Greetings from Nicaragua!
Recently Yader’s added a couple of new words to his vocabulary: soldiers and earthquakes. He learned about soldiers through reading the story of David and Goliath with Timothy, but we had to explain to him that not all soldiers fight; some just guard. Then he happened to learn about earthquakes firsthand, and hasn’t failed to mention that Mommy’s afraid of earthquakes every time he talks about them to someone.
Yes, it’s true that we’ve been experiencing some pretty strong earthquakes during this past week in Managua. On Thursday, we experienced a 6.1 quake, on Friday a 6.6 quake, and on Sunday night a 5.6 quake (highlighting the stronger ones). All of these were accompanied by lots of aftershocks. Needless to say, we’ve all been a little on edge recently. Thankfully we are all fine and no damage occurred on the house. We know no one personally who was affected by the quakes either. In Nicaragua about 38 people were injured in total, and two people around the time of the earthquakes, but perhaps not directly due to them.
This week marks Holy Week, which is largely celebrated in Central and South America, although not exactly for the purpose of lifting up Christ in remembrance of His death and resurrection. It’s often a week to celebrate through drunken revelries (there is a high mortality rate related to alcohol consumption during this week). I wonder how the timing of the earthquakes has influenced their celebration plans.
On Friday, I read to Yader the Easter story from a new children’s book I’d purchased. He absolutely loved it. Then I came to the part of the story after Jesus had been buried in the tomb:
“Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.”
– Matthew 28:1-4
Now this is one part of the story that Yader got. I hadn’t really intended to read him the story in light of his two new vocabulary words. Those guards didn’t even have a chance to fight. Our recent experiences allowed us amazing insight into the action of Jesus’ resurrection! God is great!
The earthquakes also got us thinking about Christ’s return:
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only…”
– Matthew 24:36
One thing about these earthquakes that literally caught us by surprise was how sudden they came on, and how quickly they went away. Our expectation was that they would begin mild, then continue to get stronger and stronger – all of this lasting over a period of maybe 30 seconds. Well, that wasn’t exactly how it went. They more lasted 10 seconds, but you could compare it to being a little toy on a sheet and someone takes the corners of the sheet and shakes it really quickly. Thankfully we didn’t go flying like that toy would’ve though.
“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
– Matthew 24:44
The whole concept of “being ready” took on a whole new meaning. We’ve realized that it’s quite comical what would be required for us to be prepared for a strong earthquake, now that we’ve been through 3 pretty nice ones. Ultimately it would require us to camp out full time in an open field for the rest of our lives. Thankfully we can have the confidence of knowing that even if we were to die in an earthquake, we are His.
Happy Easter from the Crabtree’s in Nicaragua!
Timothy, Jessie, & Yader