Trip update from Nicaragua, Briarwood Fellows minister to local children
From Katie Willis, Briarwood Fellows: March 2014
A trip to Nicaragua was not part of the plan.
But to me, learning that we would be traveling to another country for a week was a complete surprise. My initial reaction was excitement, as I had never spent time out of the country.
This was quickly followed by fear, as I had never been on a mission trip, let alone one that would take me so far out of my comfort zones. But as He’s prone to do, the Lord worked in me and through me, and the week became fruitful in a multitude of ways.
We drove two hours through beautiful countryside to our destination of Estelí.
After a brief overview of the week’s schedule, my first Nicaraguan dinner, and a surprisingly restful night at our hotel, our first full day began.
Three of the days we were there consisted of door-to-door evangelism in the morning (in groups of 3 or 4 plus a translator), a traditionally lengthy lunch at midday (a habit I firmly believe should be adopted by Americans), and Bible club for kids in the afternoons.
The Bible clubs were held at a church in the barrios (neighborhoods) we had visited during the morning evangelism time, and the kids in attendance belonged mostly to the families we had shared the Gospel with in the morning. We had singing and worship, craft time, Bible stories, and soccer games.
The other three days we found ourselves doing various forms of ministry, almost always in the form of sharing the Gospel or playing with children. It was not at all what I expected it to be, because I had not expected anything. I started the week fully trusting the Lord to work and foolishly being surprised when I actually saw Him working.
After a free day exploring the city of Managua and an airport adventure that ended in a sleepless night on the terminal floor, we returned safe and sound to Birmingham.
I did not come home with a heart broken for the country of Nicaragua. I did not come home and feel that the Lord was calling me to leave the States and return to Central America permanently. I did not come home and feel overwhelmed by the reality of life in a third world country.
What I did come home with was a heart that realized, arguably for the first time, just how inadequate I truly am.
Nothing that I did during that week was of me. No good that I did came from me. No love that I showed was produced of my own accord; I love because He first loved me. I love because the goodness and graciousness of God allows me to.
I love because Christ has chosen, beyond my understanding, to bring me into His family and to use me in the furthering of His Kingdom.
I could just as easily have been one of the Nicaraguan women we met whose husbands had left them, children were sick, and faith had long since been abandoned. I could just as easily have been entangled in the snares of false teaching and false religion.
I could just as easily have been utterly hopeless in so many ways. But God.
God’s Work in Nicaragua:
How beautiful a thing it was to see so many people who had so little by the worlds standards and simultaneously had everything by the only Standards that matter.
- Pray with me for the Nicaraguan people.
- Pray with me for the pastors and missionaries at work there.
- And pray with me that the Lord would break us of thinking that we can do it on our own. He made it so that we don’t have to. Rest in that.