“¡Hola!” de Nicaragua

Helloooo, dear readers!! I’m a little short on time, but I must tell you about this amazing time with our brothers and sisters in Nicaragua! Words cannot even begin to express this mission trip experience, so I’m hoping the pictures will help me out in this quick post…

IMG_0412The picture above is of Matagalpa- a city about 20 mins from where we are staying (Sébaco, Nicaragua).  You would not believe the hill/mountain that we had to drive up in order to get this view!  It was breath-taking…

calle This is a picture of a street in Sébaco.  All of the houses are so beautifully painted with bright colors!  Below is a picture of my new cat-friend named “Iman” (ee-mahn).  For the first view nights, I’ve been staying at this lovely home with some of the most-kind hearted and god-fearing people–Roger and Ana María.  They have been just like another family to Nick, and they have been so gracious in welcoming me into the family, as well.  Praise God for their hospitality and love.  I’ll write more about them later… 🙂

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IMG_0299This is an old church that sits on top of a big hill on the outskirts of Sébaco… so beautiful

IMG_0313This was our view when walking down the hill and back to the house.

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IMG_0356The streets in town are sooo busy and full of cars, bicycles, “moto-taxis”, and even bikes that have a covered bench constructed on the front to take passengers to their desired destination…

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In the picture below is our friend, Josue… He is precious!!! Nick and I have had so much fun playing with him and his brother, Rámer.

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IMG_0470While I wish I could write more, tomorrow is the big day!  Over one thousand people will be coming here tomorrow in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ACIBEN (Christian Association of Baptist Churches in Nicaragua).  It’s hard to imagine, but I cannot wait to see everyone coming to celebrate and give praises to the Lord our God for His provision and guidance of ACIBEN, the pastors, and even the church members.  Through baptisms, baby dedications, marriages, sermons, worship sessions, and a big lunch of rice, beans, and chicken, to God be the glory tomorrow and forever more!  Please be praying for Him to reveal even more truth about Himself through the words that the pastors have prepared, even for Nick as he translates tomorrow for our dear friend Kevin–the pastor at Crossbridge Christian Church in Senatobia, MS–who will be speaking tomorrow, also.

IMG_0466 - Version 2Even now, I write on behalf of both Nick and myself to say thank you for your thoughts and prayers for this trip to Nicaragua.  I’ll try to write again soon with more info about the trip and all that we’ve been doing, especially to give updates about how tomorrow goes!  Then after that, all of the training sessions for the pastors and the pastors’ wives will begin!  What a wonderful time that will be to study and drink deeply of the Scriptures with these fellow brothers and sisters of Christ’s body that stretches across all of the nations.  Until the next time I can write to you, please continue to pray for our hearts to continue growing with the desire to seek God and His kingdom first, and for His work to be done here on earth as it is in heaven…

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“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known to his deeds among the peoples!  Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!  Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!  Seek the Lord and his strength continually!  Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered, O offspring of Abraham, his servant, children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

— Psalm 105: 1-6 —

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Praying your day is filled with SONshine,

Sarah. signature

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Let’s make disciples!

So you became a believer by the grace of God, and you are certain that Jesus is your only way to the Father.  He is your source of joy, hope, peace, strength, and so much more!  Even in the hard times of life, you will be renewed in the hope that He will restore His people.  “Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.  Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:6).

So what do we do next?  Inspired and compelled by His redeeming love, we can’t just keep this life-changing relationship with Jesus to ourselves… Surely we must share the reason for the hope that we have (1 Peter 3:15).  We must be prepared in and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2).  After all, isn’t this what Jesus has commanded us to do?  Let’s look at his words from Matthew.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

What an incredible truth!  There are sooo many things to point out here.  The most recent realization that I had about this passage though, came a few weekends ago in a sermon.  When Pastor Tim at NBC read this passage of scripture, he stopped and said, “Look, did Jesus say that we need to go and make converts?  No, he told us to make disciples!”

What he is referring to through this statement is that we are not called to see how many people that we can “win to/for Jesus.”  Instead, we must seek to grow and develop these new believers, so that they will also go out and live for the cause of Christ.

Over the next few days, I’ll be praying that the Lord would reveal ways that I need to invest in others–both non-believers and believers!  Hopefully you will join me in this prayer, as well.  We can pray while walking around the office building, walking to class, looking through the contacts in our phones, and so many other places.

It’s been such a joy to write to you again.  I pray that God would draw near to you and that you would feel the light of His love and mercy shining upon you.  Remember… the victory has already been won.  We know the end of the story, so let’s live by that confidence that we now have through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! (Hebrews 6:17-20)

Praying your day is filled with SONshine,

Sarah. signature