Saturday afternoon, the 28th of January my wife Kathy, daughter Krista, and I left for Nicaragua with a group from CWE. We arrived late at night to the ABWE camp where a previous crew had already built the perimeter walls of what was to become a Bible Institute. I awoke Sunday morning to the sun shining through a window to my right and to my left was this.

I never knew that Nicaragua had so many volcanoes. There were four of them visible from the jobsite. The property is located outside of Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. The plans for this property call for the building of baseball and softball fields, volleyball courts, a swimming pool and bathhouse, a building for large group meetings as well as a dining area supported by a commercial size kitchen, a similar size building for classrooms, a library, resource center, and offices. Several small cabins will be built for overnight housing as required by particular events. We were there to build a building used for instructing local Pastors. Many of them dropped out of school for the war during the 80's and never even learned to read. Some are preaching and teaching the Bible, never having any formal teaching and not being able to read.

Here is what the fist crew left us.

We were the second team of five that would take part in building this building.

We went to church Sunday morning, then a few of us killed some time in the afternoon playing kickball.

Monday morning we began work on the building. While the carpenters built trusses, I, along with two other masons began laying block for the interior walls.


Kathy came up to the jobsite during the day and took a few pictures. I thought this one was interesting. We didn't notice until we were reviewing the pictures that there is a cross in the clouds above our heads.

We worked through the day then enjoyed a dip in the pool.


The next day was more block laying...

...more plumbing...    

...truss setting...    

...and a little of my daughter helping her dad.


By the third day we had the block walls finished and all the trusses set.


The missionary Larry found an Iguana and showed it to us, we found out a few days later that some of the Nicaraguans had him over for dinner, and he never left.


The Nicaraguan here is Aaron, he was there every day helping, we talked a lot. He is working here with Lindsay, Lindsay is an Insurance agent in his regular life, and wood butcher in his CWE life.

Here are some of the other Nicaraguans that helped. The old man on the right is 64 years old.


 The fourth day we finished installing the purlings and the fascia. We also brought in fill to bring the floor up to the proper lever so concrete could be poured the first day of the next week.


We finished our part of the project early that afternoon so we piled into a bus and took a trip to the Masaya Volcano near Managua.


A view of the brim. 

A look downward.                         Click here for a small video clip at the site.

The smoke coming from the crater was thick at times which made it hard to breath. We hiked up to the top of another volcano just a few hundred feet away from the first one. It was not active and hadn't been for quite some time. Here are the three of us posing at the top of it.

And a look inside. 


This photo is looking down on the first volcano, you can see our little green bus parked near the crater. We were told to back into the parking spot just in case we needed to make a quick getaway due to the volcano erupting.


We had been teasing Janet that we were going to sacrifice her to the fire gods at the volcano, but of course, there is no such thing as a fire god, but when we arrived back at the camp, the neighboring property was ablaze, so we sat on the roof of our new building and watched the flames draw closer.

Krista joined me on the roof for some Daddy Daughter time.


Kathy, Krista, Pam and Janet pose for a photo.

Friday we took a little boat tour on Lake Nicaragua.   

..then took a family photo by a strange looking tree.

After some sightseeing in Managua and lunch, we went back to the camp, this time it was our property on fire, (just a small one down by the highway) so a few of us investigated.

And we decided to go ahead and sacrifice Janet this time.


While waiting for dinner, some of us went exploring on the neighboring property and found what looked to be an old dairy. Larry told us that it had been burned to the ground during the war.

We arose early Saturday morning for our flight back to the U.S. Here is a photo of the whole crew.

 Front row, starting with my wife is, Kathy, Krista, Pam, Janet and John. Back row from left is, Tom, Alan, Laney, Dick, Kevin (me), Bryce, Luke, Dale, Chris, Zack, Jim and Lindsay.


It was a great trip to a great place with great people.