Saturday, January 14, 2017

Update on Nicaragua Trip

Family and Friends,
I want to say thank you for your prayers and support for my Nicaragua trip. It was an amazing experience. I knew back in September that God was nudging me to go on this trip. I didn't know why He wanted me to go and as I got closer to the trip, the more anxious I got about leaving my busy life here. I didn't know anyone besides my pastor going but I kept feeling like God was saying "Trust me, I got this" and I knew that I needed to be open to whatever God wanted to do in me while I was there. I am so glad that I went and followed what I felt God was leading me to. I have been on mission trips before and even lived in a third world country, but this was different. I believe that God's plan for me going on this trip was to get me out of my "normal" life to make me realize what I was missing and the changes I needed to make in my life.

We attended the Sunday church service there and it was so great to see how excited everyone there is to celebrate Jesus and what he is doing in their lives. I wanted that joy and peace they had. So I gave my heaviness and stress and anxiety to God and almost immediately I started to feel better. I could focus on what God wanted me to do there and how I could help the people there.

Working on filling the pillars on the wall
Our main project for the week was to help
provide protection for the kids in the orphanage. We filled in pillars of the wall with cement. It was probably the hardest work I have ever done and we were sore and tired from previous days but God always gave us the strength to get through it. We worked as a team and we made a lot of progress to keep the kids in a safe environment. We worked all day on Thursday and Friday on the wall and half a day on Saturday and Monday. After we worked we would go to the orphanage and see the kids until dinner time. We stayed in the same area as the orphanage so it was very convenient to go over after work and play with the kids. They were on their summer break so there weren't as many kids there as there normally is. After dinner we would get together for "porch time", which we got together with the 14 of us in our group to process what happened that day and what was happening the next day.

Took the kids to the river to go swimming!
Besides our main project we did a variety of other activities. Saturday we took a tour of Puerto Cabezas, which is where we were staying. then we did ice cream at the orphanage with the kids and played games. Sunday after church we took the kids to a river where we all went swimming and there was a cliff to jump off, which I even did! Monday after we worked in the morning we visited a prison and brought the men and women there food and some of our team shared their testimonies or an encouraging message. The men and women both sang for us, which I found very interesting. Even in their hardships they still want to praise God. Tuesday morning one of our team members decided to get baptized so we went a river and got to celebrate with her in that decision! Then in the afternoon we went to a feeding center and made fun things for the kids out of pipe cleaners! Then we helped serve the food to the kids. Most of these kids, this is there only meal for the day and a lot of them will take most of it home with them to share with their family.
At the feeding center
The kids loved our pipe cleaner creations!

We also visited the dump after that where they pass out food too but we went later so we missed that. Tuesday evening we went back to the orphanage to say goodbye to the kids as we were leaving on Wednesday morning.

Thank you again for your prayers for our team, it meant a lot and I am so glad I could be apart of what God is doing in Nicaragua. I would like to go back, but we will just take it one day at a time to see what His plans are for us.


2017 January Nicaragua Team!