You’ll have to forgive me in advance for what is going to be a very short post. At some point, I’ll collect the pictures that various members of our team took today, but for now, you’ll have to settle for the stock photos I picked up online from the city of Chinendega, Nicaragua, which is serving as our home-base for the bulk of the trip. Chinendega is the second largest city in Nicaragua and serves as a hub of sorts for the ministry we are supporting through the Reyes family. It is in this area that the various churches are being planted, growing, and planting other churches in the nearby villages. In fact, we went to see a brand new congregation in a tiny, remote village in a place called Pancasan where they meet in the open air under a very small thatched roof, kind of the like the rest stop shelters for picnic tables that you might find on one of our interstates. We came toward the end of the service that saw two amazing things happen:
A) An older man and his wife both made first time decisions to follow Jesus…
B) As part of their decision to follow Christ, they wanted to donate a portion of their farmland on which the people could build their church… which was across the street from the place where they were meeting.
And we think we make sacrifices in our commitments to God… right… sure we do…
It reminds me of this passage from the book of Acts 4:32-37 (NLT) back when the Early Church was first getting started…
All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.
For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.
These stories don’t discourage me that I somehow “don’t give enough.” But they do challenge me to give more to what God is doing. And God is doing great things here in Nicaragua. It’s an honor to be a part of it. No, it’s more than an honor. It’s an inspiration of epic proportions. To see a husband and wife who have so little give up so much on their first steps to following Jesus… it makes me wonder what more God wants from me.
Thanks for praying for us. Keep it up! The driving here is a little scary… if it wasn’t for how great of a driver our friend, Juan Carlos, is… well… if any of you remember the old arcade game “Crazy Taxi,” it’s like that, but without the bonus points… or reset button.
P.S. Oh, we had fried plantains and cheese in two places today… and they were AWESOME! I guess we had a bad batch at the first spot because I’m DEFINITELY a fan, now! The Nicaraguan chain “Rosti-Pollo” has made me a believer in the delicious wonders that are fried plantains and cheese.