Because by his power he has given us everything necessary for life and righteousness, (2 Peter 1:3)
Daniel at Cerro Negro
Monday, 6/20/16: I’m in Bethel; thank you, Lord.
I thank God for the smooth flight and travel to to Bethel and that I made it safely. Everything was seemingly perfect! Since I got in late, I didn’t speak with anyone from the team — just went straight to bed after getting to the Mission Center. There will be a bible study to lead and, before then, lots of other things to do.
Note: The team from Indianapolis and I started each day with coffee and a 30-minute devotional before breakfast. Marty, who heads the team from Indianapolis, is leading us through the Book of James.
Tuesday, 6/21/16: God is teaching me here.
After breakfast we had a fruit race. We went to the market, bought fruits, and delivered them to the widows of Bethel as a surprise.
After lunch we went to Santa Maria where the guys played with the kids while the women had Bible study with women in the village.
Girl from Santa Maria
Then, we came back; and after dinner, young people from a local church came and led an event for us at the Mission Center. We worshiped, played games and enjoyed the company of each other. After they left, the team spent time together, and then went to bed to rest up for an early morning of volcano climbing.
God is teaching me here. Through a persistent feeling of loneliness and apprehension, I’m learning that his presence is sufficient for me, even though it isn’t comfortable or even fun to do His work sometimes. But He promises to give us more of Him if we seek His kingdom.
I pray. Even though I’m terrified about leading Bible study with guys I may or may not know, I recognize that He will show me more of Him. And even if I don’t know the team well, and sometimes feel alone, I understand that God will use my discomfort to bring Him glory. I have confidence that even though I long to see my friends from home, and my loved ones, this trip will be worth any apprehension.
Wednesday, 6/22/16: Living with feelings, unsettled
It’s a beautiful day. We hiked Cerro Negro, about an hour drive followed by a 45-minute hike. We enjoyed running back down the side of the mountain. After leaving Cerro Negro we ate at Hollywood Pizza and then toured the cathedral in Leon. My apprehension lingers, but it was a good day.
Cathedral in Leon
Thursday, 6/23/16: God has given us everything. Live fully for Him.
This morning our group set off with a large group of Nicaraguans in two trucks for the village of Jiquilillo. We played with the children, painting faces, throwing frisbee, and blowing bubbles.
This happened while all the sick adults and children went to a medical clinic set up by Doctor Michael. The village is right next to the ocean, and the view is beautiful. We are freshly caught fish for lunch, and it was delicious.
Fishing Boat in Jiquilillo
Late in the afternoon we drove back to the project where the team from Indianapolis began to pack up to leave the next day.
During the ride back, my friend Marcos and I talked about how people don’t want to give their lives completely to God. We talked about how God has given us everything, so we must live fully for God and not ourselves.
Thank you, Jesus. This conversation eased a little of my anxiety over leading a Bible study group the next week. I continue to pray that God will speak to me through His Holy Spirit.
After returning from Jiquilillo, we ate dinner and, since it was their last night, we got ice cream in Chichigalpa.
Friday, 6/24/16: We are the clay, and God is the potter.
After breakfast the staff at the Mission Center played the pinata game. It was fun to watch! Then, we set off for Masaya, where there is a restaurant and a huge market for shopping. [Editor’s note: Has anyone noticed that eating is a highlight of David’s day.]
We stopped at the potter’s house on the way from Masaya to Managua. There, a man in a village who mostly does pottery spoke about how God is the great potter. He showed us how he takes clay and molds it into a usable mound, constantly changing it during the process.
Finally, when clay is fired, if the potter was unable to remove enough impurities, the fire will ruin it. We are the clay, and God is the potter. He patiently removes each impurity, cleaning and changing us into who he wants us to be. Then, he takes us and molds us into what he wants.
The key is allowing him to do so, answering His call to come to Him, and dedicate our lives to be used and shaped through His plan, so that when we go through the fire of death we will come out with Him and not broken.
It was a beautiful picture of our condition and how God sees us. My prayer is that He will mold me according to His plan and not mine.
Later, after this amazing time, we went to Managua. We said goodbye to the group from Indianapolis and headed back to the project.
North Carolina State University