Common Ground Heads to Cerro Negro

Cerro Negro

Today we journeyed to Cerro Negro, the site of the most active volcano in Central America.  The drive up was long and bumpy.  We had to wait for cattle and pigs to cross the dirt road but we received cheers and smiles from every Nicaraguan child during the trip.  Even when we were being jolted around and ducking to miss branches that brush past, God sent His message of love in the most beautiful ways.

We arrived at the base of the volcano excited and nervous.  We had sleds and knew we were going to get very dirty but had no idea what would lay before us on our ascent to the top.  The crest to the top was 2200 feet.  It was
hot and there were loose rocks everywhere but we were ready to begin. I took my first step, ready for the challenge.  It didn’t go well.  I sprained my right ankle and went down hard, bruising my left knee as well.  A brief
scream and then the tears came.  Some were from pain, most were from the realization that I would not be able to hike the volcano which I had been anticipating greatly.  Immediately I was surrounded by my group in prayer.
I realized that I would not be climbing the volcano but God would be my entire strength in getting to the top.  He appeared in Marty as she immediately prayed for my strength.  He appeared in Nora as she taped my
ankle and helped practically carry me up the entire ascent.  He was with Jen as she encouraged me and carried my board.  He was with Jared who carried two boards so others could help.  He was with Ryan who ran down a third of
the volcano to retrieve tape and bring it back up.  I saw Omar with his encouragement and selflessness to keep me motivated.  He was with Meg who was taking pictures to capture the joy of our journey.  He was with Ron who
came up last to make sure everyone was taken care of.  God was in so many moments today that we could sum up our day with one word, Awe.

Common Ground Team

When we ascended to the top of the crest, we were absolutely breathless taking in the scenery.  The land was lush and green with beautiful peaks all around.  Smoke billowed up from parts of the volcano letting us know it was
safe for now but immense power and destruction loomed close enough to fear the power of God and appreciate His provision.  We knelt down to feel the intense heat from actual lava which was just underneath the loose layer of
rock.  God absolutely blew our mind today.  His glory was beautiful and we were truly grateful to behold it.

Lauren Crafton

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