Our group started the day by heading over to the church in Ciudad Sandino for their Sunday church service. During the service, we sang songs that were local to the church and some that we brought with us to share with them. During the sermon, four members of our team shared some devotions they had prepared and broke out into groups to discuss the message. At the same time, we had a children’s service outside where a variety of activities took place. Later that afternoon, we broke out into two separate teams and went around to visit several homes to spread the Gospel, share life-changing testimonies, and invite them to attend a church.
The church service earlier in the day was quite moving. The passion and joy in their lives, as well as the gratefulness in their hearts for all God has done for them, was clearly evident in their worship throughout the entire service and even after the service had ended. The day only proved to display God’s grace and mercy even more when we went around to share the Gospel with some of the locals nearby. At each house that we visited, we were able to not only share the Gospel and share our testimonies, but we were able to pray over some of the specific needs that each family had. It was truly moving seeing the trust and sincerity that they placed in us considering that we just met them. That’s not something I see in my everyday life.
Before I left to come here to Nicaragua, I was feeling a bit stagnant in my spiritual life. I felt like I lost my motivation and the drive for the life God has given me, and that I was just living another day just to get through it. There was simply no passion in my life. Since the first day I arrived in Nicaragua, I felt something that I have not felt in such a long time — true joy. I have learned that there is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is fleeting and only reflective of a particular moment in time, but true joy is something that does not fade, but rather is reflected through a changed life that only God can provide. I feel a lot of the people that I met in Nicaragua are currently experiencing this joy and it was made evident through the love, passion, and sincerity that I experienced when I interacted with them. Those traits, along with so many more, are characteristics of a life changed by God, and as a result of spending a week getting to know them, I have learned how to experience true joy as well. And I can’t wait to bring that back to my life in Indiana.