May 15, 2014.
I am about to head out of the country for a little less than four weeks on a mission trip to Nicaragua. I’ve very excited to get this opportunity again to travel to around around the world and visit with fellow Christians who have a different language and a different culture, but serve the one Lord and master. As a result, I will not have internet every day, so a daily post will be impossible. But I still will write a daily post and upload them whenever I can, and I will post date the post so you can see what day it was on. I am unaware of how often I will find wifi, but I will try my best.
This is the second time I will be going to Nicaragua. I learned so much from this trip last year. We think we know what it is like in a third world country before we go. We’ve seen pictures, we “know” the hardships. I thought I knew what was coming. I was wrong. Yes, the people were poor, but you would never know it. Church members always seemed happy. We even went at a time the church was having internal troubles. But that didn’t phase their hospitality or joy towards us. I loved it. I saw the joy that the American church lacks at times.
I believe we lack this joy because we have so much material things that we try to fill the void where God should belong in our lives. We don’t see that we need God. We rely on our money, resources and connections. Why would we need God when we have everything under control? But in a third world country, they understand that they need God (just as much as we do by the way). There aren’t as many things to get in the way. There aren’t as many distractions. And many of them are much happier than we are (not all of them of course, but I am just making a generalization). This was an eye opening realization for me.
Probably one of the weirdest thing I thought of when I was in Nicaragua last year came one night when I was laying in bed. For obvious reasons, we could not use our phones except for some data when we found wifi. I was laying in bed and thought “isn’t it great that we have a direct line to God no matter where we are in the world? We can just talk to our Father without worrying about cell service or wifi or anything like that.” Weird I know, but to me it made a lot of sense. And it is very true. Paul writes to Timothy:
“I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;”
(1 Timothy 2:8)
I know it’s not what people usually pull from this verse, but I think its notable that Paul says “in every place.” Everywhere. All around the world. That is a awesome thought to me, both that we have that line no matter where we are at, but also that there are Christians, fellow brothers and sisters all around the world; our extended family. We should be continually praying for them. I think Christ sums it up well in the great commission:
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore 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 observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
We are called to spread the good news. How will salvation reach those who have never heard without our message? Paul reminds the Romans this in his letter.
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
Whom shall He send?
Suggested Daily Reading: Isaiah 6, 52, Acts 13-14, Romans 10.
Grace and peace.