Over the coming weeks, a few BCM students will share about their time in Nicaragua. Here’s the first installment.
Story by: Grace Johnson, Lee University Junior
The following will attempt to recount the wonderful experiences from our recent trip to Nicaragua. Warning: the descriptions may cause envious or melancholy feelings due to a lack of one’s personal involvement in said trip. Please try to envision everything as if you were there yourself—walking the same streets, tasting the same food, holding the same small bunny rabbits, etc. And please do not fret because you can rest in the assurance that we will be returning to this lovely country in the future.
Let me open with how thankful I am to have gone with such a great team. Everyone was placed on this team for a reason and contributed in a unique and meaningful way; it would not have been the same trip without each specific individual. Unity is something we prayed for before we left the States, and God definitely answered that. Next I am thankful for Open Eyes Ministry who made the entire trip possible—housed us, fed us, transported us, interpreted us, yadda yadda. It’s a beautiful program, operated for the sole purpose of being the hands and feet of Jesus.
Each day consisted of three teams going out into different small towns surrounding the greater city of Granada. Our objective was to deliver a food provision to families and share the Gospel with each household with whom we had the privilege of interacting. Each BCMer had the opportunity to speak about Jesus and what He had done in his or her life. We had the opportunity to plant seeds and see many people come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. No team was ever turned away from a house but on the contrary, was accepted warmly to sit in comfy plastic lawn chairs in an outside living room of sorts (just a common example).
One team, appropriately named the Freestyle Team, did not have set appointments with specific families, but instead walked around to random houses and simply began speaking to the people about their lives. We had no food to bring, but we did have a wonderful story to tell. The other teams visited families who were aware we came with the local church and were prepared to hear something religious. I now realize how special it is to have witnessed people coming to Jesus without them being pre-planned visits. Jesus is pretty cool.
This was an unforgettable trip. It was a time for reflection into our own lives and into our personal relationships with Christ. It was a time to get out of your comfort zones and be bold to share the Gospel (whether in English or in Spanish). It was a time to run around a church building with a bunch of other Nicaraguans as we sang “I am free” in Spanish. It was a time to make new friends or to strengthen old ones. It was a time to put aside your cell phones and other electronics (for the majority of the day, anyway) to focus on people. It was a time for hugs and tears and prayer. Lots of prayer. God is good.
In other news: Our interpreters were terrific—patient, funny, loving, and godly. Rice and beans NEVER get old! Who really needs Air Conditioning? Paleaaasssee. Have you ever seen a giant, white, red-eyed bunny? No? Lucky you. If we didn’t know the Romans Road, we got familiar real quick. Chacos, chacos, and more chacos. Whistling is an art—squish your bottom lip between your finger and thumb, hold slightly up and out, suck in air, and tadda! You feel like an idiot? Good, you’re on the right track, keep practicing. At least two people can fit on a regular bike. I might even consider it the standard mode of transportation.
Random words I learned:
mantequilla- butter chilfar- whistle merced- favor misericordia- mercy durazno- peach cascada- waterfall grillo- cricket chancho-pig pavo- duck lagartija- lizard dragonfly- libélula
If I could say one negative thing about this trip, it would be the length. It should have been much longer. But there’s always the hope of next year!
To God be the glory. A Dios sea la gloria.