Back on US soil… I’ll admit it was refreshing but also a little bit of a weird feeling. Especially for me since I stretched across both teams and was in Nicaragua 18 days I guess. For the first time I won’t be eating gallopinto for at least one meal (I had an 18 day streak going). For those of you reading this that were on one of the teams… you’ll laugh to know that I had to remember to actually flush the toilet paper when I got home.
We had a pretty easy day for our travel day home… other than waking up at 4 in the morning. That’s never fun. But we made it out of the Managua Airport half asleep and without breakfast, then we landed in Miami and it was lunch time. Fortunately this year, we had enough of a layover not to have to run through immigrations and customs trying to catch our next flight. Some took the opportunity to catch up on some sleep and we all had tough decisions to make about what was going to be our first taste of US food… most chose pizza. One other thing we noticed was how cold we all were in the Miami Airport… from this strange phenomenon called air conditioning. A hot shower will also probably be an adjustment.
I know I leave a little piece of my heart in Nicaragua every time I leave (this year was number 5). I suspect after going on enough missions there I won’t have any heart left to bring home and I’ll just have to stay and minister there! God has and continues to grow inside me a heart for the nations… so that the world can hear, know and experience the good news of the Gospel of grace.
God deserves all the praise and glory for what He did through both of our teams in Nicaragua. We train and prepare as best we can, but ultimately it is God who chooses to work through us. We don’t have anything to offer other than our availability. And God likewise deserves all the praise and glory for what He did in our lives. I can honestly say that everyone on both teams was powerfully impacted by our time in Nicaragua – the time we spent with God everyday and also what God showed us and taught us about Himself.
We had an opportunity to live out Jesus’ mission. In Luke 4, he reads a prophesy about Himself from Isaiah that says, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Our worship of Almighty God must propel us forward with Jesus’ mission at heart. I’m so grateful to Wildwood for being a “sending” church and being a church that not only supports, but values student mission trips. And I wait with anxious expectation for the opportunity to return next year!