart, I was able to allow God the opportunity to work in this man's life!!! ...God is SO cool...using a bathroom break for an opportunity to share about Him!!!!!! :)
Let's see what else I've conquered today (haha)...when we visited Eugenio's uncle for the legal papers to be a legal ministry in Nicaragua today, I drank part of a glass of tea (GAG) because I didn't want to offend the lady who offered it. I tried so hard to like it, pretend it was anything but tea. I choked down about 3 big gulps before I had to surrender the glass to the table!!! But hey, I consider it a victory, that I drank it at all!!!!
what else...tonight, I became Chele's teacher! We waited and waited for Chico to come back to the house, but he didn't come back tonight. And Chele has school in the morning but hadn't finished his homework. I was going to just fill in the answers for him and let Chico help him after his class tomorrow, but I knew that was not the answer...So instead, me in my broken Spanish, gave a lesson in Addition. We used 2 sets of hands and conquered about 15 problems in about 30-45 mins. He is definitely just beginning to learn, but the fact that he is trying makes me so proud! And that I got to be a part of that tonight, I was honored. God has done a transformation in his life, I know it. Maybe he doesn't even know it, but God is there and even though it's going to be a LONG ROAD, I can't wait to see the growth throughout the process of him learning (and one day learning to read the word of God for himself!!). Please continue to pray for him. for the desire to learn and that God would ease the pain (& difficulty) of learning!

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." - Psalm 118:1


Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I could spend tons of time ranting and raving about all the things that have went wrong this week...the diarrhea and nauseousness (and apparent parasites living in me), the sore throat & runny nose & constant cough, and today the aching legs from dehydration.....But, why in the world would I spend time on those things to get sympathy for anyone would might be reading this.....when this time could be better spent on the intricate work of the Lord in the lives of those who love him!? It's so cool how God works and networks. Right now, we have 3 Americans staying in the house from a organization called AIM (Adventures in Missions). They are on a World Race ( and travel the world, a country at a time, a month at a time. How did they get to our house, you ask?? Simply because they walked past our door a few days ago. The 3 of them (Esther, Tamara, and Mark) are in a period of ATL (Ask The Lord) which they go by faith where they feel God leading and depend on him for all the resources and the work when they get there. It is so amazing to sit down and talk with them, and the experiences they have had in so many countries (Africa, South Africa, China, etc). Cheryl and I were talking with Mark tonight and it's amazing how much Americans are ignorant of life outside the U.S. I'm not sure if it's true ignorance, or if it's a choice of ignorance b/c it scares us to open our eyes. Mark was saying the missionaries in AIM talk about getting back to "the real world" (U.S.) after their year is up. But then it dawned on them, that America is not the real world. America is this fantasy land, and then there is the rest of the world. Outside America is the true, REAL world. I don't want to be Debbie Downer on Americans, but it just seems we have no sense of what the real world is, because we don't get out of fantasy land. If we did, I don't know how we could ever go back & truly live our lives the way we do...with the next biggest toy, the complete debt to "provide" for our families with $300,000 houses and $30,000 cars that are our "needs" (when some of my friends here live in cardboard and tin piece houses)... I knew something had happened when I went back to TN in January. At this point, I just don't see myself being able to truly live in America again. I cannot live in a fantasy, with now having at least some knowledge of the real world. When I'm here, my heart is in America with my family and friends. But when I'm in America, my heart is here...I feel as if I'm a girl without a least an earthly home. a somewhat hard place to be in, but truly it makes my heart yearn for Heaven in a much more passionate way. Knowing it's my only true home!
I'll end with a song from MercyMe. I know it's not a perfect fit to what I was saying, but just a way to prove, this world is not our Nicaragua or America!

"Homesick" by MercyMe

You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you
I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home
I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbye
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again
And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now

Monday, March 3, 2008


We celebrated my big 2-5 birthday this past Friday (Feb. 29) It was a good birthday celebration. Tamara treated me to a pedicure which cost around $2.50-2.75!! Then she took me, Chele, Luis, and Dennis to El Sesteo, a restaurant in central park. After that, we rode the Bus Palon (sp?) around town. It's the bus without a top so you can enjoy the air and it goes all around Leon.

It was a good thing we celebrated on Friday b/c I spent my actual birthday in bed (& in the bathroom with vomiting and diarrhea). I might not eat beans and rice for a while now!! yikes!! :) ....also, at the end of the day we found out that little Kevin had passed away. He wasn't doing good Saturday morning and so Cheryl was going to take him to the hospital. But his mom came and refused to take him to the hospital, b/c when he was little she took him to the hospital for dehydration or something relatively small and they ended up cutting him open to do a surgery that wasn't for him. So the mom took him home and he lived about 5 more hours before his little body gave out. The mom had called Cheryl and asked her to come to the house b/c Kevin wasn't doing good. So I stayed with the kids...Then, Luis and Eugenio come to the house and tell me that Kevin had passed away. And Magaly heard him. So I got to play mama. I had to console her, who was attached to Kevin from the second he got to the house (they both had cerebral palsy). Then the other kids want to know what is wrong with Magaly, so I have to tell them about Kevin!! Talk about a real mom moment!! That was hard. And then that night I rocked Gabby to sleep in the hammock, and then Magaly (they are the ones that had the hardest time coping with it)....then yesterday (Sunday) we had the funeral, which lasted pretty much all day long. They are much different here than in the U.S.....we left the house yesterday morning at 9:30 and went to Kevin's house, where we sat around until 2:30ish. That was part of the wake and family members were coming to visit. At 2:30, they loaded the casket into the back of a pickup truck and we took the family in the bus to the cemetary. At the cemetary, they had dug the hole for the casket (where anyone could walk by and fall in) and the guys that dug it were sitting to the side with their shovels, waiting for the service to be finished. Eugenio spoke a few words and Carlos sang. Then, while we were still there, the guys put the casket in the ground and started throwing the dirt on top. Talk about a hard sight to see!! BUT, Kevin is now a perfect little boy in Heaven, Praise God!!!

Here's a couple of pictures:

Monday, February 25, 2008


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

i'M BACK........HOME!

sorry it's been forever since I wrote the last blog. But being home for a couple of weeks and then getting back to Nicaragua with a group has been busy so I haven't had a chance to really sit down and write one. I wasn't planning on writing this one either, but I just thought I'd put up some good news of the week about my boy, Chele. He has came by every day since I've been back. He didn't go to school this past Saturday like he was supposed to, but he said he was sick and I choose to believe him. He says he will go this Saturday so we'll pray he does. Chico and I asked him to attend the crusade we are having this week, and he came last night and tonight. He had a hard time last night because he hadn't slept at all in several nights. I gave him some medicine to help him and today he was like a new person...I'm glad because God was at work tonight in the church service. (Last night after the service LeeAnn with our group talked to Chele for a while about the Lord. Then today Eugenio talked to him today and I learned that Dennis (one of our interpretors) had been talking to him too). And then tonight, Mark's message was all about sin and the separation it causes with God. It was right on for Chele and what had been leading up to this point. Mark even made a comment about if you can't read the Bible, you need to get someone to read it to you. And I'm sure there were others in the crowd maybe like that, but that was something that Chele needed to here....then came time for the invitation. Mark went through the "sinner's prayer" and then asked for anyone who prayed to raise their hand. and guess what....Chele did!!!!!!!!! Glory to God! Can't explain how excited I am!! But... I'm even more excited about the next step, and that's sitting down to talk with him about his decision...what it means, what it doesn't mean (that his life will be perfect now), how to live, how to persevere, I can't wait to do that! Please just pray that God continues to work in his heart. I know that Chele has a great heart under the toughness and God can use his life in great ways!! Just wanted everyone to share in the joy of more souls coming to our Father tonight (not sure of a total count, but there were numerous hands tonight)!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


today was a day of Chele for me, it seems. first, Chico went and got the bike fixed for me. We had to change the brakes and something that had to do with the chain. Chico said the one they give you with the bike is cheaper. So we got a ¨better quality¨ part (if you can use that word in Nicaragua) today. Although, it seems the biggest part of the problem is that there is a 15 yr old boy controlling the bike. not quite the same care as a 26 yr old like Chico controlling the bike. While Chico was doing that, Eugenio and I went to sign Chele up for school where he will be starting Saturday, February 16 (the day I get back to Nicaragua). Had to take the birth certificate, and I almost left it there. The guy was going to keep the original, and half way down the street I remembered and so we went back to get it. I told him we would bring him a copy back. I travelled 8 hours for that document, so the original is mine. Chele will only get a copy too (since he lost his last one), and I will take care of the original! :) ...after we finished that, Chico and I went to check on Chele at his house because I had no seen him since Friday when he was hurt. The only problem was, I wanted to take the bike back to him, so that either meant I ride on the bike with Chico, or I ride Chele´s bike and Chico takes his bike. So I opted for riding Chele´s bike there. I was scared to death. I like my life and wanted to keep it. I walked out the door saying my goodbyes and what to tell my parents in case I did not make it back alive!!! If you have not been to Nicaragua, the driving here is about like New York, only worse. Especially since there are so many bikes on the road too...Obviously, since I am writing this blog, I made it home safely. And I actually enjoyed riding the bike. I think I might purchase myself one in the future (long term future, that is). So Chico and I make it to Chele´s house but the door was locked and no one was home. So we sat down by the highway for a while because that is where he and his brothers hang out all day, asking (begging) for food, money, whatever. But we didn´t see them, so we went to check on a little girl down the street and then we came back, and Chele was down the street from his house. We found out he broke his toe Friday because the bike is such great quality! He was trying to turn the bike and I don´t know if he stumbled or lost balance (because of the brakes being bad or the other part being bad) and he got his foot stuck in the spokes of the bike!! He did go to the hospital Friday night and they gave him a brace for his foot to wear for 15 days and a prescription for pain medicine. Well, he wore the brace for 2 days and took it off yesterday because it was itching. and he tore up the prescription because he didn´t have any money to get the medicine. You would think he would know where to come for help with that, crazy Chico went and got him some pain medicine while I sat with him in his house. I SO wish I had a camera or video camera to capture what he lives in. It´s got a dirt floor, maybe the size of my bedroom at home. cardboard and curtains to separate the 2 ¨rooms¨. a little tin for the roof, with some holes. the ¨mom¨and all 4 boys sleep in one bedroom, there´s a little place when you walk in the door for 3 plastic chairs, and then you walk about 4 feet, through the curtains to the kitchen/exit out the back of the house. We couldn´t imagine living in a place like he lives, we wouldn´t dare live there. yet that is all he knows...I just know God has something big for Chele´s life, why else would he be on my heart so heavily. Can´t wait to see what God has for him in the future! Much Love!

Monday, January 14, 2008


forgot to add...yesterday Eugenio and his wife Patricia took me out to the art museum. well, we tried to go to the art museum. but it was closed. then we tried another museum, but it was closed. then we tried the Catholic church where you can go up on top of the building and see the whole city, but you guess it, it was, we decided to go get something to eat and see a movie. sounds pretty innocent, right!? Not even close. the meal was fine. but the movie we saw was a different story. The name of it was something like The Heartbreak Kid. PG-13, so it's fine right!? OH NO! I saw more of a women than I ever want to see again and I heard more about sex than any single person should ever hear. I cannot tell you how shocked I was to see and hear all of this. Especially when I double checked the rating before walking into the theater. The only reason I stayed in the movie was because Eugenio had paid for my ticket and I knew he wouldn't let me pay him back for it if I left. (honestly, I should have left anyways.)...from now on, I will have to screen the movies I want to see much closer. Either that, or not go to any movie over a PG rating...I have learned that the one thing we still have in America is censorship for things like movies. and I am SO very thankful!!!


Today I received a package from my grandmother in the mail!! It only took about 2 months!!! haha...she sent it around Thanksgiving and I just got it today. Luckily we called about it and knew it was here at the post office, otherwise it might have been sitting there for another month before I got it! :) Now, I'm just waiting on the package from my other grandmother. maybe tomorrow!? so we'll see! :)
Last Thursday, Eugenio & I went on a 4 hour journey to Matagalpa for Chele's birth certificate. the ride was somewhere between an airplane ride (how fast we went) and a roller coaster (being tossed side to side and bouncing up and down b/c of the holes in the road). quite amusing...We made it there, got to the right places for the right documents. and then we found out the birth certificate wouldn't be ready til the next day at 4pm. and since we weren't staying over night, that presented a problem. But, the genius Eugenio is, decided we would find the pastor in the Apostolic Church (that's the church he goes to) and ask if they would go get the document and mail it the next day. Pretty cool stuff, and we got the birth certificate in the mail today! :) tomorrow we are going to go sign him up for school...Chele came by the house for a few minutes on Friday. I didn't get to talk to him, apparently something happened on the way here with his bike. who knows. he was in a bunch of pain (practically crying). he took off his shoe and his big toe was crooked. i don't know if it was out of place or broken. Eugenio tried to pull on it (in case it was out of place) but (obviously) that made Chele in more pain and a little aggravated. so he took off his other shoe and walked off. Eugenio got on his bike to catch up with him, and he said Chele was walking to the hospital. later, on Eugenio's way home, he went by the hospital but Chele wasn't there. So I don't know how Chele got home (with no bike and no shoes) or if he is doing ok, but I pray that God is taking care of him and that he isn't in pain.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


That's right...say goodbye to Brooke's freshly bought laptop from July! Sadly...he is dead. well, technically not dead. He's very disabled now...good for nothing! :) ...I figure, either satan is trying to break me (ahem, satan iT'S NOT WORKiNG!) or God doesn't want me to have any technology...either way, I'm still kicking after getting a camera stolen, mp3 player stolen, and a laptop dropped on the ground. Some people would say, just come home!! hehe...but I'm still kickin' for Jesus! :) ...the story...yesterday after our first day back of English class, we were in the office. And all the kids were running around in the office (ahem, where they are not supposed to be) and apparently Eugenio tripped over a my cable that was in the floor, and the computer jumped off the table to commit computadora suicide! yikes :) ...Eugenio was pitiful! He apologized a million times, and I let him take me to a computer fix it store this morning so we could get all the documents, music, and pictures onto my external hard drive. The only reason I let him do that is because Cheryl said it would make him feel better...just a little more stuff gone...good for me, I bought insurance with my laptop, so it should be that when I come home in a few weeks, I will just have to take it back and claim it (or whatever you do), and hopefully get another one!? I pray to Jesus that it's that easy! :) ...until then, I will have a bit of harder time responding to emails, updating the blog, etc. Although Cheryl is kind and is letting me borrow hers...puts a little more damper on me getting all my work done. But hopefully I can load the program onto Cheryl's computer and get everything input at night. Hopefully.

in a bit of other news, Chele came by a few minutes ago. along with about 7 of his friends. and i had bought some tacos the other night in case he came by after we got home. but tonight was the first night he came by since i bought them, so i fed 7 boys with 2 tacos. almost a Jesus story!? or not!?!? hehe :) ...Not so sure about Chele's friends. It seems they could be "punks" when they get together. Chele had a little bit of a different attitude with his friends here. more of a "carefree" spirit, if you will...But I told him about Thursday...I don't think I've told the internet world...Thursday, Eugenio and I (and Chele) are heading off to Matagalpa (about a 4 hour trip, one way) to get Chele's birth certificate, which he lost a while back. He has to have it for school. which he will start the first saturday in February (8am - 3pm every Saturday). Please pray that he goes and he will stick with it! Also pray there are no hiccups in getting his birth certificate once we get there. and that it will be a safe trip. and that Eugenio and I can have good conversation with Chele and provide encouragement and love for him...Lately, I have even found myself asking God why I care so much about Chele. I really don't know. It's not an easy thing, but it's also something that is not light on my heart. It's very heavy. I really think it's from God, and that's he is using Chele in my life to give me a passion I have never had, for youth like Chele. for a ministry in the future. please pray for guidance and that I will follow God in all things!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


I wonder just how long it's gonna take me to write 2008 instead of 2007!! that's always rough for me...first thing New Year's Eve, Chico, Chele, and I went to find Chele a bike! We finally had a chance when all of us were together so that I could give him his Christmas gift. He was really appreciative and thanked me a bunch of times!! He told me that God was gonna give me a good husband. I asked him why he would say that!? And he said for being such a nice person and for buying the bike for him. I'm not trying to show everyone how nice of a person I am ;) ...but I am trying to show that in Chele's own way, he is recognizing that I care about him. And hopefully that I'm different from everyone else in his life. Not that I can buy him a nice gift. But that I care and want to take care of him!! That one moment excites me, it shows me that God is working in Chele's life and working through me to show Chele the love of Christ!!! yay for Jesus!!! :)
...for New Year's Eve night, we went to our little "home church" here in Nicaragua, Fifth Baptist Church. There were around 30 people there for the New Year's Eve service. that's about 15 more than a normal Sunday!! :) ...It was a special service for the church. Pastor Carlos has been on leave for a year. The church asked him to do so after his wife had a baby by another man and apparently left him. But New Year's Eve they swore him back in as Pastor...I really enjoy the church. Everyone is so nice! And even though I can't understand too much yet, I can still feel the presence of God there. And that's big, that you know God is there even when you can't participate in the service. The church has had struggles this past year with what Pastor Carlos went through (and thus affecting them), and then a ministry that tried to take over the church, but never showed up. They only tagged their name to it. So they've been hurt alot this past year, but they are eager and ready to have a new beginning starting with the new year. And I'm so grateful that God has given me a chance to be here and to be a part of it!