I am writing from 35,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico. Technically this is day 11 of the mission trip, but yesterday was so busy that I did not write a blog. If you were paying a subscription for this blog I would feel guilty, and you would be foolish, but since this is just for fun, I will write this final blog and limit your exposure to harmful essay.
Yesterday we started out, as we usually do, with a hearty breakfast that included guya pinto, and I must confess I have grown to enjoy rice and beans for breakfast. I don’t expect to continue this culinary delicacy back home, which will make my wife and coworkers happy, but it has been enjoyable in a simple kind of way. We also had fresh squeezed fruit juice everyday, including mango, star fruit, passion fruit, grapefruit, and mixed juice combinations. They have all been very good. The cooks at the Gaitins cabins are quite good, and very warm and smiling, and we will miss them.
After breakfast we went zip lining, which the students universally chose over the other option of touring lake Nicaragua by boat, which was too slow for them. It was a lot of fun to go zipping down the wires, in any position you want, like superman, or backwards, or upside down, or bouncing. As long as you don’t fall off, they are pretty flexible. No one was injured in this expedition, and it was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone except perhaps by our guides who had to put up with us, but they were very friendly and helpful and seemed to enjoy it also. We then went to tour a volcano at a national park. They had a visitors center, and then a car ride to the top where we hiked up and around the rim. It was belching, or maybe spewing, blowing, or disembubbling, could also be used to describe the white smoke with the slightly sulphuric odor, like it had been eating guya pinto for a few centuries. It was a nice visit, as long as you stayed upwind. After lunch, we went to the market for a couple of hours of shopping, and I was able to pick up some gifts and souvenirs, and we enjoyed a cold Milky Way frappachino, mucho bueno! The market had a very Central American feel, no surprise, with lots of colorful clothes and gifts and hand crafts. The vendors are very happy to see Americanos shopping and gladly except dollars, mucho gracias. Our last dinner included hamburgs and Nicaraguan fries, of which I abstained because of some disagreement between my gastrointestinal organs.
We had a final group devotion and prayer time, and it was very uplifting and encouraging. Our team really bonded, from the very first day, and worked together joyfully and humbly, whether working, playing, eating, or driving, but especially when we were praying. It was unexpected and spontaneous, and everyone contributed to the group. We were of one mind, working together for a single purpose, to bring glory to our Lord, and hope to the people, and health to the animals. It is always amazing how God can work in and thru people, even in such a short time. We came from 9 different states and Canada, with vets, students, vet technicians, and spouses, all working together as “one body, for The Lord”. We treated 470 dogs, 300 cows, 46 horses, 35 cats, 32 pigs, 21 rabbits, and 2 deer. We did 36 spays and 6 neuters. We gave out lots of tracts, and talked as best we could to as many people as we could including playing with lots of children, especially Bill. We were hot and dirty and smelly, sometimes tired, never hungry, busy but not overwhelmed, away from home but not alone, far away in miles but close together in Spirit, had mixed emotions but not anxious or sad, unable to speak the language but able to communicate the heart, and always in the loving arms of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. It really was a special time and I would like to thank everyone on our Christian Veterinary Mission team for their dedication, hard work, and spiritual encouragement. You were a joy to serve with, and I hope we can do it again some day.
And one final thought, if you have not gone on a mission trip, I would encourage you to go. The final words of Jesus were “go, and make disciples of all the nations…”. And remember, the most important mission you have is not overseas, but right where you are, to your family and neighbors and coworkers and friends. They need you to bring hope and love and blessings from our God. It is a wonderful journey that you are on, and you have many divine appointments to keep, and when it is finished, and you are saved, you will be forever with God in a new and Glorious home forever. That is a trip you do not want to miss!
Many blessings and mucho gracias