August 11, 2013

Alice's Take On The Team (I mean, On Nicaragua :-))

Smithville 2013 HANDS Team:

It's been quite an experience getting to know the Smithville HANDS team. I sure didn't know what I was getting into. Two meetings with the team while still in Canada didn't quite prepare. Quite a team ….

Today, we worshiped together in Spanish at a local church in Managua. We were thankful to be able to listen to the sermon via English translation, which was a blessing. We also joined in as best as we reserved Canadians could with the happy Nicaraguan singing. Together we praised our great and mighty God, and sang long and loud about breaking down the walls of Jericho. This really got me thinking about the work that the team has been able to do here, the interactions each member of the team has initiated and accepted with Nicaraguans, the work that God is doing in this beautiful country, and the work he's doing in the hearts of each of the team members. The walls are high – walls of poverty and hopelessness which keep many Nicaraguans stuck in the cycle of poverty; language barriers that make it hard for us Canadians to really interact with the Nicaraguans; walls that box us in to what we think is normal, right, safe, and important. We felt the wall created by the language barrier at church, and the wall that boxes us into our normal ways of worshiping, but it was OK. Not just OK, but beautiful! A few bricks fell off those walls for most of us, I think :-).

After church we were treated to a trip to the beach. Jumping over and into salty waves was an amazing experience for each of us. The wall of poverty was there as we were plied with necklaces and shell sculptures; the wall of safety was there as we skipped the salad served along with our meal.

This evening we watched a documentary called “Reparando”. It told the story of Guatemala, which in many ways is similar to Nicaragua's story. We heard inspirational stories of people at work, breaking through walls with God's love. We were reminded that God wants to change the story of Nicaragua as well. On this trip we have met amazing people in Nicaragua who are changing things here, and we can also enact change and help to break down walls in our own communities.

This was my last day with the Smithville HANDS team in Nicaragua. I have really enjoyed getting to know each member of the team. I still say they are quite a team. I say that because I know that God has amazing plans for each one of the team members, both as they complete their work here in Nic, and as they go back home to their community, working brick by brick to take down walls and to work transformational change.



Aug 12, 2013 at 10:21 am

Thanks Alice- it is wonderful to hear about God working through the "walls." God's blessings to you as you travel home.

Aug 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Thanks for being a part of the team Alice. I am sure they valued your expertise.

How nice to see Miles with mom and dad. The beach looks inviting. Keep shining your love for Jesus. Keep staying healthy too.

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