Perseverance and Growth in Nicaragua


Even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. (Psalm 137:10)

Enjoy this final post of a series of reports from Nicaragua by Daniel Bridges

Wednesday, 7/13/16: Growing in discipleship 

The discipleship group this day was very difficult. Something about losing the Holy Spirit through sin was brought up during group. I started to feel the weight of legalism here in Nicaragua, and it made me feel down for a while.

Then, I realized that all I am called to do is share who Jesus is and try to give them the resources to grow. It’s not up to me to change their minds about things. The Lord is in control of their hearts and not me.

After this difficult time, it was very helpful to be able to go see Ice Age with the group at the local movie theater! It was a lot of fun, and I ate a lot of popcorn.

Thursday, 7/14/16: Perseverance

After a relaxing morning, we headed off for El Trianon. There we sang songs, got to know the message, and gave a message to some of the youth.

After this we played soccer with kids in a field nearby. It was a good day, and even though I wasn’t very confident that the message I gave was good, my teammates were very encouraging!

Friday, 7/15/16: Growing in the Word

We spent the day at the Mission Center, and had our discipleship group. It was much better than the last meeting, and I was able to share Romans 7:15.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do. (Romans 7:15)

and also John 14:16, which reminds us that the holy spirit will never leave.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, (John 14:16)

They seemed to understand and agree with me, and we all said we have struggled with knowing we are saved because of sin, but then we all understood that we could not go anywhere away from God as we looked at Psalm 139. It was a great encouraging meeting.

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. (Psalm 139:7-10)

Later that night we ate ice cream with the group.

Saturday, 7/16/16: Out and about

This day was the Word Race free day and we planned a bunch of fun stuff to do with them!

Cerro Negro volcano

Cerro Negro Volcano

We started off the morning hiking the Cerro Negro Volcano. It is astounding every time you get to the top and see all of God’s glory on display, and I definitely wouldn’t mind returning for a 5th time in the coming years.

After leaving the volcano, we went to Leon to eat lunch at Hollywood Pizza, and then headed to the Parque Acuatico en Telica (Water Park in Telica). It was a blast to swim and slide with many of my friends from the US and Nicaragua.

Thelma and I would sneak up on each other in the pool and pull each other underwater. I think I won, because she screamed at one point “Esta historia continuará!” which means this will continue later, it is not over.

This day was a very relaxing and fun day, but we all were exhausted.

Sunday, 7/17/16: Sunday School with the kids

In the morning Lauren Parham, Lauren Wagoner (my fellow intern), and Ron and I went to Dr. Michael’s church.

Lauren, Lauren, and I did a Sunday School activity with the kids. It was a great morning and on the way back we stopped for iced coffee at central plaza!

Monday, 7/18/16: Goodbye to good friends

It was very sad to say goodbye to all our friends on the World Race team. They will for sure be missed.

Then, we were supposed to have discipleship group, but it stormed so no one was able to come.

During this time although, I was able to have a great conversation with Carlos. Later that night we went to a surprise birthday party for Tony’s sister Lenin. I kept going from Tony’s house to Carely’s house to hang out with her and her little sister Ayleen (who is just as crazy as Carely was when she was younger). It was a tough day, but the night went a lot better than the morning.

Tuesday, 7/19/16: Time off from a busy week

Today was the anniversary of the Sandinista revolution, so we stayed inside all day.

Buses loaded with people inside and on top are all making their way to Managua for a huge celebration. It’s always dangerous to travel on revolution day because of the traffic and drunk people, so we had a “snow day” at the Mission Center.

Later in the afternoon we went back to Bethel while the traffic was less, and said our goodbyes.

That night we watched Home Alone 2 for our “snow day”. Halfway through, our discipleship groups surprised us with Fresca, Oreos, encouraging words, and song. It was a great last day.

Wednesday, 7/20/16: Off to Managua

We set off for Managua at noon. After eating quesillos (corn tortillas with cheese, onions, and cream) I felt pretty sick in the bus, but I survived.

We stopped by the hospital and visited with Ixcel. Then, Ron, Lauren, and I went to the hotel.

Thursday, 7/21/16: Going home

My flight left Managua around 8 am, and I arrived in Atlanta around 1:30 pm.

Little did I know what lay ahead of me. I planed to leave for the beach with my brother Nathan at 6 pm when I landed in Asheville. So, timing was very important. But my flight was delayed and then cancelled. The next flight was cancelled as well.

While waiting in the help desk line, I heard a man and woman speaking with someone about renting a car to Asheville. I asked, “Are you all going to Asheville?”

“Yes,” and they had 4 seats open if anyone wanted to come. After some thought I joined the group, and traveled home with Steve and Sally.

By God’s grace we made it, and I went to the beach early the next morning with Nathan, returning yesterday the 24th.

Final thoughts

Reflecting on this whole experience, I see God’s hand in all of it.

I see God’s true sovereignty in all of life, and His provisions for my life. I look back and smile because I know that God was with me every step of the way, even if I didn’t acknowledge Him right then!

Daniel Bridges in Nicaragua, 2016

Daniel Bridges in Nicaragua, 2016

Thank you church and friends for all your prayers this summer. This trip was truly unforgettable — a profound spiritual and physical journey for me.

I am confident that the work I did was not in vain, and that God will use the words I spoke and the  verses I shared with my discipleship guys to begin a transformation in their spiritual lives.

Sincerely,

Daniel Bridges

North Carolina State University

Earlier posts in this series include…

Daniel Bridges: Live Fully for Him

Daniel Bridges: Time to Share God’s Message

I Prayed for My Heart and Read His Word

Daniel Bridges: Labor Not in Vain