Going to Nicaragua on a mission trip was one of the highlights of my summer. While this was my fourth trip to Nicaragua, I can definitely say it was one of my BEST mission trips, EVER!!!
My family and I joined with several other people from my church. We had a really strong mission team. All of us but one had been on previous mission trips, so we already had an idea of what to expect. As usual, though, each mission trip is different from all others. And that’s a very good thing!
We flew from Jacksonville, Florida to Managua, Nicaragua on Saturday, July 15th. After arriving in Nicaragua, we spent our first night at the Word of Life Nicaragua headquarters in Managua. We work with Guillermo Aguilar and other missionaries at Word of Life Nicaragua. They work with us before the trip to come up with an itinerary that supports local churches.
When we arrived in Nicaragua, WOL handled everything. We had six translators that traveled with us and worked with us all week. In addition, WOL took care of our transportation, lodging, and food. This was a blessing to us, because it allowed us to focus on ministry.
After spending our first night at the Word of Life headquarters in Managua, we drove for several hours on Sunday morning to a smaller town called Juigalpa. That is where we ended up staying for much of the week. Instead of finding a hotel, we bunked in an old orphanage. We were very excited to have air conditioning in the bedrooms at night. There was no hot water, but it was pretty clean, compared to other places we stayed in the past.
Even though we stayed in Juigalpa, that’s not where we did any of our ministry work. Instead, we drove an hour away each day to work with a church in Santo Domingo. The people of Iglesia Filadelfia welcomed us warmly! Their town is so small that there is not even a hotel there. We really enjoyed working with them during the week!
In the United States, it’s typical that the “main” church service takes place on Sunday morning. However, Nicaraguans tend to emphasize the Sunday evening services. Troy and Mike both spoke in the two services. The first message was on marriage, followed by a regular service. Two other ladies and I sang a trio in Spanish. The song was “Wonderful, Merciful Savior.” I was VERY nervous about singing in Spanish because my Spanish is TERRIBLE! It went fine, fortunately.
On Monday, we went to a neighborhood in Santo Domingo where the pastor of the church we worked with lives. We split up into groups of two. With an interpreter, each group went door-to-door, witnessing to people in their homes. A few people got saved! We were also able to invite people in the community to Bible studies that take place in that neighborhood.
On Monday afternoon, we sponsored a soccer (football) tournament. It took place in a park in the center of Santo Domingo. We were surprised to find that it had a giant covered basketball court with a stadium. They played soccer right on the basketball court, but the ball was smaller than usual.
During the tournament, we had a few of the youth that were with us give their testimonies. Joshua shared the Gospel through the Evangicube.
After our presentation, we split up the people in the crowd into groups of six to ten and spoke with them more.
Santo Domingo is a really sweet town, and we enjoyed working there for the week.
One of the favorite things we did was host a retreat for the youth of Iglesia Filidelfia (plus others from nearby churches.) We used another church in the country that had more room for games. Several of us gave testimonies. We talked to the kids about discipleship and purity.
We also did a VBS for the kids that attend school during the week at Iglesia Filadelfia.
Nicaragua is absolutely beautiful! We enjoyed a gorgeous drive each day from Juigalpa to Santo Domingo.
On Thursday afternoon, we made our way back to Managua.
Friday was our last full day in Nicaragua, so it was our “tourism” day. We visited Volcano Masaya first. It’s an active volcano, and we could hear it churning below us. There was also quite a bit of smoke coming from it. The higher areas were closed off, so we couldn’t hike to the very top this time.
In addition, we visited a local pottery shop. The owner did a demonstration for us, and a couple of us got to try our hand at making a pot!
After we finished at the pottery shop, we visited a local market. For lunch, we ate at a restaurant build on the shore of a lake. The lake is actually a filled-up extinct volcano. Several of us went swimming in the lake after lunch!
As you can see, Nicaragua is a gorgeous country! We were so blessed to be able to work with the missionaries and a local church. It’s very encouraging to see that God is working in a different country and in a different language! God is definitely doing amazing things!
Many of my friends are surprised to hear that we don’t go to Nicaragua to build things and/or pass out food. Instead, we focus on carrying the Gospel to the people of Nicaragua. It is a communist country, and it’s the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. However, we believe that people need the Gospel more than anything else. Rich or poor, people need Jesus!