Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nicaragua Adventure

Many of you have emailed me wanting to know about the trip. I find it hard to sum it all up in a few short paragraphs but I will try to share without going on and on.
My decision to go to the jungles of Nicaragua was not born out of some Godly call or noble action on my part. My reason from the beginning was to go to see what my husband's passion was all about. You see, he led a team last year and came home a changed man. He has been back 3 times now and would come home sharing and I would think.."that's nice honey" but I just didn't get it. So I decided that this time, with this team of 29 people I would go see if I could "get It".
When we landed in the country, and left the city by bus, it became clear right away that "we were not in Kansas any more". It is extremely hot and humid and very dry and dusty. Needless to say it was hard to stay clean. As we arrived at the village we were to serve in, people ran out of their "homes" to wave at this bus filled with Americans. We stayed in a school compound in tents and our showers consisted of buckets of water and a scoop. Bathrooms were of course outhouses laden with an occasional bug or spider. The spiders are big here. Often we were surrounded by chickens and mini pigs as we went about our work. It was not unusual to see cattle being hearded on the same roads we used for walking on. Did I mention the spiders are big here? There was a team brought in to do all of our cooking for us and they did an awesome job. We had bottled water and great food. There was never a worry of getting sick from the food or water. (okay barely a worry) The pineapple here is beyond any sweetness you can imagine. The coffee was amazing and a blessing each morning and evening.
The reason we went first and foremost was to build a church building. In these villages there are believers and they need a place to congregate. The church building not only provides a place of worship but acts as a community center as well. The fact that Americans come from so far a way to do this for them is a draw in and of itself. We also provided a medical clinic and a children's program. The kids club started with around 60 and ended with aprox 120 children by the end of the week. Our daughter even provided a day of haircuts to the locals. At our church services each evening there was an alter call and several came forward to accept the Lord into their lives. All week as I looked around and observed the people my thoughts were something like this... They are dressed nicely, relatively clean and healthy, happy, so why are we here? For one, there is no extra money in this economy to erect a building. My aha and "get it" moment came on the last night in the village after we finished our part of the building (yes, I worked on the construction team, never have I been so dirty in all of my life :). We had a church dedication service. All of the visiting and local pastors were inside the structure praying and dedicating it to the Lord, We were watching through the window opens at these men of God praising Him with tears streaming down their faces in thankfulness. I looked next to me and there was a sweet little Nicaraguan women standing in the doorway, tears streaming down her face hands raised praising and thanking God for this new place to worship. It brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat to see her. She hugged me and said in Spanish something like gracias! until we meet in heaven, as she pointed up. In that moment I knew why we were there and I think I finally "get it"
There were so many things that happened and so much to share but I will leave it at this for now. I do however welcome your questions. I will close with a few more pictures. Enjoy!


  1. How wonderful and rewarding for sure! I love the pictures and it sounds like a spiritual adventure that you now share with your husband! Bless you both for spending your time doing God's work! Hugs!

  2. Incredible!
    Thank you for sharing your adventure. I admire you for going and helping out like that.

  3. What an amazing experience! I am so happy you shared it with us! Your post is a good reminder to us how much we take forgranted.

    Thank you for your sweet comment today :)

  4. I'm glad you're back okay. Thanks for sharing some details and pictures. It's always amazing to step outside of America to see how other people live. So are you as crazy about it as your husband?

  5. Debbie,
    I'm so glad that you decided to go and that by the end of the trip that you found out what the trip was all about...what a blessing to all of these people, that you and all the others came to build a church so they will have a place to go and worship our AWESOME FATHER! I have been thinking about going on a mission trip or maybe doing some mission work here in the states.


  6. Amazing! Truly amazing!

    I am glad you made it back safely and loved reading about your time there.

    How about that little boy with the watermelon slice? Too, too cute!!!

  7. ok, cool... i just made lots of some other new emo backgrounds at my blog

  8. What an amazing adventure. Your pictures are great. I'm glad you had the opportunity to go with your husband. You are a true inspiration to me.

  9. Debbie, I found your blog as I was blog hopping and then clicked on Nicaragua. My 17 yr. old daughter went on a missions trip to Managua with her senior class last fall. You know she came back changed! She would like to go back this year again. Before she went she had been complaining how the senior class's trip that the public high school near us was going on was to Paris and theirs was only a to Nicaragua & then to Florida. To make matters worse all of her friends have practically new cars & she drives a very old one that a friend gave us with 170,000 miles on it. (our income has dropped significantly because of the economic crisis) Not a lot of gratefulness in her heart at that time. But, after coming home from witnessing how people lived in dumps and ministering to them, she said she felt selfish for having so many material things. Definitely a big change. I would recommend a mission trip to a poor country for anyone as I am sure you would, as well.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences from your trip to Nicaragua.