The idea of embarking on a missions trip is to give up everything that we cannot live without. Taking a flight to another country can be intimidating, my experience in Managua, Nicaragua was no 5-star luxury stay. Instead, it was a chance to toss out all the little frills that seem major to our daily lives. Throughout the 10-day journey was a once in a lifetime opportunity to dig deeper into the spiritual connections. I returned home more grateful than ever for what God has given me. Looking through new eyes, I wanted to share some of the things that I once had meltdowns over and now realize to stop the drama because there is definitely more to life than what the world makes you think.
1. Having Nothing To Wear
10 pairs of shoes, bags galore, & clothes busting out of the closet, ever think “I have nothing to wear?” Your style emergencies would come to an end after seeing children wearing tattered garments, shoes either too small or too big and sometimes barely dressed at all.
2. Toilet bowls
3. Hot Water
Turning on the faucet for a shower or to wash our hands is something we take for granted. How are we so lucky to have water a perfect temperature at all times. Although the bathrooms at the Kings Castle compound in Nicaragua were not holes in the ground, our team had to adapt quickly to freezing showers. Hot water is a luxury in most countries, but after a few days working in the heat, it didn’t take long to appreciate the blessing to cool down.
4. Waste Not, Want Not
As Americans, we have so many food options. Our days are continuously revolved around food that a lot of us rather toss food out than carry a doggy bag. Well, look forward to being cured of those bad habits! I have always been conscious of over eating, but it wasn’t until I came back from Nicaragua that now I cringe whenever there is food left on a plate after two bites, and it’s doomed for the garbage.
One day our team visited a dump-site that inhabits people who struggle with keeping jobs, drug addiction, & prostitution. A school provided a food program for the children in the area where each child brought one cup and one dish to be served their only meal of the day. My heart died every time I was asked from a kid if they could receive a second serving, which wasn’t allowed. They didn’t care what was cooked or how it was prepared, it was food & the joy that it brought them while they have so little reflected how unappreciative I can be at times.
5. Your Living Situation
We all take pride in having a beautiful place to live, but when our homes don’t meet the expectations of the world the need to “level up” starts to kick in. Bigger, newer, nothing is ever enough even though it is beyond our fundamental needs. What if your home was made with walls of concrete and tin roofs? Most of the homes we resembled sheds and falling apart, even a door is considered a luxury. So regardless if you are living in your parent’s basement be thankful. Even that is viewed as a suite to many who would love their own bed for a day.
The biggest lessons you’ll bring back home with you is to actually know what love and faith are. Even though the living situations, financial struggles, and lack of food are significant issues, the people of Nicaragua are full of love. Working with Kings Castle is a beacon of hope to the children to have faith that their existence is all part of God’s great plan.
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Photo Credit: A dear talented friend & Pastor Jesus Goyco