Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Nicaragua Trip

It's been a week since returning to the States, and most of me feels very normal. There is a part of me, however, that is forever altered. I don't know how to describe this part of me, except to say that a new dimension of consciousness has been awakened.

It's like making friends with someone from another part of the country: you return home and everything is the same, but there's a part of your mind and heart that keep thinking about that faraway friend, and you hope that that friend is going on with their life and maybe thinking of you, too.

That's how I feel, except about a country. Maybe that's why this feeling is bigger and more persistent than when I moved back from Kentucky. In Kentucky, there is a church and there are families that I call home. In Nicaragua, there is an island that beckons.

When considering how to best describe the trip and fully capture the depth of God's goodness, I was struck by how easy it is to describe what the team did on the trip, but how hard it is to describe what changed in us as a result of the trip. On the one hand, it's frustrating, because I want to be able to point to this trip and say, "That was when God did *this* in me and my life was never the same!" On the other hand, however, I know that God's works are good and deep and sometimes too deep to be articulated properly. And I'm ok with that.

Here's the gist of our trip: we flew down, spent the night in a hotel in Managua,  took a 3 hour bus to the ferry, rode an hour+ ferry to Ometepe, then drove 45 minutes to our hosts' home. That week we worked on 2 different sites: one was the foundation for a big house, and the other was a small house that was almost completed when we left. A few of us also led a Vacation Bible School for the local kids. In the evenings, we drove 40 minutes to the orphanage+school where two other teams were working, and we had dinner and devotions all together.

When a ten-day trip can be summarized into a paragraph, it seems insignificant. But I know we accomplished a lot physically. For example, to build the foundation, we moved rocks. Literally.

                         photo courtesy of Stella

And we made re bar. Lots and lots and lots of re bar.

                              photo courtesy of Stella

Aaaaand we mixed a crap-ton of cement.

                                photo courtesy of Caleb G.

When all is said and done, we helped the construction team a lot. We did for them in a week what would have taken them alone probably two or three weeks.

For VBS {pictures in a future post!}, we had kids come, memorize a verse of Scripture, sing some songs, color pictures, and jump rope. Oh, and eat snack. Really simple. But the kids welcomed us into their hearts joyfully, and I know my heart will never be the same.

One of the little boys made me a card before I left. Sadly, water got on it and it's slightly less readable {and his name is erased- so sad!}. But I will take a picture and share it with you eventually. It's so sweet. Definitely teared up when he gave it to me.

What more can I say? We went and served where God had us serve. We built and loved and were used by God, and even in this I don't understand what all transpired. I just know that I'm a different person, and that I can't wait to go back next year.

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