The Lady Bisons are spending seven days on a mission trip to Managua, Nicaragua as the team of 13 serves the people there.
Today we got to spend the majority of the day in a small fishing community near the Pacific Ocean called San Rafael Del Sur. This is where the most recent church was planted and where a local special needs center is located. The past couple days have been full of so many fun healthy energetic children that wanted to jump around, play soccer, and just love on us. The few children that we got to see at the special needs center were very different from that. The first child we got to meet was Avie. This precious girl could not even stand due to her lack of strength. She suffers from cerebral palsy. Words cannot describe how much my heart broke to see this 12-year old girl that could not do anything on her own. Since she has also been having digestive issues, her body is only disintegrating more and more quickly and she is now only skin and bones.
Another kid that we were blessed with today was Fredmond. The smile on this kid could brighten anyone's day. Fredmond suffers from a condition that has left him unable to communicate, stand, or even relax his muscles. Knowing that there was not much we could do to help him, I leaned over and began singing "Jesus loves you" to him. He grabbed my hand and began to smile the kind of smile that is too big for your face.
While we were at the special needs center, we were able to mop floors, clean up trash, clean their therapy pool, and clean out the ball pit they had for the kids. Being able to serve in these small ways seemed to really mean a lot to the workers of the clinic. As we were leaving, they had informed us of all the needs that the center was in need of. These needs seemed like simple things to get, but to them it was unreasonable. My humble team instantly heard that list and wanted to find any way to provide for them. Later this evening, some of the group went to a Walmart to get as much as we could find on the list. On Thursday, we are returning to this community and we will be able to give them the supplies and finish the project list they had. We are excited to share another morning of our time with the wonderful special needs center in San Rafael.
Ines was presently surprised to hear that two of the volunteers in the center were from her home country of Germany! She shared with us that at first this was very exciting for her to have a Christian conversation with fellow Germans. When she told the two women that we were here for mission work, they were instantly turned off because they were not Christians. Ines told us that there is a common misconception of Christ in Germany and many Germans do not understand what it means to have a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus. In this moment, Ines felt called by God to share with them the gospel! She told them about the love and grace that Christ has to offer and that Jesus is the reason why we were here to serve. We may never know if what Ines said stirred these women's hearts, but I ask that you join us in praying that they see the Lord’s goodness.
After leaving the kids, we walked around the village and prayed over the leaders of the local church and their families. These families have given their lives to the church and are such servants to the Lord. I admire their faith so much and will continue to pray for their hearts and for what God has planned for them.
Our drive back to the house was filled with the sharing of many of the team’s life stories. Shannon O’Brien has asked each of us to share our story of how God has made us new and what He has done throughout our lives. As I am going into my third year with these wonderful girls, I was blown away at how strong, brave, and kindhearted my team is. The stories of how the Lord has transformed my team is proof that there is a God and He is very much still alive and present each and every day!
As the middle of the week approaches, we have decided that we want to maximize being fully present in each situation the Lord has laid in front of us. Therefore, as a team we are fasting from our phones/social media posts for the next 24 hours. Please join us in praying for the people God brings before us and our mission hosts, and that we may make the most of every opportunity. We look forward to sharing with you in days to come all that God does!