Never did I expect to make such close friends on my first trip to Managua, Nicaragua. My expectation was to serve the men, women, and children that we interacted with during various conferences and seminars. My expectation was to learn the culture and grow deeper in my faith as I saw true poverty in a country desperate for economic growth. I, however, did not realize that I would bond so closely with a family whom I had never met.
Pastor Wilbur and his wife, Maritza, lead the church at Ciudad Sandino with whom TPCC has partnered. My husband, Rob, met them 6 months ago on a sports trip with the church. So I had seen pictures of Wilber and Maritza and had heard stories, but did not anticipate growing so close to them so quickly.
The first moment I walked into their church building on Friday, November 9th, I was overcome with deep emotion. I began crying almost uncontrollably. My tears were joyful tears, as I realized how real their body of fellowship was. It was at that moment I realized I was exactly where God had called me to be.
Over the course of several days that followed, I had the opportunity to get to know their children, as well as the youth in their body. My heart for the work they are doing in their church and for their roles as leaders, grew deeper and deeper.
By the end of the week, we were able to have a group dinner and ice cream with the entire family. They shared personal gifts with us that they had made. The evening was the highlight of the entire week for me. As it was the proper way to leave one another, in authentic fellowship.
I share this story with you as a reminder and a lesson, that while money, gifts, and service projects are extremely important in our partnership with this church body in Cuidad Sandino. The relationships that we build with the Christ-like fellowship we share, matters so much more.
It is this that I have learned.
I clearly heard God tell me that the future of my family’s commitment to Nicaragua is the ministry of my family of 3, my husband, myself, and our 3 year old daughter. Walking alongside young families in the church body at Ciudad Sandino.
This trip exemplifies a pivotal point in my faith where financial partnership and support is not enough; I know that we as a family, are being called to a deep relationship with families at Ciuduad Sandino.
It is all through the power of Jesus Christ and the discernment of the Holy Spirit that I know this to be true.
This verse gives context to why God calls us to deep relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world.
1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”