I hope you are enjoying your summer break!! I took some time to refuel and refocus. Lots of great things have happened this summer! The biggest development is that Transforming Love Ministries will start a community-wide Bible study in Hampton Roads, VA this fall. It launches September 12th. More to come on that later.
In the meantime, be on the look out for new blog posts by the end of August! Next week, I will be posting some photos of my trip to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. I leave this Friday, August 4th, and will be back in country within a week. Looking forward to partnering with Verbo Church and the orphanage there as we do each year. You can also follow along at: https://www.facebook.com/ElaineLankfordTLM
So get ready!!! Good things are coming your way!
Blessings to you and yours!
Our missions team got back from our Nicaraguan adventures last Sunday, after an extra day of unscheduled travel (i.e., flight cancellation in Miami). But all is well that ends well, right?
This year’s team was exceptional. They were so open and willing to have God use them that we accomplished much in His name (in just a few short days)! So this week, I just want to share some snippets from the trip! If you follow me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/LoveEchoedBack), I was posting pictures from Nicaragua in real time! If you haven’t seen them yet, feel free to check out those photos as well!
The first stop on our trip was a stay over in Managua. Sometimes we have to stay over in Managua for one night before getting to Puerto Cabezas. However, we were well taken care of by Henry and Elizabeth. They built this beautiful home for the express purpose to house traveling missionaries coming to Nicaragua!
Then we got to Puerto Cabezas and got down to business!
First up, we went to an extension of the Verbo church in a nearby community and took part in a good, old fashion baptism in the river!
Then we helped to build a section of the wall surrounding the complex that houses Pastor Earl’s house, the living quarters for visitors, the orphanage, and the church. No small task! It has been worked on for the last 15 months and is nearing completion. We were blessed to work along side the work crew on this very important safety need!
We spent time at the feeding center and with the kids at the orphanage. So much love, so little time!!!
Feeding Center – feeds over 600 kids a day!
Orphanage kids! -just over 100 kids cared for daily by Verbo Church.
And at night, we would have porch time. The team had some great insights and stories to share.
One night at porch time, we had the privilege of hearing Ricardo’s story. This 17-year-old is answering the call on his life to be a pastor! He is being mentored by Pastor Earl and others.
Of course, we took some time to go to the beach with all the kids at the orphanage! Who could pass that up?
And then, as quick as the week started, it was over! It was my honor to co-leader this great team of people.
We learn as much from these trips as we teach during them! We see God’s fingerprints everywhere. We are honored and humbled by the people we serve there. And we continue the mission in Jesus’ name!!!
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt. 28:19-20 NIV
Until next year’s trip, we pray for Verbo Church and the community of Puerto Cabezas!!!
PS: It is never too late to start planning to go with us next year!!! If interested, let me know!
As I sit here and write these words, I long to be back in Nicaragua. Why? Mainly because when I am there, I am able to truly disconnect from the distractions of this world, and I become focused on God like no other time.
As Americans, we are always busy. However, the truth is we make ourselves busy. We attend too many unnecessary events, watch entirely too much TV, and we keep schedules that don’t even make sense sometimes because they wear us out more than help us to relax. I am certainly guilty of this sort of thing and so, my goal is to purposely clear out some things from my life over the course of the next year.
Early this summer, I clearly heard God instruct me to engage in His word (the Bible) and make it a priority. So I began reading the gospels again, but more intently. I am using colored pencils to mark up the pages in order to draw out as much from the scriptures as possible. Right now, I am in Luke and as I read about the life of Jesus, it is amazing what pops out at me off the pages of this book.
Luke gives a very detailed description of Jesus’ life, and some things are unique to this chapter. So in light of our discussion, let me share 3 verses. To help put these verses in context, let me explain what is happening. Jesus has now grown from a baby to a child of 12-years-old. His parents have no doubt begin to let the glory of His birth fade a little. No miraculous events happen of late, and they have settled into life in the moment. The Bible doesn’t tell us much about these years, but we know that Joseph and Mary went on to have other children, and as good Jewish parents, they would have raised Jesus and his siblings in the usual Jewish traditions and customs.
We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. 2 Corinthians 6:6 NLT
Wow! I can’t believe it has been a little over a month since we talked! It really went fast, and God has been so faithful! I have so much to tell you! Starting this weekend, I will begin posting again on a weekly basis.
Taking some time to refresh and ground myself again was well worth it. I definitely needed to drink deeply from the well of living water! Maybe today you do too!
On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’ John 7:37-38
Of course, going back to Nicaragua this year was an incredible boost! Seeing the growth of the church, orphanage, and feeding center there in just two short years was amazing! And then, being able to share Love Echoed Back with some pretty awesome ladies just topped it off!
Can I say it again! AWESOME!!!
So stay tuned. Lots of new things coming: new posts, a new look for the website, new speaking engagements, and work on my second book! Please share with your family and friends!!!
Until this weekend, walk in His light! Blessings!!
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Each year, at the end of July or the first of August, a team of volunteers from Believers Church goes down to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. Believers partners with the local church there, Verbo Church, via Orphanetwork. As August draws near this year and the time to return to Nicaragua comes, I am getting excited all over again. Each year as we go down, we see growth in both the church and the structure of the orphanage as well as the children it serves.
I have traveled to Nicaragua several times now, and it never gets old. There are a lot of logistics to work out for a trip of this nature: timing, financial ability, arranging flights, and packing. However, the most important thing needed, before going, is time to reflect on what the Lord’s will is for the trip. When we go out in the Lord’s name, we have to allow Him to have all of us, and we have to do everything for His glory. So as I sit and think about the next trip, I contemplate what Jesus would have me to do this year.
Do you realize that we all have a mission? We are all called to be Christ’s ambassadors.
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV