Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Prison Project Week # 2

I am so overwhelmed by God's lavish goodness. Because of dear friends and family members back in the States who were so lavishly generous, we were able to buy twice the amount of paint and supplies, and paint the outer "court-yard" area of the women's jail as well. Seth, Luke, Anna and Grace, arrived just in time to help us plow through another week of painting and getting to know the ladies at the jail better. We were given lots of opportunities to talk and sing about Jesus Christ. The atmosphere was very bright and open. We have been so encouraged to see God at work in the hearts of the ladies who live in the prison, who have become our dear friends.

#1 Before.....

#1 After!
(Cool design kudos to Anna, Luke and Grace)

#2 Before....
#2 After!
There were many demon drawings like these etched into the walls. This one is now covered over with passages from John and Matthew. It was really precious. Gina, (the woman pictured right kneeling and writing on the wall,) brought a sheet of paper with 4 of her favorite verses from the Bible. She asked if we could put them on the wall too. Later, other ladies added their favorites as well. Gina spent the rest of the day embellishing her hand-writing, and adding flowers and swirly designs. They even later painted a smiley face over top of the demon drawing. =) 

Hard at work!
There are often clothes hanging from the ceiling bars; this is their snazzy laundry-drying system. =)

We a so grateful for Anna's artistic savvy...she worked for hours the night before painting day, drawing and cutting out stencils.

Liesl headed up the "food team"...she spent the Friday morning with some of the care-takers and older girls from the orphanage making a gigantic pot of "chop su," a favorite "Chinese/Nigaraguan" dish. As we were just finishing up with the paint projects, Liesl and a team of the older teens brought the party! Luke and Grace played guitar and mandolin, and the older girls from Casa Bernabe helped dish out platefuls of Chop-Su and "empenadas," a cheese-filled sweet bread. Our friends from the jail were so excited, and we so loved sharing the fellowship with them. The ladies do not get to eat unless a family member brings them meals, so it was sweet to be able to bring in lots of food! 

In the process of writing this verse from 2 Corinthians 5:17 - "If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; old things have passed away; behold; all things have become new!"

This is 1 of 5 ceiling-to-floor panels displaying pretty much all of Romans chapter 8. Each panel is across from the cell doors inside the prison. It was encouraging to hear the ladies reading the verses out loud and discussing them with each other. We know that our love and our efforts are nothing, if not fueled and used by the Holy Spirit. We are banking on God's promise that His word does not return void.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

"Operation Oink"

So, about a month ago, I woke up to see the following message from Jesse Beaty: "how much would it cost to serve a big meat meal for all the kids and staff at the orphanage?....Let me know and we'll put the money in your account.".....!!!!!......We are so blown away by God's lavish love!
5 weeks, and 120 pounds of pig later, we found ourselves deep in the middle of what we've fondly labeled, "Operation Oink." Last weekend was a flurry of constructing fire-pits, cutting meat, researching recipes, cutting more meat, collecting boat-loads of barbeque sauce, chopping onions like crazy, and scouting out buckets and bags to marinate our project.  Everyone joined in the excitement. 
I never knew there were so many ways to prepare a pig. With all hands on deck, we marinated, grilled, fried, baked, boiled and broiled....and ended up with lots of greasy hands and a ton of  full and happy stomachs. =)

Water-balloon fight! 

BBQ ribs