Sailfish Softball Diaries from Nicaragua Day Three

Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team is currently away from Florida as they are taking part in a missions trip to Nicaragua. This short dialog allows everyone to keep up with their travels as well as catch a glimpse into their ministry. The softball team is being led on the trip by James Kryger with nine girls on the journey.

Today’s entry comes from sophomore, Mackenzie Johnson.

Today we began our day around 6:45 am. For breakfast we had white pineapples, bananas, mangos, watermelon, and juice...with rice and beans. Once again, many of us did not go for the beans and rice at breakfast time. After we finished breakfast, we had Bible study at El Peunte (meaning the bridge - is our home base). We got to see the little girls Ingrid, Anai, and Diana who tried to remember all of our names. The group who attended was about 60 people in a small church like service where we had another great experience of what it's like to worship God in another tongue.

When Bible study finished, our groups split up again, one heading to the old folks home, the other went to the train station. Nicaragua used to have trains but no longer so the station is still there but not the trains. It's a very popular spot for children to come to and we organize games in a VBS type setting. At the old folks home (an el puente ministry of sharing love, stories, helping hands and service) the group swept floors, passed out bananas for a snack and cleaned up cobwebs( they grow like weeds at the old folks home). Camille (our only Spanish speaking team member) had a long conversation with one of the ladies who kept telling her she didn't get to talk a lot.

At the train station, the children were FULL of energy. We were walking over and one kid yelled out, "gringos," and all the kids came pouring out. We gave the kids piggy back rides, set up coloring stations and played at the soccer field. Most of the girls colored and most of the boys played soccer. One thing is for sure they love the bubbles. All of the kids would just climb up on you for you to hold them. We passed out stickers too which they loved so very much.

For lunch we had taquitos, rice, tomatoes, bean sauce and sour cream. When we finished we had awhile until we had to leave for the softball game so we played some card games, wrote in our notebooks and caught up on our naps as not many of us are used to 6:30 am wake up calls.

We arrived at the field (about 20 minute walk) and played about two softball games. The other team was sort of an all star team from Grenada, oh did i mention it was men, well we won,  and they were not too happy about that :) Boy was it hot, more hot than Florida which is unusual. In between games, Camille translated and while I got a chance to speek about how we should all give our lives to Jesus Christ. If we can take up that challenge and let God write our stories, then our experiences will be so much more fulfilling. Also, in between games, Camille was stopped by a local man who told her he was trying to get through some hard times. We all went over and prayed for him, and told him this is his first step into recovery. El Puente has a great recovery program so we are praying he will attend and the Lord grabs ahold of him.

We went back to El Puerte and ate dinner in the dark because the electricity went out (it happens regularly here and on most cases for days at a time). We had rice and beans, with chicken and plantain chips. This time we ate pretty fast because we were a bit scared of the dark. When I say dark I mean no lights anywhere, so dark you cannot see your hand in front of you.

After dinner Chelsie and I went to catch fireflies, and that was a fail. Then we all gathered around by the rocking chairs with our flashlights in the dark. At this time, all of us were by ourselves because minus the cooks and the security guard but it seemed worse than it was because we started to scare ourselves and it got worse when we started hearing really loud noises. All of us were scared. Kara started telling scary stories, then we heard a bang on the roof of the bathrooms and we all ran away. The rocking chairs were knocked over; bags and water bottles were all left on the ground. Well come to find out that it was the missionaries son and daughter (thanks Willa and Banks) who had been there the whole time trying to scare us. It was a little tradition with mission teams when the lights go out, and boy did it work. It was about 30 minutes later that the lights came back on.

Coach invited Francisco and Pepe ( both local missionaries who worked with us ) to come over and go out with us for gelato, We came back to El Puerte took showers and headed to bed.

- Mackenzie Johnson

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