Monday, April 2, 2012

Jesus Worldwide: Nicaragua

From Katie: This week we're headed to one of my favorite places in the world: Nicaragua. We are blessed to be able to do it through the eyes and camera lens of my friend Jessica. <>< Katie

In early March a team of 30 college students (mostly nursing majors) and three leaders journeyed to Jinotega, Nicaragua. The main focus of our spring break mission trip was to do vision screenings and distribute eye glasses. This allowed us to care for the needs of many Nicaraguans and open doors for further spiritual conversations to happen.
Our team put on three days worth of vision screenings in the areas surrounding Jinotega. Stations were set up for blood pressure and check-in, testing each person’s prescription, fitting them with their new glasses, getting new clothing or shoes, and the prayer room. Each member played an important role in the day.
We had so many first time overseas travelers and first time mission trip participants. It was very cool to be part of them experiencing culture shock and so many new situations throughout the week. The Lord was faithful to meld our team together and help us to work together as one unit.
One experience that impacted me very strongly was two afternoons that I got to spend with some families from the city’s landfill. I’ve been to dump communities before and seen poverty across the world. This time was not terribly different. There were people living on very little in very tough conditions. The thing that was so dumbfounding was the spirit of hope that existed in the believers. They had so few things to their name but they were beyond wealthy in the hope and joy that penetrated all the stinky, dusty, dirty clothes they wore. I was encouraged and challenged by their spirit. If they can be so wealthy with what few things they do have, what excuse do I have not to praise the Lord every day of my life?
I was absolutely blessed beyond belief to be back in Jinotega. I was able to continue many of the friendships that I had begun last year and gained many more brothers and sisters in Christ!
"The church means a lot to me. It is a place where I can find God more, a place I respect very much, and a holy place. Please pray that the church does not fall and that it will be blessed." - Nelson, Jinotega native

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