Monday, June 27, 2011

First week in Niaragua

I cannot come up with a really good blog post. The only thing I know to say is that I have had an amazing week! I have played with kids that none of us know what kind of home they really have, I have eaten a fish that still has eyes in it. Bathed in a lake three times! Slept on the floor with 6 other people ,with bugs all around me. I have spent time with God in the morning while looking at a beautiful sunrise!
God has shown me so much! And I still have tow and a half weeks left!
I will try to write more later.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Heading to Nicaragua Today

 In the last 4 days I have only showered twice, both showers were extremely cold. I have been sleeping on a three high bunk-beds in a room or a building that looks a little more like a barn than a real room. I've brushed my teeth out of a water cooler. I've been eating under a big tent with about 80 other people who have been getting ready to go on a journey God as asked them to go on. Today or midnight last night I left with the rest of my team to continue the journey God has given us for this summer.  After about a 1 1/2 hour drive to the Airport and about 5 1/2 hours finding things to do in the airport, it was time to board the plane that would bring us to Miami. I'm right now sitting on the plane. Some people know I'm not a fan of flying, today is no different. But as soon as we got into the air and I was able to see the beautiful sky, it made the plane ride a little better. 
After we reach Miami we will catch a plane from Miami to Managua Nicaragua. 
By tonight my team and me will be in Nicaragua. And getting ready to show the love of Christ to people who don't know the love of God.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Come What May

A few weeks ago I was listening to “Come what May” (a song from the Moulin Rouge). “Come what May” is a love song (imagine a song from Moulin Rouge being a love song, really of all things). I had heard the songs many times before, but this time I had a God moment! One of the lines of the song is “Come what may, come what may, I will love you until my dying day”. Ok, so let’s imagine God telling us, “Come what may in life, and I’ll still love you and will never leave you, not even for a second. Even after your earthly life is over, I’ll still love you.”
I know the last thing “Come What May” from Moulin Rouge was talking about was God’s love, but God still used that song to tell me that even in life and in Nicaragua I’ll be with you always, come what may.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

More than Just a Trip

During my first year at Camp Garawya as an Acteen at one of the worship services the Missionary started talking about missions (of course, because she was a missionary). She talked about all the different kinds of groups of people who need Christ. She (the missionary) got about 4 or 5 girls to come to the front, and then she handed them each a sign with different words that varied from “Nominal Christians” to “Muslim”. Then she asked about another ten to twenty girls to also come up to the stage in the front.  She arranged these in front of the girls with the signs. About half the girls were placed in front of the girl whose sign read “nominal Christians”. As you looked down the stage fewer and fewer girls were standing with the signs. The last two signs said “Buddha” and “Muslim”, and between them stood only one girl. The Missionary then said this represents the different groups of people in the world, and how many Christians are trying to reach out to them.  She went on to explain that Buddhists and Islamic people are the two least reached people in the world.  Since I have lived in Bosnia (the main religion in our town being Islam). I immediately thought of all the people I know in Bosnia who are of the Islamic faith.  In that moment I realized that God was calling me to missions. Not just to Bosnia or just to Muslim countries, but to go anywhere and everywhere He asked me to go.
The next summer I wanted to go on an over-seas mission trip, but I wasn’t able to. But last fall I felt like it was time to go somewhere. I started looking at four-week long mission trips with AIM (Adventures in Missions). It wasn’t to long after I started looking that I felt God saying, “Nicaragua”. Even though I knew that is where God wanted me to go, I still wasn’t too sure about it. It took me about 4 or 5 weeks to finally accept that Nicaragua is where God wanted me to go.
Now as there is only 3 more days before I am at training camp, excitement has totally overwhelmed me. I’m about to take an epic journey this summer with God as my guide.  A journey where I don’t know what’s going to happen, or what I will see. 
These last few months I have been asked by multiple people if I am nervous about going to a different country. The first few times, when Nicaragua was still so far away, I told them I wasn’t, but as it has gotten closer I have realized that I’m not nervous about going to a different county, or worried about getting a disease (which someone did ask me if I was worried about), I’m worried about how I’m going to react to what I see. I’m going to a country where about 80% of the population lives, or tries to live, on a dollar a day. Many of them don’t have clean water to drink everyday. In my life anytime I have ever needed or wanted water I just went to the kitchen and poured myself a fresh glass of water without even thinking twice about it. I know that going will be like going to a totally different world! Even though I have never been to Nicaragua I know that I won’t come back the same. Which will most probably will be a good thing, but a scary thing.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

They Walked Off the Path

For Lent this year I fasted from non-Christian music and all books besides the Bible. During the first two or three or maybe even four weeks into Lent I thought of Lent as a time to suffer (in a very small, minute way) like Christ. But I wasn’t really open to what God wanted to show me.
Half way through Lent I was out with my friend Anna we started talking about war and the military and things of that sort. I started sharing about some of the things I saw in Bosnia when I lived there with my parents when I was little. After talking about it for a few minutes she told me that people could try to argue with me about war, but most of them could never relate to all I saw and the reason why I feel so strongly against war. That conversation really made me think. I think God used that to open my eyes to see why He had me there when I was so little. Yes, I was too young to really tell people about Christ, but I think He had me over there more for me than for them.
My first really scary memory of being in Bosnia is being in the house we lived in for two years and hearing some really freaky music start playing from somewhere outside. It sounded like someone saying something in a foreign language.  It turned out to be the “Call to Prayer”. Maybe people have no clue what the “Call to Prayer” is. It’s a muslin tradition where they all stop when they hear the creepy, scary music and pray to Allah. They do this five times each day. So, during our two-year stay in Bosnia we heard it five times a day each day. (Even though we never stopped and prayed to Allah.) After a few weeks of it I kind of got use it, but during the winter the guy singing always sounded sick; I never knew why. The “Call to Prayer” turned out to be one of the less creepy things in town.
The aftermath of the war in Bosnia is a totally different story. But, like the “Call to Prayer” it wasn’t uncommon.  We saw countless buildings that had been bombed out during the war – buildings where families had lived, eaten, laughed, and played chess (which was very popular there.) All of which was destroyed. During the Bosnian war families were torn apart as people from both sides died.  Even though the war ended several years before we even set foot in Bosnia, you still saw many of the horrors of war.
We met many people who had family members and friends that died in the war. Some had loved ones that went and never came back, and they never knew what happened to them.
Another thing after the war no one ever thinks about is the landmines that never went off. Kids were being taught in school to never go off the road for fear that they would find a landmine as they stepped on it. When you walked into a school in Bosnia you would see bomb awareness posters instead of drug awareness ones like you see in the US. When you are driving down the road and have to pee really bad and there is not gas station to stop at, you don’t really have a choice of going in the woods for fear of a landmine. They still waited on the sides of roads and fields to feel pressure on them so they can do that they were made to do: destroy whatever is near them. While we were over there, two kids were walking home from school and wandered off the path. Because of it they lost their lives to a landmine that was never meant for them. But it didn’t matter whom it was meant for, they still lost their lives that day. I never met those school boys, but they had families and friends, people who loved them. Because of war their lives were cut short. They probably didn’t know who the one and only true God was. They might have had bowed down five times a day to pray to Allah. They might have been taught for their short lives that it pleases Allah to kill. No one knows those answers.
Those two kids wandered off the path and faced the aftermath of war, and they didn’t live to tell about it. There are many more people all over the world who still face what war has felt behind. I wrote this blog post because so many people really don’t know the true destruction of war. Even though it has been 10 years since I’ve been in Bosnia I still remember all these things.
Since my conversation with Anna about war and the reason behind my living in Bosnia, (and after I talked to God about it) I feel like God put me there while I was five and six to let me see the things I saw because He knew that one day I would grow older and be able to tell people what it was like and what I saw.
This is what God showed me during Lent and also since then.