Category Archives: Nicaragua – May 2012 Team 1
It is hard to believe that Ignite Week 1 is drawing to a close, and our hearts are full after the past few days of fellowship with our Nicaraguan brothers and sisters. Yesterday we were part of an outreach day for children ages ten to fourteen from Pastor Wilber’s church in Ciudad Sandino. We started the day with worshiping God through dancing, singing, and a devotion. Then we played a large-group volleyball game with all of the kids, followed by small-group time doing crafts, sports and even fingernail painting 🙂 Lunch was an amazing time of fellowship with the kids. After that, we played more games and ended the day with prayer and lots of hugs.
Today we were reunited with our friends from yesterday at morning church in Ciudad Sandino. The congregation graciously included us in their service, and they even asked us to lead many parts of it. Dancing in worship before the Lord and seeing all of the smiling faces of the kids doing the same was so beautiful. We have learned so much about giving and receiving through the Holy Spirit from our sister church here. This afternoon, we went to Pastor Belcer’s church in the Oriental Market. Again, it was a wonderful time of worshiping together and building relationships between the two churches, knowing that we are one in the Body of Christ.
Something that has been on some of our hearts this week is the contrast in what we see when we look at the houses and church buildings here compared with what we are used to at home, and what that contrast means for us spiritually. Our accommodations here are very comfortable, yet we have given up a few of the comforts of home. But compared to homes in the neighborhoods of the churches we have been visiting, La Quinta is a luxurious hotel. The discrepancy in the level of comfort and quality of surroundings is obvious, but we have been challenged to see beyond the temporary physical circumstances of this world to the hope of our true and eternal home in heaven.
2 Corinthians 5: 1-9 “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose, and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”
Our prayer is that our hearts and yours would begin to be shaped and prepared for our heavenly home. Thank you all for your prayers and support. We are excited to come home and share more with you about the work God has done this week!
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
“It has been amazing to see the relationships we have built with the locals despite the language barrier.” -Stephanie
“I loved seeing the incredible faithfulness that many people here have to Jesus in the face of very difficult trials.” -TJ
“The Spirit of the Lord was invading the hearts of the people during prayer. It was breath-taking and a literal on-your-knees selfless moment. Incredible.” -Lindsay
“The body of Christ extends to every nation, and when we worship Him together we are also mutually engaged.” -Lauren
“Tonight was an incredible outpouring of our hearts. It was overwhelming how when we were all serving, then praying together, the presence of the Holy Spirit was with us and flowing through us.” -David
“It was weird to be thanked by the same people who have been constantly blessing you through prayer and love.” -Peter
“We are all blessed beyond our belief.” -John
“Today I learned that when you ask the Lord to break your heart for what breaks His, He does.” -Amanda
“Never have I seen such a large amount of selfless serving come so easily to a group of people – truly a humbling experience.” -Chelsea
“We came here thinking they needed us, only to realize how much we needed them.” -Tori
“We began the day singing, ‘Open the eyes of my heart Lord’, my heart is breaking especially for the children.” -Christina
“I began sponsoring a student several months ago, but up until today she was a picture on my refrigerator; today I got to meet her and look into her eyes – I got to find out about her family, her life, and what she wants to be when she grows up.” – Krista
Today, I have been learning about overcoming obstacles. It started off with overcoming a culture shock. It’s a constant surprise to see the differences between the daily norms of the United States and Nicaragua. The people themselves live at a pace much slower than we are use to. It has been a great experience to be fully welcomed by everyone, even though there is a language barrier.
While doing crafts with the children at TAV we discovered we were going to run out of paper and we had to resort to having them use both sides of the paper for two of the crafts. We went into it thinking that they were going to be upset about it, but they blew us away. Everyone of them had the biggest smile on their face and was thrilled to fill every space of their paper with bright colored dots and stamps.
After leaving the school we went to Pastor Wilbur’s church to get our hands and shoes filled with dirt and paint. While there we ran into the obstacle of not having something to do for everyone. We all were there and ready to work, and standing around made us feel unproductive. Thus leading us to go out of our comfort zones to be able to feel like they helped with the task at hand. Even if that meant to overcome their fear of ladders to climb in and out of a three meter hole.
Throughout all the obstacle of the day, we have to say that it ended on one of the best notes it could. We went back to Pastor Wilbur’s church to attend a service. The congregation welcomed us all with hugs and prayers. After a great message from Rhett over believing in our hearts that we are adopted sons and daughters of God, the hugs flowed in again. The children had a blast taking pictures and climbing on the guys. In the end of the day its easy to look back and really notice the strong presence of God that surrounded each and everyone of us.
“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father’ For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:15-16
After two plane flights, many trips to Starbucks, and a quick van ride, we’ve made it to La Quinta Primavera in Managua, Nicaragua! We’ve had a great first day of ministry with the school at Tabernacula Agua Viva and the church at Ciudad Sandino! The Lord has blessed us with relatively cool weather (some even said they got chilly while they were sleeping). At TAV (the school) we worked with first and second grade children. We led them in worship songs, performed puppet shows, played games, and led them in crafts. At the church we worked on painting the outside of the church, digging a hole for a new sceptic system (we were literally in over our heads in the hole), playing with kids, and getting to know the families that lived nearby. We celebrated our first great day of work by taking a trip to the local ice cream store. So delicious!!!
This morning in our team devotions we talked a little bit about spending our lives for the sake of God’s Kingdom on this earth. We looked at this passage of Scripture: “We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8.
We have already seen God move in amazing ways just over the last 36 hours and we know that He has so much more in store for us! Thank you all for your prayers and support! And we’ll continue to keep you updated.
Ignite Team 1