Monday, September 8, 2014

home from #Nicaragua14

This past week I was in Nicaragua serving with a team from our church: Tina and Steve Stone, Jeannie and George Hopkins, Betsy and Moriah Hodges, China Biggs, Carolyn Holland, Megan Hines, Tracy Mosley, Kim Key and myself.  God put together a great team that worked hard together, served many people and meshed together real well.  On social media we tagged this mission trip #Nicaragau14. 

The days would start out with team devotions and going to the local radio station to share our testimonies and for me to preach.  Each morning we would travel to a school near Somitillo, Nicaragua and serve the children at that school.  It would include making balloon animals, putting together wooden toys, playing games, singing songs, sharing Bible stories and such.  In the afternoons we would travel to a village and along the way we would be able to bless locals with candy and gifts from the back of the truck we road in.  At the villages we would help make a stew that would feed between 200 and 300 people.  There would be more balloon animals, kids games, stories, painting fingers and toenails, fixing hair and even sharing some ice cream. 

At both the schools and the villages there were lots of kids and people to minister to, and what I felt like we did best was to share God’s love and remind people that God hasn’t forgotten them.  No, we couldn’t speak their language, but through our interpreters and acts of love people heard and felt the reality of our God.  This was a great trip.

One morning we visited a special needs school.  It was incredible.  One particular little girl had downs syndrome and took to me.  I believe her name was Alexis, and she wouldn’t stop patting my stomach or poking me in my side.  At another school I met a boy about my son’s age, and his name was Andrew.  Neither of the children could speak English, and I couldn’t speak Spanish.  But we connected, and I continued to pray that God would let them know how special they are to Him.  He has not forgotten them, and God loves them so much.

Sunday morning after returning from our mission trip I began preaching a new series at The Community Fellowship called “Every 1 Matters”.  You see it is our belief that God loves people more than anything, and that our gracious and great God hasn’t forgotten anyone.  He is ready and willing to rescue people who call out to them, and God will also use us to rescue people in His name.

Are you in need of being rescued?  Do you think that everyone, including God, has forgotten you and that you are alone?  Do you know someone that needs rescuing?

May God use you and me to pass this message on to others … God hasn’t forgotten you and has a sweet plan for your life.  Believe it.  It is true.

Psalm 12:5  NLT
The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.”

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.

He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious to him.

That is the character and grace of God.  He rescued us from death through giving us His son who died on the cross for our sins.  He has continued to rescue me through the years in all kinds of situations.  May this week we experience the fact that God hasn’t forgotten us and others!

for your love for me is very great. You have rescued me from the depths of death.

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happy birthday, Julie

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