When I embarked on this journey almost three months ago, I would have never imagined that the Lord could take a small town girl from Alabama, place her in Leon, Nicaragua, and make it feel like home. I never thought that passing through the streets would become a comfort or that the faces of all the places we frequent would become familiar. But, that’s just how BIG of a God we serve. He can break through language barriers, cultural difference, and miles between here and what I’ve always known as home.

I’ve seen God in so many ways here, and I’ve learned more than I could have expected. But, the one thing He continues to remind me is that when we fully lay our “YES” on the table before Him and ask to be present in every moment, He will never disappoint.

Because of this, I have gotten to enjoy the laughter of studying English with a teenage boy whose nativelanguage is Spanish, and in that same moment had the opportunity to encourage his abilities and witness the pride of learning something new. I’ve seen the joy of a little girl getting a new home and a bunk bed or two little boys beaming with excitement at their brand new robot sheets. I’ve played basketball with three little boys even when I was tired and it was hot, but the laughter and bonds that were built were priceless. I’ve played countless games of volleyball, Uno, and Dutch Blitz with a group of teenagers and laughed the whole time even when I struggled with their language. I’ve seen kids so proud of the work they created in art class, and so much more.  I’ve witnessed medical teams serving over 200 patients in one day as they enjoy the opportunity to serve others despite the heat outside. I could continue recounting all of the moments that I have been blessed with by being present.

And honestly, for me, picking up my life to move to Nicaragua for 6 months took a lot of courage and a lot of surrender. But, as I end my first three-month stint here I know that it was without a doubt the best decision I could have ever made.

-McKenzie Hope Lynn (intern 2018)