ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER TEAM SEASON!!!!!!!!
At Life Together Nicaragua, we LOVE team season. We love the adventure, the excitement, the wonder of American teams coming to Nicaragua and serving God and the people of Cristo Rey. We know first-hand, the effects a short-term mission trip can have. We personally want to thank everyone who came and supported Life Together Nicaragua and the work that God is doing in Cristo Rey!! We love each of you and couldn’t do it without you!!!
David and Carol Taylor: Words can’t express the joy that comes when family come to visit!! You have supported us from day one. We love you both so much. We love that you love our children in Cristo Rey as much as we do. Thanks for being “Grandpa and Grandma” to them.
Keystone Community Church: Our home church……there is just something about your home church coming that gives you new energy to keep going. We love that Keystone opened their hearts and took kids from Cristo Rey to a fun day at the zoo and lunch!! At first everyone is super shy, but then we see hands being held, hugs being given, words being shared. It’s so beautiful!! Thank you for building 4 incredible houses for 4 incredible families!! You have made a difference in their lives by just giving them shelter! Thank you for introducing the kids to RAINBOW LOOMS!! To this day, we see kids all over Cristo Rey wearing bracelets and necklaces. Thank you for all the crafts you did with the kids in the afternoons. To all the nurses, thank you for teaching a basic first-aid class! We don’t think we have ever laughed so hard; than when we watched the ladies practice the Heimlich Maneuver!! Thank you for the surprises!! Money to build a wall, food for the feeding program and the best surprise of all….a best-friend!!!!! Just remember, when times are tough or you are in a hurry……EAT A KIND BAR!!!
60 Days Walking- Joey, James and Alex: We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we received an email from Beautiful Feet asking us if we wanted to host three guys for the week. Without hesitation, we said, “Yes!” Little did we know that saying “Yes” would change our lives the way it did! We now proudly have three new sons!! When Amy was driving to meet the guys, she really had no idea who she was looking for, but as she pulled into the parking lot, there were 3 gringos with gringo backpacks!! She knew she was at the right place. We immediately, threw their backpacks in the back of the truck and off to Cristo Rey. We threw these three guys into work right away. Throughout the week, they assisted in building houses; They let little girls put pony-tails in their hair and beards; They prayed over the Keystone team; they got REALLY sick; they got to attend a quinceañera; they got to share life with us as a family and with the people of Cristo Rey. We love these three guys!! Joey, James and Alex: you will ALWAYS have a room at our house! We love you!!!
Dan and Kay VanDyke: We had to lie to get you here, but it was all worth it!! To see the look on Jessi’s face when she discovered you in the airport was PRICELESS!!! Thank you for coming and seeing what your daughter had invested her life in for a whole year!! Thank you for working hard in Cristo Rey!! Thank you for loving on us as a family!! We are so beyond thankful and grateful for you!!
Tamara and Taryn Ward: We look forward to you guys coming every year!! When you are here, we have such an awesome time!! Thank you for taking us “away” for a couple of days so we could celebrate Dylan’s birthday and just catch our breath!! Thank you for making us climb that awful mountain to get to the top of Jesus. We love you both very much! Thank you for loving on us, making us laugh and just allowing us to be crazy and wild!!!
Charleston Church of Christ: First, thank you Tania for sharing your church with us!! We felt an instant connection with this group of AWESOME people! Thank you for bring much needed things and distributing them to the kids of our feeding program!! Thank you for just hanging with us for the one day! Thank you for praying over us!
Antioch Baptist Church: This isn’t just a church- this is our family!! We love this church so much!!! They come to Nicaragua with so much energy!! They coming wanting to help and make a difference in the lives of people in Cristo Rey!! Thank you for taking some of our children out to the volcano and lunch!! Thank you for providing them with backpacks and goodies!! There is nothing that fills our hearts more than seeing kids being loved on and that is exactly what you did!! Thank you for doing an incredible VBS throughout the week. Thank you for playing baseball and games with the kids! Thank you for giving Bibles, rice and beans and everything else! Thank you Diana for teaching the ladies a new crocheting stitch. Thank you guys for building one of our walls!! Thank you for buying us a NEW REFRIGERATOR!!! No more FROZEN food! Thank you for giving us a weekend away as a family! We love you guys so much! Thank you for investing in us and in Life Together Nicaragua!!
Riverside Church Youth #1: What a CRAZY group of kids!!! We love the way Riverside does a “VBS” or as they call it “Camp”! The teens come down with so much excitement and energy! Our kids in Cristo Rey love this team! They love being divided up in colored teams and getting excited over which team is in the lead. Even thought, Ryan, makes up the scores as the week progresses. Thank you for coming down and bringing enthusiasm with you! Thank you for not being afraid to be loud and crazy!! Thank you for TONS of water games! Thank you for HOTDOGS!! Thank you for singing “O Happy Day” over and over and over! We love, to this day, hearing kids in Cristo Rey singing that song!! Thank you for visiting the dump and bringing water to the people who work in the dump. It’s a small jesture to us, but to them it is HUGE!! Our favorite thing about this group is when they return to the guest home at night and have praise and worship for hours. It’s beautiful to watch teenagers worship, weep, and shout praises to their God! Thank you guys for being AWESOME!!!
The Mulholland Family: David, Kim, Samantha, Jonathan and Mark- it was incredible to have you come and be part of our family for a week!! Thank you for bringing us all the yummy snacks!! Thank you for letting Samantha come and be a part of our family every summer. Thank you for allowing Adilia and Maria Jose come over for the weekend! Thanks for taking them zip lining!! What a joy to watch those two girls scared out of their mind zip lining,but they finished the course and in the end had HUGE smiles across their faces! The biggest thing about your week, that will be forever in our hearts, was when you took the music class kids to the waterpark!! Oh my gosh……the kids were so happy!!! Hearing the screams come from the slides, kids climbing on top of you when they hit the water, kids wanting you to take them back to the end of the pool so they can climb the steps and do it all over again was PRICELESS!! Thank you for feeding the kids that day and just pouring into them. The music class kids are asking when they can go back!! Thank you for celebrating Samantha’s birthday with the kids- piñata and cake!!!!! Thank you for being our friends!!
Andrew from International Samaritans: Thank you for taking the time during your visit to Nicaragua to come and see what Life Together Nicaragua is all about! We pray that visit to Cristo Rey will be forever engraved in your heart! Next time, we promise the feeding program will be going when you come and visit!
Debbie Gann and Daughters: Thank you for coming to Cristo Rey! Thank you for bringing your daughters!! Thank you for giving some of the feeding program kids much needed fluoride treatments! Thank you for coming to Nicaragua and making Life Together Nicaragua part of your trip! You and your daughters are welcome anytime!!
Danielle Schwartz and NCompass: When you first contacted us about coming to visit, we were excited. We were so happy one of the members from our Mennonite team from the previous year was coming back to visit. However, when you pulled up to the feeding center, we quickly realized we had the wrong person in our mind! Oops!! Regardless of what we thought, we are so thankful for you and your friend coming to visit the feeding center and Cristo Rey!! Thank you for wanting to make a difference in Nicaragua!!
Mark and Miranda Ludy: Our brother and sister from another mother! Crazy!!! So many times throughout the day in Cristo Rey, people asked us if we were related. We’d say no and they would call us liars! It’s incredible the bond that was quickly formed! If felt like we had known you for years, even though it was the first time we met! Thank you for taking us out to dinner and just being real with us!! We are so excited about the journey God has called you too! We can’t wait for the day when you get to Nicaragua permanently!! We love you guys!
Berean Baptist Church Youth: One of our favorite groups of all time!! There is a huge difference in the impact a team makes throughout their time in Nicaragua, when the team comes to impact the nation and not just their own youth. These youth spends months praying about their time here in Nicaragua, about the youth they’ll be working with, about how God can use them to be His hands, feet and mouth. This team will be forever in our hearts. We fell in love with each of the youth. Thank you Berean youth for being real with the kids in Cristo Rey. Thank you for the crazy minute-to-win-it games! Thank you for the soccer game and water balloon games. Thank you for not caring about the downpour of rain and playing with the kids and getting all muddy! Thank you for cooking the food for the feeding program. Most importantly, thank you for taking the time to invest in 12 youth from Cristo Rey! The weekend that you took those 12 youth out of Cristo Rey to a camp ground was incredible! Thank you for opening up and sharing your own personal stories! Thank you for loving and praying for the kids! Thank you for introducing them to SMORES! Thank you for playing silly games!! Thank you for a simple salvation message. Thank you for the Spanish Action Bibles!! Thank you for the parents night and all the pizza! Thank you for taking the time to make a movie of the youth weekend! Thank you for taking the time to make each youth a scrap book. Thank you for taking the staff ladies out on a much needed ladies’ day. Thank you for the spa day, lunch, foot washing ceremony and the beautiful Bibles you gave each of them! We love you all very much! Thank you for welcoming our boys in your lives! We are blessed to have each of you in our lives!
Charleston Church of Christ College Group: It was a quick day when you were here!! We know sickness over took your time in Cristo Rey!! Thank you for bringing down plates and bowls for the feeding program!! They were much needed!! We hope the next time you come back to Nicaragua, you’ll make Cristo Rey one of your stops! Thank you for coming and having fun with the kids!!
Riverside Church Youth #2: Thank you to Beautiful Feet for organizing the two trips with Riverside Church! We love the youth at Riverside Church! Thank you again for being crazy and wild the week you were in Cristo Rey! Thank you for the incredible camp that you put on for the kids in the feeding program! Thank you for running up and down the road with the kids when it began to downpour! Thank you for doing back flips in the mud!!
St John’s United Methodist Church Youth: Rob (GO BLUE) and his youth are incredible!!! During their week in Cristo Rey, the built two houses!! While other churches and individuals paid for the houses to be build, St Johns youth were the hands to get the houses built! One of our favorite parts with this team was after they built the houses for the two families, they split up and each member of the team went to a different part of the house and laid hands on the house and prayed for the house. It was beautiful!! Your willingness to do hard manual labor brought two families much joy!! Thank you for playing with the kids in the afternoon and truly being servants! Thank you for the INCREDIBLE dinner at La Finca!! We love each of you and pray as God is directing you in high school, college or the military that you will continue to follow in His footsteps!!!
Caleb and JoAnna Dawson: There are no words to describe our love for you two! Over the past year, you have become our friends. It’s beautiful to know people who love our kids as much as we do! Your spirits and willingness to serve the people of Cristo Rey is truly of Christ! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being you and for sharing life with us and the families of Cristo Rey!! Thank you for taking 11 children out of Cristo Rey for food, a movie, face painting, food and more food!! There isn’t a day that goes by that one of those children don’t ask us, “When is Caleb and JoAnna coming back?” You have made a real difference in these children’s lives! Thank you for understanding our Remington and loving on him! Thank you for being cool with Dylan! We love you both so much and are excited to see the next steps where God is directing you! Be faithful to Him and He will be faithful to you!! Love you both!
Can you believe it….18 TEAMS in 2014!! Crazy, we know!! It’s tiring, sometimes frustrating, but team season is all worth it! As we reflect on this past year and all that God has done in Cristo Rey, at the feeding center, in our family’s life and in Life Together Nicaragua, we are COMPLETELY blown away! From the bottom of the Taylor’s hearts, the staff at Cristo Rey, and the families of Cristo Rey; we say “THANK YOU!!!!”