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!
Are you standing in the will of God?
That simple question for many is extremely complex. What is God asking you to do, and are you willing to step out?
Over the years, I have battled that question myself. But this week, a dear friend text me these words: “You are positioned for God’s purpose. You are prepared for God’s plan. Stopping is NOT an option.”
How the last part of that statement rang out – stopping is NOT an option!
There are many Bible characters that come to mind when I think on this topic, but none more than Joshua. Joshua was Moses’ second in command, assisting him to lead the people of Israel to the Promise Land.
He had witnessed the many miracles performed by God, which brought them to the edge of this bountiful land. And he had seen firsthand the lack of faith throughout the people. But Joshua knew his God was faithful and that His power was great. After all, God had answered Joshua’s request to make the sun stand still in the heat of battle (Joshua 10:12).
Now, he stood alone with instructions by the Lord to take the people into the land promised them:
After Moses, the servant of the Lord, had died, the Lord spoke to Nun’s son Joshua, announcing to him, “My servant Moses is dead. Now get ready to cross the Jordan River—you and all the people—to the land that I’m giving the Israelis. I’m giving you every place where the sole of your foot falls, just as I promised Moses. Your territorial border will extend from the wilderness to the Lebanon Mountains, to the river—that great River Euphrates—all the land of the Hittites—as far as the Mediterranean Sea where the sun sets. No one will be victorious against you for the rest of your life. I’ll be with you just like I was with Moses—I’ll neither fail you nor abandon you. Joshua 1:1-5
I can only imagine the thoughts that went through Joshua’s mind, if even for a split second. “Are you sure I am the person for the job God? Will the people obey? Once we are there, what next?” But then I imagine this thought pushed its way to the forefront of Joshua’s mind as he took his first step forward–stopping is NOT an option.
How about us? How do we get to the point that we know that we know we are standing in God’s will? I believe there are two things that must happen:
Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” John 11:40
Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1
So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. James 2:17
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
What is God asking you to do? Have you determined that stopping is NOT an option when it comes to both seeking and standing in the will of God?
One of the areas that God has placed on my heart is missions. During the year, I go out with the church to do Servant Evangelism projects. But once a year I also go to Nicaragua. This year is no exception! Our team is leaving THIS Saturday, August 6th, to travel down to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. Will you pray for our team? And will you pray for the hearts and minds that we will touch during our time there?
We know great things will happen if we stand in the will of God during this trip! We have seen them happen trip after trip! BTW, I will be posting photos to my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/LoveEchoedBack/, if you want to follow along!
But back to our overall discussion!
What is that thing that God has asked you to do? Does it line up with the scriptures? Will it bring Him glory? Chances are if you answered “yes” to the last two questions, you are indeed standing in God’s will.
Remember, stopping is NOT an option! Step forward into God’s will and know that I will be praying for you!
While I am away, drop me a line here! Tell me what you feel God is asking you to do and how you feel about it. “Talk” to you in two weeks!
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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.
I hope you are having a great summer!
Summer is definitely in full swing and lots of exciting things are still on the horizon! On July 23rd, I will be traveling down to the She Speaks conference in Concord, NC. Thanks to the ladies at Proverbs 31 Ministries for putting on this conference every year! Part of the conference is an opportunity to sit with a traditional publisher, and this year I get a chance to speak with a representative from both Thomas Nelson and Harper Collins! I will be pitching my new book, Christianity’s Ticking Time Bomb: The Empowered Christian.
From August 10-17th, I will be traveling to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua with the church for our annual missions trip! Be on the look out for photos from that trip!!
On August 23rd, I will be speaking at Liberty Spring Christian Church (more details to come). So appreciative of the invite. Thanks LSCC!!
So in light of all that, today I was reminded of this scripture:
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain. Psalm 127:1 ESV
I am so excited for what the Lord is doing, and I hope by September to unveil a new look to my website and social media pages as well as the ministry name He has given me! Expect some great changes!
Now, to get ready for all that, I need to take a little time to prepare! So this will be my last blog post for a month. I will, however, continue to Tweet some really great quotes from time to time! I will begin posting again while down in Nicaragua so you can see the great things the Lord is doing there!!
I would appreciate your prayers during this time as I take a step back, allow the Lord to use me as He sees fit, and try to gain further direction for what the rest of the year has in store!
Blessings til August!!!
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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