Greetings friends, family and church! The last couple nights in Managua were without wifi, so today you get the update from Dallas while we wait for our flight to Fargo!
We spent yesterday as a team going to the market in Masaya, touring the city of Granada, and visiting an active volcano where we got to see real lava. It’s not every day you get to see such sites! Toward the end of the day, we were able to gather as a team and reflect on the week as a whole and how we can take things we’ve learned back home with us.
Saturday was our final day in El Chonco. When we arrived in the morning, the women were already hard at work to prepare a meal for the community fiesta, and children were waiting for the big yellow bus to pull in. We finished cleaning up some of our projects, played with the children and helped get everything ready for the fiesta. The meal was served at noon, and many gathered. Following the food, we played family games – for kids and adults. There was much laughter and excitement throughout the afternoon. We wrapped up the fiesta with pinatas, and made our way to the church service.
Just as church began, the rain came down hard. We praised God for the rain, and for the fact that it held off until the fun had moved inside. We spent another service worshiping together. We heard testimonies and our very own Pastor Jeff, who really brought the energy and style of the Nicaraguans to his preaching, gave the sermon. Jeff brought us to the Word in Mark 4:3-8 where Jesus talks about four different soils a seed may encounter: soil on a path, rocky soil, soil among thorns and good soil.
“And other seeds feel into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” – Mark 4:8
He talked about our hearts being the soil and our faith in God the seed that grows. In order to cultivate that good soil, we must think about all aspects of our lives and how we can make changes that enrich the soil instead of depleting it of its nutrients. We must nourish our hearts so they can be good soil that facilitates the growing, increasing and yielding of much fruit.
Jeff challenged us all – Nicaraguans and North Americans – to continue to love our communities the same way we loved one another during the week. Christ in us is the light and love that ought to be shared and spread each and every day by each and every one of us.
Leaving was sad, but our hearts are full of the love and blessings God fills us with through this community. We pray that the things God placed on our hearts while we were here will remain the things on our hearts when we return, and that we would live them out.
We look forward to the next time we see our brothers and sisters in El Chonco.