I’ve recently been granted the opportunity to go on a mission trip to the country of Nicaragua. This is a mission that I have been on before a few years prior, yet this time around was more than just an experience or an adventure, it was a calling. Much was learned on this trip, about my brethren, about myself, about my God. My God is a marvelous God, a God of Compassion, Love, Mercy and at times Wrath. He is also full of understanding and knowledge. He had a purpose for each of my companions going on this trip, I pray we all discovered the reason.
Upon my return, I learned that no matter how far apart, my brethren in Nicaragua are family. The family of God covers this planet in all of its expanse. No matter the language barrier, culture, or any other difference, we are all family. Speaking to the people we visited wasn’t our goal, for our language means nothing to them. Showing the love of God through not just our own personalities, but also through the personality of our family, was our goal. Laughing and playing with the children in the villages, seeing the parents smile, and providing a meal to the families was of great joy to me. They did not care if we could understand each other, for the tongue sets fires, while a smile calms the stirred spirit. Smiling at a young child and hearing them giggle brought joy to my heart. All we may be able to get across through word is our names, but the love of God can shine brightly in a heart of compassion.
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1 (NASB)
Unconditional love, that’s what God has towards all of His creation. We need to model this type of love and compassion. To show love towards the unlovable, compassion to the cruel, a hand of friendship to the outcast. Unconditional love towards everyone. With a heart that understands what true love is, God can work wonderful things through that person’s life.
God is working in mighty ways with the ministry we worked alongside. On Eagle’s Wings Ministries is spreading the love of Christ to thousands and showing what unconditional love truly is. Over 10,000 children are fed by the ministry! They are working with local sports teams and getting the youth more involved in church activities. The people working with the ministry are all very loving people. Everything they do is out of love for the people of Nicaragua and for God. The leader, Oscar, coming from a rough background has through countless blessings granted by the Lord, built a wonderful ministry. Placing the people of Nicaragua and their needs before his own, God blesses his heart of compassion abundantly. I miss the friends that I’ve made there dearly, but I know I will see them again. They are praying for me as I do for them, apart physically, together in spirit. It was of great honor and blessing to see it all unfold over the years. Work is still at hand, there is much to do for the Kingdom of God. The mission trip may have ended, but the mission is still ongoing, day by day.
I feel that God has reserved a peculiar plan for me. I keep wanting to go down certain paths of life that aren’t necessarily bad, just not where God leads. I desire to join the United States Air Force, yet I have been working towards that goal for nearly a year. When I decided to join the mission team, I figured I could give my spot to another if I was accepted to serve before our trip. God had other plans and caused my process to be delayed by several months. Upon return, I thought I’d be gone by the end of this month…further delay. Even now, more delay. Try as I might, this door will open on its own timing, or perhaps not at all. At first I fought it, always trying new ways to unblock hold-ups and requesting assistance from higher ranking personnel. Now, I’m told there’s another issue, my reply…okay, in God’s timing. He had a plan in mind for me with this mission trip, I just didn’t know how important it was until now.
I was blessed to strengthen bonds with my team members and hopefully each of us strengthened our bonds with God as well. My fellow team members, none of which I would’ve said were very close to me, became near and dear to my heart. For each I would do anything humanly possible to help them in times of need. One of my closest friends now, expressed that they were glad God caused delay in my enlistment process, because if He hadn’t, we wouldn’t be such close friends now. That being true, I am glad He delayed it as well. If my purpose is simply to be there for those who need a brother by their side, then so be it, I will be a brother. A heart full of compassion and love is what I desire. I believe God has granted me that wish. To lead the ones I love wisely is the next step.
Being home since the trip has been very odd indeed. Old friends I haven’t seen in a long time are coming back into my life. These past few weeks back home have been a blessing, as well as very perplexing. I do not know what the Lord is doing fully, but I feel that many friends are there as encouragement to me, others I am to be of encouragement to them. I wrote in my post “Only The Potter” that I have been granted a small flock. These friends I feel are my small flock. Some are church goers, others are not, all seem to be seeking guidance in some form. I’ll admit that taking upon myself some of the burdens of my Christian family, just as we are instructed to do, had me worried for a time. With guidance from the Lord and other Christian family members, I am certain He will give me the strength and wisdom to lead those who wish to learn under me to the Son Jesus Christ. This is the reason why I think I remain where I am. My end goal in all of my desired paths is to be a missionary. Chaplain in the Air Force would be ideal in my mind, but if my friends need me right where I am, then here I will remain. God has a plan in mind, I’m sure it’s going to be great when I see it unfold!
“People come into your life for a reason, it may be for a season, or a lifetime.”
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11