Not terribly long after coming home from Nicaragua, I decided that I needed to view my time there the way the Lord saw it, so I printed many of my favorite moments and spelled out joy. I surrounded it with notes from my team and baptism photos and wrote ‘choose’ above it. This is the wall that faces my bed.
This is a blog that I’ve been meaning to write, but I haven’t taken the time just do it (as Shia LaBeouf would say).
Truth: Nicaragua was a hard 3 month for me, but now that I’m looking back 8 months (WOW) I want to tell you my long list of moments that still bring tears to my eyes.
JOY looks like:
- Seeing my girls be bold and share their testimonies, sometimes for the first time, and step into freedom
- Seeing them speak truth to one another and take those moments of personal growth
- 1,2,3 baptisms in a volcano lake. That’s not an everyday experience.
- One particular moment when my co-leader gave me the deepest hug when I was struggling with the idea of going back home
- Nightly talks about God, theology, and many other deep things
- Dutch blitz, banana grams, skippo, etc
- Watching Les Mis with someone willing to sing it obnoxiously with me (real bonding)
- Coffee and controversy
- Likewise getting to share my passion for economics and Libertarianism
- Feedback affirming my need for self-care
- The freedom I saw this team begin to walk in, the gifts that were released, the presence of the Lord being experienced
- ALL THE ONE ON ONES
- Warring in the Spirit alongside those beauties
- Seeing them share their passions boldly and unapologetically
- They encouraged me to navigate love and compassion in tangible ways
- A weekend in Somoto Canyon where I gained an amazing friend
- Kayaking. Waterfall hikes. Playing in the Lake.
- Ice Cream with a friend whom God happened to place in the same country at the same time.
- Killing/Getting rid of spiders with or for me. You know who you are. God bless you.
- Seeing their continual pursuit of the kiddos and their desire to love them well.
- The notes they wrote me, the poem I received, the love they poured out.
- Pinatas, team times, dance parties.
- Deuteronomy 1:30-31–The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31 and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.’
When I say I’ve been meaning to write this blog, I mean since like May, but now seems like a perfect time, especially with all the sentimental posts I’m seeing from them. My time in Nica was messy. I don’t think I should minimize that. It’s a significant part of the story.
But I also want to share some of the moments that kept me going, because this is what God was up to and what he was doing. The truth is that in Nica, God poured out truth to me daily as a Father would do to his daughter. He graciously allowed me to walk three months with amazing women and see the light of Christ burning bright within them. He called me to give more of myself in the last year and a half than I’ve ever had to give before. He asked me to walk in vulnerability and honesty even when all I wanted to do was self-protect and close myself off. If you ask me how Nica was, I will always say, “It was hard, but it was good.”
To my Nica Chicas,
You each are a gift. Not just to me, but more importantly to those around you. You each have a place in this world where you are influential. You each have people looking to you to know Christ better. I pray that you continue to walk in freedom and walk towards Christ. I pray that you won’t settle for less than what the Lord has for you. I pray that you abide in the peace of the Holy Spirit. I pray that your life will overflow with freshly baked donuts, paletons, free park wifi, and those ulcer-inducing spicy chips that I forgot the name of…and that wherever you are, you would know that you are deeply loved by your Father in heaven.
Yall are the ish. Like Fr fr.
The Lord did a good thing.