I am a daughter of the living king seeking to follow Him in all I do. God has broken my heart for the orphans of this world. I am learning that my sole responsibility on earth is to love with complete abandon. Follow my journey as I continue to learn how to serve Him.
Read how my love story with God began...
Monday, June 28, 2010
Here is a glimpse of our time in Nicaragua. It was an amazing experience that no doubt forever changed us. The people of Nicaragua are so precious and so full of love. They have so little. So many are not only physically starving, but are starved for love. They long for it just like God longs for us. Deuteronomy 4:9 says, "Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." That is our team's prayer. It is our prayer that God would continue to change our heart because of what we have seen. It is our prayer that the effects of our week in Nicaragua would overflow into everyone we meet. It is our prayer that God has changed you.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Today the team visited our final school. The children were precious and we had so much fun working with them. We told the story of the Tower of Babble. The kids made their own towers out of paper cups and absolutely loved it.
Unfortunately after lunch it was time to tell the El Ayudante kids goodbye. An event that I have been dreading all week. These children stole a piece of my heart last summer, and now an even bigger piece is being left behind. We gave away hundreds of abrazos y besos (hugs and kisses), but it never seems to quite be enough. I can't speak for my other team members, but I fought tears as I whispered "te amo" in the ear of each child. One little boy, Benito, saw my tears and asked why I was crying. I explained to him that I was very sad. That we had to leave tomorrow morning to go back to the states, but that I loved him and the other children very much and didn't want to go. As I explained my heartache to this young boy, tears filled his own eyes. These children hold a special place in my heart. Nothing I could say, or write, could explain that love.
After our goodbyes, David, Michael, and Junior went on to the construction site. The roof was finished on one house and two and a half walls constructed on the other! With our remaining funds we could either provide a freezer for a family to use as a means to sell things or buy a bicycle to provide transportation. Well, God is absolutely amazing. We were able to provide 2 freezers and 3 bicycles!! We also had the opportunity to deliver both freezers and two of the bikes.
It was certainly a special time for me. Francis is the little girl that I met and fell in love with last year. I became her sponsor, sending money, cards, gifts, etc. The children call sponsors "madrinas" or "good mothers." Marjorie is Francis's mother. We were able to buy her and Francis's older sister Erica a bike. I was able to spend the afternoon with Francis and her family. It is something I will forever treasure.
Our day concluded with an awesome night of worship and discussion. We serve an amazing God that deserves every ounce of our worship. Our God is love. Love is so evident here. We all have been changed because of this week. I believe it's impossible to come here and not be overwhelmed by how great God's love is. Proverbs 10:12 says, "Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers all wrongs." Christ's love for us covers all wrongs. He cleansed every sin on the cross. What more could we need?
Thank you all for supporting our team. We could not have made it here without your love. I pray that our work here has changed you. I pray you hold your family nearer and recognize your countless blessings. I pray that you are overwhelmed by God's love. May He sweep you away so that it is only Him.
Stay tuned for more pictures from our week!!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Today our team conquered the volcano Cerro Negro! It was quite the challenge, but we all made it! After lunch we toured a cathedral in downtown Leon. Our day ended with dinner on the Pacific Ocean by sunset. We have all begun to realize how quickly our time here is ending and can't wait to cherish another day.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Today has been amazing. First, my rash is healing!! Thank you for your prayers! We went to Grandmother Carmen's preschool this morning. The school is held in her home underneath a tin roof. The children attend class in the stifling heat with swarms of flies on them.
After lunch we delivered care packages to families near the city landfill. These "homes" are located to beside all of the city's sewage. Raw sewage flows everywhere in this village. The houses are made of newspaper, cardboard, anything the people can find. Sickness and death fill this place. We were able to deliver food, cleaning supplies, toothbrushes, toothpastes, toys, and salvation dolls there. Most importantly we were able to pray with these people and share Christ's love.
That barrio is not a place that can be adequately described in words. Pictures only scratch the surface of the hopelessness of this place. A hard, fast rain came while we were there. It only rained for 10 minutes or so, but in that short amount of time, the entire village began to flood. Small rivers of rain, sewage, and trash formed in the paths between each house. My heart is broken for these people. Those precious children are sleeping on ground tonight and every night that is soggy from rain and sewage. They don't know what it is to feel loved. I have no doubt each one of us is changed because of today. May we never forget their brokenness. May our hearts always be broken because of the suffering of God's people. May we never stop loving.
Monday, June 21, 2010
We spent our morning at the Jardencito Preschool with Senora Romona. The children were absolutely precious. Throughout the afternoon some of the team began construction of a home for one of the girls at El Ayudante, Celeste. The rest of the team sorted clothes to donate to the children of El Ayudante. Here are some glimpses of our time thus far...
Sunday, June 20, 2010
I'm still not feeling great, so here is a quick version of our day. The team attended a church in our neighborhood. We were able to provide snacks for the kids there. I wasn't able to attend, but everyone seemed to love it. After lunch we took the El Ayudante kids swimming and to play soccer. We had a blast loving on all of them. Can't wait to see what tomorrow holds. Keep praying for a healing!
Most often parents start out telling their children to do something in a nice, friendly voice. "Clean your room, please." If the child doesn't listen, the parent will get progressively louder until it's, "Clean your room, NOW!" That's where I'm at with God right now.
Lately, God has gently been pushing me to spend more time with Him, to invest in our relationship. But I haven't been listening. He kept reminding me to set aside time for Him. I haven't listened.
So here I am in Nicaragua, confined to a tiny room with the AC on, taking benadryl, using calamine lotion because I have hives all over my back. I kept pushing God behind other "more important things." Now it's not that I think God is punishing me for not spending more time with Him. I think God is saying, "Here. You have been 'too busy' to set aside time for me. Let me help you with that. There. Now you have plenty of quiet time with me."
God uses all sorts of things to get our attention. Sadly, sometimes it takes a rash to get us to stop and listen. But that's where I am: with itchy hives all over me, rejoicing in my gracious Father.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
The before...supplies, crafts, toys, candy, clothes, shoes, toothbrushes, toothpaste!
The after...8 ministry suitcases packed and ready to go!
It is so unreal that we are leaving tomorrow. I feel as if at any moment I will pinch myself and wake up from this wonderful dream. The team will be meeting at 1 pm tomorrow to head for the airport. Our flight leaves at 5:45 pm.
It would be very easy for me to feel completely overwhelmed tomorrow. However, I hope to remember something a very dear person in my life asked me. 1) Who's mission trip is this? 2) Who do I think I am, that I could ruin God's plan?
Our only responsibility while in Nicaragua, is to love. To share Christ's love.
1 John 3:16-18, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. "
See you in Nicaragua!!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Things to do before June 19th...
Jewelery party fundraiser May 1st Car wash fundraiser May 8th Send in team roster Send in team information forms
- Mail check to El Ayudante for team fees --> mailing it tomorrow
Raise money to pay team fees
- Book hotel rooms for the final night --> booking rooms tomorrow
Plan 3 days of Bible school for 20-150 kids
- Buy supplies for Bible school for 20-150 kids --> collecting donations and buying things this week
Raise money to buy supplies for Bible school
- Get team in one piece to Leon, Nicaragua --> unable to complete until June 19th
Complete items 1-11 while taking finals and studying abroad in London for 3 weeks
- Preferably stay sane while completely items 1-12 without driving friends and loved ones crazy --> questionable
Wow. That is all I know how to say right now. Wow. In my last post I was freaking out. Trying my best to keep my faith in God, but freaking out none the less. Suddenly, magically, miraculously, supernaturally, we have more than enough money for our ministry. We leave for Nicaragua in 10 days!
We always claim the truth in Philippians 4:13, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength" and Luke 1:37, "For nothing is impossible with God." But we all, or at least I, have moments of doubt. We think things like, "I know you can do anything God, but are you really sure this is going to happen?" Isn't it amazing when God gives us the impossible to do. That's what this mission trip has been for me. The impossible task.
I was a twenty year old junior in college with a million things on my plate when God plopped this project in my lap. How could I ever lead a team of people older and wiser than I? How could I ever do everything that needed to be done to make this trip happen? How could I possibly raise SO much money? I couldn't. I can't. I never will. This has been something in my life that I know, beyond any doubt, would have been impossible if it had not been for my Holy Father.
Now here we are, 10 days away from our trip. And while I'm pretty sure I am in fact driving friends and loved ones crazy, I am so thankful to have them as my unfailing support. God is truly amazing. There are no words to describe His wonder.
We ARE GOING to Nicaragua!!!!