- Hannah Carrell
- MY PLAN: to spread awareness and raise money for MY VISION: to empower, educate and employ girls who've been rescued from child prostitution in Nicaragua. MY MISSION: to buy land and establish a self sufficient community of treehouses on the south west coast. MY GOALS: Staff and Operate a Surf Hotel, Develop a School for English, Provide Basic Medical Aid, and Offer training in the arts, trades and sustainable agriculture.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
IN ORDER TO:
-Have our weekly charity meetings
-Work on my skills as a teacher
-Spend quality time with my nieces
-Give my sister one minute to breathe without them
-And to bring creative air with me where ever I go
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
We spent the first whole week in what I would call Nicaragua 101. The family we stayed with took us under their wing, it was as if we had known them forever. We learned about Nicaraguan customs, their currency, and their bad and good characteristics as a people group; we learned about their food, safety and all the names of things. We also had the opportunity to give away an entire huge floral suit case full of clothes that we had brought down to a house full of girls that have no where else to go. They are with an organization called Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH). And naturally we had a dance party with them, where I confidently and comfortably embarrassed myself. We learned how to navigate using taxis and public buses. We learned that you must try to communicate even if you only know 10 Spanish words, hand gestures and miming is more universal than you think and the worst that can happen is you look foolish and they will warm up to you. They also took us all over the place, Granada, Masaya, and the beach house at Salinas Grandes. After our class on culture and practical living in the third world, we set a date to head out to the beach, la playa de Popoyo because one of my contacts, a friend of Christian my boyfriend that had been living in Nica for a while now, finally got back to me. A bout with diarrhea and a birthday celebration postponed our journey a few days
As we embarked on our solo journey out from under the wing of our wonderful hosts we got a little bit nervous, but God was with us. We boarded the express bus to Rivas, a city about half way to Popoyo Beach, our final destination and our contact Keith. Now when I am talking about Nicaraguan public transport, I am talking old yellow school buses purchased from the US at a good price when they are to old for us to use. Needless to say a bumpy ride. About 15 minutes into it a man in a yellow shirt stood up and began to address the captive audience. He was speaking in Spanish of course, but I managed to figure out that he was talking about Jesus! Public bus evangelism that’s my style!!!! So I just began to pray for his ministry and all sorts of other stuff. We got his contact information but failed miserably to communicate more. After that I felt like I needed to talk to the lady sitting behind us. As I began to attempt I realized how fatal it was going to be after about five minutes of mini dictionary torture I was about to give up and this girl comes out of nowhere. She sits down next to the lady I was trying to speak to and says in clear crisp English,
"Hello my name is Maria, I can help you translate."
What a God given gift! She ended up being a Nicaraguan tourist major and she is doing an internship on the Twin Volcano Island of Ometepe. Her dream job is to own a hotel on an island. I immediately told her that she could run my hotel! Something that was odd though was that she was so adamant that we had to see her island. She invited us to go with her to the hotel that she works at and get a room for 14$ a night and continue our journey the next day. My favorite part of the trip as I think back on it was getting to watch my brother learn how to hear God's voice. I believe that God intentionally hid what we were supposed to do from me at times so that he could teach my brother about his voice. Any time I didn't know what to do Matt did and was sure of it. And in this moment I hesitated, I had a plan for the first time on this trip; I even had a rough time of arrival. But Matt was sure that we should go, so I threw my only plan out the window and we went! The owner of the Hotel Island Landing was a very passionate man name John Tansey. He is working towards self sufficiency and is very involved in the community. We told him about our vision and how we are in the market to buy land. He immediately began to tell us about this piece of land that used to be 6 million $ and now is only 2 million $. That in my opinion is way out of my price range but I have learned not to limit God so he took us out to see the property. The owners of the land are from the same organization as the girls we met in Managua, NPH. (I love when God makes things full circle) It was HUGE! The facilities can house 400 kids comfortably. There is a huge mess hall, school facility and recreational space. It also has enough land to be completely self sufficient and a chicken growing operation in motion. And it is even equipped with visitor dorms, directors home and maternity ward/small medical facility. My brother and I thought the same thing at the same time "Lya." The niece of the family we have been staying with is a famous jazz singer and has very well connected Nicaraguan friends. She is also the co-founder for the organization that is protecting the third largest rainforest in the world right now. This is to big for me to do alone but we are going to together transition this piece of land from a soon to be abandoned orphanage to a Nicaraguan University for sustainable agriculture, veterinary medicine, and the arts!
If you think the story ends here you are wrong, we are only 2 days into week two!
Every where we went we met people that will all be a part of my future ministry but for the sake of your time I can not go into detail about it all. Just know that by the end of our trip we had a large pile of crunched ripped pieces of scrap paper all containing contact information. This entry just doesn't do it justice, but that means I will always have more stories to tell.
*Part 3 soon to come*
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
I am about to retrace my steps over the past 6 months (January - June) so you can see how faithful in every detail God has been and will be. I wish I could tell you every story but you would never have time to read it all. I will just have to write a book one day. I know this is long but travel with me:::::::>
Bail Indonesia February:
The Bali girls had just moved out of a hotel and back into the Surf House/Christian Hostel. When Teresa, from Germany realized that she had left her iPod in the hotel. The panic that ensued was a bit ridiculous. We grabbed a taxi and started to pray loud and passionately that she would be able to get it back and that no one would have stolen it yet. When we got to the Hotel I waited in the taxi and tried to explain to the taxi driver what was going on. All he said was "I pray too." When Teresa got back to the taxi she was ecstatic but she didn't just have the iPod in her hands she also had a photo. She showed it to me and said, "We found this picture under the bed, we should pray for them." It was my picture! I had put it in my Bible to remind me to pray for them myself, and it must have fallen out. The picture was of my brother Matthew and his wife Caitlin.
Backpacking down the east coast of Australia March:
During the Bible school part of this adventure I had been emailing back and forth with my friend Gina who was nannying in greece and was not very happy there. I had been sharing with her about God and suggested she go to Australia. I mean why not, I loved it! She had liked the idea but hadn't shown a lot of interest. I had been back packing south since my DTS was over with my friend Wilma a week in my surf board broke in Byron Bay, two weeks in Wilma's flight left from Sydney. This is the first time I have been alone in 5 months. I was sitting in an unfamiliar YWAM base in the very boring capitol of Australia called Canberra. I hopped on the internet and had an email from Gina. She had arrived in Melbourne Australia a few days before and wondered if I was still there. Not only was I still in the country I was headed to the same city she was in the very next day. Melbourne was were my fight was back to the US from. Without cell phones and limited internet access we managed to meet at the City Library and spend my last day in Australia with her! (We also went to the largest Casino in the Southern Hemisphere that night and played the penny slots until me both list 1$)
April back in New Hampshire a month of Conformation:
Now that I was back on US soul with all of this newly found passion and I wanted to know from God, "What next?" The second Sunday back at my home church (Christ Church of Amherst) at the end of the service the man sitting in front of me turned around and asked if he could tell me something. Being naturally curious and not knowing what was coming I just said yes. Mr.Johnson, as I know him now, told me that I look exacting like a girl named Bethany that he had met during him time in Nicaragua. As soon as he said the word Nicaragua I began to cry. I had known for a while now that I would be called to Central America but I didn't know when or where. He continued to tell me of how this girl is the house mother for about twenty girls from the ages of 6 to 18 that have been rescued from child prostitution. As my heart broke he gave me her contact information and told me he didn't know if I needed to go or just talk to her.
One week later: I was with one of my best friends Naomi in my favorite consignment clothing shop (Mother & Child). I was in a section I had never been in before talking to one of the employees that I know about my adventures. When a lady, who I now know as Diana but was a stranger at the time, said from about 5 feet away, "YOU NEED TO GO TO NICARAGUA." I called Naomi over quickly and asked her to repeat herself. "I have this weird feeling you need to go to Nicaragua. I just got back and I plan to own land there in the next two years. And when you go you have to go to the volcano island called Ometepe!" This woman is not yet a christian and her only association is she reads mother teresa's books to her very elderly grandmother often. We talked to her for at least an hour all about her travels, human trafficking, love146 (if you don't know about them google it), the terrible food industry in America (The movie Food inc. also google it), and what we can do to be involved in our community here. Some of the last words she said to Naomi and I was, " I am so glad to see you girls so young and already on the right path."
Now if I don't go, it's on me! May:
I had been planning to speak at my church about my experience with YWAM but had yet to set the date. I chose May 30th because it was the day after my cousin Lauren's wedding and tons of Family would still be around and I thought that would be a great opportunity. Not realizing it was also my brother Matthews birthday. I also decided that if enough money showed up i would go to Nicaragua this summer and look into buying land. Which let me remind you I am 20 that seems a little ambitious. But if I have only learned one this in the past year it would be WITH GOD NOT JUST ANYTHING BUT EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!! So I started making crafts, handmade things, fun things, cute things and useful things. (Don't worry I am starting an Etsy account so you can all see and buy what I make. It should all be up and running by monday so stay tuned) I felt like I was not supposed to plan what I was going to speak but just to let God speak though me and God also told me I either had to empty my bank account or sell everything for donation not what I think it is worth. Hard but OK God is in control. (repeat that to yourself) When it came down to the night I was scared. But we started with a few worship songs to take the focus off me and put it on God because that should be the point ALWAYS. I honestly don't know what I said but I would guess it was a summery of all the things I have learned and written about in my blog so don't feel bad that you missed it just read all of my entrees before this! haha At the end of the night my brother Matthew came up and asked me when I was going, I said I don't know... soon. And then he asked me who was going with me, and I said I don't know.... his response surprised me, "Ummm, I think I might be supposed to come with you."
My only response to that was, "If that is true, then you will see conformation of it."
PS: More than enough money showed up for the tickets and the trip itself... Now I am left with no excuse I have to go. PRAISE THE LORD!!! :)
Sunday, January 17, 2010
In Bali 5 foot is an average height and yet their bunk beds are 8 feet tall. And they are placed so close together that you more than just rub booty with your roomy. There are more motor scooters than cars and the lines on the road are simply disregarded. Rice, some sort of deep fried meat with bone still in tact, and a slightly over cooked garlicy unrecognizable vegetable is a basic description of lunch and dinner time here in Indonesia. We had running water for about two hours after we arrived and then some how it disappeared for the rest of the day. It returned later in the week but never got warm. Another funny thing about this country is there is not enough power for the whole island so at random they turn sections of the grid off for a few hours on a very odd semi regularly rotating schedule. So don't count on the power or the water. BUT I can still sit in my top bunk and use wireless internet.... God is good.
To explain what were are actually doing is slightly complicated. We have learned that when you invite God into everyday and ask him what he wants to do with it. You NEVER know what you are going to get.
We went to a place called dream land. I believe the picture explains why. We ordered non alcoholic drinks. I got a banana strawberry smoothie. I was feeling the classic moment. We spend a few hours swimming in the pool above the beach, worshiping God, sipping our drinks, and praying for all of the tourist that have walked through that place and every one from now on.
On a different day we went to a prison and sat on wet tile floor and spoke to a man on death row for trafficking heroin who does not believe that God will forgive him. He is from Australia and only has one appeal left or he dies in one month. I was lost for words. I just challenged him to read God's word and see what he says about forgiveness. The rest is up to God. That moment helped me realize that evangelism is not about convincing someone of the logic of my religion. It is about introducing them in the simplest way possible to my God that loves them enough to forgive them.
It is funny how even when we don't know how to step forward time keeps pushing you. It is kind of like a moving walk way. Wether you know where you are going or what to do next, time is always teaching you something. When you see the destination the pace picks up a bit.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
I like that we have things called hours, days, weeks, and years. Every single one is an opportunity for a new beginning. Every time the sun comes up we can do things the way we wanted to yesterday. Life is full of failed goals and forgotten ideas. But every time a year clicks by the whole world notices that there are things they would like to change. This week I have seen a few very key very exciting things that I would like incorporate into the sunrises to come.
I am starting to see the wisdom in waking up first. This week I have tried something new. I start my days at seven with a jog, a stretch, a rinse and a piece of fruit. By the time that is finished it is time to meet as a team. We do things like pray, sing, talk, or read. It is a time to give the day to God and ask what he wants to do with it. The God I love is the one that made what you stand on. He loves variety. If you give today to him, it will never look the same as the last one. Don't trust me, try it. Here is an example of how following God's idea for the day turns into an adventure.
On the last day of 2009 God said, "Go ride the bus. Don't have a destination just pray for my treasure to sit next to you." So we did. Teresa Wilma and Hannah obediently walked to the closest bus stop. We bought a ticket that lasted for three hours of unlimited bus travel. We all sat separately and prayed. The people just came. The first man I talked to was 65 and on his way home to drink six beers and watch a movie. I got him talking about how he would never watch the Passion of the Christ (me either) and then he started telling me about all these books he reads on religion and I just suggested the Case for Christ. The next man I noticed was to far away but I felt like I needed to cast the spirits out of his dreads and pray for his night mares. That man slept well for the first time in years that night I am sure of it. Then Paco was 45 and from Italy. He has read the Bible in English, French and Italian so that he can flight people like me. He believes that Mary and Joseph had sex so Jesus was just a smart guy and God is an alien who uses wind and fire to camouflage his UFO. I just asked him to read Matthew 1:18, where it says Mary was a virgin, in every language he knew. Then there was a forty five minute bus ride when it was only us and a man named Joshua that Teresa was talking to. (He showed up at church today!) And on our last bus ride home I talked to a catholic lady who thinks that you have to talk to Mary and she will talk to Jesus for you. When I told her that I can talk to Jesus and he actually replies she just laughed at me until she got off the bus.
I learned that if you believe in Jesus and all that he was and is there should be no difference between a missions trip and your life. There should be no awkward few songs at the beginning of church where you to get into worship. You should live worship. You should be missions. Just ride the bus for an hour a week. It is actually quit fun!
PS: In two days I will be in BALI INDONESIA!