I woke up thinking about the last images of the campers leaving Campo Alegria. It was such a powerful and emotional moment. The kids had their faces either pressed to the windows or had their heads sticking out of the windows with arms outstretched. I can only imagine what was being processed as they had to say goodbye. But we sent them out in true Nicaragua fashion as we chased the bus out of camp.
But after the kids left and we returned to the compound, we were looking at a new day as we turned the corner from a massive group effort where teamwork, purpose and the priority of the children was paramount to more individual time before the Lord. God took me to Matthew 23 and spoke to my heart as I challenged our team to move into a closer evaluation of our hearts before the Lord for the remainder of our time here. And so God began a good work last night during our group and family group time. But with God working, many of us felt Satan rising up against us. The spiritual battle has definitely intensified.
Today we made our pilgrimage to La Chureca (the dump) where we saw the sights, smells and got to engage up close – away from the comfort of the bus. We walked around to see first hand the living conditions. And then God opened our eyes as we climbed the hill to see the bigger picture of the dump. As I looked out and saw the masses of people rummaging through the trash, God reminded me of the verse in Matthew 9 where Jesus describes the crowd He saw as sheep – harassed and helpless without a shepherd. My heart just began to ache with a desire to help the people find the Shepherd who can lead them to life!
After our time in the dump and visiting the school, we loaded up to visit Sister Ruby, who lives and ministers just outside the dump. God definitely met us there and had a word for all of us during our time of worship and prayer. Our heart and faith was challenged to be bold on this journey God has called us join Him on. We are so grateful to Ruby for her ministry and her obedience to be used by God during our team’s visit.
God wasn’t finished with us yet as the camp team transformed into the construction team for the remainder of the day. We went over to Casa Robles (the boys home) to continue the massive painting project that was begun by our construction team. We were able to make great progress by painting the kitchen, master bedroom, one child’s room and the exterior planters, walls and entry doors. It’s hard to believe that there is still more to paint, but both teams have done amazing work there and that house has been truly transformed. We also had a great time playing with the boys and were blown away by their gratitude for our work.
Tomorrow we are so excited to be able to reconnect with our campo kids as we travel to their community of Las Brasilles. We will hopefully get to see them at their feeding program and also visit with some of the families. God truly knit our hearts together and we are excited to continue to build on the relationships that began at camp.
We appreciate the continued prayer support of our church, our student ministry, our families and the supporters of Mission Nicaragua! We love you all and will see you soon!