2013 was an amazing year in the mission field. I can't begin to tell you all that God did in my life and the lives of those in Nicaragua that I work with. My December trip was probably one of the best I have ever had for several reasons. I will try to share all that happen and not write a book.
The kids of Operation Education, all 109 of them, pass their grades. This is a huge accomplishment. Most kids miss a lot of school during the year and most don't put a lot of effort into studying but not our kids. All of them take school very serious and it shows.
During my trip I blessed all of them with their new uniforms, backpacks, shoes and school supplies. I have more school supplies that I am taking to them in March. They will be well prepared for the new school year that starts in February.
My friend Sara and I were also able to bless the entire community with Christmas gifts. The women received jewelry and hygiene bags, the men received new hats and bracelets and the teenagers received jewelry also. All the kids in the community received a toy gift bag and each family received a food bag. The bag was the biggest one I have ever purchased. It contained 13lbs of beans and rice and 5 lbs of sugar, 80 bags of coffee (two cups to each bag), a liter of oil and a bag of cookies. The bag weighed so much that the women had to have help to carry it.
We also had the opportunity to bless the kids from the orphanage. There are 25 kids there and they are the joy of my life. I truly love each of them and this trip we had a special treat planned for them. A beach trip!!!!. They actually live very close to the ocean and from time to time they get to go so what better time than when I'm visiting them right? We had a lot of fun and it will be one of my greatest memories. On the night before we also took my translator and his family out to dinner. It was his birthday and we were blessed to eat at a very nice restaurant, probably the best I have ever eat at in Nicaragua.
All of these things mean a lot to me but not near as much as what happen during my first night service in our church. We just recently got electricity ran to the church giving the families and opportunity to come at night when it's much cooler. The Pastor of the church asked me to attend the service and speak to the people but as you all know I am not a preacher. I don't even like speaking in front of people other than teaching so needless to say I was not to excited but didn't want to be disrespectful.
About 30 minutes before it was time God still had not given me anything I thought he wanted me to talk about. I kept praying and reading the Word and NOTHING... By the time I reached the church I knew something was up. I was very emotional and overwhelmed yet I didn't understand why. I started praying and just ask God to use me and use me he did.
Since the Pastor told everyone I was going to be there many people attended and a lot of them were the men I have been working on for a while. All the women and children were under the church roof but all the men except for 2 were sitting farther away from the rest. I couldn't even see how many.
I started the church off with music. I thought the church needed to see how we worship here in the US. Hillsong and Kari Jobe was my selections and then some old classics like Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord. It was awesome to hear some of them singing that song.
As I began to speak to them I still didn't have a word in my heart but God surely showed up. I just started talking about my life and my testimony and how God sent someone when I was in the 10th grade to let me know how much He loved me. I told them that I am just like my friend. God has sent me there to show them how much He loves them.
I don't even know what all I said but in the end during the alter call 17 teen boys and men came forward to accept the Lord as their savior. Pastor Arturo and I could hardly contain the tears. We have both worked so hard to pierce the hearts of these men. It was took 5 long years but it was completely worth every minute of it for just this day.
Since my visit the men and many others are attending church regularly. I am so excited for their new change in life. Please pray for them as this is very new to them and this is very hard for them. Pastor Arturo is teaching them each week. I can't wait to see the ripple effect that comes from their decision.
This past year was amazing. There are so many amazing things that happen.
For Christmas my husband redesigned my website and I have posted all the pictures from the trip. I am in the process of updating it and don't have all of it done but have lots pictures for you. My blog has changed also. From now on you will get an email letting you know I have updated it and the link to see it. Anytime you are on my site you can see the most up-to-date information by reading the blog.
Check out the site and let me know how you like it. It's not completely finished but it's getting there.
As always thanks so much for supporting me. God has opened so many doors this past year I can't wait to see what happens in 2014.
The Power of One Ministry 198 Mellwood Drive Charlotte, NC 28214