What a fantastic start we had to our week of teaching at the Bible Institute in Rivas. The Old Gang (Cairo, Melvin and Chico “oye, oye, oye”) has reunited and joined John Moss and I along with Eric Moffett (a regular at Rivas with Chris Kear but new to John and I) for the first day of teaching in Rivas. So far this is exactly like being in Juigalpa but totally different. I know that is odd but it is how I feel. It is so clearly the same Nicaraguan country and people I have grown to love but the places and people are all different. Juigalpa was more of a cattle town with lots of hills while Rivas is more tropical and flat. Rivas is a little smaller than Juigalpa but there is a sister city of San Jorge that makes it bigger. The people are warm and receptive but the faces are all new to me.
- Travel was uneventful which is an answer to prayer
- Brunch at Camino Real (Hotel in Managua) was amazing which was what I expected (Can you say, “Nacatamale?”)
- The facility for the Bible institute in Rivas is excellent. It is at the “lluvias de Gracia” (Rain of Grace) church and a great setting for teaching under a tin roof with open air sides in 94 degree temps.
- One of the pastors told us how much Chris and his team have meant to them and how it has changed the way the pastors relate to each other. He said it would have been rare for pastors to eat together in groups of more than one or two before the bible institute. Now groups of 40 pastors often eat together and talk about the Bible Institute and laugh and plan events together.
- Another pastor told us that he may be leaving to plant a church in Cuba (Oretega and Castro are friends). If he goes there he wants us to come and have a bible institute there. Jim, can we even do that?
- The time at the institute has been great. After one day we have them all using hand motions to remember the key teaching points of the week. (I am pretty funny trying to get it right in Spanish. I know the words but do not say them with any confidence at all).
- We have already covered the doctrine of Man and will hit sin tomorrow followed by teaching on salvation at the end of the week.
- Oh, John Moss. We saw him early this morning, but he was off to “build an oven” buy groceries and feed the children. I can tell you more after I talk with him but he is very excited to be gathering projects for the team to work on in October when we return.
- It is hot! We are having a great time, brushing our teeth and eating well. It is hot!