Sometimes the Lord calls us to difficult things. Situations that don’t quite make sense and don’t “fit “our plan.” I’m convinced that these are not without purpose, but rather opportunities that the Lord orchestrates to deepen our trust and dependence on Him. Where we’re challenged to grow and step out on faith… growing pains.
Although we may not always now the “why” behind these situations that come our way we can know the “who.” The “who”…the ONE that promises to never leave us or forsake us and whose steadfast love endures no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in. That’s really the best way I can recap my most recent trip to Nicaragua.
Our team of five set out April 2 with a few goals in mind: to scout out some new possible sites for future ministry and to visit some new outreach villages that we were praying about joining a local pastor in Nicaragua in a church plant. It wasn’t very long into our trip that we knew the Holy Spirit was moving in another direction.
There are countless places in Nicaragua that need help. The poverty that surrounds you can become overwhelming at times because everywhere you turn there’s someone that needs help and you simply can’t meet every need. As a team we were brought back to square one and began to ask ourselves “why do we come here?” Seems like an easy enough question, but it’s definitely one worth asking. With all the need that you face in any third-world country it would be very easy to make yourself busy while never making any sort of eternal impact for the Kingdom of God.
So, why do we go?
“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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
That’s it! There’s no other reason! There should be no other reason. The Gospel is enough! That can be exhibited in so many different ways. There’s no limit to avenues that the Gospel can be shared. But if there’s not an intentional effort behind what we do than it becomes nothing more than events and projects. Hungry people need to eat and sick people need to have doctor’s visits, but if we don’t use these moments (lead by the Holy Spirit) to share the Gospel than we’ve missed an opportunity.
What a great reminder! I’m so thankful that the Lord took this trip to refocus us as a team before leading our church trip this summer and for years to come. Truthfully it can be overwhelming to think about the task that Lord has placed in front of us. But intertwined with those feelings there’s a joy and a renewed purpose that the Lord is revealing to us! There’s restoration, healing, and freedom that the Lord wants so desperately for the hearts of the people in the community of Bethel that we’ve grown to love and it’s so close I almost taste it! We can rest in the fact that it’s Christ who does the work! We’re just called to show up, be willing and obedient.
“The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
Please continue to be praying for us as we follow the Lord’s leading in developing more refined and focused ministry and what that looks like.