As I look back over the past eight weeks that I have spent here in Nicaragua, I am amazed by a lot of things, but mostly by the people. I love people. One of my favorite things in life is building relationships with others. I love to hear people’s stories—what has made them who they are. There is something unique about the Nicaraguan people and culture. As an intern at El Ayudante, part of what I do is go out with teams each week. I love this because I get to meet new people and build relationships with them. Some of the ministries we are involved in are water filtration and food bag distribution in various communities in and around León. We also work regularly with numerous schools and churches to strengthen our relationship with the people in the community.
About a month ago, we began visiting the community of “Tomas Borjes”. Ringgold was the team serving with us that week. We divided up into four groups and left to distribute the food bags we had. We were on our last bag when we stopped at this one family’s home. Most teams distribute food bags, so I am able to see how different families respond. Some, inevitably, interact more with us than others, and immediately feel like family. That is how the people in this home were. When we walked up, the mother of the home greeted us. We introduced ourselves and handed her the food bag. She was grateful, but not enthusiastic. The team from Ringgold had personally brought Bibles with them to give away that day as well. When the team gave her the Bible, however, the mother literally jumped for joy. She ran to show everyone else in the house the new Bible. I have never seen someone so excited to receive a Bible, something that I am guilty of taking for granted. She invited us to come through the gate into her yard so that we could pray with all of her family. She went to go get her oldest daughter and grandson from the house behind hers. Once they were there, she proceeded to tell us that her three-year-old grandson has never been able to walk, and that he has had serious health problems since he was born. The whole time, the little boy was beaming because there were visitors. When we prayed over the little boy the mother began to weep. She hugged us for a long time before we began to pray over her. However, this time when we were finished, all she could do was smile.
I remain encouraged that the Word of God was more valuable to this family than the food. This family, extremely poor by American standards, is rich in love and hope. The joy and love this family expressed for another is so beautiful to me. This joy and love seem to be a common theme with the people I have encountered in Nicaragua. I have blessings in my life that many of the Nicaraguan people will never experience. I am learning to see past the distractions in my life and realize the value of simple and profound gifts such as owning a Bible and having the ability to walk. God has used Nicaragua and its beautiful people to teach me once again.
Summer Intern 2013