Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nicaragua 2009: Chelsea's Story

I asked the team members to submit stories that were particularly touching to them during the trip for inclusion as a guest post. Today I would like to tell Chelsea's story. Chelsea is a teenager with a wonderful heart for God and children, I am astounded that at such a young age she has already been fortunate enough to gain this experience. I know that what she saw and did has created a depth in Chelsea's life few experiences can equal and will become a permanent memory in her mind and held dearly close to her heart. The following is Chelsea's story:

"I still have a hard time believing I went to Nicaragua. I look at pictures of the dump, and all the houses, and I say “I was there; I walked those exact streets...” The pictures look horrible and sad but it doesn’t feel that way for me. When I think of Nicaragua I think of loving, hospitable people who love Jesus Christ and are willing to hear God’s word. I think of all of the smiles on every single person’s face (including peoples’ in the dump). I think of the children, and the joy they had when handed their bowl of food. I think of the beautiful mountains. I think of each hug I received. I think of the worship and how awesome it is to praise God for 2 hours and not have anywhere else to be. I think of how sad it was for me to leave.

While in Nicaragua, God reminded me that no situation is too big for Him, His love is the greatest thing, and I had never had one problem in my life. I have had dinner every night of my life and I have had clothes on my back. I have absolutely no reason in the world to complain about anything. I am blessed beyond measure.

I could talk about Nicaragua for hours.
I now have 8 friends whom I love so much, and can talk to about anything. We learned a lot about each other on this trip and all of us grew closer to God together. One night we were riding in the micro bus and me and Josh were talking, he had said something about our age difference and then he said here you are 15 years old hanging out with me, a 37 year old, we have Jesus in common and that makes us real close. He is so right. I have friends in school, some saved, some are still a working progress, but those are completely different relationships. There is something amazing about a friendship with a brother or sister in Christ. I became very close to my “hermana en Cristo”, Edipcia. We don’t even live in the same country, yet, we share Jesus, and she is one of the greatest friends I grew close to. As I said before, nothing is greater that God’s love.

Chris asked us all to share a specific
story that changed our lives; my story is about a little boy at a feeding program. We got to the feeding program and we were all talking with the children, playing a game with them, or teaching them how to play the guitar. After the kids had been served their food, Oscar pulled out a suitcase full of used clothes and toys. There wasn’t enough for every child to get something so he made it a competition and started throwing clothes out to them, and whoever caught it got to keep it. Kids were going crazy over the smallest things. Oscar had thrown out a pair of old socks and a little boy caught them. He immediately fell to his knees and guarded the socks with his life. Kids were pulling at his clothes, grabbing his arms, and he would not move. He began to cry, and this broke my heart. His friend kept repeatedly trying to help him up but he still would not move. I walked over to him, wrapped my arms around him and tried to help him up. He still would not get up. I then told him that I loved him, Jesus loved him, (that is all the Spanish I knew without an interpreter) and he stood up. I led him away from the crowd, and he wrapped his arms around me, buried his head in me and just wept. I also began to cry.

This experience just reminded me that I am so blessed! This child cried over a pair of socks, and I sometimes throw old socks away! In the U.S. if someone threw old socks out into a crowd of children, nine times out of ten they would laugh or not even pay attention. This showed me how little Nicaraguans have yet it also showed me that they have everything! They have smiles on their faces 24/7 and they have a community where the majority is hungry for Jesus Christ! They have the most loving hearts. They have freedom. They don’t have a busy schedule to work around, and they can worship God for hours on end (might I also add in 90 degrees). If only we all could live as free as Nicaraguans. We may not have the same lifestyle as they do but we do have the same Jesus, and we can share him just as freely here in the U.S. as we can there."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are a light in a dark world, a city on a hill and I praise God for you!