Sunday, August 15, 2010

Home........Away from Home.....

First I just want thank all of you all for your support over the past few weeks.  We really could not have had the "Adventure" we had without you.  After a long day of traveling we made it back into Charleston,WV around 9 p.m.

I know I missed blogging the last full day of our trip, so I wanted to fill you all in on some of what we did. Two little girls that live next door to my parents made the day of our friends at Remar Orphanage.  They have been to Nicaragua, and experienced how amazing these kids are.  While Mere and I put on a garage sale at my parents house, these little girls set up a lemonade stand next door. They raised just about $100 dollars, and donated it. They just wanted it to go towards the children of Remar.  On Friday, we had a pizza party at Remar. The kids had a blast, and so did we.  They where even more excited when they heard who it came from, and that these little girls cared enough to send them a gift. Thank you Jennings family for caring and loving Nicaragua!!!!

The rest of the time was spent saying goodbyes.  It is very hard to see this trip come to a close.  We learned more than you could imagine, we experienced Nicaragua in a much different way then before,  and made many new relationships that will be very important for the upcoming months and years.  There was a reason for this trip, and much of what we experienced has yet to process.  We will take the next few weeks to think back on the trip and focus on what direction God wants us to take.

Thank you all so much for following us, supporting us, and keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.  More updates will be coming!!!!!

Goodnight from the states,

Uncle B-rad

Thursday, August 12, 2010

3 gringos + 11 Nicaraguans+ A Tractor- Common Sense = Adventure

We apologize for missing last night's blog session. Due to the intensity of the days' events, we've decided to write a joint blog to summarize what we've been through. We've had a long couple of days and you're about to find out why...

9:00 am La Chureca

After waking up to a cup of fresh Nicaraguan coffee we headed out for what was shaping up to be a productive day. As most of you know, the Buzbees run the school in the Managua dump, "La Chureca." We toured the school, spent time playing with the kids, and then recorded footage of the dump on our way out. This trip was my (Meredith) first time to the dump. It was just like anything else you might encounter in Nicaragua--no words could describe, no pictures could justify, and no video could truly capture what you see, what you feel, and what you wish for as you pass by the dump children, families, and homes that occupy La Chureca. 

12:00 pm Lunch with the Keelings

God gave us the opportunity to meet two amazing people--Roger and Carolyn Keeling. Along with the many other operations and organizations the Keelings run, we were there primarily to meet with them about their upcoming project--The International Baseball Association of Central America. The meeting ended up evolving into much more than just talk about baseball and a blueprint as we feel a deep connection and future relationship developments resulted from our long lunch. The possibilities and potential for this project are endless. Not only are they focusing on baseball, but they are also ensuring that their baseball students are also great academic students. This balance is crucial in teaching discipline and giving these young men the opportunity to further their education as well as a possible career in college and/ or major league baseball. We could go on for days about the Keelings and their project(s). I'm sure you'll be hearing their name in association with our own mission work much more frequently in the future. 

3:30 pm Drive to Gran Pacifica

The Gran Pacifica is the resort run by the Keelings and the future location of the IBACA project (see above). So, after our motivational and inspirational lunch with the Keelings, we decided we could do nothing better with our evening other than drive to the property (note: Roger specifically mentioned during lunch that the road was in bad shape and he didn't recommend taking the trip any time in the near future... so we did). I (Meredith) was driving the route to the Gran Pacifica while the two Brads slept comfortably in the back seat after a long morning. The bulk of the trip was as smooth as any Nicaraguan road (yes, a few bumps and potholes, but all paved). We should have known that continuing to the resort might not be in our best interests when we heard, "Oooooooyyyyyy!!" from a local who freely offered directions as we closed in on our destination. As we left the safety of our paved heaven, we crept into the world of mud, water, streams, and trenches while embarking on an 11 Kilometer "adventure" to the Gran Pacifica. The road was rough and I have to admit I was a bit nervous in a couple of places, but as I peaked the hill marking Kilometer number 10, I knew we were in trouble. I had the wheel turned hard over left, Demo was instructing me to turn the wheel left, to which I replied, "Demo! The wheel is left!!!" and followed it up with "Demo! I'm sliding! Demo! I'm turning! Demo! I can't control it!" Demo's name was worn out as the "baby suzuki" slid to a stop perpendicular to the natural direction of the road, half-way down the mud-ladden hill. I turned to Brad and he asked if I wanted him to drive. "Yes," I replied as I jumped over the seat and strapped on my seat belt. Things were about to get rough. 

We got the car turned around, and we thought there was a way we could get out. Then.... came the ditch--aka "crater"--lining the right side of the one-lane mud road. No cell phone service. No one in sight, but a man riding a horse. No time as the sun was setting. No town for at least 3 hours (walking). And no way we could continue on to Gran Pacifica. We were stuck. Bad. 

As night drew near, reality set in. There was a very good chance we might have to sleep in the car, in the ditch, in the middle of nowhere, in Nicaragua. No AAA service here, thanks. As Demo was gathering rocks from the hillside to fit under the wheels and brad was getting stuck in the knee-deep mud sinkholes, God sent us a tractor and 11 Nicaraguans to push. After a couple more setbacks, $60 in payment to our helpers, a luxurious mud bath for the interior of the car, and one more hill, we began our descent home. We stopped at the end of the road to take pictures of the damage and thank God for keeping us safe and blessing us with so much help in such a desolate area of Nicaragua. 

9:30 pm Back at the Buzbees

Six hours after our original departure for Gran Pacifica, we made it "home." In contrast the trip was "supposed to" take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour. You do the math. To thank Demo for being absolutely THE best friend and translator in the entire world, we took him out for a dinner at a restaurant of his choice. As a special request from our hero, Brad ordered Juevos Del Torro (for those of you that aren't sure what that really means, it translates: Bull Testicles). Brad actually enjoyed them. He said it didn't taste exactly like chicken... but maybe a little better. After his testimony of the delicious bull testicles, he made us all (Demo, Brad Hall, and myself) try a piece. 

The end to an eventful day left us drained, tired, muddy, and ready for bed. 

As for today, we decided to show Brad Hall a little more of Nicaragua and see some sights we had yet to see, as well. We drove nearly 3 hours to San Juan Del Sur to visit the coast. We spent the day looking at different potential properties for sale, checking out the professional baseball arena, and even jumped in the ocean to catch a few waves. We had to say goodbye to Brad Hall this evening as he boarded his plane back to Alabama. Although he was only here for 3 days, he was able to see why we have a heart for Nicaragua and I think he may have developed a place in his heart as well. We hope to see him again very soon! "Te gusta, Brad!"

As a final reflection on the last couple of days: They were tough; they were exciting; and they were God's way of showing us a good time as he took us through "3rd world boot camp."

Thank you family and friends. Until next time...

Uncle B-rad and Mere

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Double the Brad, Double the Fun

Good evening everyone,

Today has been a long but awesome day.  Brad Hall arrived from Alabama to join us for a few days.  As I mentioned before, Brad is a friend of mine whom which I met in Haiti.  He will be with us until Thursday night.  While he is here we will be meeting with The Keeling family regarding their many organizations, specifically the International Baseball Academy of Central America.  We are enjoying having Brad here in Nicaragua with us.

Today we picked up Brad at 5:45 am.  Although tired he was ready to go right when he got off the plane.  We to make one stop before though.  We headed back to the Dollar Car Rental booth to add Mere to the insurance.  Nervous??? Noooo............... She did great , driving the entire day. Even through the circles ( the round about's in which are very tricky and often result in a ticket from the police) our streak is still alive with no tickets from the cops.  Cocky??? Maybe a little... But we are good!!!!

On our journey today, we headed back to Centro ABEM to show Brad the baseball facilities.  He was very impressed.  When then headed over to REMAR to spend some time with the kids, see them in school, and introduce Brad to Vera Cruz.

The next thing we did was the highlight of my day.  We headed over to our good friend Regan's house, ( Demos brother) .  We sat on his new front porch as he told us all the new things going on in Vera Cruz, and the many ways GOD is using sports to minister in the area.  This was awesome to hear, especially with our beliefs in the connection between sports and ministry.  Regan's  wife Blanca is having surgery on Friday. Please keep her in your prayers this week.

Wrapping up the day, we headed back to Demo's and spent sometime with his family.  His mother in law had been very sick, and needed some medicine from the states.  Several people contributed to this cause.  When we met her today, she greeted us with a smile, then broke down into tears.  She was so grateful that people who didn't even know her would care enough to help her.  Thank you to those who helped.  You are a blessing to her!

Thank you all so much for your continued support and prayers. Without you we would not be able to be spending time, searching, learning, and seeking the next chapters in our journey.

From Nicaragua,

Uncle B-rad

Please continue to follow Mere's journey at

Monday, August 9, 2010

Maybe Mondays are not so bad after all...

Buenos Noches 

What an amazing evening it is here in Nicaragua, after an awesome and productive day.  This morning started with us visiting the NCA, Nicaraguan Christian Academy.  We met with the Elementary Administrator Sylvia Mejia.  Today was the childrens first day back at school for this year.  We were able to see some of the orientation, take a tour of the school, and meet many of the staff members.  What an impressive institution that is GOD centered, and cares so much about the students and their education. With Meredith being a teacher, this was a very great place for her to visit.  Walking through the school, you could definitely see her passion for education and children.  

After our visit to the Academy, we headed out to see Centro ABEM.  The missionaries who run the mission are actually back in the states right now but still they let us tour the facility.  Talk about beauty.  It is 160 acres of green grass, sports complexes, dorms, a pool, and the ability to house well over 100 people at any given time.  We will be visiting again tomorrow when Brad Hall arrives.  

Brad is a good friend that I met while in Haiti in February.  He will be joining us for 3 days.  To give you a quick bio on him, he was the pitching coach for the AAA Washington Nationals.  He has been in baseball is whole life, and has decided that GOD maybe calling him and his wife into the mission field of some sort.  They typically work in the Dominican with SCORE International, a sports centered mission.  Brad, myself, and Mere will be traveling around Nicaragua, showing Brad some sights, meeting with Roger and Carolyn Keeling, ( International Baseball Academy of Central America, NICABELLA, Hope and Development Foundation, just to name a few organizations they are involved with) and introducing Brad to the many projects and people we have been apart of for the past few years.  

To wrap up this evening, we spent it with some close friends of ours. Eliazar, Daniel, and Macho.  We had lunch together, and went to see The Karate Kid (Pretty good movie I may add, and the AC was even better) We really enjoyed spending time with them, and hope to be able to do so again while we are here. 

Tomorrow is sure to be eventful, and we are looking forward to it.  Thank you all for all your thoughts and prayers while we are here. We are keeping safe, staying away from Police ( have yet to be pulled over yet)  and really enjoying our time.  

Goodnight from NICA,

Uncle B-rad

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 4...... REALLY??????

It never seems to fail.  You are somewhere you really love and enjoy being, and time goes by twice as fast. But the good news is we are enjoying ever moment we have here in Nica. 

Tonight we are writing from the top of the Buzbees overlook, watching amazing heat lightening, and a listening to the loud cries of the Nicaraguan frogs.  

Today started out with us heading to the Remar church to surprise the boys from the orphanage who didn't know we were in Nicaragua.  We enjoyed an amazing sermon, interpreted by Demo sitting behind us.  Although the language barrier is such a large factor to deal with, the lord always has ways to get his message to you. He did just that today.

After church, we headed to lunch and to check in at the Buzbees at Open Hearts Ministries. ( We will be staying here for the remainder of our trip.  After unloading all of our things, we headed over to the orphanage to spend some time with the boys.  We have been here for 4 days, and had yet to get over to Vera Cruz yet.  The piece of our journey so far that was missing was filled. Meredith and I dominated in some basketball ( not really ) and was reminded how easy and quickly you go from being 100% clean, to being covered in nothing but dirt.  None the less, we enjoyed spending the afternoon at Remar, and will be heading back several more times while we are here. 

Dinner and Dropping Demo off wrapped up another great day here in Nicaragua.  Tomorrow we meet with the NCA, Nicaragua Christian Academy, as well as ABEM, a mission from the Lakeland, Florida area.  We pray for guidance, safety, open minds and open hearts to what we are supposed to receive this week.  Today the pastor spoke of many things, but ill leave you with the verse that spoke to me,

2 Timothy 4: 14-17

14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Goodnight and Thanks,

Uncle B-rad

Continue to follow Meredith on her blog as well at

Saturday, August 7, 2010


The title says it all.  This morning Demo had to be back in Managua ( which is 3 hours from New Song Mission) at 8 a.m. for his seminary classes.  We really enjoyed staying up last night, spending time with Diego and the rest of the missionaries at New Song.  We enjoyed it so much that before we knew it, the time read 3:30 am, and the alarm was set for 5 am. Without Demo spotting cows and horses, as well as motorcycles and bicycles, coming back could have been even more of an adventure.  

When we arrived back in Managua, we toured Demo's seminary, and enjoyed meeting some of his classmates.  After getting cleaned up, taking a little bit of a siesta, we began to detail out the schedule for next week. Two new organizations that we had not been in contact with are now on our schedule.  The Nicaragua Christian Academy is a school with many of the teachers being missionaries.  We have been speaking with  Sylvia Mejia who is an administrator at the school.  We will be going to visit and tour the school this week.  The other mission we are going to be visiting is Centro ABEM ( ) Demo spoke of them as we drove passed their mission on the way to Chichigalpa yesterday.  They have over 160 acres, team house to sleep over 100 people, and sporting complexes. We are very excited to go and visit with them this week as well.

Tomorrow we will be heading to the Remar Church, to surprise the the boys from the orphanage.  They have no clue we are in Nicaragua. We plan on driving to meet a missionary friend of Demos who is in from the states.  Demo turned down the working with Scott, to spend the week with us.  We are grateful for this, and want to make sure he can spend sometime with him.  

Thank you guys for your support and prayers, and caring about our journey.  We check in with Open Hearts tomorrow, and are excited to spend the next week with The Buzbee Family.  

Until tomorrow,

Uncle B-rad

To follow Meredith and see some photos from our trip so far, visit her blog at :

Friday, August 6, 2010

NewSong Mission

Buenos Noches,

What an amazing first full day we had here in Nicaragua.  After a good night sleep, we woke up and headed back to the airport to meet Demo ( our good friend and translator who is with us the entire time to keep us out of trouble. He did his job, only leading us down 3, One way streets the wrong direction as the first day of driving in Nicaragua came to a close). Today we drove 3 hours NW of Managua to meet with NewSong Ministries.  James Norman ( Diego) showed us around there mission, which includes agriculture , sports, and many other ministries all centered around the New Song Baptist Church.

 After spending the morning touring the mission and meeting everyone, we took off for a few hours to see Leon, visit the famous cathedral, and to pay a visit to some good friends of ours from Remar ( The orphanage we have worked with for many years now).  We returned to New Song to spend the evening ,learning more about the structure of their mission, as well as spend some time with the missionaries that are here long term.

We really enjoyed the day that GOD has allowed us to spend at New Song.  They are wonderful people, and are doing an amazing job in this area.  We hope to spend sometime here again

Tomorrow we head back to Managua, hopefully to catch up with a group from Parkersburg, and structure what is going to be a very busy week. Many new things have come together since we have been here, and know GOD has many more  surprises  and adventures for us this week, ( hopefully no more one way streets) ,

Until tomorrow,

Uncle B-rad