Long days. Yesterday was a long day. It was a day where the power was turned off at 7:30am and didn’t come on again until 6:00pm. Those are the days that myself and the team members currently here are forced to remember where we are. Often on the El Ayudante campus it is easy to forget where you are. You are in luxury, comfort, and safety. But when the power, water, and internet all go out for an entire day, we are forced to come closer to walking a day in the shoes of those we work with here in León. These are days you don’t check your internet; you have more conversations. These are days you value your water even more. These are days that force you to look away from your technology connecting you home to the states and truly look.
You see the feet covered in dirt, clothes filled with holes, faces that are still smiling even while hungry. It hits just a little deeper and a little harder. It makes my heart yearn more for a way to take that comfort, luxury, and safety I am provided with and search for a way to provide similar things for the people of Nicaragua. How can we help in providing safety? How can we help in showing comfort? How can we make their lives a little more luxurious than normal?
I have learned from being here nine months that we can provide safety through education. Education in academics, hygiene, sexual safety, medicine. When people are given the ability to learn it provides the ability to become more aware and on guard.
Comfort is not only in how you feel in a rocking chair, but comfort in your emotions. Providing comfort in kind words and smiles, not to look in pity and in sadness, but to look with optimism and love. Comfort is something that comes from having Christ. True comfort is shown in telling them that while the storm rages on in life and there never seems to be a way out, that we have a God that loves us and wants to settle those storms for us. Not only in the physical realm, but in the emotional and spiritual realms of life.
Luxury, while not necessary, is something I think we all deserve to have a little taste. My luxury here is a washer/dryer unit and air conditioning in my bedroom. Luxury for families here in Leon can be seen in a food bag that provides meals for the next week and provides a break from worrying about your three children’s empty stomachs. Or a home that has been built out of love that contains four real walls, a true door, and a tin roof. We have the ability to aid in providing a little more safety, comfort, and luxury for the people of León and Nicaragua.
So today, while you read this email, I pray you take a moment to think of what safety, comfort, and luxury God has blessed your life with. And think about dirty feet, unclean water, no washer and dryer, no air conditioning, little education, a plastic roof. Then, pray. Pray for a little more safety. Pray for a little more comfort. Pray for a slice of luxury for the people in Nicaragua today. Pray that God continues to move and open hearts to the love he has that provides perfect safety, comfort, and luxury.