Our trip to Nicaragua was such an incredibly humbling experience and completely God fulfilling. During the previous year, Taylor had traveled to Nicaragua and absolutely loved it. He would light up whenever he talked about his experiences and I knew this was a very special place that he held dear to his heart. When the following year rolled around, of course he knew that he wanted to go again. Originally, I had no intentions of going because it was with his hometown church and we had just gotten home from Europe. However, I could feel God stirring within me and calling me to go. I didn’t have time to raise support and honestly didn’t think they would have room for me, but I was wrong. The church told me they had room for one more person and that I could go! So we packed our bags and headed out July 4th weekend. We took a bus from Spartanburg, South Carolina to the Atlanta, Georgia airport and flew to Miami for a quick layover then Nicaragua.
We didn’t arrive until late at night so we all unpacked our things at our base and got some rest. The following morning we got to attend a church that Taylor’s hometown church helped build during a previous year! The service was in Spanish, but translated to English as well.
There were so many different families that came out and it was amazing to see them light up!
After the service we were able to meet some of the local people and listen to their needs, then head back to our base to prepare ourselves for the rest of the week. We would be spending each day sharing the gospel, proving necessities, teaching children, building, and loving on 3 different villages.
Here, we are mixing concrete so we can lay the foundation to another building beside their school. The school is the blue building to the left.
We also had some “girl time” and brought some nail polish to paint nails.
We also played a lot of soccer!!
Whenever you would take our your camera, the kids would flock to you and say “picture, picture!” At first I was really confused as to why they wanted to be in all the pictures, but then I realized that they don’t know what they look like!! In america, we grow up surrounded by cameras and mirrors and know exactly what we look like. I can think back on my life and know what I looked like throughout all stages of my life, but they can’t. These pictures are the only way to see their reflection.
The biggest lesson the Lord taught me on this trip was to truly be thankful and put things into perspective. It’s one thing to hear and read about these places, but until you actually go and walk through someone else’s daily life you will never fully understand. The picture below is what a typical house looked like in all of the villages we visited.
It is really easy for me to pout about everything that God isn’t doing my way. All he has to do is remind me of this place and I can immediately be thankful for every single trial I walk through because my trials are nowhere near these this. I have a roof, protection, food, education, safety, running water, and clean clothes.
We were serving lunch one afternoon and this was the line. We really thought we wouldn’t have enough food for everyone, but God always provides! We had exactly enough to feed everyone.
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Jesus said, “have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about 5 thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
When they had all had enough to eat he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
More soccer took place…
Sunburned faces after a long day in the heat, but so worth it!
The next day it was time for another village.
I will NEVER complain about a bathroom again.
The children were carrying their chairs to the bible study lesson so they could sit down!
We walked around and invited all the children to come listen to our bible study and all the adults to come to their own bible lesson. We had a great turn out!
I am so glad God took Taylor and I to Nicaragua together. I really got to experience and understand the joy and light that radiated from Taylor whenever he would talk about his experiences. We cannot wait to return one day and continue to spread the good news because this was truly life changing.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matthew 28:19