by President Robert Bugbee
I write this on a warm Thursday morning from Chinandega. We spent our first two full days in Nicaragua driving extensively from far in the south (Rivas) near the border to Costa Rica, and then found our way back to Chinandega, fairly far north on the way to Honduras.
Streets are far more alive than in Canada. People are out in large numbers on bicycles, horses, and little taxis that look more like glorified golf carts. They are also there as pedestrians, day and night, which makes driving rather stressful, because there are no broad shoulders near the road, and the driver always has to be alert to make sure to avoid them, especially in the dark.
We visited three isolated congregations during Wednesday’s travels. They meet in very simple chapels constructed from cement blocks. One of them, called “Cristo Rey” (Christ the King) was only accesible by driving on a road which is really a river bed, but which is open to traffic because this is the dry season and there is no water in it!
We were gladdened to meat a team from Epiphany Lutheran Church, Thunder Bay, Ontario, which has taken a “working holiday” to assist with construction on Christo Rey Church. Nearby stands the peasant home where meetings are currently held until the church is ready for occupancy. Impressive work is done in many of these places with school children, who attend public school for half-days, and then come five days a week to Christian instruction in our congregations. I’ll tell more about this later.
Rice, beans, shredded beef or chicken and plaintain chips form the backbone of daily meals. The food is straightforward, sensible, and tastes good. We’re being very kindly hosted. These are busy days as everyone here at the mission centre prepares for the opening of the Nicaraguan synod convention this Saturday and Sunday. So I’ll have to close it off for now. God bless all who read these lines, and who are carrying Dr. Neitzel and me in their prayers.