A week from tonight I will be leaving for Nicaragua where I will stay for roughly six months (through June). This time I will be going without a team, but I will certainly not be going alone: "It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Josh. 31:8)
As I anticipate this trip, I become even more aware of just how small and sinful my heart is: I know that on my own I am incapable of being, speaking, or doing anything good. Much of my heart is overwhelmed and prone to doubt whether any good could come from my time there. Yet I rejoice that we have not been left to carry out the great commission on our own, but have been given the Helper, the very Spirit of Christ to be with us till the end of the age and through eternity! My deepest prayer for this time in Nicaragua is that my tiny, dim eyes would be made larger, so that Christ's presence would become realer and more beautiful to me that ever before - that His eyes would be my eyes, His hands my hands, His mouth my mouth, and His heart my heart.
There are many things which I am planning and would love to do while I'm down there: Bible studies with the teenage guys at the orphanage, Bible studies with the men in the jail, helping at the feeding center, helping with construction projects, teaching music (Choir, violin, dulcimer - and maybe piano/guitar) and tutoring English. If I have the time, I would also love to do anything agriculturally related (help out with the ministry's farm in a neighboring community or possibly try to grow some more fruits/vegetables on the orphanage compound). In my spare time, there are several fun things I would like to do with the kids: games, creative projects, reading out loud (Las de Narnia!), woodcarving, and of course hospitality involving treats... :) I have so many ideas, but - as you all know - time is limited and I will need a lot of wisdom in prioritizing and grace to follow God's voice each moment of each day.
Over the last several years I have been reminded in so many ways of how much the members of the Body of Christ need one another - especially with regards prayer. Each trip to Nicaragua has demonstrated Gods faithfulness in answering the prayers of the saints and I have sensed very tangibly God's answers to the prayers you all have offered up on our behalf. I am so humbled to know that there is an army of people coming along side me in the labor for the Gospel. Please continue to pray!
All that being said, here are a few prayer requests:
1) That I would keep my eyes on Christ and find fullness of joy in Him, and that God would be magnified in my heart, speech, and actions throughout my time there.
2) That the Word of God would take root deeply in the lives of the guys at the orphanage: that those who don't yet know Christ would know Him and that God would continue the good work He has begun in those who do.
3) That the brightness of the Gospel would break into the darkness of the jail and that God would bring those men to Himself.
4) That God would bless all of the music that is made and taught, that it would point people to Himself and bring delight to those playing/singing as well as the listeners.
Thanks for your love and partnership in the Gospel with me!
"May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.The Lord be with you all." (2 3:16)