Today our team went back to the same village that we visited yesterday. We began our morning having breakfast at a local building they use for occasional discipleship and teaching. Afterwards we walked to the school right down the road and ministered to the children there. This was a great time of fellowship with these kids.
We played with them before our service began. We performed our dance songs, worship songs, puppet songs and then I was asked to preach. The kids were having a lot of fun and we could tell they were enjoying our testimonies and teachings. Over a dozen kids gave their lives to Jesus this morning! Praise God! It’s always a humbling moment to see how God moves in ways you don’t fully expect.
After we left we went to lunch and relaxed before we hiked the mountains behind the church to distribute food to the locals. What a challenge that was! Nothing shows you how out of shape you are like hiking a mountain with a small Nicaragua number elderly woman not only leading your way up the trail but with ease while wearing flip flops! That woman had talent! Ha. We stopped to pray with everybody we gave food to. One man was expected to pass away this week, one man had an accident a year ago and cannot walk without crutches,, some we simply blessed the home. One house we went to the child in the house was raped and serially abused at the age of 11. Because of this the men of our team had to wait outside at the corner of where the house was. From what I was told two of our team members who experienced similar issues shared their testimony with this girl. I know God was moving in that house. Each person had a different way to show their gratitude but one thing was consistent: their showering the team with hugs and smiles. I strongly believe that we showed God’s love today. Especially for people who are not used to hiking and did just that to feed families. My heart is breaking for these people.
We had so many laughs throughout the trip! Our team is quickly becoming a family. Tyler provides humor to the team and motivation for myself but I don’t know ow if he’s aware of that. Michele is very uplifting and makes me and others want to do their best. Each member brings a unique element to the team that makes this trip so memorable.
Tonight I was blessed with the opportunity to preach at the church in the area we distributed food to earlier. I’ve been praying for the right message for these people and God told me to share a message he gave to me back in January about breaking free from the shackles in our lives. The sermon was given and I felt God moving. People were saying Amen and participating. The time came for the altar call. I gave an opportunity to pray with our team to receive Jesus as their savior and friend. Nobody moved. I assumed everybody in the room was saved. So I went to the second part of the altar call to seek Jesus for the freedom of the sin in our lives. Again nobody moved. I was really confused. It was very awkward. The team was up in the front ready to pray with the congregation but nobody came up to pray. I began to think and question whether this was the sermon God really wanted me to preach. The pastor came up and said that anybody who wants to pray to come up and people bombarded the altar. I was so lost. Was I mishearing God? It wasn’t until later after dinner that the pastor thanked us for our ministry. She began to explain that the people in this area have hardened hearts. They don’t respond to altar calls and they don’t know ow how to react when God is moving in them. This immediately gave me a peace of mind. At the same time it broke me because of their hardened hearts. I can only pray that God did want me to preach that sermon and while nobody physically responded that hearts were transformed tonight and that God continues to work within them and their community.
Please join me in prayer for these people and their pastor as well to not be discouraged in her time here.
God bless you all.