Category Archives: Nicaragua – May 2012 Team 2
I posed the question: How are you looking at things differently this week than last due to serving cross-culturally?
Jeremy: I am experiencing more joy and appreciating the little things because I have seen the Spirit alive here in Nicaragua.
Christine: Being in Nicaragua has given me insight toward how I want to continue to help people in the future, not just by giving, but by teaching, sharing experiences and listening.
Lauren: The opportunity to return to Nicaragua has allowed me to make deeper connections with friends here, which I hope will lead to strong connections between our churches and countries.
Ben: I am seeking opportunities to learn and serve, to take advantage of the time to gain knowledge and relationships without the usual distractions of life.
John: There is such need in these people, but it is truly amazing how willing they are to drop everything to serve you. They truly understand the heart of Jesus.
Rhett: This trip has continued to open my eyes to keep myself humble and live in the same way regardless of culture.
Molly: Not using technology has shown me the importance of being present with people in the moment.
Nathan: My second trip to Nicaragua has shown me the importance of making new relationships with the people, and also the importance of reconnecting and renewing the old ones.
Tia: Meeting the locals in abundant love, just as Jesus did, gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “the beauty of simplicity.”
Sarah: This being my second time in Nicaragua, I felt dangerously complacent at first, not surprised or shocked by anything. But gently throughout the week, God is showing me the power and importance of living in the moment, being available and flexible, humbly disregarding concern for myself in exchange for giving God the time and space to work.
Jamie: The Nicaraguan people have shown me how to love. They have given undeserved love freely and fully, just like Jesus did.
Monica: I’ve come to realize that I need these people more than they need me.
Zach: God has shown me two major truths on this trip — that many of the material possessions I have and want detract from His will, and as long as we respond to His calling, He will equip us and surround us with believers to compliment our abilities.
Annaliesa: On my second trip, I have been reminded of the importance of consistency in my faith and in my relationships. It is amazing to see the differences that really can be made.
Madi: So far, this trip has been forcing me to reflect on my idea of “enough.” These people have enough to survive so clearly, and I don’t need as much as I am blessed with. However, this experience is giving me the ability to be even more thankful for my possessions.
Lynette: I am ever-amazed at how we have the energy for relationships and to accomplish seemingly impossible amounts of work when we place ourselves in the hands of an omnipotent God. To God be the glory for one awesome week.
On a free day today, several of us faced fears as we all went ziplining through the rainforest. What an amazing experience! Tomorrow is our last full day in Nicaragua. We will be hosting an outreach day at a sports complex, inviting students from a local school to come play and worship — to share life — with us.
Today was a day of the unexpected, which is kind of funny given the thoughts and post from yesterday. Maybe God really is trying to teach us something yes? But from flat tires on busy Nicaraguan highways to crazy thunderstorms that knock out the power during a children’s church service, we were given an opportunity to be flexible and work around obstacles. And God totally worked in that, giving us something unique and completely creative worship & fun with only glowsticks to light the way.
Living to lift His name high!
Today was our first full day in Nicaragua. We went out to a sports complex and held a couple outreach events for seventh and eighth graders from Tabernacle Agua Viva. This is a school in the Oriental Market — the poorest and roughest area of Managua. We worshipped with them, played soccer, made crafts and even Zumbaed. (Yes, I just made Zumba a verb.) They were so excited to be out in open space where they could run around and play — be kids! The biggest playground they’ve ever seen is probably the size of a large walk-in closet.
It was a blessing to serve these students. They had a blast, sharing their smiles and laughter, even through a tough language barrier. We tried our best at speaking Spanish, attempting to know them by name and spend some one-on-one time with them.
This morning, Cecil challenged us to leave our expectations behind and let our eyes be open to see how God really works, outside of the box we often put Him in. And tonight, Rhett spoke about Jesus’ words in Luke 9:23 — “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” We often focus on that “deny yourself” part of that verse and don’t let ourselves get to “follow me” part. As we work on lying our expectations aside, we’re praying that our eyes may be open to where and how God is working around us so we may join Him, and follow Him, in this work.
Tomorrow, back to Ciudad Sandino!
We arrived! Twelve of us college students and twenty-somethings arrived and, after a long day of traveling, were welcomed as family back at La Quinta Primavera in Managua, Nicaragua.
And we were immediately refocused on our mission. We took a short trip out to Pastor Wilbur’s church at Ciudad Sandino to say hi and see the work that’s progressed in the last year. During last year’s trip, we laid a concrete foundation for what would become a new church building. The current one at the time was three tin walls — a shack, really.
Today, it’s beautiful. Solid concrete walls. A roof that doesn’t leak water. A cross cut-out of the wall facing the rest of the city from atop a hill shines as a bright testament. Pastor Wilbur shared that while his congregation was praying for a new building, they prayed over the ceiling, over each wall, thanking God for them, when nothing was yet a physical reality. They prayed in faith — big faith — thanking God for something that didn’t even exist yet. What a blessing that we are able to be involved in the answer of that prayer.
But what faith.
Sometimes, I think about how small my faith must be. Jesus says in Matthew 17:20, “For truly I saw to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
While we may be part of an answered prayer for Pastor Wilbur and his church, he is part of one for us, too — showing us what faith the size of a mustard seed just might look like.
So, Lord, in faith and with gratitude, I thank You for what You will do this week — in us and through us. I know it will be incredible.