You may or may not know, but I recently traveled to the lovely Nicaragua with 6 high schoolers and another adult for 10 days. We worked primarily with youth leadership development programs (aka partnered with a local church and helped their youth leaders create programs for the city and invested in them emotionally, spiritually, and relationally to be stronger, more authentic leaders). That being said, there was a morning when we woke at 3 am to feed the local homeless teens and plenty of ministry, service, and lessons in faith and humility.
My moment of humility came when I was picking up sticky juice pouches of the ground at a school for children who have learning disabilities, are deaf, or need more specialized attention. My moment of pride come from seeing my students serve a community with compassion, positivity, and authenticity. To see them face their fears, step out of their comfort zones, and take a step into the woman they were created to be. That was a pretty good high.
A lot of beautiful things happened in those 10 days. We saw salvations, healings, and emotional breakthroughs. People let go of their past and pressed on towards a promising future. Students crossed a cultural or language barrier to be one body for the kingdom. Leaders let their pride and agenda fall to the wayside to learn about flexibility and collaboration. Locals and non-locals learned to find common ground, even if it was with the help of Google translator or what felt like the longest round of charades.
Of course, none of us would be here without the help of others. I have a wonderful community of support (both financial and prayerful) who brought myself and these students to the land of lakes and volcanoes. A place where the stoves always have a pot of gallo pinto, the showers are cold (or room temperature at least), the people are kind, and a small team from America received the best hospitality they could have dreamed of. Thanks to everyone who was generous to grant us financial or thoughtful support. We couldn’t have done this without your help and God’s hand. We hope to have left the city of Matagalpa a little more inspired or challenged. We know that’s how we felt as we sat on a plane, exhausted, pumped with coffee, plantains, and a small sugar high from the tres leeches cake the night prior.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.