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Day 17: Media Ministry Site

Posted Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

These past few weeks have been stretching for the Media team. At times we may have felt that some of the tasks were outside of our current skills or comfort zone but Dr. Richard Huston reminded us early in the trip that “God is more concerned with your availability than your ability” and he will use our gifts. Our prayer has been to use our creativity and technology to capture God’s presence in the faces of the children, in the work of the ministry teams, and in landscapes of Nicaragua.

Unlike the other ministry sites, the media site has the unique privilege of traveling to all of the sites. While most of our photographs show us behind the camera, at each site we had plenty of opportunities to set aside our media and become a part of the ministry team in which we joined for the day. Somedays that meant we were playing “futbol” with young boys and other days that meant praying with older women, making crafts with little girls, or installing water filters. In each activity we strived to live in the moment and build relationships with the people in the communities that SI is ministering to.

Often we spent half of our days at the base editing our photography and video media and creating various marketing pieces for Students International. In additional to the daily blogs, like this one, we have also designed 10 different postcards that showcase the prayer needs of staff members, 6 unique fundraising brochures for different staff members, and a logo, financial planner, and large poster for the Micro Finance site. Tonight while most of you are sleeping we will be staying up to finish a capstone video that showcases the entire three week experience in Nicaragua. We plan to show this video at our “Remember and Celebration” banquet tomorrow night. Since President Ivan Filby, Professor Kathie Filby, and Dr. Brian Reinhard arrived in Nicaragua yesterday afternoon, we are excited to use our final video to explain to them the full value of working in an occupational ministry site through Students International.

Once we return to Greenville College we will also be using our footage to create a short fundraising video and a study abroad promotional video for Students International. In late February we plan to host a gallery show on campus that will include all of these pieces. In addition, there will be several artistic design works created based upon our own eye opening experiences in Nicaragua. We will promote this gallery opening closer to time and we would be honored if you attend. We hope that through these pieces we can raise an awareness of the personal and spiritual transformation many of the students go through on a Students International mission trip, raise an awareness of the poverty in the area, showcase how SI is ministering to the marginalized, and open people’s heart to our brothers and sisters in Nicaragua.

Professor Jessa Wilcoxen
Photos by Kat Kelley, Fallyn Paruleski, and Professor Jessa Wilcoxen

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Day 16: Boys Club

Posted Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

One of the sites here in Nicaragua is Boys Club, a soccer club for three communities in and around Masaya. In these communities, the site leaders Jimmy and Joseph, provide soccer balls and create teams for the boys to play against each other. Every morning, Jimmy and Joseph travel to Jocote, Nindiri and Pochote to play soccer, basketball, baseball or whatever sport the boys want to play and spend all day there. After each game, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, they have a Bible study.  The boys all gather around to listen to Joseph read a passage of Scripture and excitedly answer his questions to show they understand.

The leaders also create a store for the boys to shop at. Every time they come to a Boys Club meeting, they get a “bonus,” which is an orange dollar bill and when they collect enough bonuses, they get to shop at the store. In the store, they offer almost anything a young boy could want; backpacks, school supplies, toys, soccer balls, cleats, and more. I watched Jimmy and Joseph organize everything in the SI Base dinning room and I could see the passion that they have for working with the boys.

For me, the great thing about going to Boys Club is seeing how excited the boys get to see Jimmy, Joseph, and Micah, SI’s semester intern. They love getting to play and interact with them and show off whatever new trick they have learned. The boys were very welcoming to me as well, even though I was quickly informed, “soccer is not for girls.” I had fun just kicking the ball around with the younger boys and photographing the teams compete. Over and over, I was impressed with how well the boys were able to handle the ball, even while wearing sandals, slipping and sliding on the dusty concrete court in Nindiri.

My favorite thing to do at Boys Club is sit with the boys who are too little to play on the teams. They love having their picture taken and getting the chance to take pictures themselves. They take turns sitting on my lap while I hold the camera in front of them, placing their tiny, dirty fingers on the shutter button, so they can take a picture of their brothers and friends playing on the field in front of us.  The best part is that they are babbling in the cutest, rolling Spanish the whole time, and even though I can’t understand a word, they still joke and giggle with me as much as they can.

After getting the chance to go to every site, I can fondly say that Boys Club is my favorite.  The smiling faces of those sweet boys brighten my day every time I go and I know that God is working in their hearts and through their leaders to do something miraculous in their lives.

Kat Kelley
Photos by Kat Kelley, Fallyn Paruleski, and Professor Jessa Wilcoxen

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