It's been a few days since I have been able to post what is happening here in Nicaragua. Internet access went out. That's just how it goes in third world countries. I was able to run into town and talk to Tom last night finally. It was so great to hear all my guys. I miss them.
So...let's see...the womens' luncheon on Saturday was interesting. My friend Lori Elder and I were scheduled to speak and we "just happened" to be the only two people who suddenly got ill on our team. It was the enemy. Complete assault.
I have never sweat so profusely in my life. I could barely stand without feeling like I would pass out. I got up to walk to the stage and my entire body was shaking and my head hurt.
I have experienced nervousness, anxiety attacks, and panic attacks and this was none of the three. I was SICK! It was awful. BUT, I pressed forward. I made it through my message of encouragement to these precious ladies.
When we sat back down, my interpretor looked at me and said, "That was really good. I will never forget that."
Now please understand that I am not sharing this to toot MY horn! I want you to know that ONLY by the amazing empowering grace of God was I able to stand there and speak with any clarity and meaning.
In my weakness, HE is made strong. That has been the constant thread of our trip. Time after time...whether it is people speaking at various events, or needing provision...God has met us where we had nothing left to give.
Church service on Sunday morning was beautiful. If you have never experienced the Latin American people in praise and worship to the King, it's hard to describe their abandonment. It's encouraging and even mesmerizing at times. It is definitely something to treasure, as well as singing simultaneously, them in Spanish and us in English, to the same song.
I will always, always, cherish the memories of being held by a Nicaraguan woman and being prayed for in a language I barely understand, yet feel overcome by the presence of the Lord who loves us both.
We have seen two groups of students so far, with two more to go. They are growing so fast, but we rejoice in how their health has improved since our team started coming 7 years ago.
To see these sweet children run to us when they realize we do indeed remember them and personal things about them is so exciting. We are building relationship and trust...becoming a constant in their lives and not just dropping in and out.
My sweet little Deyling was in the group of students who came today. She is so beautiful with the deepest dimples on each cheek and a smile that lights up a room. She ran to hug me today. The past couple of years, she has been rather shy. She is 13 now, and she is definitely growing up. She must feel a bit braver.
I gave her the presents my Mom and I bought for her. She loved them. I also gave her a card with a laminated family picture she will be able to keep, even in these hard living conditions. I told her I wanted her to be able to look at it and remember that we are always praying for her and ready to help if she needs anything.
She has a best friend and cousin who is always by her side when I see her. Her name is Katherine. I decided to "adopt" both of them as my Nicaraguan girls, and to my honor, I was able to take them out with some other kids to get ice cream and shop in the central market today. (I will post pics when I can.)
It was a wonderful day. I know we bring help to them, but I can't help feeling that we are so blessed by them. Their smiles mean everything.
My favorite moment by far today was when I was working upstairs with the medical team and I looked down from the window and saw Deyling sitting at the table where we have them write letters to their sponsors. I knew she was writing to me, and I watched as she wiped tears from her face over and over.
I have no idea what was going through her mind, but I know what was running through mine: Psalm 139. To think about how the Lord plans our lives...to know that He planned for my life to cross paths with hers...to realize that before I was ever even thought of by my parents or in my mother's womb, God had a specific plan in place...and to understand that it included this beautiful little girl in a foreign nation...well, I can't really explain how all that makes me feel. There has been a constant lump in my throat and tears standing in my eyes.
Thank you God.