Faith takes center stage when…
you experience physical demands that threaten to break your spirit
the physical needs spills over into your mental and emotional well-being
you know there is a community praying you through back home
each day requires the support of the people around you to successfully make it through
you interact with the local people inspite of language differences and see the love of Jesus in everyone of them.
Last week, in Nicaragua, I experienced first hand the beauty of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual working in harmony as I worked with a team of 100 people from my church alongside an amazing team from Amigos for Christ. Every minute was a testimony of how faith takes center stage.
God was at work even before we arrived in Nicaragua. From choosing the right team to travel from my church as well as those we would work with once we hit the ground. But the real beauty was experiencing the hands and feet of Jesus in the Nicaraguans we worked, lived and interacted with as we did the work we were brought to do.
Faith takes center stage as you learn how your physical well-being is tied to your emotional and mental health. It is when God ties them all together in the spiritual understanding that your success is all due to the intercession of His heavenly strength and grace. Spending the week in Nicaragua the week after Easter was no mistake in God’s eyes. As Jesus walked slowly and deliberately to the cross to fulfill His Father’s plans, we walked to the cross in humble thanksgiving that Jesus’ sacrifice is what brought us all together. In one final act of submission, we are commissioned as God’s children to share His love and grace with all those we meet. It is allowing God to write a beautiful new chapter of our stories as we interact and learn from a new group of people whose lives are beautiful examples of how Jesus asks us to love others.
[Tweet “God calls us to live big for Him even when we think we don’t have what it takes.”]
A big piece of who I am is forever changed because a group of Nicaraguans showed me what it means to love, welcome others and live a life of generosity even when at first glance you see sparsity and simplicity. It is our call to live big for God even if we think we don’t have what it takes. God knows our hearts and gifts and He will fill in the gaps of our weaknesses with His strength.
A big thank you to all of you for praying me through this past week. I felt every word of encouragement lifted in prayer and the love of each of you needed to carry me through. The intensity of the week was balanced by the beautiful spirit of this community standing behind me at home. Thank you for blessing me from here to there and back again.
I am praying and praising the words in Ephesians as a way to understand how we each are called and the relationship that God calls each of us to as we open our hearts by saying “yes”.
Blessings of grace along the way,
Blessed to be linking up with these fabulous ladies!
and Dawn for Grace Moments
Join my mailing list!
Subscribers receive updates, newsletters, and FREE resources! Your information is safe and will never be shared.
If you're not receiving emails from me, check your spam folder and mark my emails as "not spam."
Hi Mary! Welcome back! I can’t imagine how powerful your mission trip was…and with 100 people total? You must have made as much of an impact on them as they did on you.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that there are people living in other countries who need help and support so much, I get so involved in myself. I think an experience like this would be a constant reminder of the need, and how we are all not that different at all.
Rest and reflect…
I loved seeing the open hearts and welcoming spirits of the people of Nicaragua. They showed us how they value family and community and I would like to think that we value the same things here in the USA. I know I do. My eyes have been opened to seeing what is outside of my own little corner of the world. That is the biggest blessing of all. Thank you for blessing me by being here.
Mary, it sounds like God really met you. What a wonderful testimony. Thanks for sharing with us.
Thank you for blessing me by stopping by, Debbie. A week in Nicaragua was quite an experience for me and one that I will continue to process for a long time. I pray you have a wonderful week.
So thankful you are home safe and sound, and changed, my friend! It was an honor to pray for you. Sounds like God hand-picked your (His) team and went before you and behind you on this trip. Blessings my friend, as you rest and recover.
It blessed me to know so many people were covering me and the team in prayer. Believe me when I say that I felt every single prayer throughout the whole week. God knew what He was doing when He chose the team and He was certainly in all the details during the week. I pray this week is one of discovery and blessings for you my friend.
So glad your trip went so well, Mary. This line especially touched me:
“A big piece of who I am is forever changed because a group of Nicaraguans showed me what it means to love, welcome others and live a life of generosity even when at first glance you see sparsity and simplicity. ”
I’ve experienced a taste of that myself when I’ve traveled, though never to such a poor area. Thank you for sharing this.
You blessed me so much by stopping by and leaving me such kind words, Charity. Thank you for taking the time and for affirming my words with a glimpse of your own experience. Hope you have a wonderful week.
So glad you made it there and back safely. Isn’t it amazing how those with so much less (materially) than what we have, show us what it’s like to have true faith and gratitude. We think we go to give, when in reality we return with so much more. Sounds like you had a blessed time!
Welcome back ((hugs)),
It is amazing that love and happiness are everywhere and sometimes even more prevalent in areas where there is seemingly nothing. I keep thinking about you and whether you will have an opportunity to visit the children at your school in the future. It would be life changing to say the least.
Thank you for the warm welcome! I am thrilled to be back. Hugs and love coming your way!
Mary, I missed you! It’s good to read your words again. Welcome home, friend. I love the lessons the Lord is teaching you and look forward to those you have yet to process and share. These met me where I’m at these days: “He will fill in the gaps of our weaknesses with His strength.” Amen! May you rest and recover well from your journeying and keep pondering the riches of His grace to sustain us all our days. Blessings and hugs. Xx <3
I have a lot of pondering to do that is for sure. God had so much to show and teach me that I honestly came home very overwhelmed from the whole experience. There is no doubt in my mind that God was present in every minute, everyday and every experience while I was gone.
It is so good to have you here and I love seeing my community check in with me to see how the trip went. Praying you have had a blessed week! Hugs!
I wish we could sit over a cup of coffee so I could hear more about your experience. But look forward to the glimpses you will share with us here. Much love to you, friend. xoxo
I am still dreaming about that day we are sitting across from each other with our favorite coffee in hand. There is so much to share about one week in Nicaragua but I need to let God lead the way in how the story should be told. I love seeing your beautiful face here. I have missed you! Praying for you as always and know that God’s got you!
Beautifully written, and a testimony of God’s strength working through all of you, being His hands and feet, and salt and light.
Thank you Lynn! It was an incredible blessing to myself and the team to be part of bringing clean water to several rural areas in Nicaragua.I never could have imagined what this experience would have been like before I left even if I was told many mission trip stories of others. We each experience things uniquely and that is what makes the journey so amazing. I am blessed you checked in with me and love having you here!
It sounds like you had an intensely amazing week, my friend. I’m so glad you are home safe and already back in this beautiful space of yours. This tugged hard at my heart: “A big piece of who I am is forever changed because a group of Nicaraguans showed me what it means to love…” Thank you for sharing this important journey with us, Mary!
That is a good way to describe it-intensely amazing! I love being back but know that the true purpose for me being in Nicaragua has not been fully revealed yet. Hope you have had a wonderful week! We need to connect soon. It’s been way too long!
I love this post Mary! Thank you for visiting my site today. It is so Amazing when God reveals Himself to us as He forces our faith to the forefront of our lives. I am always encouraged to read stories like yours especially today. I am thankful that God has provided His armor to protect us from the enemy and allows our faith to grow. Thanks again for sharing what God has laid on your heart. Have a wonderful week and may God continue to bless you and yours!
Amen! God is amazing and there are times He leads us far away from our comfort zones to teach us lessons of faith that we would not know util we followed Him. God had so much to teach me while I was gone and I pray over time I will be able to share more of what that looked like here on this page. I was glad to run across you at Beth’s linkup and I pray your week has been blessed.
“Faith takes center stage as you learn how your physical well-being is tied to your emotional and mental health.” What profound words and testimony on faith – looking for God to act and to minister even the strength we need to serve! So glad to be your neighbor today at TellHisStory!
Your trip sounds so life-changing and fulfilling. Congratulations on your opportunity to and for serving Christ.
Beautiful, Mary. It always amazes me how God meets us when we’re way out of our comfort zones. When I went to the Philippines years ago, I had to come to the end of myself as the team I was with ministers to people there. I had to yield my agenda and will to Him. Only then, could He both use me and do the work He wanted to do in me. That trip was unforgettable. As this trip must have been for you. 🙂
I loved this: “As Jesus walked slowly and deliberately to the cross to fulfill His Father’s plans, we walked to the cross in humble thanksgiving that Jesus’ sacrifice is what brought us all together. In one final act of submission, we are commissioned as God’s children to share His love and grace with all those we meet.”
Just beautiful. I look forward to reading more about the things God taught you during your time in Nicaragua!
Thank you for your kind words. My week in Nicaragua was one of the most intense and overwhelming yet extremely humbling weeks I have ever experienced. There is so much more that I need to process and pray about how God would like me to share it with others. I have learned over my few years of writing that I want my words to honor others and God most of all. The stories I experienced in Nicaragua were all because of God. So now I need to let Him lead the way with what needs to be shared. Thank you for sharing that you went to the Philippines. I know you have a sense of understanding of all I have felt this past week. I am blessed by your friendship!
Mary, Thank you for sharing this beautiful testimony. How blessed you are indeed to have shared in that incredible experience.
I took to heart your insights and wisdom gained from the week.
Thank you Karen! I know last week in Nicaragua was intense and the hardest thing I have ever done. But the best part is that I never thought I was brave before I took this trip. God showed me that I am brave and this only happened because I said “yes” to His plan, which was brave from the first thought I had to go on the trip until I actually arrived and experienced everything. I am blessed that you joined me here today. Blessings to you too!
Welcome back, Mary. I’m so glad you could see God at work in the Nicaraguans and among yourselves. You must have a lot to process yet. May we live big for God wherever we are placed in life! Blessings and hugs to you!
So good to see you here, Trudy. I do have a lot to process and am praying that God gives me the words to share it all with all of you. I am praying that we all let God lead us to living big for Him. Blessings and thank you for being here today.
I was so hoping to hear about your trip — and you did not disappoint me!
This is such a great take-away lesson that faith takes center stage when we find that we are outside our comfort zone and beyond the point that we can make things happen in our own strength!
Thank you! I only shared a snippet because I have so much more to process. I pray I will be able to coherently share more stories as time goes on. I am blessed to have you here today and to know that we all can step out of our comfort zone when we let God lead the way. Blessings!
Welcome home, Mary! So good to hear about your trip. Sounds like it was incredible. So much THIS: “As Jesus walked slowly and deliberately to the cross to fulfill His Father’s plans, we walked to the cross in humble thanksgiving that Jesus’ sacrifice is what brought us all together.” I think that is so spot on. God definitely has a way of knowing what we need before we need it. I love the ways that faith takes center stage.
How fun to see you here friend! I feel like I have come back home not only physically but to my blogging community. It makes me so happy. Thank you for your kind words. Traveling to a new country is an experience that is very humbling as well as God inspiring. There are so many words that are in me but so much processing yet to happen to pull it all together. I was blessed by how God and faith took center stage while I was gone. Blessings friend!
Welcome home. I’m glad you had a good week and got to experience “God at work.” Are pictures forthcoming?
Pictures will be forthcoming as the stories are ready to be told. There is so much that I continue to process and understand. I am blessed that you prayed for me while I was gone.
Welcome home, Mary. These words spoke deeply this morning > “It is our call to live big for God even if we think we don’t have what it takes.” Thank you for reminding me that even when I think I don’t have what it takes, I have been called to live big for God. I needed those words this morning. Blessings!
Thank you, Joanne! Living big for God has been a theme God keeps whispering to me this year. Honestly it frightens me to think what all that could like. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called! I can’t remember who said those words but they are the truth. Blessed to have you join me here today.
I’m so glad your trip went well and that you saw God at work and experienced his love and faithfulness. I love the call to “live big for God” and those verses from Ephesians are some of my favourites.
Thank you Carly! When we open our hearts to saying “yes” to God, He certainly is going to show us big. That was my experience last week in Nicaragua. I’m glad the verses in Ephesians spoke to you today. I’m blessed you joined me here today.
Oh welcome back, friend ,,,
God kept you close to my heart while you were away from your keyboard. No surprise that He’s done great things!
Please check your email for a little note from me, ok?
Meanwhile, rest and ponder …
Thank you for praying while I was gone. I literally felt every prayer uttered from all of you and they are what got me through. God had so much to teach me while I was in Nicaragua that I came home on overload trying to process all of it. It’s good to be back with all my beautiful friends!
Love seeing you here in my little writing home.