I am a disciple of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Although I grew up going to church with my parents, the Lord touched my heart in a real and personal way, and I accepted Christ as my Savior 14 years ago. Psalm 73:25 says "Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you." This is the cry of my heart as I seek to follow the Lord. In 2009, the Lord called me to serve Him in Diriamba, Nicaragua... and I invite you to join me on this adventure.

Yo soy una discipula de nuestro Dios y Salvador Jesucristo. Aunque crecí yendo a la iglesia con mis padres, tome la decision personalpara aceptar Cristo como mi salvador hace 14 años. Salmos 73:25 dice <<¿A quién tengo yo en los cielos sino a ti? Y fuera de ti nada deseo en la tierra.>> Esto es el anhelo de mi corazón. En 2009 Dios me llamó a servirle en Diriamba, Nicaragua, y ahora te invito unirse conmigo en esta adventura...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

On the Move, and Back Again

Well, true to form it has been a while since I have updated my blog, but I blame it on all the traveling I have been able to do. At the beginning of August I was able to head home to Colorado to visit family, friends, and the local church. Afterward, the opportunity came up for me to go an visit a friend from college where she and her husband are working with YWAM in Spain. After about two months out of the country, Nicaragua is the place where I lay my head again.

Time in Colorado:
I jumped between Colorado Springs and Alamosa, and as Ecclesiastes 3 says, there was a time for everything. I would type out Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, but it is a bit long, so I will just encourage you to pull out your Bible and read it. I spent time playing (going to a Sky Sox game,  Elitches with my brother, and  floating down the Rio Grande to name a few). I also spent time working (my yard was in need of some TLC and I sanded and painted the deck with the help of a couple of friends). I spent time laughing as well as crying, and time sharing as well as listening. The directors of Str8way and I were able to get together and have a little pow-wow about ministry, and I also had the opportunity to share about the ministry God is doing in Quebracho with the Church family of River of Life. I finished up my time in Colorado with my mom and dad. Mom and I are now puzzle ninjas.



Time in Spain:
Next I was off to Malaga, Spain to visit my friend Naomi who I had not seen since her wedding about seven years ago. I got to meet her two awesome kiddos and the beach was just a 10 minute walk from the house. We visited an aquarium, and a botanical garden, went for tapas (spanish appetizers) and churros with hot chocolate. To top off all of the Spanish adventures and goodies, we of course got to have some good heart to hearts and catch up on life.


Welcome Home:
After all of the traveling, it was back to Nicaragua. Andrea and Pastor Eliut met me at the airport and the next day was just spent resting because of course one always needs a vacation from their vacation! On Friday evening Luis (the guy helping me with the pre-teen ministry) called and said he had something important to talk to me about with the ministry but it needed to be at my house the following day, where the girls wouldn't see us talking before group. I was pretty nervous, about what possibly could have happened while I was gone. To top it off one of my girls called to ask if he had talked to me yet because he had told them he had a complaint to tell me about. Well... it turns out they are just good at covering up a surprise, because on Saturday I came back from walking the dogs, expecting to have the chat with Luis, but instead I was greeted by Luis with all of the girls, who came to surprise me with a Nicaraguan lunch to welcome me home!

So... since I have been home, we had a lock-in at the church with the youth and pre-teens who were preparing a drama, and we took second place in theater at a talent night another church held. We also had a baby presented in the church, and I have been out visiting all of the families in the community. This week we are also starting a new Bible study here at the house, and continue working on the devotional project for teachers...

Friday, July 19, 2013

HAPPY CAMP! (Campo Alegria sounds way better)... and the Result of it...

About a month ago, I, along with my kids in Quebracho, received the invitation to attend a three day summer camp near Rivas, Nicaragua. It was an amazing blessing, and something the kids in Quebracho had never experienced before...

Here's how it all came about:
Don and Jacque (other missionaries working with Str8way Ministries here in Nicaragua) were invited by Jeff and Erinn to take their kids from El Puente to Campo Alegria. (Happy Camp in English... sounds better in Spanish right?) Jeff, Erinn, and their three kids have lived in Managua (the capital of Nicaragua) for the past year, and are getting ready to go on staff as missionaries with FCA. Their home church in Maryland was planning to send a team of youth on a mission trip to host the camp. As Don and Jacque were working out the details with Jeff and Erinn, they discovered that there was a conflict in the scheduling, and they were not going to be able to attend with their kids. So... Jacque, being the loving sister in Christ that she is, thought of me and my niños out in Quebracho and suggested to Jeff and Erinn that maybe our group would be a good alternative. A few days later I met up with Jeff and Erinn, and we decided it would be a good fit for everyone. The invitation was in place...
Just the beginning:
Here's where my work began. I now had the task of visiting all of the families in Quebracho to ask permission to take their kids away with me  and  Pastor Eliut for 3 days. I visited 17 families in two days. The goal was to have 25 kids who would attend camp. At the end of the time allotted to decide, we had a total of 16 hesitant yeses. So, I began the follow-up visits. I had known that it was going to be tough. The parents in Quebracho are protective of their kids, but what surprised me was the fear that the enemy had put in them. They were worried, that this group from the States, was really coming to sell their children. After many visits and much prayer, the day of the departure came, and we had a total of 24 niños who would attend camp, with the condition that one woman from the barrio would accompany us. (I guess to make sure we got a fair price for their kids? haha. Ok, it's not funny.  a little? maybe?)
Here I want to make some shout outs. First and foremost, the shout out goes to the Lord. I thank and praise Him for safe travel to and from camp, and for having His merciful hand over us to prevent injuries and sicknesses. I praise Him because I had been praying that He orchestrate exactly who would participate in the camp. Arriving at camp we divided into four teams. With our 24 kids, we had exactly six who were little ones, six who were a bit older, and 12 pre-teens. In all of my worry and stress, the Lord knew exactly what He was doing! (as usual!!!)

Which leads me to my second shout out to my niños. All of the teams and visitors that I have had always compliment me on how well-behaved and enjoyable my kids are. This trip proved to be no exception. They all got along and were respectful while enjoying their time. I believe that they also made this a great experience for the team that hosted the camp.

And that brings me to my  shout out and thank you to the team from Maryland that hosted camp. They did an AMAZING job! I have never worked with a team that was so organized and prepared. The theme of camp was Jonah and the Whale. They had art projects, group games, and stories (not to mention giant inflatable whales!) that went with the theme. We also got to sing, eat, and play in the lake. The camp was located right on the beach! The team always had the activities prepared. The transitions were smooth. And, the team seemed to all get along really well.  They were also incredibly generous and gave a soccer ball and a Bible to each child at the end of camp. When I asked the kids about their favorite parts of camp they told me they loved all of it! But some specifics that they mentioned were the food. They got to eat full meals at every meal time. Normally in Quebracho they probably eat a semi full meal at lunch time, and then dinner and breakfast are a few bites of whatever was left from lunch. Not always the case, but common. Another favorite from camp was the singing. And, the overwhelming favorite... playing in the water!!!
My final shout out goes to Jeff and Erinn for taking a chance with us! It was an amazing experience for the kids that they will never forget!!!


The Ministry Result from Campo Alegria:
About a month ago, I had told Pastor Eliut, that I would not be continuing as the leading lady for children's church. I felt that for others to have their shot at leading ministry, I needed to step back. Andrea and I have also been focusing a little more on the devotional book we are writing for the teachers of children's church. So... as far a my schedule goes, I seemed to have a hole. Little did I know that God already had His plans for filling it. While at camp, I saw the need we have in Quebracho for a pre-teen ministry. So, tomorrow, we will have our third meeting of LA FUENTE (the fountain) the new pre-teen ministry in Quebracho. It has been a great time of fellowship, singing, and sharing the Word of God. We are putting those new Bibles to good use!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Selling the Birthright...

This past weekend in church, Pastor Eliut began preaching on the story of Jacob and Esau. It's a story many of us are familiar with. Found in Genesis  chapters 25 and 27, we see that one day, because of his hunger  and impatience, Esau sold his birthright for a plate of food. Later on in chapter 27, we see it actually fulfilled when Isaac unwittingly blesses Jacob. It made me think. I've heard the story before. I've thought about the foolishness of Esau. But now it begs the personal application...
Have I sold out for something small and unworthy? 
Have you? 
I would venture to guess that we haven't traded the kingdom of heaven for a literal plate of food. But have we asked for something insignificant, or made a choice in haste, that perhaps caused us to forfeit the true blessing that the Lord had prepared for us? Because according to Romans 8:17 we are heirs of God and co-heirs of Christ. We have a rich heritage. We have an inheritance...
May the Lord help us to keep our eyes centered on Him, and may we not give up our birthright for something that, frankly, just isn't even close to worth it...