So, it’s been a few weeks since we’ve written. Let’s blame it on Semana Santa, shall we…?!
The truth is that all of Nicaragua shuts down during this week leading up to Easter. In such a Catholic country, Holy Week is a reason to (a) pray and/or (b) party it up. Manna PDs chose to spend our “time off” in the Caribbean on Little Corn Island, one of two islands off the Atlantic coast. Combine Swiss Family Robinson with a tropical Bacardi ad and you’ve created the rustic paradise of Little Corn. We spent a much needed vacation exploring the tiny island (4-square kilometers, there are no cars!), fishing in the crystal waters, and soaking up the sun.
But after a week of R&R and a worshipful Easter, we’ve hauled our peeling bodies back to the heat of Managua for MPI programs as usual. Unfortunately, among the fun classes and sweet home visits of this past week, we had to say goodbye to PD Josh Abeln on Thursday. Josh has been here since January 2008, pouring his heart into the construction and maintenance of facilities in the sports complex in Chiquilistagua. Most recently, Josh and the guys have been pouring concrete beneath the roof of a new indoor basketball court!
This sports complex, owned by our partners Halle and Kathy August, has been Josh’s sweet spot in Nicaragua. Now open to neighborhood children every afternoon, this area is home to soccer fields, a baseball stadium, a volleyball court, swings, a library, a computer lab, and much more. Green and spacious, the site offers kids a safe place to come and play, to explore, to feel secure and clean and loved. And so to send Josh off in Manna style, we opened the gates to this special place on Tuesday afternoon… and hosted a huge water fight! Everyone was soaked. And Josh dominated!
We miss him.