Be Still…

Mission Trip to Nicaragua - Day 9

Another Sunday in Nicaragua.  The team seems to be in good spirits this morning.  We awoke with a plan and a purpose to use the additional days here in Managua in God’s service.  Since the staff is usually off, we are taking care of a few household duties ourselves.  Travis and Tammy Stearns are doing an incredible job taking care of us.  They are both wonderful and have given up what I believe may have been some days off to accommodate us and serve us selflessly.

This morning, after breakfast, we headed out for the church service at the International Christian Fellowship.  This is the church where the local missionaries gather for worship and fellowship.  We were welcomed back and felt very loved and cared for.  We all really enjoyed our time of worship and a great message was delivered.

After the service, we were treated to a special day by Project Hope.  We took a nice long bus drive to the coast.  We went up and over a mountain range and then down to the Pacific Ocean.  It was neat to drive through some new areas and see some different houses and villages along the way.  We descended down a thin long road that ended in a private resort.  Iguanas were everywhere as well as some exotic birds and other wildlife.

As we walked up to the cabana, the view of the ocean was breathtaking.  It was a testimony to God’s glory.  There were straw-covered cabanas, hammocks, tables and rocking chairs dotting the landscape before us.  It was like something from a movie.  The sound of the ocean waves was a pleasant music in the background as we spent time in fellowship.  We had a great lunch and there was time to just sit, rest, and reflect.

I eventually found myself wrapped up in a hammock with my Kindle in my hand.  I was able to finish one book and start another.  I must have fallen asleep for a while, and then woke to find most of the team members walking along the beach and gathering shells.  I quickly joined in the hunt.  I found some beautiful shells.  There we were in the stillness, gathering our treasures along the shore without another person in sight.

One of the young ladies that was with us found a nice small sand dollar.  When she learned that I was searching for one for my daughter, Erin, she gave it to me.  It was so special to me, and it just shows how much we have bonded as a team.  Here we are stranded in a foreign country, and it should be difficult, but instead we are joined together in friendship.

We had a great time at the beach and a well-needed Sabbath for all of us. Now, we are back at base camp and we are planning our areas of service for the week.  We are going back out to perform some construction work tomorrow at Hope Central, the facility at the dump.  The ladies will be going out door to door.  Tuesday, we will be delivering stoves to the same houses.

I am ready for what God has in store for us in the wake of our extended stay.  He has kept us here for a reason, given us a day to rest and now we will once again step out in service.  We are prepared to be the hands and feet of Christ to these amazing people of Nicaragua.  Thank you, Lord, for this additional time of service.  We are so grateful for this chance to finish what you had us start.  Please join us in prayer for the coming days, that the Spirit would move in this community, that hearts would be changed, and that Christ would be glorified.

Hurricane Harvey

Mission Trip to Nicaragua - Day 8

Today was another incredible day here in Nicaragua.  Wait, you might ask… aren’t you supposed to be home now?  Well, God had some other plans.

This morning I was asked a hypothetical question.  If I had the chance to stay another week, would I?  My reply was that I could.  I miss my family, and really need a day of rest, but yeah… I could stay.  Well, guess what?  Hurricane Harvey moves into Texas, and our flight into Houston was canceled.  Now, we learn that we will be here another day.

Well, then it got even more interesting.  Our flight for the next day was also canceled.  So, the next available flight out of Managua to get home is on Thursday, and I am scheduled to go out on Friday.  So be careful what you wish for.  At the same time, I am reminded of Isaiah 6:8.  I pray that my heart always responds to God’s call in this way.

So today we got back to the work God called us to.  We spent some time putting together monthly care packages for the men of the Furia Santa Recovery Home.  It was a blessing to be able to assemble bags of clothing and hygiene items, to be a part of the powerful ministry that is happening there.

The staff at Project Hope were also surprised that the mission team is staying, so some adjustments have been made.  Since there is ministry happening every week with Project Hope, there will be more opportunities for us to serve.  I’m so relieved that we didn’t end up sitting in an airport somewhere and that we will be able to minister to the people I have come to love so much.

This week we hope to be able to minister at the dump or serve food at Hope Central.  We will be going door to door and be able to deliver new cook stoves to many houses.  It will be a huge blessing to be able to provide what they could not otherwise purchase on their own.  A stove in such simple accommodations will change their standard of living dramatically from this day forward.

We will also participate in some construction projects around the feeding center at Hope Central and will be able to organize some of the areas at base camp.  We are all willing to do whatever needs to be done here for the next week.

After we completed some projects at base camp, we visited the boardwalk on Lake Managua.  We were treated to a fabulous dinner.  The boardwalk is a neat area.  Lots of music, people walking, kids playing, and an overall nice atmosphere.  The weather cooperated so we had a great time.

I am growing more confident in my Spanish as I have chances to use it.  I was surprised by the number of opportunities I have had to speak to the locals and even do some translation for other team members.

So now we will end another day on our mission.  We are sad to not be home with our families in America, but still happy to be in God’s perfect will in Nicaragua.  We had the choice to bend to His will or fight against it.  I choose submission because I know that it was not the weather that kept us here, but God and God alone.

Saturday Morning

Mission Trip to Nicaragua - Day 8

Matthew 6:33 (HCSB)
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.

Today is departure day.  It will be tough.  Some may be ready while others may not be.  The thought of coming home to my family will invigorate me.  The thought of leaving the people I have been given the privilege to serve will sadden me.  It will feel like leaving lifetime friends.  It will require me to leave a piece of myself there as I have done so before in Brazil.

There will be urgency.  Can I have one last gospel conversation?  Can we do one more thing?  We will look back and be both satisfied with what was accomplished and be worried that it was not all done.  We will be a team united and ready for anything, but leaving at the same time.  Friendships will have been made or strengthened.  And for some, it will not only be goodbye to Nicaragua but goodbye to one another.

God’s work is not easy.  He never promised that.  But it is worth it.  Every minute.  Every drop of sweat.  Every tear.  Every heartache.  Jesus Christ is worth it!

Prayer points for today.  Pray for the team as we travel.  Pray for safe flights, connections made and on time arrival.  Pray for the days to come as we integrate back into society in the United States.  It will be culture shock once again.  Pray for me, as we arrive very late and I will not get home until after midnight and will be back in the pulpit Sunday morning to preach God’s Word.  What a joy it is!

This post was written – August 18


Sábado por la mañana

Mateo 6:33 (HCSB)

Buscad primero el reino de Dios y su justicia, y todas estas cosas os serán proveídas.

Hoy es día de salida. Será difícil. Algunos pueden estar listos, mientras que otros pueden no estarlo. La idea de volver a casa a mi familia me revigorará. La idea de dejar a la gente a la que me han dado el privilegio de servir me entristecerá. Se sentirá como dejar amigos de por vida. Me obligará a dejar un pedazo de mí mismo allí como lo he hecho antes en Brasil.

Habrá urgencia. ¿Puedo tener una última conversación del evangelio? ¿Podemos hacer una cosa más? Vamos a mirar hacia atrás y ser ambos satisfechos con lo que se logró y estar preocupados de que no todo estaba hecho. Seremos un equipo unido y listo para cualquier cosa, pero saliendo al mismo tiempo. Las amistades se habrán hecho o fortalecido. Y para algunos, no sólo será adiós a Nicaragua sino adiós el uno al otro.

El trabajo de Dios no es fácil. Nunca lo prometió. Pero vale la pena. Cada minuto. Cada gota de sudor. Cada lágrima. Todas las angustias. ¡Vale la pena!

Puntos de oración para hoy. Oren por el equipo mientras viajamos. Oremos por los vuelos seguros, las conexiones hechas y con tiempo de llegada. Oremos por los días que vienen al integrarnos de nuevo en la sociedad aquí en los Estados Unidos. Será choque cultural una vez más. Ore por mí, ya que llegamos muy tarde y no llegaré a casa hasta después de la medianoche y estaré de vuelta en el púlpito el domingo por la mañana para predicar la palabra de Dios. ¡Qué alegría!

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New Friends and Family

Mission Trip to Nicaragua - Day 7

Today was an exciting day at the village, and yet a sad one at the same time.  We got to celebrate with the locals in the work we had accomplished together.  We celebrated those who were baptized.  We also said goodbye.  We walked to the homes we had built this week with each family.  We talked, we prayed and then we presented them with a few gifts brought from the USA.  I had the opportunity to present the Gospel through an interpreter and give some Spanish Bibles away.  It was a great experience.

We then loaded up on the bus and had some tourist time.  We ate lunch at the Nicaraguan equivalent of KFC called Tip Top.  It was good.  The ketchup was different, more like a tomato paste.  I was told that the coleslaw was very different from back home. Afterwards we headed to an indoor/outdoor market.  It was similar to a swap meet or a flea market back home.  There were multiple vendors selling anything and everything you could think of.  I had a chance to use my Spanish negotiating skills to pick up a couple things for my girls back home.

Then a bus ride back to base camp.  Now it’s time for dinner, farewells to the other team, and repacking bags for the trip home tomorrow.  It will be a difficult day as we depart from old friends and new friends.  We also are leaving a nation that feels like home to me, and a people that I love as my brothers and sisters.  I have a lot of new friends and families to pray for, and I pray that God brings me back to see them again.

On a separate note, we are also currently uncertain about our situation of flying home.  Our travel arrangements are being impacted by Hurricane Harvey as it moves closer to Texas.  We are scheduled to fly into Houston before returning to Springfield.  This is an area in need of prayer.  Not just for us, but for all the residents and travels affected by the weather in Texas.  We may not know until tomorrow what to expect for travel, or if we will be able to travel at all.  Either way, God is in control and we will arrive home at His appointed time.

Adios mis amigos!

 

Friday Morning

Mission Trip to Nicaragua - Day 7

Ephesians 2:10 (HCSB)
For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.

Today will be our last day of work here in Nicaragua.  We will finish up any outstanding projects and interact with the families who will be given their new homes.  We will also be presenting our families with a supply of hygiene items that have been purchased by the team for them.  Each of us have also purchased some gifts to give.  I am excited to give the gifts to the kids I have purchased.  I also purchased an RVR Spanish Bible for the parents as well.  It will be exciting to present it to them inside their new home.

What we take for granted, is a special event for other people around the world.  I want to take notice of this and remember that we truly live blessed lives here in the USA.

Today will be a tough day for the team.  It is goodbye in some areas.  Then tonight we will begin to pack our bags and realize that tomorrow we depart from these beautiful people.  People we have fallen in love with in so many ways.  For some it may be the last time in Nicaragua, and for others it may be only “See you later.”

Prayer points for today.  Please pray that we have finished up all projects and have had an amazing time with the families in their new homes.  Pray that we have been changed by this event.  That we will no longer look at the world or our lives the same.  Pray that the people of Nicaragua have left a lasting impact on our lives and our walk with Christ.

This is post was written in advance.


Mañana de viernes

Efesios 2:10 (HCSB)

Porque somos Su creación, creados en Cristo Jesús para las buenas obras, las cuales Dios preparó antes de tiempo para que andemos en ellas.

Hoy será nuestro último día de trabajo aquí en Nicaragua. Terminaremos cualquier proyecto pendiente e interactuaremos con las familias que recibirán sus nuevas casas. También presentamos a nuestras familias un suministro de artículos de higiene que han sido comprados por el equipo para ellos. Cada uno de nosotros también ha comprado algunos regalos para dar. Estoy emocionado de dar los regalos a los niños que he comprado. También compré una RVR Spanish Bible para los padres también. Será emocionante presentarlos dentro de su nuevo hogar.

Lo que damos por sentado es un evento especial para otras personas en todo el mundo. Quiero tomar nota de esto y recordar que realmente vivimos benditas vidas aquí en los Estados Unidos.

Hoy será un día difícil para el equipo. Es adiós en algunas áreas. Entonces esta noche comenzaremos a empacar nuestras maletas y darnos cuenta de que mañana saldremos de estas personas hermosas. Gente de la que nos hemos enamorado de muchas maneras. Para algunos puede ser la última vez en Nicaragua, y para otros puede ser sólo “Nos vemos después”.

Puntos de oración para hoy. Por favor oren para que hayamos terminado todos los proyectos y hemos tenido un tiempo increíble con las familias en sus nuevos hogares. Oremos por haber sido cambiados por este evento. Que ya no miraremos el mundo o nuestras vidas lo mismo. Oremos para que el pueblo de Nicaragua haya dejado un impacto duradero en nuestras vidas y en nuestro caminar con Cristo.

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A New Life in Christ

Mission Trip to Nicaragua - Day 6

Today the team had a later start than usual.  We started with breakfast, and then the entire team was off to an orphanage called Blue Bird.  I will not be able to share much about the orphanage.  I can tell you that it is a special needs orphanage with ages ranging from birth to older adults.  We were not permitted to take pictures, and there was a sanctity about it that would have prevented me from taking pictures anyway.  God is there.

To put it delicately, without this type of facility, these children would have had no other option.  Most children with disabilities are abandoned at birth, not all, but most.  The facility and the staff here are doing amazing things for the community.  They are the voice for those that cannot speak for themselves.  They are the love of Christ for those who have no hope.  Visiting the Blue Bird will be an experience that will impact me for the rest of my life.

After we went to the village to finish up our construction projects.  We finished the last house for this trip.  I do not know how many total, but construction will be continuing in this village with the next team.  It sounds as though construction in this village is ending, and a new location is already being considered for another village to be started.  What Project Hope is doing is building communities.  Not just a collection of buildings, but a community of peoples depending on each other.  That type of community is not the standard here, so these villages are beacons of hope and change for the families blessed with new homes.

After we completed our construction today we went to a local lake to perform some baptisms.  We baptized two women and seven men from the men’s home for addiction, which we had visited yesterday.  As I stood in the water up to my waist, I was filled with emotion for these men.  These men were declaring Jesus as their Savior and being born into a new life.  While we were performing the baptisms it began to rain, with thunder and lighting, but nobody cared.  We were going to give our new brothers and sisters in Christ were having their time to proclaim Jesus and we all knew that we were standing on holy ground.

It was a very wet ride back to base camp.  I really enjoyed my shower and washing off the dirt and sand from the lake water.  I am so grateful for another great day as I continue to be blessed and impacted by the work Project Hope is doing here.  Thank you, Lord Jesus.

Tomorrow will be our last day of ministry, and our last day to be here among God’s people in Nicaragua.

Thursday Morning

Mission Trip to Nicaragua - Day 6

James 1:2-4 (HCSB)
Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

Today we begin the few final days we have in Nicaragua.  There begins to set in a sense of urgency.  Have we done enough?  Have we talked to enough people?  Have we shared the gospel enough?  What more can we do?  All questions that I think we should be asking ourselves on a daily basis regardless of where we are.

Today there is more opportunities planned for medical missionary work as well as the potential for the men to go to the prison and minister and the women to go to the shelter and minster to other women and children.  I am very motivated to go minister to men in prison.  What a great opportunity to share the gospel and see lives changed for Christ!  Construction will should be coming to an end today.

Prayer points for today.  Today begins a tough day for the team.  It becomes evident that our time is coming to an end.  Pray against sadness.  Pray that we concentrate on what has been done and the time we still have.  Pray that we have great times of ministry today in the various capacities.  Pray that we continue to have opportunities to interact with pastors and churches in the area to preach and spread the Gospel.  Pray that we continue to be great witnesses for Christ!

This is a pre-scheduled post


Jueves por la mañana

Santiago 1: 2-4 (HCSB)

Consideradlo un gran gozo, hermanos míos, cuando experimentéis varias pruebas, sabiendo que la prueba de vuestra fe produce resistencia. Pero la paciencia debe hacer su trabajo completo, para que usted pueda ser maduro y completo, sin nada.

Hoy comenzamos los pocos días que tenemos en Nicaragua. Comienza a fijarse en un sentido de urgencia. ¿Hemos hecho lo suficiente? ¿Hablamos con suficiente gente? ¿Compartimos el evangelio lo suficiente? ¿Qué más podemos hacer? Todas las preguntas que creo que debemos hacernos todos los días.

Hoy en día hay más oportunidades previstas para el trabajo médico misionero, así como el potencial de los hombres para ir a la cárcel y el ministro y las mujeres para ir al refugio y minister a otras mujeres y niños. Estoy muy emocionado de ministrar a los hombres en la cárcel. ¡Qué gran oportunidad para compartir el Evangelio y ver las vidas cambiadas por Cristo! La construcción llegará a su fin hoy en la medida prevista.

Puntos de oración para hoy. Hoy comienza un día difícil para el equipo. Se hace evidente que nuestro tiempo está llegando a su fin. Oren contra la tristeza. Oremos para que nos concentremos en lo que se ha hecho y en el tiempo que tenemos. Oremos que tenemos grandes momentos de ministerio hoy en las diversas capacidades. Oremos para que sigamos teniendo oportunidades de interactuar con Pastores e Iglesias en el área para predicar y difundir el Evangelio. ¡Ore para que sigamos siendo grandes testigos de Cristo!

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Humbled to Serve

Mission Trip to Nicaragua - Day 5

Today was another amazing day.  God is good, all the time.  I can tell that the fatigue is starting to set in.  Waking up at five o’clock is starting to get more difficult, and the other men in my room are starting to drag as well.

This morning I headed out to the preschool that Project Hope founded.  It was an eye-opening experience that will leave me changed for the rest of my days.  The story of the preschool is one that is filled with the miraculous.  It started out as an open-air school that was hosted outside.  Then a small house was rented.  After much prayer, a parcel of land was given and through various donations a small building was constructed.

Last year they had fifty-six children graduate through the third level.  This is an important requirement.  If a student doesn’t graduate through the third level of preschool, they are not permitted to attend first grade.  The real problem is that there are no preschools available for miles.  So, in a community without preschool, children have no chance to meet the requirements to attend elementary school.  If God had not moved in this area and provided this school, most of these children in this village would not be able to ever attend school and receive the most fundamental education.

We were greeted by the students as they sang to us in both English and Spanish.  The smiles were so big and so wonderful.  Their pride in their school was evident.  We got to play outside for them and then I got to sit in a classroom with them and help them learn their colors in Spanish.  We cut out a new color board and went over each color as we glued it on and then hung it on the wall.  Most of these children are the same age as my daughter, so it was very special for me. I wish I could take them all home with me.

The classrooms at this preschool are small, with a concrete floor.  There is no air conditioning, not enough chairs for each student.  Most children struggle to get the basic supplies for their class, such as paper and pencils.  The teachers and the cooks are all volunteers.  This preschool is staffed without a payroll.

It troubles me how much we take for granted and how much we waste.  These children lack the simplest things and we have so much.  During our time of ministry with the teachers, we had a chance to hear the needs for the school.  It would not be impossible for us to send support on a regular basis and it is worthy of consideration.

I also had the chance to pray for them each individually and to encourage them in what they are doing.  They shared their dream for the school.  For most of these children, the next level of education is at a school that is 31 km away from their village.  Their dream is to continue to expand on this school so that the children of this village can continue to learn.  God can do a miracle here through us, where we are right now.  We can help to make this possible, and change the future of these children.  We can be the hands and feet of Christ in this situation.

In the afternoon, we went to Furia Santa.  It is a men’s addiction recovery home.  It was also a powerful experience.  These men are learning about God and how Christ can heal them from their addictions.  It is a great ministry.  They have a farm where they grow fruit and produce.  They area also going to begin to make the concrete blocks needed for the homes being built in the village.  These men who were overcome by addiction will be contributing to the improvement of the lives of others. This is what God does in the lives of those that love Him.

After a time of ministry and testimony, we brought some hillbilly fellowship to these men.  We brought cornhole, or commonly known as bean bag toss.  We made some squares from 2×4 wood on the jobsite.  We filled old socks with beans.  The men of the Ozarks can make anything.  It was a time of fun and fellowship that was needed on both sides. The men in this home have no support from anybody but family.  Project Hope can feed and house them, but it is based entirely on donations.

The team is tired and it is starting to show.  Tomorrow is more ministry in the village, medical, VBS, feeding at Hope Central and many other things.  The days here are full of good work for God.  We are serving with everything we have.  I love the people here.  Nicaragua now has a place in my heart, and it will forevermore.

Wednesday Morning

Mission Trip to Nicaragua - Day 5

Philippians 4:6 (HCSB)
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

This is our mid-point.  Fatigue may really be setting in at this point.  We will have worked, walked and spent hours outside of our comfort zones at this point.  We will be missing our families and friends back home.  This is an important day for the team.  This is the day that we begin to rely upon one another in a greater capacity.  We have hopefully had opportunities to fellowship with one another.  To pray with each other.  Ministering with each other and to one another.  We have seen what it takes and now we have to push over the edge to get it done.  We need to set our worries and cares to the side, and through prayer and petition give them to God.  He is faithful and mighty!  He will see us through.

Today is also a day that we have the opportunity to assist in a feeding ministry at the local dump.  I have only seen pictures and heard stories, but today it will be a reality.  People live each day dependent upon someone else’s trash and waste.  I want to love on them, hold their hands and pray with them and encourage them in the things of God.  I don’t want to be a tourist or a missionary today.  I want to be a citizen of Nicaragua living at the dump and understand what it means and feels like to have nothing, yet be satisfied.

Prayer points for today.  Pray against fatigue and loneliness for the team.  Pray for team unity as we are all tired.  Pray for an increasing bond for us as a team.  Pray that we continue to grow in boldness to present the gospel to all who would listen.  Pray that we do not come back from our efforts today unaffected or unchanged.

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Miércoles por la mañana

Filipenses 4: 6 (HCSB)

No se preocupen por nada, pero en todo, por medio de la oración y la petición con acción de gracias, que sus peticiones sean conocidas a Dios.

Este es nuestro punto medio. La fatiga puede realmente estar fijando adentro en este punto. Habremos trabajado, caminado y pasado horas fuera de nuestras zonas de confort en este punto. Perderemos nuestras familias y amigos en casa. Este es un día importante para el equipo. Este es el día en que comenzamos a confiar unos en otros en una mayor capacidad. Esperamos tener oportunidades para tener comunión unos con otros. Orar con los demás. Para ministrar unos con otros y unos con otros. Hemos visto lo que se necesita y ahora tenemos que presionar sobre el borde para hacerlo. Necesitamos poner nuestras preocupaciones y preocupaciones a un lado, y por medio de la oración y la petición darlas a Dios. ¡Él es fiel y poderoso! Él nos verá a través de.

Hoy es también un día en el que tenemos la oportunidad de ayudar en un ministerio de alimentación en el vertedero local. Sólo he visto imágenes y escuché historias, pero hoy será una realidad. La gente vive cada día dependiendo de la basura y el desperdicio de otra persona. Estoy muy emocionado de poder pasar tiempo con la gente de allí. Quiero amarlos, sostener sus manos y orar con ellos y animarlos en las cosas de Dios. Hoy no quiero ser turista ni misionero. Quiero ser un ciudadano de Nicaragua viviendo en el vertedero y entender lo que significa y me siento como para no tener nada, pero estar satisfecho.

Puntos de oración para hoy. Oremos contra el cansancio y la soledad del equipo. Oremos por la unidad del equipo ya que todos estamos cansados. Oremos por un vínculo cada vez mayor para nosotros como un equipo. Oremos para que sigamos creciendo en audacia para presentar el evangelio a todos los que quieran escuchar. Oremos para que no volvamos de nuestros esfuerzos hoy en el vertedero sin afectar o sin cambios.

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A House of God

Mission Trip to Nicaragua - Day 4

Today I had the opportunity to head out with a medical missionary.  I was told that we would be going about one hour away into the mountains outside of Managua to a small Baptist church in a village up there.  I accompanied the Nicaraguan doctor, her RN who is from Guatemala, and another team member who is an RN.  Then you have me, the pastor.

As we drove out of the city and into the hills, the traffic subsided and the noise decreased.  We drove down long patches of single lane road, which is real fun when a school bus suddenly turns the corner in front of you and we drive off the side of the road.  I also learned that we were driving up an evacuation route, because of the warning about active volcanoes.  The driving is perilous to say the least, and it’s a good time to be trusting in God.

We went up and could catch a great view of the ocean in front of us from one of the highest peaks.  We soon left the pavement and headed down dirt roads for many miles, continuing deeper into the hills of Nicaragua. We then came to the church and were ready to unload all the bins of medical supplies.  We set up two tables in the church, which was very nice.  I was informed that the church had been there for fifty years.

They assigned me the job of filling the prescriptions.  I have absolutely no experience in this area, even though I may write like a doctor.  I had no clue what the names of the medicines were or what they were for.  Not to mention that it was all in Spanish, so that just made it more fun.  I filled twenty-two prescriptions for patients that need multiple types of medications.  A lot of them have high blood pressure or needed antibiotics.

I have been told that the water in these mountains is contaminated with too many minerals and was the cause of rampant sickness in the local villages. When you consider that people will wait for months to see a doctor, and it’s just not enough.  I was glad that I was put able to be in a position to help them.  There were young children and even some infants.  It was really a blessing just to hand them their prescriptions and pray with them as they left.

After a brief lunch outside, I had the privilege of getting to talk with the local pastor for a few minutes.  They have an average attendance of seventy-five people for their Sunday services.  Plastic chairs, no air conditioning, no carpet, no technology… just Jesus and the Word of God.  Worship from the people of God.  Why do we need so much more than that?

I was told that the doctor goes out four days per week to different churches and villages.  The doctor manages to visit each location about once per month if possible.  I was amazing to be a part of this outreach program today.  I was blessed by the prayer and the chance to meet a local pastor.  I was thankful for the chance to pray and encourage him as he continues ministering to his flock.

We then descended back down into Managua and it was then that I noticed groups of people walking up the roads we were coming down.  Many of them had huge bags or bundles of wood strapped across their backs.  I can only imagine that for some it may be a daily occurrence to walk down and get what is needed for their families.

I have learned that most people only purchase what is needed for the day or two at most.  The power here is prone to go out at any minute, and they can’t afford to pay for items that could be ruined.  Not to mention, that not all families have the capability to refrigerate food.

Due to my area of service, I arrived back to the compound a little early, so I am going to take advantage of this time to sit back and enjoy the sounds of Nicaragua.  Spend some extra time in prayer and reflection over what God is doing inside of me, as I am changed by the experiences I am having with these wonderful people.