Ministry Update: Snapshots of Nicaragua – Part Two
“Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” John 4:35, NASB
It feels like I’ve been working in slow motion since my return from Nicaragua. As deadlines loom and family joys occur, my focus scatters. I’m so busy contemplating one thought to the next that I struggle to accomplish daily goals.
Subsequently, I look forward to reminiscing as I write, remembering the simplicity of ministering in Nicaragua. Our goal each day consisted of sharing Christ. That’s all. Though the heat wore me out and the schedule remained full, I experienced refreshment like never before. Serving God is exhilarating!
Let’s pick up where I left off last time…
3/22/17 – God Moves at the Jail & in Solidaridad
Four jail cells—three housing men and one sheltering women—surrounded a type of courtyard. Many of the prisoners were young. Their hands clutched the bars. Their living quarters were filthy. Though the environment hung heavy with hopelessness, light broke into the darkness because Brenda and Bret offered hope in Jesus. Several believed in Christ, and many received New Testaments.
Throughout the teaching time, a young man knelt with his arm raised. Desperation etched his face while God’s truth washed over him. He believed on the Lord Jesus that day. When our team began passing out New Testaments, I carried one to him. His eyes were closed, so I gently touched his clasped hands with the Word until he grasped it himself. Although he murdered another person, now he’s forgiven and alive in Christ.
We then spent time with the female prison guards, and more people were saved. We also handed out more New Testaments. I was touched by one of the guards, Marta, who requested a full Bible rather than a New Testament. Since we had brought a few, it was gratifying to grant her request, knowing how greatly she desired God’s Word.
From the jail we journeyed to Solidaridad to encourage the women who sew. Celeste taught a meaningful lesson from Proverbs 31, which provided a strong basis for the women to work hard on behalf of their families. As our time together closed in prayer, the Holy Spirit led me to place my hand on a woman’s shoulder. Such a small action resulted in her tears. With a translator’s help, I asked afterwards if I could pray for her because I noticed she had cried. Her response? My hand on her shoulder caused her to feel something special. God moves in the most minute and major ways. What an awesome day.
3/23/17 – Opportunities to Teach, Sightsee, and Pray
We departed early in the morning for Tom and Brenda’s TV interview. They answered questions and discussed the upcoming crusade/conference in Managua, looking like pros and making us proud 🙂.
Travel continued as we headed toward Catarina. Upon arrival, our team split up so some could teach about Christ at the school (imagine that!) while the rest of us remained at the church. Tom taught the men while Brenda and I taught the women. I’m glad we captured a group photo with my book.
On the way back to Managua, we stopped in Masaya. The wind blew relentlessly, but what a gorgeous view! Our eyes soaked in the river below and the volcano in the distance.
God’s handiwork graces the earth despite its brokenness.
Pastor Barry preached later at a crusade in Managua. It was a lovely evening, and even more lovely as God stirred people’s hearts. Some came forward to be saved. Others needed prayer. Suzanne and I prayed with an older woman—once again, I didn’t know what she prayed, but I was honored to stand alongside and intercede on her behalf.
3/24/17 – Beauty in the Dump & More Teaching
Below is my journal entry from this day:
THANK YOU. You did it! Tonight I taught at the women’s conference where approximately 300 women were present. You gave me the words to share and such amazing peace. All glory to You! This morning, You gave me the verse “Lo, I am with you even until the end of the age.” Yes, Lord, You are faithful. You were with me and remain with me. I praise Your name—three or four women came forward at the end tonight to accept Christ while Pastor Odily urged them to come forward.
And oh, Father … the dump. Help me never forget. I can’t believe people live there. I praise You for redeeming Brian—for saving him and giving him eternal life. Bless him with joy, peace, & hope. Deliver him from that place. Provide for his needs and lead him to share Christ.
It’s been a fantastic day. Thank You for the children in Solidaridad—Miguel’s acceptance of Christ today. And Sarah. What a sweet girl. Bless these precious children and make them mighty warriors for Christ.
In Jesus’ precious name,
Note: Words are inadequate to describe the dump’s conditions. Driving in, I encountered the first and only fear I felt on my trip. “What if our bus breaks down?” It scared me to consider getting stuck in such a horrible place: trash everywhere, fires smoldering, heat smothering. And the flies. They filled our bus as the door bent open for Kay to pass out candy.
The men distributed food and preached the Gospel, resulting in Brian’s salvation. The women stayed on the bus and prayed. I wrestled for words. But God is able. God is able no matter how desperate the situation. He knows how to help these valuable men, women, and children.
I’m thankful I participated in that ministry, and it’s inspired me to gather Gospel Cubes. Most, if not all of these people in the landfill, are illiterate. I’d love to donate something so they can understand Christ’s sacrifice. They. Are. Loved.
Until next time and part three of this update, please carry this truth in your heart:
God loves people. It matters not whether they’re imprisoned or free, where they live or what they possess, how educated or uneducated they are. God loves people. And He uses His people to reveal that truth through words and actions. Let’s rise up, brothers and sisters! The fields are white for harvest.