This is story about a future mission trip to Nicaragua. It’s a story with several parts.
Rewind to nearly three years ago; I blogged about foreign missions. I said at the time that I didn’t feel God calling me to foreign missions but that He was working on my fears and reservations and my “yes” was on the table, if that’s something He’d have me do.
Last year I was asked to be a prayer partner on two different Nicaragua mission trips out of our church. The first was my Sunday School teacher’s sister who was new to the area and didn’t know too many people to ask to be prayer partners. The next was a friend’s husband, who ironically I knew when were in high school through several mutual friends. Being brought closer into the mission field through prayer pricked at my heart for this region and people.
When I first heard that we’d being doing a medical mission this year and that no medical experience was necessary, I felt similar to when I responded to the call for people to go to New York City after 9/11 and clean apartments. There’s so much that I can’t do but when asked about cleaning apartments in the World Trade Towers vicinity so that people could return to their homes, I thought “I can do that.”
Well, hearing about the medical mission elicited the same kind of thought; “I can do that.” I’m not a Dr. or nurse but in addition to needing those, they also need people to take vital signs and dispense medicines, things I could do.
I told my pastor last month that I was feeling moved to go and I asked him to pray about it with me and for me because while I have the desire to go and my “yes” is on the table, there’s my kids to think about, as well as funding the trip.
Sunday, the missionaries we support in Nicaragua were at our church talking about the work going on there, the needs, the God stories, the future.
Now, the story of Mamasita is not mine to tell. It’s Alma’s, the wife of the Nicaraguan missionary. But I don’t think she’ll mind if I share it.
Alma, you see, is the young newlywed missionary wife. She shared with us about her heart and the areas she’s involved in, specifically about a women’s and children’s shelter that is under construction as a place to minister to women and children who have been abused or neglected. It is called the Shelter of Hope.
Mamasita — which means little mother in Spanish — is a four-year-old girl who’s mother was coming to the shelter. I can’t do the story justice because in her very expressive native Spanish Alma told us how little Mamasita dreamed of what her room at the shelter would look like and would show her “this will be where my bed goes” and “this will be for my clothes.” The child’s imagination was filled with what that would be like.
Well, some time later, the mother of Mamasita left the shelter and took Mamasita with her. When Alma saw the mother again she was without the little girl and told Alma that she had given her daughter away, possibly into the human trafficking industry.
I cried right there in church. I dug tissues out of purse and let the warm tears roll down my cheeks. Alma was crying too. She loved the little girl and you could hear in her voice, even as she spoke to us in Spanish and was translated, that she was heart broken over this. So many of us women were touched by this story and long to go and minister to women and children there and to pray for all the little Mamasita’s who have been given away.
At the missionary dinner Sunday night the missionaries went into more depth about the needs and the way they do things. In this area are 35 or so villages that have already been reached with churches established. In the more difficult to reach parts of the jungle are that many more just waiting for someone to come to their village and tell them about Jesus.
The missionaries have what I call the “teach a man to fish” approach to evangelism. One of the things our church helped build a few years ago was a Bible institute where people from the villages come to be trained in the Bible and in leading churches and then they go back to their village as pastors and church leaders. Instead of relying only on the missionary to teach the people about God, the missionary teaches a few and then a few teach the whole.
They passed around to all of us a blue commitment card and I checked the box for more information on the medical mission trip, which will also dedicate part of the time to the women’s and children’s shelter.
For a year I’ve been working with women in my own geographic area, at the pregnancy test center, and being involved in there has softened my heart and taught me how to love people no matter what they’ve done or the situation they’re in. I want the women and children of Nicaragua to feel that same kind of love and hear that God loves them and sent his son to die for them too.
I have no idea if I can actually go. I hope so. There’s a lot that would need to be figured out but I’m trusting that God will show me and open or close doors.
I’ve been praying for months these lyrics: “Break my heart for what breaks Yours.”
I’ve realized by praying this that it’s kinda like praying for patience. Be careful what you ask for. Because asking God to break your heart is going to hurt. I hurt each week for the clients at the pregnancy test center. I hurt on Sunday for Mamasita and others like her. My heart is so tender now towards so many people groups that are hurting.
When I started I said this was about a future trip and it had many parts. This is just the beginning; I look forward to seeing what happens.