Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nicaragua Update: New School, Murals, FUEL TV, Opening of Mama Ruth's, Braddigan's surprise...& much more















Nicaragua Update: New School, Murals, FUEL TV, Opening of Mama Ruth's, Braddigan's surprise...& much more


Hola! For starters let me apologize for the late news update, this has been a very busy few months with lots of exciting and special events.
Just as the sunrises here in Nicaragua at 5am and the heat of the day begins to put our paces into motion so does the constant change and needs here in Guasacate, Nicaragua. Having to recap this entire few months is engulfing my mind as I began to type as I try to find the words of how to sum this all together. One thing is for sure..and is certain..God is Good..his vision and Love never fails. We had so many amazing people come to visit us these past few months and all of them attributing so much from the supplies they brought, their helping hands, to the constant Love they poured out among the people. So thank you so much to : Melissa Diamond, Mark and Candie Mcgrath, Maleah Duncan, Brandon and Lauren Kari, Shayne and Shannon from Fuel TV, Jessica and Nic Mclean, Billy Diggs, Kim Diggs, Todd Levy, Brent McCoy, Ronnie Brooks, and so many more...thank you so very very much.
One of the exciting parts of this season here in Nicaragua is that we our now working our classes out of a new school house built by JJ and Kim Yemma called "Brazos de Amor". This new facility will be used to teach the art courses, future English Courses, and Sunday school classes. Not to mention many other possibilities for the future. Once again..thank you JJ and KIM....your support and Love are amazing! From day one at "Brazos de Amore" I felt a presence of peace in the building..as Melissa, Kim and I began to place new plastic chairs and tables that the Yemma's donated for us around the place...I saw the vision..the kids..the small futures of Nicaragua. As only images in my mind I turned to face the realities...the lil' children in the neighborhood had followed us into the building. One...two...three...six...seven of them joined us and began to look at all the art supplies we had piled in there among other kid friendly eye candy. We explained to them the plans of the new building..as there eyes beamed and they danced around yelling "whippeeeeeeeee!" I laughed thinking to myself, some things never change whether here or in the USA the same enthusiasm and exuberance with the word WHIPEEEEEE stays all together the same. I raced around in my busy lil' head thinking of the many things we would need to make this place a fluid and organized facility. Book shelves, cleaning supplies, more books and teaching supplies, a rug (for the raw cement floor), a TV/DVD for Spanish Sunday school courses, more paints, more paper, Games, the list began to overwhelm me as I smiled realizing that I was not the supplier...He was, God. I never fail to find myself in particular situations where I am battling with my desires to take charge and figure things out..in Dawn's lil' time. This is when I reflect, How did this building get donated? How did you arrive in Nicaragua? How were all the doors in my life opened? I knew the answer and the peace in knowing I was out of the drivers seat lavished over me. The next months to come we have seen the classes grow from 20 to a max of 62 local kids that come to the classes whether on Sun, Wed, or Saturdays.
We had some friends of mine Melissa Diamond, Mark Mcgrath, Brandon & Lauren Kari, along with Maleah Duncan who had came to Nicaragua loaded with supplies and clothing, along with a loving attitude. I was happy to see that their hearts where here for the people and not just for the indulgence of the beauty of Nica and the great surf. We were able to bless some local kids with clothes, nice shoes, wonderful art/school supplies and the best of the best jewelry kits for the women. One of the most powerful and fulfilling nights of my life was shared with these people as we started a new outreach of "Dinner with the Locals". I had lined up in advance with one of the women who makes jewelry, Anna Ruth, to partake in a dinner night at her house where we supplied the food and the hands to learn to cook. With this news, her mother "Mama Ruth" was extactic..you see Mama Ruth loves to cook...and she loves company. We arrived us girls to help cook and learn how to maneuver in a "Nica Cozina" I laughed so hard as we made complete Kooks out of ourselves so many times trying to cut the "American way" or any of our attempts in the kitchen. Believe me when I say these Nicaraguan women sure no what they are doing in the kitchen. The night continued as Brandon, local FL professional artist (www.melodyofthesoul.com) began to bless the local surf groms with board paintings..they crowded around him with amazement in their eyes. We ended up having a wonderful dinner piled around their family table which we pulled outside in front of their house surrounded by the plastic chairs and their finest dinner plates. We felt like we were Kings and Queens at our banquet. We even turned the dirt floor in front of the table into a dance area as we cranked up the salsa music and let loose. It was the most joyful night as I watched the 30 or more locals/family members join around laughing at my crazy gringo friends bust moves..finally some of the brave local girls jumped in. Ha.....it was a riot. Brandon, Lauren, Maleah and I ended up painting a big mural at the local fruit stand which the owners thank me and comment on it's beauty and ability to attract guest almost every time I pass to go to church. Pics below. Among the other many fun days passed with these friends, two days..they were flown out..and we had more...more..more fun. The Fuel TV crew, Shayne and Shannon with "On Surfari" came down to run a show from Popoyo Surf Lodge and to headline events such as Braddigan's Love Light and Melody in La Chureca, JJ's life here, and the IAM's (www.iamissions.com) Nicaragua Art Missions events. It was exciting as we got to be blessed by Shannon's art on Saturday's art class and share the beautiful music of Jessica Mclean with our local church. They joined in with a community mural where we had over five professional artist: Brandon Kari, Dawn Gray, Shannon McIntyre, Daniel Caldwell, Maleah Duncan, and all the children and locals among the town that helped out. It was beautiful...and is yet another addition to IAM's mission to bring Color to the world..and the people of Nicaragua. As I had arranged yet another night of making dinner with Shannon, Jessica, Kim Diggs and all the girls of the house of Mama Ruth's we were planning a show down of over 35 people with the guest from the FUEL TV crew and my Outer Banks friends...it was definitely going to be super fun. We arrived and one by one each of us began to filter around to help, the girls began to work in the kitchen and some of us got out the paint to start painting a sign for a local store and to bless this family with color as well. Brent McCoy began to paint the local surf boards as Billy Diggs, Todd and Ronnie began to play with the local kids and visit with the families. It was a blessing that led tears to my eyes to see the friends from my home join me here and bask in the love that these people wanted to give...it was beautiful. One of the most exciting parts of the night was when I had a surprise guest arrive with all his friends....Brad Corrigan aka Braddigan, arrived with his friends from LOVE LIGHT AND MELODY (www.lovelightandmelody.org), they had arrived to stay at Popoyo surf lodge for fellowship for the weekend and had came into town just in time to land a sweet nica party. I ran out to meet them and greeted them...as we walked up to Mama Ruth's I saw their faces welcoming the new guest and also wanting to know..."Who are all these people?" I knew they were about to be super blessed. Having heard for two years now Braddigan played on the cd players of the local houses from the widespread cd's that were given out during Brad's outreach here in Nicaragua. He was a star! I announced that Braddigan was here and they didn't really get it..until he sat down bust out the acoustic guitar and started singing in Spanish the songs from his album. Their eyes widened and one of the local women/mom's I know grabbed my arm jumped up and down and said.." I need to go get Andy!...Need to get Andy!". You see Andy is her 4 year old son that plays Brad's music all the time and is said to be his biggest fan...I laughed and told her to run..run. The night was a blessing as we prepared to food for over 40 people and began to eat in the dark as we spread out flash lights over the food when we learned...yet again (it's a weekly occurrence) that the power was out. It made the night all that more memorable and beautiful.
There was so many amazing times while my friends where here that I am not able to record them all...just that GOD had really blessed these trips among the fellowship...and it's been a great summer.
I have one more extremely exciting thing to tell you about. Fuel TV blessed us with a donation from Shayne and Shannon's church and friends which was able to build a small tienda (store) for 500.00, yes I built a small store for only $500.bucks..ha. It's in Las Salinas in front of Mama Ruth's house and is called "Mama Ruth's" It is going to be used to sell the local women's jewelry and art work of the community. (check out photos below). The store has about a few more weeks of work and I am praying to be able to make $400.00 more to add a nice door and shelves to show the work. It's a small start to bigger ideas here in Nicaragua.
I am heading out now to go buy some supplies for the new store and to help the local girls buy some more jewelry supplies in Masaya. I will keep you updated soon..and check the website for more photos. www.nicaraguaartmissions.blogspot.com

Love in Christ

Dawn G. Gray
www.reddawndesigns.com

If you are wanting to be able to donate to the school house needs or to "Mama Ruth's" please contact me at
reddawn1982@yahoo.com
or skype reddawndesigns
Nica cell phone: 505-969-3902

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