Nicaragua attractions are many and varied. Tourism is now the second largest industry in the country, and the current president plans to use it to help the country emerge from poverty.
However, as many of you are aware, we didn't really go to Nicaragua as tourists, so not surprisingly, I'm sure you'll find our attractions quite a bit different than your typical tourist guide.
Nevertheless, I can assure you, Nicaragua is a beautiful country. We were able to spend about two days traveling to different parts of the country to see future, and present mission churches, but while in transit we were also able to enjoy the natural beauty God has so bountifully lavished on the country.
But, to focus on those natural beauties, would be to ignore the greatest attractions in our minds. So we'll return to them later, but for now, let's focus on the greatest...
Our acquaintance with the Nicaraguan people began in the airport, where in spite of our rolling bags, we had at least five or six bell boys insist on helping with our luggage.
It continued as we stood on the curb with our bags around us, hoping someone would come to pick us up. Sure enough, within five or ten minutes, a white van arrived, with a held up sign proclaiming "Thompsons".
Our driver, Bernee, who would take us around the country for much of the next 12 days had arrived.
I was thankful for my ability to speak the Spanish language, but I was reminded frequently, that the language was a good deal different in Nicaragua from the Puerto Rican Spanish with which I'm well acquainted. Nonetheless, I was never unable to communicate, which was a definite blessing.
When we arrived at the Bible Institute where we thought we'd be staying, we discovered that they were full to overflowing, due to the graduation planned for that week-end, so we stayed the first four nights in a near by hotel. That provided the opportunity to get acquainted with several Nicaraguans we wouldn't have met any other way.
Additionally there were the ladies who cooked our food for most of the trip. Their names were Yadira and Jilda, and I've never met any sweeter ladies in my life.
The food was far different than what we're accustomed to in the states, but it was delicious, and if we didn't gain weight, it was only because we were doing our best to avoid it.
This covers only a handful of the lovely, friendly people we met during the twelve days we spent in Nicaragua.
The country has around 6 million people, and almost half of them live in the capital where we were staying. We met relatively few of them during our trip, but they made a lasting impression.
They are beautiful people, and those who know Christ as Savior seem to love Him with a fervency I've rarely experienced here in the States. Since they love Him, they have a burning desire to help others come to know Him as well.
We weren't able to make every church service, but during the time we were there we were in at least 5 different services, and four different churches. You didn't need to know the language to feel their love for the Lord, enjoy the enthusiastic singing, and worship with them.
We realize we've only scratched the surface of these churches, since there are currently about 190 Baptist churches scattered all over the country. Graduates of the Bible Institute will be starting more in the coming months, as well.
Every church we were in needed electrical work, so my husband realized there is truly a need for his services.
Nicaragua has a thriving agricultural industry. We ate fruit with every meal, and found food much more economical there than here in the States, but when I speak of whitened harvest fields, I'm not referring to the agricultural industry, but to the spiritual needs of its people.
Due to widespread poverty, recent political instability, and past tragedies of earthquakes and revolutions, the Nicaraguan people seem to be unusually open to the gospel. They are searching for answers only the Lord can give. Please pray with us that the Lord of the harvest will continue to send forth many laborers into this harvest field.
We've realized there would be many opportunities to serve in electrical work, and equally in spiritual work in different areas of the country. Please pray the Lord will give us wisdom to know if this is where He wants us to serve.
Although we really didn't spend any time just sight seeing, we still saw two volcanoes, took a ferry boat ride across a huge fresh water lake, saw beautiful mountains, large pineapple plantations, along with sugar cane fields, rice fields, and coffee trees.
It is a country of great beauty and tremendous agricultural variety. If you'd like a better idea of just how pretty the country is, be sure to watch the slide show below.
The opportunities abound, and the country is beautiful, but we can't pretend there aren't plenty of challenges as well.
Unfortunately the air pollution in the city is almost unbelievable. The people seem to be oblivious to trash, and throw it down all over.
We were there during the coolest time of the year and found the heat quite oppressive. The traffic and driving topped Puerto Rico, and that is saying quite a bit. I can't say I'd look forward to driving there.
And for Dennis, probably the greatest challenge would be to learn Spanish at the age of 66. Only the Lord could enable us to meet and overcome these challenges.
Nonetheless, we know if He wants us there, His grace will be sufficient. Truly there are many Nicaragua Attractions!
We didn't expect additions to this page until our next trip, but our trip home and its aftermath were truly exceptional. If you're interested, please visit short term mission travel to get all the details.