The missionary disciples are observing an evening of silent retreat, so there will be no other updates today. We will be back on track with all our daily updates tomorrow!
At this point of our week-long mission, We can only say how honored and humbled we are as a Mission Team to see the joyful, dedicated, and courageous faith your missionary disciples have shown this week. They are your friends, relatives, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters, and they have absolutely demonstrated the best of who we are as a people of God. God is doing remarkable things in Nicaragua. God is doing remarkable things in our hearts. Be assured of their love and prayers for you all.
The two sides of Fr. Edwin: strong side | soft side
Greetings Friends! So, day 2 at our worksite in Gorra and so far our site team has been getting down and dirty – from building trenches to playing a soggy, muddy and fierce game of volleyball – while also chatting with some of the members of our community about everything from pumas to their family lineage in Nicaragua. It’s been a very insightful past few days, and one of the most notable places where I’ve seen God is in the ease and simplicity of human connection here. In Nicaragua, the communities know each other; they say hello to each other and to newcomers and welcome them with unconditional hospitality and kindness. I think the most powerful take away from this very basic and simple observation is just that – you don’t need anything except a great sense of openness to create connections. Today, a few of my mission teammates and I taught some of the locals who were working with us how to play volleyball. Without hesitation they joined in, and despite some language barriers we were able to laugh, joke around and have a really great time together. Another great connection that I made today was with a lady named Maria. Even though I could only understand about half of our conversation (since it takes me about 5 minutes to translate a sentence in my head) she was so patient with me and was so eager and excited to talk. I loved how happy she was to show me a picture of a conejo (bunny) that Erin drew for her. I guess to sum this all up – all we need is respect and love for one another in order to build connections on the most basic human level, and that’s really beautiful.
“Where did you see God today?” is the daily question we’ve been asked throughout these few days in our mission. It is a question that honestly was really hard for me to answer. I would look back during my day trying to find out where I saw Him, but nothing seemed to be exactly what I was expecting. Sunday I woke up early and since everyone pretty much was still asleep I decided to go to the chapel and sat there for a good while. I started meditating and asking God why it was so hard to see Him? I asked Him to help me to see Him, to give me the wisdom to see further than what my physical eyes could see. I wanted to see Him with my soul. I sat there before His presence and all I could perceive was peace. I closed my eyes and started hearing the birds singing outside; I felt the fresh morning air in my face which made turn my face towards the window, then I opened my eyes and all I saw was a beautiful view through the window. It was there when I realized how foolish I had been the days before. I had seen God throughout the whole trip in so many ways, but I just hadn’t realized it. God was, is, and will always be in the smallest things. How could I have not seen it? I was expecting to see him in a different way, but God was in every smile of the people I had encountered, the beautiful landscapes of Nicaragua, the rain –which is very often and a lot of it, and so many other things that now I can see with so much ease. I would like to encourage each one of you who are reading this blog to ask yourself the same question…”Where have I seen God today?, and if you have difficulty answering this question like I did, go ahead and talk to Him and ask Him to open the eyes of your soul to be able to see how AMAZING He is.
This year’s missionary disciples beginning their first work day at La Gorra.
During our first few days abroad, I have had the pleasure of building relationships with the local people of the Muelle de los Bueyes community. Particularly, with the gentlemen who are assisting us with the labor at our work site. After we had finished today, we were sitting down and chatting in Spanish. Spanish is not my first language; however I studied the language for almost 8 years in school, and seized the opportunity to practice my skills. We talked about all sorts of subjects, ranging from sloths or “cucalas” to how the road conditions in Nicaragua are better than some of the roads in Dallas. This was a great moment to fine-tune my Spanish, but also to connect with some of the individuals with whom we will work alongside over the next few days. This connection allows us to build trust and camaraderie amongst each other, which in turn, enhances everyone’s experience. The missionary experience has been great thus far, and I ask `everyone to continue to pray for the health and safety of the missionary team and the people of the Nicaragua.
Today, I saw The Lord through my team. I loved the way that we all worked together and got a lot done while having fun by telling funny stories and getting to know one another better! This trip has been a humbling and an amazing experience! I am truly blessed and thankful for this wonderful opportunity! The local people are very nice and welcoming! They are all truly my brothers and sisters in Christ! Love and Prayers!