Saturday, July 29, 2017

Nicaragua and Summer 2017

"Jesus, Lord of my salvation, Savior of my soul. Send me out to the world to make You known."

As some of you know, I just returned from a mission trip to Nicaragua July 12-24. The trip came up in truly a way only the Lord could have brought about. After two surgeries this winter, He graciously allowed my body to get healthy enough to be able to go.

What an amazing couple of weeks! I am honestly just so humbled and in awe of the Lord's graciousness. It is hard to put into words all that was seen and experienced, probably because the Lord did/is doing far more work in my heart than He did through me on this trip. I am so thankful for His faithfulness and provision in the opportunity to go.

I had visited the Petra Iglesia Managua church a couple years ago on a trip there. Some dear friends Jared and Tanya Cox planted the church during their 15 years on the mission field there (they now reside in Bozeman). There are now multiple church plants around Nicaragua as the gospel is spreading all over. Being there was like living in the book of Acts in Scripture and seeing biblical discipleship and multiplication. Also, the love and community of the body of Christ, their passion for Christ, and testimonies were quite overwhelming.

One of the most special parts of this trip was the opportunity I had to stay with a couple of the different pastors and their families, another church member, and then the Cox family at the camp and farm on Ometepe Island. The relationships built and strengthened with the believers there and mutual encouragement was such a blessing.

After first arriving in Nicaragua to an awesome airport greeting from the Nicaragua family, I spent the day in Managua with Pastor Hamilton and his family and had sweet fellowship time with ladies from the church. Once the rest of the team arrived from Bozeman, we first traveled two hours north of Managua to Matagalpa. There we did children's ministry at a school and women's ministry with some of the teachers back at the church. After returning to and attending church service in Managua, we then headed two hours south via bus plus a 1.5 hour ferry ride to the island of Ometepe to work with the Balgue and Merida churches and Altagracia church plant for four days. The time there included door to door evangelism, women's ministry, visiting the ministry's camp and farm and also time with a couple of the pastors discussing potential future ministry opportunities. After returning to Managua, there was a two day women's conference, where my dear friend and sister in Christ Julie Gossack was the speaker. Over 140 women attended! We both kept looking at each other constantly throughout the trip and asking each other, "Are we really here together in Nicaragua?" We have walked through much suffering together so it was extra special to have that time together along with her husband Ray. We saw the Lord at work in so many ways both in our own hearts and in the hearts of the people we had the blessing of interacting with throughout our time.

Here is a link to a 3.5 minute video of pictures from the trip.

Please pray for my heart as I continue to spend time with the Lord processing all that happened on the trip and that I would walk in obedience to Him in however He leads. Please pray for Petra Iglesia church that the Word would continue to go forth boldly and also for more supporters to be raised up to support the ministry ( Please pray for the Cox family as well - I am so thankful for them and their hearts for the Lord and the chance to do life with them in Bozeman through this season.

Thanks again for your prayers and support!

Nicaragua Airport Greeting :)

Fellowship time with ladies from church :)

Children's ministry in Matagalpa

Matagalpa ministry time

Sharing testimony

In Matagalpa
Pastor Arnold's family

With the ladies on the mission team

Mission team
Headed to Ometepe Island

Headed to Ometepe Island

With Tanya!

Women's ministry time at Merida

Praying for the ladies at Merida
"On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand."

Ferry from Ometepe back to the mainland

Caponera ... my new car :)

With Tanya and Julie

Women's ministry conference

With ladies from the island at the conference

With Isaiah, Jeremiah and Esteban

Women's ministry conference

Resolution 1: Live for God
Resolution 2: Do it even when no one else is.

Women's ministry conference

With the Cox family and Julie and Ray :)

With Pastor Hamilton and Jill's family!

Fellowship time :)

Before Nicaragua, we also hosted Heritage Christian Sports Camp in Bozeman for the second year in a row. There were 131 K-6th graders registered, along with 28 junior coaches and 14 adults who served. The gospel was shared throughout and we saw the power of Christ at work in a mighty way. He is so faithful!