Hola from Nicaragua! We are having an incredible time serving alongside our Nicaraguan friends. The last two days we have spent our time fixing up an old building for use as a vocational training center. Many team members have worked countless hours painting, mixing concrete, carrying block, and moving equipment. It was very inspiring seeing young Nicaraguans even join in to be helping hands.
The diversity among this group is unprecedented with Lauren family from Calgary, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Knoxville, and Abilene. Yet from afar you would think each of us old friends. Katie Speilman was right on when she stated “It is easy to feel secluded from the rest of the company when you’re so far away. But what an amazing opportunity to get to know new Lauren family from all over the world.”
We have spent time working and playing with the children that attend Imagine Ministry’s after school program. Two young Nicaraguan brothers Tito (10 years old) and Wilbur (2 years old) have clearly captured the hearts of nearly every team member. Even though both boys have an unthinkable home life and are severely malnourished, they continue to come each day solely to help us work. Barbara Dickerson said it best when she stated “I came here thinking I would be the one serving these children, but I am amazed that I am the one who is being served and being taught so much. It is very humbling”.
It is utterly amazing to see the hard working attitudes that everyone has brought with them. To anyone else it may seem a waste of time to travel all the way to Nicaragua to paint and do manual labor, but it is clear in Matthew 25:35-60 that when we serve anyone we are actually serving Christ. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me, ‘Then the righteous will him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Each member of our team attributes this same character of serving the least. We finished the day walking home each of the children in the Imagine Ministry after school program. It was visible on the young team member’s eyes that many of our Nicaraguan friends have extremely difficult circumstances. What an opportunity as a child to learn what the rest of the world goes through and even more so how God can continue to bring true joy despite one’s circumstances. Please continue to keep those we are serving in your prayers as well as each team member as God works directly in their own lives.