Last week we had an amazing time with our church family from Christ Journey Church in Miami! We hosted a team of youth that came down ready to rock and roll for Jesus! Christ Journey Church is such a huge part of our lives here in Nicaragua…this is a youth group that Chris was a part of when he was a teenager. In fact, it was at church camp when he was in seventh grade that he gave his life to Christ and was baptized! So, seeing long time friends and spending time in ministry together is such a wonderful thing. Like I said, the kids came to work hard and that made the trip a total success.
Last week was “Semana Santa” which is the big vacation week in Nicaragua. School is out and everyone visits family and goes to the beach. We knew lots of our kids from Club Esperanza wouldn’t have much to do and would probably just be sitting around the neighborhood, so we decided to head down to the Club and hang out with them! The team came prepared with lots of crafts and games and bibles stories and poured out their love on our fifth and sixth graders! The opportunity to teach truth from the Bible to younger kids was great. Even better, was for these younger kids to see older “kids” living that truth out! We also had a special group doing some theatrical human video and teaching it to the older high school kids at the club…the story of Easter coming to life! We had such a great time…and also added in some hard work because you know we can’t leave the Club without getting dirty! We painted the walls, planted sod and put up a fence for the pathway….there may have been some paint and mud slung around too!
After a couple of days at Club Esperanza with the kids, the group decided to do something really special for them for Semana Santa and go on a “paseo” out to Ruby Ranch! It was so much fun having the ability to get them out of the urban setting of Managua and out into the open spaces of Ruby Ranch. They got to ride on the horses, zip line, water slide, bikes, games and all the fun things out there. We are mid dry season, so it is basically scorched earth out there. But not a single kids really cared about that, they were having a blast!
Another really important part of our time together was the spiritual growth that we get to see in each of these young people in the youth group. Palm Sunday at Verbo Church was a great start to the week with a lively time of worship and hearing the Gospel preached in Spanish. In their devotionals, their youth leader Kevin didn’t just let it become a time of helping others and doing good, but also challenged each of them to take a look at them selves and their personal relationship with God. We had a powerful time of prayer together at Ruby’s House, there was such an expectation in the group to receive more from God. It really was overwhelmingly powerful! Then as Good Friday was approaching they took communion and washed each others feet as a final act of service while their trip was coming to a close. God established some really life changing things in these young people during their time here, and that is so good!
Without a doubt our family was so very blessed by the group as well. Generosity towards are financial needs in Nicaragua, generosity in love and prayer towards our family and our spiritual needs and a fun embrace of long lasting friendship that we so much appreciate! Our little bubba Mason broke his leg playing soccer the first day of the trip, and it was so sweet for him to get so much love and attention from everyone. Our kids have some good examples to look up to in their future and we so appreciate that too!
Thanks for such a great Semana Santa Christ Journey! We love you!
check out Christ Journey’s Missions Blog for some of the testimonials during their trip!