Nicaragua trip number THREE!
I would love to tell you that the three weeks I was in Nicaragua to servant lead with Amigos for Christ were the easiest three weeks of my life but that wouldn’t be much of an adventure would it? It was super hard y’all.. emotionally, physically and spiritually. I went to Nicaragua only knowing two people I was going to be short terming with and met the nine others when I got to the property at Amigos for Christ. Right away I felt like I had known them all for years. They were all outgoing, funny, friendly and super easy to get along with which was such a huge blessing. Just like the other short-term leaders, all the twenty-four long term leaders were just as outgoing and personable. Even though they already had established family among themselves, they welcomed us in almost immediately. Don’t get me wrong, being around that many amazing leaders all the time was awesome but it also began to make me doubt myself and feelings of insecurity and insufficiency began to wash over me. Thankfully with so many amazing leaders surrounding me who experienced similar feelings, they began to speak truth into my life about what God thinks about me. God MADE me uniquely and even though I may have similar qualities as other leaders- no one can be me and do the things that God has called ME to do. I could seriously go down the list of amazing leader after amazing leader and give so many examples of how they touched my life and grew me in so many ways. Gaining so many good and Godly friendships while I was there was enough of a gift from God but we all know that God always gives way more than we could ever ask or imagine..
And today as I sat in church and listened to a powerful message by guest Pastor Tadd Grandstaff about the abundantly joyful life God has called us to, I couldn’t help but think of all my joyous memories in Nicaragua. Pastor Tadd said, “When life is good we are not as desperate for God.” This is SO, so true guys. We should be comfortable with being UNcomfortable because that’s when we know that God is leading. If God is leading then it’s probably to somewhere He knows we are going to have to depend on Him and grow IN Him. THAT is were I want to be, I want to always depend on God and draw near to Him. I don’t ever want to be in a place where I think, “I got this, i’ve done this a million times.” I want to go into experiences thinking, God.. if you’re not with me, this isn’t going to work. And in Nicaragua, that’s exactly where I was. Everyday I was exhausted and wanted at least five more hours of sleep. I didn’t know how I was going to talk to another person and tell them where I lived and why I was here.. but I did and I did it with a happy heart too. I completely relied on God in every moment and allowed Him to guide my every step of the way. It. was. not. easy. Don’t hear me wrong, I struggled. But seeing youth group members play their hearts out with the Nica children made everything worth it. Watching group members dance with forgotten souls at the nursing homes made it all worth it. Hearing an encouraged member share His gratefulness to the organization at the end of a long week because his life will forever be impacted made it all worth it.
I honestly struggled to see how God used me during this trip because I hate to break it to you guys, but.. I don’t do a lot of heavy lifting or working. When I say we helped build walls that will soon be a school for children who prayerfully one day will be teachers, doctors and engineers or that we dug trenches that will soon be filled with clean water so that children will live beyond the age of five years old without health issues.. what I really mean is THEY. because I’m not a whole lot of help of the work site, I mostly talk- to children, to group members, to community members and to staff members. I mean really anyone who is willing to have a conversation with me! So it really was a struggle to be able to see the fruit of my labor when i couldn’t tangibly see a wall or a ditch but at the end of my three weeks God was so faithful in affirming why my numerous conversations with people mattered.
When you encounter God, I think the only thing you can do is be thankful. I may not be able to fully explain to you how God worked in and through me but one thing I can share with you is my thankfulness that He did. That He chose me- you- us. He is such a good Father. He is provider of our needs, lover of our soul, and director of our life. Living in His will leaves me so filled and content. He has been SO gracious and good thus far.. and our God DOES NOT CHANGE.
So, I want to say thank you to each and every person who has supported me in all different kinds of ways. I am so thankful. Thankful for each little hand that held mine, thankful for each shoulder that my head found rest on and for each and every moment that was filled with laughter and love.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 / Give thanks in ALL circumstances -for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
|may we never loose our wonder.. wide eyed and mystified may we be just like a child, starring at the beauty of our King|