2018 Construction Trip

In a Heartbeat

Nick gives us a look into his experience this week...  These stories just never get old! 

Nick and Nolan 

Nick and Nolan 

Hello all,

Today started off like any other....an obnoxious bus honking his horn at roughly 5:45. We then spent the rest of the morning spending quality time with each other, then it was time to head up to the pavilion for breakfast.

Breakfast included pancakes, mango, watermelon, and rice and beans. There was plenty of coffee to go around as everybody fueled up for the long day ahead. The food has been absolutely phenomenal every single meal. It’s really hard to pinpoint a favorite meal that we have had this week.

After getting to the church, we were given our daily debriefing on the work that will be performed today, which included; finishing the walls for the children’s center, leveling the sidewalk, and stacking the last 100lb blocks in the septic tank. Norvin and I sure spent a good majority of our time in that hole. We were very grateful to have seen that last block in place. It just seemed that we each gave that look of exhaustion to each other any time we had to stand another block up, which then resulted in a laugh as we continued on our project.


Before we even arrived, I wondered how these tasks would be completed if we couldn’t even understand each other. I was very nervous that a lack of communication would cause lots of issues and be a headache. We slowly learned that language wasn’t much of a barrier at all. With the help of our translators we were able to adapt to the new situations we found ourselves in. I think it was a great learning experience for us gringos and the Nicaraguans to exchange words and learn quite a bit from each other. I have learned many words and the meanings to go with them, that it makes working hand in hand with the Nicaraguans a breeze, most of the time anyway. We started to understand the processes and at certain parts I found myself a few steps ahead of my work partner and it made everything easier. The relationships that we have made with each other, both us from Fox River, and the Nicaraguans is like a family.


Beyond all that, this trip has done nothing but humble each and every one of us. I doubt any man on this trip is walking away unaffected. To know the reasons behind what we were doing, the amount of people we will help is absolutely tear jerking. You think of problems we have at home, and they are nothing compared to the things they deal with here.

Keith, Nick and Nolan Runnells.  So cool to see this this Dad and son trio serve together!

Keith, Nick and Nolan Runnells.  So cool to see this this Dad and son trio serve together!


If anybody were to ask me if I would do this again, I would say yes in a heartbeat. To know I’m doing so much for other people that I will probably never meet, or even hear of that are 2500+ miles away from home is an amazing feeling. This is something I will never forget.

So far, one of my favorite moments I had was getting to ride one of the motorcycles with Olvin to church Sunday morning. I never thought I would travel so far from home and have an opportunity to not only ride a motorcycle, but fix them up for Pastor Dennis and anybody else who uses them. Motorcycles are not only a means of transportation but they also can be a life saving measure. So to make sure that these bikes will be in a great functional condition for them was a real treat. We replaced a clutch, changed and adjusted the brakes and replaced a tire. We also did some general maintenance on them to make sure they were in tip-top condition when we left.


 Now it’s off to church for Thursday night service.

-Nick Runnells


The wonderful ladies making sure the guys are taken care of and translating so the teams can communicate!  Thanks Kerri and Donna! 

Constructing a Future

God is at work in the community of La Esmeralda, Nicaragua, and it is time to follow as he provides for the future. 

This April Fox River Missions is sending a men's team down to partner with the church in constructing a building for their children's ministry and plans to get a bathroom built too.

Pastor Denis, his team, and a team from the Managua church have been hard at work getting the structure of this building up.  They have done all the the foundation work and just this week the team for Managua have been up there putting up the structure and roof.    Our guys will go in and finish the project up.  How exciting it is to watch the progress of this project! 

Let me share with you the importance and excitement for these facilities..


As of right now the children meet on the porch of Pastor Denis' home or in a home close to the church.  They currently do not have an inside place to hold Sunday school or any other children's activities during church services. 

This building will bring them inside so that in the rainy season it will not effect how they do children's ministry.  This building will give them a space that they can grow and have no problem having space for all the children who come.  It will also give them the capacity to have a nursery which has never been a possibility before.  A space that Pastor Denis and Karen's children and the children from the community can grow up and hear what Christ has done for them.  And so much more!  We are so excited to see how God uses this building!  

And for the bathrooms... currently the church has no bathroom.  This might seem silly, but having a bathroom on church grounds will be so beneficial.  I believe that this very simple thing will be used to grow this church.  This will be a huge blessing!

There are more projects on the list to continue to build up this church and just not enough time for our guys to get it all done.  But, we know Pastor Denis and his teams will continue to work towards the future, so that this church will continue to see lives changed.

We have called this project 'Constructing a Future' because this is all about the future of this church, the future of these children, the future of the Kingdom!  

Pray for this future with us!