July 15, 2012

Worlds Apart . . . (part one)

Alright . . . time to revive this blog, at least for the time being.

This is my attempt to share my experiences in Nicaragua during a week-long mission trip that I took with a group of awesome people from my church, The Summit :)

It may be a long series of posts because we saw so much and it has impacted me more than I anticipated . . . so be forewarned :)

I'll start at the beginning . . . I knew it was time for me to get a little out of my comfort zone and had been wanting to take a short term trip for a while. So, I took the leap and decided to apply for this trip . . . and a short time later, not only did I make the team, but support came pouring in much faster and abundantly than I could have expected.

God really paved the way right from the start and He humbled me so much in the months leading up to the trip. I honestly didn't know what I could have contributed on the trip - I don't speak spanish, I never work with kids (the trip was mainly geared towards kids) and there was no medical aspect of the trip. Awesome! I really saw God orchestrate the trip, so I knew there had to be a reason I was there.

Not only was this my first mission trip, but it was my first time out of the country.

This was the description of the trip from the beginning:
Work with a ministry that focuses on neighborhoods and works to rescue and restore innocent children who have been forced into slavery and sex-trafficking.  Specific activities will be established based on the skill set of the team and may include outreach to street kids and street ladies, feeding the hungry, missionary care, medical projects, mechanic projects, building projects, and Nicaraguan local church connections.

We also would have the opportunity to work with a ministry that reaches out to prostitutes. Shortly after I applied, I found out there wouldn't be a be a medical aspect, and most of it would be VBS programs throughout the week.

Here are a few facts about the country:

- 1 in 3 children are affected by some kind of malnutrition 
- Adolescent pregnancies count for one of every four births
- Only 29% of children complete their primary schooling 
- Child labor affects more than 167,000 children and youth
- 45% of the population is under 15 years of age
- 45% of the population lives on less than $1 a day making Nicaragua the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere 
- 60% of human trafficking victims in the Western Hemisphere are from Nicaragua

All of these things were just words on a page at the time . . .  I wanted to be completely open to whatever God had in store for this trip. I just didn't know the gravity of what we would see in that country, and what it would be like seeing this things face-to-face, even in just a week.

Please take a moment to check out these amazing ministries and people we got to work with . . .

House of Hope Nicaragua: http://houseofhopenicaragua.com/
One By One: http://theinnocent.org/
Oscar's Story: http://www.hitmantohero.com/

Blue = First World Countries, Red = Second World, Green = Third World. Source: Wikipedia

More posts to follow . . .

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