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Adventures in the field ministry
Nicaragua is an incredibly rich field for service. Between the both of us we have around 8 regular studies and some of them are coming to the kingdom hall. To me that's incredible, but that's just one side of the ministry here. Last Thursday we went to a little village called Chijuitas. We left at around 8:00 in the morning and set off. This was going to be an interesting trip because there were only 4 of us going, generally the group is larger, and because of that we could take the road there because we could all fit into one 4x4. Typically, in order to reach this town the friends walk for 3.5 hours one way to talk to this little village. But not us! No, we were going the modern way! By the way, I should mention that no one in our car had gone there by truck, only walking, and so only had drawn conclusions about whether or not we could get there. No empirical tests to prove that it indeed was possible.
We start off and are in awe of the beauty. We climbed right out of the valley where our town is and this is the view we had. It was gorgeous. Oh, and I also need to mention that we are in the rainy season down here. This is an important footnote because I think that the brothers who had walked it before had done so in the dry season.
As we go, we are passing only people with horses and on foot. They all stop and watch us and wave with friendly smiles, oh the preaching would be good here! In retrospect I think they were watching us because of other reasons. (I.e. we were complete fools to be driving this “road”) Ah, but the day was beautiful, the birds were singing, and we were ready for adventure. The road continued on over the mountain wherein it turned in to a babbling brook. Oh, how beautiful! Unfortunately, the road started to get really steep and unstable.
The truck, in places, would continue moving when the tires would not move. Other places the truck would be on a 35 degree angle and, as in this picture, would not be moving at all because we were pinned by a rock. It was pretty scary! We made it there all right though. But decided that we likely could not drive out the way we came because of the condition of the road. We encountered a man at our destination that said that it hadn't rained there in 5 days and so we were pretty happy about that. That meant that we would be able to get out by going down hill and crossing the river. Ah, but who worries about that! We have holy spirit and the sunshine in a place (In the tropics! I.e. rainforest) where it doesn't rain! No worries.
We set off to preach. Here is a picture of the group descending the foot path to the village. If you look really hard you can see smoke about halfway down the hillside here to reach the little village. Preaching was great and we had to cross a few goodly sized streams by skipping across rocks, but it was great. You go down to places like this, and always end up finding some kind of church that looks way better than the other houses in the area. I have no idea how they get the materials here. I guess by foot. We worked until lunch and then it started to rain.... This in a place that doesn't get rain in the rainy season... So we scramble to get out of there. We all walked up about a 600 – 700 foot elevation gain in about a mile to get back to the truck. There we make the fateful decision to get home.
We start driving down the hill and the road turns in to this. I know the pictures not that great but we didn't really have that much opportunity to get out. It's a two door truck and we were in the back. The road turns into a cow path that snakes down the side of the mountain. Julio, our fearless local brother, said that this road was made by hand and paid for with food. Wow, what an economic system, eh? Anyway, the real question after being on this road in the rain for another 2 hours was whether or not we could cross the river at the bottom. Would we be able to get out? We couldn't return the way we came, the truck wouldn't do it, and if the river was too deep with the rain we would be stuck here, in the rainy season, until the river receded. What would happen? (Imagine dramatic background music here....)
Here is a picture of the river. Julio jumped out and scouted the river. It was just moderately deep, he thought we could make it, but who really knew, you can't see under the water. Our driver said, (and we have this on video) “Say a prayer guys, here we go.” And he gunned it. :) I'm not sure if that 's the best way to go, but oh well. We fly through the river hitting the huge rocks and the back two tires came off the ground at least once, but we made it! I would keep writing but there is another 3 hours worth of trip to describe and I'm sure you're getting tired of reading. To put it in short, we drove through huge mud bogs, past sections where the road no longer existed, and got lost for a short time out there in the bush, to manage to get home just shortly before dark. The truck only lost it's tailpipe. Which I'd say was pretty good. :) More later.
on October 13, 2008
from the travel blog:
Shane and Vanessa's Nicaraguan Adventure
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