Blanca’s Nicaragua Journal
Tomorrow is the Big Day
I can’t believe tomorrow is the BIG day. I’m travelling to Nicaragua –by myself! Without my husband and without carrying a diaper bag and extra snacks for the kids, it almost feels too weird. After so many years, I get to do something that is all about me and God! I know you understand. I will miss my family so much but for five days I won’t belong to my own children –I will belong to the children I get to meet in the schools and churches that work with Compassion International. To those kids, I will represent you, and the hope of more of you. Your sponsorship changes their lives and I will experience this for myself and report back to you of the many ways your contributions help to make their lives better.
I’m in Houston now, meeting with two other people going on this trip. Mark is the leader and Mary works for another radio station.
Here’s the problem…
My stomach isn’t feeling well – and I don’t think it’s nerves this time! lol It’s a good thing I packed some Imodium!
We are headed to a Holiday Inn in Managua. The Compassion Nicaragua staff will be at the airport to take us there.
Hope I’m feeling better by then.
This is a day I will never forget. I met Felix who is 10 and Pedro who is 16. We also met their families and visited their homes. You can tell they were trying to look their best for us. With plenty of gel in their hair and with their shirts nicely tucked in their pants. They gave us a tour of their homes. Felix shares his home with two other families and Pedro shares his bed with two other people. Later, our host confessed to us that, their homes were the poorest she has ever seen.
Later, we visited one of Compassion’s sites –a school full of vibrant children who prepared a welcome ceremony for us! As the afternoon went by they made us feel like celebrities, wanting to be with us, hugging and playing with us. I can still hear their voices calling me “maestra” or “profesora” which means “teacher” in Spanish. I felt really good being there with them. I don’t know how else to describe it. All we were doing was blowing bubbles, but for them, this was a big deal. One container of bubbles can cost around $3, so for many of the children there, this was something they had never done before.
My biggest lesson learned today: Kids appreciate the money, but they prefer to feel loved. When a sponsored child doesn’t receive a letter, and other kids do, they feel like they don’t matter to their sponsor. Teachers try to keep them encouraged but it is hard because no answer really satisfies them. Sometimes they just have to tell them that their sponsor just doesn’t have the time.
On a positive note, I’m so grateful to be feeling better… tomorrow, I look forward to doing more home visits!
This has been an incredible experience I wish every person could do at least once in their lifetime… I’ve met children that have encouraged me and prayed for me when it should have been the other way around -I will never forget that.
Check out the pictures on facebook… more to come soon. It’s time to pack and get ready to return home. I’m exhausted -but what a trip!!!!
I’m home from the mission trip and I am a changed person. That doesn’t mean that I’m ready to sell my house and only eat two meals a day or dress in rags… I’m talking about an interior change.
I’ve realized I don’t have to be the mom that buys her kids all the latest games and toys to make her kids feel loved. I don’t have to kill myself working extra hours to get the house with a bigger living room, if the one we have is perfectly fine. And I can’t try to impress God or other people by just going to church or giving to the poor.
My lifestyle has to reflect my faith and my gratitude. I have to show love and live in love with the people around me -if that makes sense to you. I have to do more than just listen to a sermon, I have to share what God has done in my life to really be a follower of Christ. And I sort of knew all that before, but sometimes it takes walking in someone else shoes for a little while to realize how much you can be better and do better.
This is my last blog on the trip and I just want to say thank you for following me on this journey. It was a dream come true for me and an experience I only hope makes a difference in your life too. I asked many children, “if you could say something to your sponsor what would it be?” Without hesitation and with a huge grin, they all gave me the same answer, “I would tell them ‘thank you!’”