Post Nic

Well we have now been back home for 3 days.  I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that I am missing Nicaragua more and more each day.  I miss the people, the countryside, the smells, and the simplicity.  As soon as I got back to work yesterday, I was reminded of the hustle and bustle of us Americans.  Constantly checking our emails, co-workers demanding instant results, phones ringing off the hook; all just to improve our chances in living out the “American Dream”.  What dream is that?  To be better than everybody else?  To have more money than our neighbor?  To have more stuff than our friends?  To have a bigger house than Derek Jeter?

After visiting Nicaragua all these “Dreams” are put into perspective.  Yes, I love all of my stuff, but how much of it is necessary?  Why do I need a 3 bedroom house for just me?  Couldn’t I drive a more practical car?  While in Nic, I lived out of a suitcase for a week.  What I could fit in it were the only things that I had.  And I was pretty content… Content like the people who live in the Barrios.  Everything they own is lying around the dirt floor of a 10×10 shack.  I have more possessions in one closet than they do their entire home.

So what is my point?  My point is I am ready for a new dream.  A dream where our church is focused on missions.  Let’s not get excited and go to Nicaragua once a year.  Let’s make reaching the lost a year round priority.  Is that not what Jesus commanded us to do?  What if we went to Nicaragua three times a year, branched out into Honduras maybe, or Guyana?  What if WOW church was able to visit places all over Spartanburg and Greenville, not just D5?  What about Haiti, they are still rebuilding from the massive earthquake, or the African plains.  Our calling is great but our faith and obedience is small.  The commandment to go unto all nations is not part of the “American Dream”.  I know it isn’t for me.  Even as I write this, as excited as I would be to go to all these places, I get nervous about how great a task it is.  I fear that this new dream could become a nightmare because my faith is the size of a mustard seed.  But what can God do with faith the size of a mustard seed?
I was talking with a great friend of mine yesterday about the vision our church could have for missions.  I asked, will our church get on board and how will we afford it?  She gave a great answer.  What if everyone tithed at least an extra $10 each month that was directly for missions.  Some people could afford to do more, myself included.  Think about how quickly our pot would grow with money destined to send DFB Servants into the fields, buy supplies to build houses and schools in Nicaragua, feed starving families, take the Gospel to the nations!  Does that give you chill bumps, I know it does me.

So what are we waiting for?  Lord change me, Lord change my church…

Final Day in the Barrio

Well, we have completed our work in the barrios.  We built a school, started an addition to one, and started construction on a third larger school.  Several homes were repaired as well as a few bathrooms were built.  I would say that the construction portion of our trip was a huge success.  VBS was taught each day and other teams went door to door taking the Gospel of Jesus to these people.  It was so incredible to see what God would do each day through us.  Words cannot fully describe the love and affection our team had for the children and the children had for us.  They were so grateful for everything we gave them.

For the construction in Cristo Rey, we took a slight chance and hired a group of what in America we would consider gang members or trouble makers.  They were very hard workers and over the course of the two days really warmed up to us and though they did not accept Christ, it was obvious that the seed was planted and their lives were begining to transform.  When we parted ways, the one guy I would consider the roughest hugged each one of us.  How cool is that…

After we left the barrio we went to the local tourist market to buy some Nicaraguan wares and have a little down time.  Everyone is exhausted from the hard work this week.  Tomorrow we will go to Montilimar on the Pacific coast and have a little fun relaxing on a resort and in the ocean.

God has really blessed me on this trip and I cant wait to get home and share the many stories with all my friends and family.  Anyone that is able should come down here on one of our trips.  I promise you will be forever changed.  When you see how happy these people are in the by our standards awlful living conditions, you really get a sense for how blessed and spoiled we as Americans are.

As always, everyone is doing great and sends their love home.  Home, that is where we will be in just two days… a home with four solid walls, a roof that doesnt blow off in the wind, air conditioning, plenty of food, a bathroom, and a soft bed.  I know when I lay down Saturday night in my bed, the 20,000 living in Cristo Rey in 10×10 pieced together shacks, with no bathroom or amentities, sleeping on the ground will be in my prayers.