Today!

We went into Aduana Uno and the rest of our team got to either reconnect or meet the team! God was present,  of course. Madison gave her lesson in Spanish and the kids held onto each word she said. We are truly opening our hearts to what God is doing, as opposed to what we want Him to do. Of course playing games are incredibly fun, but ultimately we want them to know the only reason we are there is because of the gospel.  To spred the love of Christ. Today was the first time I’ve seen them fully in tune to what He had for them since last year. God has something so amazing for that community,  you won’t want to miss out on praying with us for them. Here are photos from today….& the post right after this is from yesterday!

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Pancakes!!

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Yesterday↓↓↓↓↓

Since we had a storm last night,  I decided to blog twice today, in one time.yesterday we headed to Villa de Carmen, I was incredibly expectant that this village would be exactly like the village we are already connected with here. As soon as we walked in, I connected with a little boy names Keller,  he was drawing. So we went back and forth teaching each other how to draw certain things. I loved this connection. However, I felt it was the only connection I was making. I got discouraged to the max & honestly felt as if I was wasting my time. I desired to be with my other community and was completely shut off to what was going on. In that same moment of feeling discouraged God spoke so clearly..and this is what I heard..”Carmen,  you are turned away from this community and you haven’t given them a chance. Don’t you see the reflection of home here? They may have what they need and want, but they are yet to know my love. You shut people away from me, but you’re not the one who decides who gets the hear the gospel.  You are to do what you have been called to and live out the gospel. Don’t get caught up in any of Satan’s lies, you are exactly where you are supposed to be.” My heart was incredibly filled with His presence in that moment. And I can’t recall ever hearing Him so clearly in my life. So my question is this, who are you? And who is God? Who is God in you? And who do you restrict God being in you? We are all called to many things in our life, regardless if you’re a parent, business man, preacher, singer, athlete, etc. But one thing we are never called to is restricting the gospel. Matthew 28:19 says, “go and make disciples of ALL the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and Son and the Holy Spirit.” The great commission isn’t about going to some nations, but going to all.

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This is in villa de Carmen. Oh, and our other teammates finally got here two nights ago! A huge welcome to Daniel,  Chaz, Cam, Jennifer, Tammy, Angie, Olivia, Molly, Dezire, and Rachel.

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Dont want to make that village sound like it was horrible. God definitely showed himself.  This is Lisa allowing kids to recite the gospel bracelet to adults in the community.

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Daniel and Sean break dancing.

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Later that night we spent time in community with one another. Hammocking, Swimming, Chatting,  etc.

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Community happens when you..

Truly take time to know people and begin doing life with them. We are growing so close with each other, more each day. We had a day dedicated to the Perkins family. They are a family who has chosen to follow Christ and moved to Nicaragua. Though things have happened along the way, they’ve stayed so faithful to God. I am taken back by their faith. Their ability to not ne moved, and their unwillingness to move unless God leads them in a direction. So, as a lot of my blogs have spoken about, I’m inspired by their fearlessness. Serving their family today made me so glad. They are a family dedicated to servinf everyone else before themselves. They host us and so many people each year so we can grow our relationship with Christ and allowing many people the opportunity to see Him through us and our actions. Compared to what they do, I feel I have done nothing in service for them. Today our team painted a few things for them. During this time I realized how it’s not about what you do, its about how and why you do. Scripture talks about the condition of your heary nattering most.  Well today our team’s heart was fully in tune with the Lord. I couldn’t be happier serving with a group who is here to serve and not be served.  A group who is genuinely yearning for the Lord and won’t stop until His plan is fulfilled. We laughed and laughed today. Many of us truly got to know each other. We are a small group until later tonight when 10 more people join us on our team. I love everything about the here and now. Because Christ is here and now. Because love is here and now. Our passion is here and now. Everything you and I are, is here and now. Seek God and all He has for you, here and now. If you’re in a dry season,  seek what He has for you in this time. If you making a big decision, make sure you keep in mind His plans for you, now. Dont be so caught up in everything else that’s going on around you that you don’t take in the now.
On a shorter note, our team went out to eat at an AMAZING place!

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Wild and free today. We all hopped into the back of a truck and took in our surroundings. (↑Rachel and Hailey)

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We ate at a place with birds!

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I was broken to see this. Form the outside this looked to be a horse stall, and as I walked closer it was a home. We truly take for granted what we have been blessed with in the states. This was actually really nice compared to all the houses within the community.

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Johnny and I rep’n ignite.

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Intern swag! We look so cray cray.

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That’s all folks! ♥♥

We will see you soon.

I was entirely too exhausted to post last night, so I saved it for this morning.  Yesterday April & Jenny left us to return to the states. Jenny hsd a tough goodbye as each student and teacher from the community lined up to say their goodbye’s.
We took the kids on a field trip! Each member on our team connected with a student or two from the community. Our plan was to take them on a boat ride, walk around the cathedral, and head home.
Some students from the community got car sick because of our 2 hour ride. Madison and I played mom for these students. Might be a little gross to hear, but we both had handled the students who were puking like they belonged to us. When we got there, I cannot express the joy on their faces.  My heart was so full looking at the smiles and hearing the laughter from all the students. We had an amazing time! Rachel had a genius idea to give each boat (which held about 12 students) a camera so they could take photos. God laid it on her heart that they had the ability to share their stories through photos. Seeing the excitement they expressed was so humbling. God really used yesterday to display His beauty as we toured around lake Nicaragua. So many students were intrigued by mountain tops that surrounded us.
I found out my friend Heyney wants to be an engineer for computers. And Maybelle wants to be a lady doctor. I loved hearing about their dreams and where they felt they were being called to. I’m still so taken back by the community and the love they continue to display before us. Here are some photos from yesterday!

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Sean gave devotion on the bus about fear. He spoke on David and how he stood up for God. So cool to hear all our devotions this week leading back to fear and challenging us to pursue what God is calling us to, because there is a greater work in us!

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Students boat ride.

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This is where Heyner and I spoke about how beautiful Gods creation is. Loved hearing his heart

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Heyner and Allison!

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Chase being crazy!!

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Group photo!

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Heyner and I 🙂

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Us “gringos”

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Liz soaked in the sun!

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Chris helping Kayla feed a monkey!

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Our boat (the kids weren’t paying attention)

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Carlos was so fascinated

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The kids on our boat with their cameras

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As some kids swam, others played on this amazing tree!

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Sorry for the delay! Thanks for keeping up with us!

Nothing can separate..

Not even death. Nor life. Nothing can separate us from God’s love and amazing power. I am so thankful for the book of Romans. I was far from myself today while we had our time with the kiddos. Just an all around off day, but God really spoke to me during this time. In Matthew 13:18-24 Jesus explains a parable of what kind of seed you are, as you were planted. I think we too often flake away from His will for our life out of fear. Its heart breaking if you think of it. We have a God who sacrificed His own son, who hung nailed to a cross for the opportunity or chance we might choose to love Him in return. In reading in Matthew today I genuinely had a broken heart for how much I’ve limited Gods power. We fall away from His will when things get tough, but what if we took our fear and gave it to God,  in return we would become courageous.. what would that look like for your life?

Our day was very relaxed. Due to students exams we went into the village later in the day. Jenny taught on Jesus walking on water and how its easy to lose sight of what He has planned. I think they’re beginning to truly see the reason we are here is solely because of Christ. Johnny, Sean, and Chase were once again a power team in playing with the kiddos. Chase got crafty and made glasses out of pipe cleaners, the next thing I notice is a line of students waiting their turn for him to make some for them.
April was showing many young girls Brian and her daughter’s,  they all blushed as she told them of her family.Hailey has made a connection with an adorable little boy named Johan.  He brought his mom from the village to meet her. Awesome famil connection to see taking place.
Mostly every one just hung out with students building relationships.

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The kids joined our bus ride!

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And we had a massive game of musical chairs going on

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April being swamped by the girls

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Chris and eyner playing with the local pup

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Each day students chase the bus as we head out of the village.  And they wave with excitement because they know we will soon return

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Thanks for keeping up today!

Oops!

I somehow managed to delete all other post from this week aside from yesterday, so I apologize! But if you’ve been keeping up, I thank you very much.

Today: We finally got a routine going. After an early breakfast and devotion from Heather,  we headed out to the community. Students were in school, but teachers insisted on us interacting with many of the students who weren’t taking exams. My heart was so full. Sean, Chase,  Jenny, Hailey, and many others split into a big game of futbol! Girls vs. Boys of course. It was incredibly awesome to watch how every person on out team interacted. During this time of play Rachel and April were hanging with the women from the community who are in a jewelry class. Lisa wanted a way to pour into woman’s lives, so she started a class where women will be empowered and given purpose. To thrive. (Austin you better appreciate that) the money they get goes to supplying the materials they need, as well as supporting their family. Lisa also helps the women budget out what to spend on. Its a beautiful process to watch!
VBS was amazing today. The students all connected with at least two students from this community we are reconnected with. Johnny was a celebrity because of his iPad and ability to make the students laugh, and Hailey found a new boyfriend who is about 4 years old. Madison and Elizabeth sang their hearts out, and Ali reconnected with Hennessey. All in all, it was a good day. I’m sorry there isn’t much to say, but I can tell you that Gods hand was all over it. Thank you to those of you continuing to pray with us. Hopefully I will not delete any more posts!

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Megan shared paper with students so they could draw something!

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This is Mario. He’s so full of joy and life and I am so humbled to have the privilege of pouring into His life.

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Johnny at the start of kids seeing his iPad. A few minutes after this photo you couldn’t see him any more because of how many students surrounded him

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Sean and Chase spun so many kids around today that they may still be dizzy as I write this. It was humbling seeing them interacting with so many students

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Chase and our crazy friend Hamilton got hold of my phone.

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My best friend Heyner. Kenner and Hamilton joined in!

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Madison and I got tickled to death (literally) by multiple students. Definitely loved seeing all the joy.

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Of course, another pup.

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Brittany,  Hennessey misses you!

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My boys.

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I look cray cray, but this sums up today. Pure laughter for everyone!
Check in tomorrow to see what God did through us In the community!

The more we seek you.

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God was more evident today than He has been in a while for me. Today our group went into the city of Managua to Verbo church. This church was planted 30 years ago by missionaries who came to Nicaragua and there are now Verbo church’s all around. The way people rejoiced for the Lord so freely was evidence that there is so much freedom in Christ.  I know that may sound strange,  but seeing how humbly these people came before the Lord in worship was unbelievable. Ali, Heather,  and some girl’s joined in on the locals starting a congo line during worship.  Though it was funny to watch, I was taken back by the boldness people displayed. They didn’t care what people thought,  whether dancing around or signing at the top of their lungs completely off key, they just wanted to worship our God for all He has done. I feel worship is overcomplicated at home. We are restricted to sing certain songs and in mellow voices because of our fear that someone may hear how horrible we sound. But who cares? I mean honestly,  who cares how you sound. Who cares if you dance. We worship for God. Not for man. We worship to give Him thanks and honor, while humbling ourselves for all He has done and will continue to do. I mean take a look at David!  This is a man who danced before the Lord. People thought He was foolish. But I say he is inspiring.  He gave all that He had before the Lord,  even though people called him crazy. So lets follow his example and stop being so legalistic with worship. Its not about us, it never was.
Sorry I just went on a tangent. But the Lord truly spoke into that today for me.
Well as you see above, there was time spent in a prayer room! Mrs.Ruby was a woman who prayed so much her knees were bruised black from how much time she spent kneeling before the Lord. Everyone who knew her knew she was a woman with a heart for the Lord. She wanted a second floor in her home dedicated to prayer for people to come and encounter the Lord whenever they pleased. Unfortunately we did not have the privilege of meeting her, but we did get to go into her home (which is still open for prayer). Some other missionaries joined us & just prayed so much truth over our lives. I’ve never gotten so much clarity in my life, and I can say the group can say the same. Person after person was brought up & prayed for. It sounds crazy and scary, but it was exactly what many of us needed. I’m not going to go into detail for the sake of privacy,  but what I can say is this: dare to know Him more. Dare to encounter what He has for you more. We were challenged by that truth by our lead missionaries today. And I can promise you that I will dare. I will fight the good fight, and I will live like Christ more each day. Today was an awakening to each one of us.

Afterwards we hit up an amazing restaurant, local market, got some goods, and headed back for a rainy day swim. Madison shared her heart tonight in devotion expressing what God is doing in her life and how to live selflessly. I don’t think we needed to hear that more.
I dare you to know Him more, and become selfless so that He can use you in whichever way He pleases. 

Here are photos from today! It was all about building community within our group, before going and building community with others.

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Of course,  breakfast!  Shannon Wood if you’re reading this I hope you are drooling because I cannot post on instagram!

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On the way to church!

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The lovely Jenny Hess! God is definitely using her to speak into my life right now & I’m so thankful she came to Nicaragua!

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Johnny and his new friend Samuel! Sammie loves Johnny more than anyone in our group.

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Prayer room!

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For some reason drinks are massive here.

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Lunch was amazing!!

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Love April and Jennys leadership they have brought to the team!

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Maket place.

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Tickle fight with Ellis. I won.

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Our drive was beautiful!

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Water tanks! 10, 000 gallons in each. Our team helped buy one last year, so if you sponsored us. This is where your money has gone!

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Liz 🙂

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Ellis and I bundled for warmth after the pool.  Its cold this year!

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Aamazing dinner and ice cream tonight!
Thanks for keeping up with us!