Sunday, April 6, 2014

We hit the Big 9 0 !!!

We get 90 days on a tourist Visa, are allowed to extend once for another 90 days and then required to leave the country for at least three days.  Our 90 day mark is this coming Wednesday so we made a trip into Managua this weekend to apply for new visas.  It was a fun trip!, got to stay with friends (The Boersema’s) who are a wonderful family from Canada here doing work with NCA and other Nicaraguan Christian Schools, go to an English Speaking international church service (which was very renewing), and get some much needed grocery shopping done.

An added perk of our visa trip is that the immigration office is actually in a shopping mall.  So, felt like we stepped into modern day civilization for bit, or at least lots of familiar marketing and fast food from home.  Cinabon, McDonalads, Pizza Hut, ya know all the places we never eat at, at home but still kind of fun to see.  We all got to pick something for lunch in the food court, found some needed items for our home, and spent some time in air conditioning!  (It’s very Hot in Managua!)
Another bonus of coming to Managua is getting to go to Price Smart, which is the Nica version of Costco, auuugh:).  The mom’s reading this can appreciate why this is so exciting.  They don’t have everything that Costco does, but enough items to stock the fridge for a while.

We have one more week before our Semana Santa (Holy Week), which is our ‘spring break.’  School and life is still going really well (Annette’s entire class knows the alphabet!).  We feel like we are getting more used to our life here each week, even though we continue to see and experience things daily which really make us go hmmmm.

Our staff has daily devotions, and the primary and secondary have separate worship services once a week.  Teachers take turns leading those.  Annette led staff devotions and the primary worship last week, and Mike will lead staff and secondary this coming week.  That adds a bit more planning and preparation to our already full week but is a really fun opportunity to share our faith in a different way than the Nicaraguans may be used to.

Holy week has brought about some interesting and hopefully thought provoking discussions at our school.  Often, Christians here consider themselves to be either Evangelicals or Catholics. For various historical reasons, the Evangelicals often have negative connotations of Catholics.  We had some understanding of this but were still surprised to learn that because of this the Evangelicals really do not celebrate Holy Week or even place much special emphasis on Easter.  So it has been especially meaningful for Annette to teach the meaning of Holy Week to her class, to show a video explaining it to the primary grades, and lead a discussion on what we can learn from Jesus, his followers and even his enemies from those important Bible lessons leading up to and following Easter.

Jesus set an incredible example to us all on being a faithful servant, loving one another even His enemies, trusting in God even when He was hurting the most & up to His last breath.  Jesus’ own disciples and followers had doubts and did not believe what Jesus had told them, while His enemies after witnessing His strength on the cross finally recognized that “He was the Son of God.”  We think there is a lesson for all of us in these passages wherever you might find yourself on your faith journey.  But the Good News is clear, Jesus did die for our sins, he died for you and me, and we can rejoice in His Resurrection.  Holy Week is truly Holy, an opportunity to relive the meaning and message of Jesus’ death and to celebrate the Holy Spirit alive among us and in us today.

                                  We pray that you all have a Holy Filled Holy Week
                                                        & A Joyous Easter!

                                                          The Muellers

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