Going to Nicaragua was an experience that is hard to explain.
I can tell you about all the awesome laughs, and how the kids smiled when they played at VBS, and I can tell you about the soft smiles from the patients in the hospital, but I can’t fully explain how I felt when I saw all those things. The blog would be super long if I decided to go into detail of my entire trip, so instead I’m going to attempt to split it up.
The team we were with came from Florida, and they were asleep the night we got there so we met over coffee and a heartfelt devotional at 6:30 the next morning. The first morning at the farm was amazing! We grew our friendship over an awesome breakfast and by the time we were off on home visits we had already built great connections! Before we set off on our home visits one of the pastors from the valley came to farm and had a small sermon for us. Even though we have a language barrier he was still passionate enough about the Gospel to come and share with us.
On the home visit we met a birthday girl in a sparkling white dress and her parents who are both having health issues. They were preparing for her party which was being held at the church next door. When her parents were telling us about their health issues they praised God for allowing them to feel healthy enough to throw their daughter a party. Her dad was tearing up when was telling us about his health issues and I'm not sure if it was from the pain he was suffering at that moment or if it was from the fear that the pain was coming again. At the second house we met a mom who has two little girls. They knew that we were coming and they are so excited! They were also going to the girls birthday party so they were all dressed up! The girls and their mom had recently been sick and they were recovering. Uncle Robbie was translating for us and he said that it may have been from the volcano. The family lives in the path of the volcanos smoke so they get sick often. Uncle Robbie asked the little girl jokingly if they had boyfriends and then turned to me and asked the same question... he was shocked to hear that I've been dating Link for almost 4 years now. This just shows that he should come back to the states more often! This shocking news led to ongoing questions throughout the week. The questions did not only come from Uncle Robbie but from Timmo, a man from the Florida team, who asked me LOTS of questions about Link! hahaha!
That night we got to meet the farm staff. They cooked an amazing dinner for all of us! I ate like a queen while on this trip! After dinner we played pictionary with the team and the staff. I have never had that much fun playing pictionary before! Everyone bonded over the terrible drawings of bird cages, paint cans, and shoes. When the staff left the team stayed up later to bond some more and to star gaze. I have never seen stars more beautiful! We could also see the glow from the volcano and the cactus flowers that bloom only at night. That night we also got to know our translators Bell and Christian. They are both extremely talented musicians who are very passionate about God and what is happening at Pinas de Paz. I loved being able to spend time with them that short week.
Language barriers didn't seem to matter to anyone on this trip. I speak very little Spanish but we managed to make it work and if we couldn't we would just laugh about it and then ask someone to help us! What I wouldn't give to go back now... Now I understand why my sister loves that place so much. I felt like I was home.