For now at least. Well guys, this will be my final blog about this summer in Nicaragua! I’m sure I will write here and there, but not as much as I did this past summer.
I first want to thank each and every one of you for your prayers, financial support, and also for the encouragement you have poured out to me over the year. It has meant so much to me and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!
I can’t believe eight weeks has come and gone just like that; my time in Nicaragua went a lot faster than I had anticipated. I went in with a sense of peace knowing that the Lord was going to be with me every step of the way, while also having flashbacks to my college experience of leaving for Mars Hill and coming home the next day. Going to Nicaragua was a huge leap of faith for me. I was trusting God and he definitely showed up during the planning period, while I was there, and even now after Nicaragua. I honestly expected that I would be homesick and that the time would pass by super slow because I was counting down the days to go home. God had something totally different in store for me. He told me, “Do not fear for I am with you.” I never felt uneasy about anything.
Once I got adjusted to Nica and got my schedule organized, I hit the ground running. The first few tutoring lessons were rough; rough in a way of not knowing the language, not being comfortable, and having to put myself out of my comfort zone. This led me to become frustrated and uncertain of what to do. I struggled with fear for the first couple of weeks, which hindered me from learning the language and I realized that I needed boldness to speak. It was such a simple concept; it should have been so easy. The fear didn’t come from being afraid of what people were going to say, failure, or of them to not being able to understand what I was trying to say. I began praying for God to give me boldness to speak; it didn’t matter if it was a simple sentence or something I wanted to express to a child in tutoring, I just needed to speak. The Lord gave me the boldness to speak and all my fears of failing were gone! Cadence and Lisa always told me you only get out as much as you put in. I am still not where I would like to be, but I’m speaking and forming thoughts.
Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Week six was probably my hardest week while in Nicaragua. The week started off so good because I was able to welcome the team that came from my home church on Friday. It was great to be able to see and catch up with them. Monday and Tuesday are our off days, so during the sixth week, we went volcano boarding on Monday. It was again super awesome! After volcano boarding we headed to the beach for a day to relax. The team, the other interns, Lisa, Cadence, and I went to dinner at Hollywood pizza, which was a great time of fellowship. After all the fun, Lisa and I stayed in Leon for the night because on Tuesday we were headed to Managua for Lydia’s doctor’s appointment.
I have talked about Lydia in past blogs, but incase you missed them Lydia is a little girl I tutored on Thursday afternoons. She lives in Santa Matilda and was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome two years ago. Lisa and I got up early on Tuesday morning to head to Managua. It was about a two-hour bus ride. We got to the hospital and only one of us were able to go back to see Lydia. I sat in the waiting room so Lisa could go back and understand what the doctor was telling Lydia’s mom. While in the waiting room, I prayed for Jesus’ healing in this little girl’s life…that he would heal and protect her. After about an hour, Lisa, Lydia, and Lydia’s mom came out and needed to get her medicine. After getting her medicines, we were headed to the bus terminal to hop on a bus to return back to Chichigalpa.
On the bus ride, Lisa and I had our one-on-one, and I asked Lisa how the appointment went. She told me it didn’t go well and told me that the doctors said her kidneys were shutting down and only 38% is functioning. She said that better nutrition at home would slow down the process and give Lydia another 4-5 years before going on dialysis and a kidney transplant. If nutrition does not change then she will need a transplant within a year or two. After hearing these news, I was heart broken and did not understand. How could anybody ever tell a seven year old they most likely would not make it to their 10th birthday? It isn’t something you think about. I ask for you help. I want you to join me in praying for Lydia. Pray for healing in Jesus’ name and that she will continue to find joy. She is so near and dear to my heart.
On Wednesday we did tutoring in Nuevo Amonocer and went to youth. On Thursday we had our worship with everybody that was there. Those past few days were rough and I got very little sleep. Those past few days I had a headache and if you know me, you know that is a scary time for me. I told Emily and Jen the story in the beginning of the summer and they both told me to tell them when it happens. I tried to wait two days to let it subside on its own without having to tell anybody, but it never did. I ended up telling Emily and Jen Thursday morning. During family worship, I noticed this crazy rash that was itchy and all over me. After worship, I told Cadence about the headache and the rash. We decided it would be best for me to stay home from ministry and rest. I was so sad because Thursdays are my days to be with Lydia. All I wanted to do was go and hear her joyful laugh and play with her, but I was not able to. I ended up having to take two more days of ministry off and had to make a visit to the clinic.
I have a lot of favorite stories but the one I am about to tell is probably one of the top three. It was on of the last couple tutoring Wednesdays at Nuevo Amanacer. Berto and I were ending our tutoring session and he was showing me something on his white board. I was trying so hard to understand what he was telling me, but I honestly had no idea. I realized later that he was showing me how to count numbers by ten. During the time he was showing me and trying to explain, he was being so encouraging and never gave up trying to teach me. It made me so happy to see him have that passion of trying to teach me what he was learning in the classroom. I wish I could tell this story better but it was one you either had to see a video or be there in person.
Thank you guys so much again for your love and support! It means so much to me! I know this blog doesn’t sum up my whole trip because if it did, it would be a million pages long. With that being said, if you would like to hear more about my time while being there just ask. I am so willing to share everything with you.
You may contact me via email or cell phone.
Cell number: 704-626-8722
I will also be speaking at my church as a whole at some point. I am not sure when yet. Brittani Banks will be speaking with me. She was on the World Race 3n9 this past years. We are still trying to figure out a date!
- A continual smooth transition/ time of processing
- For The Lord to guide me
- Lydia and her family.
- The villages I was in.
- Cadence and Lisa (The two awesome ladies who led the internship. They are over the sponsorship program)
Berto and I at our final tutoring session in Nuevo Amonocer!
Our last day for craft time! The kids made binoculars and we went on a nature walk!
Jen, Praying Rosa and I. This woman was so dedicated to God and her community.