In just a few days I will have been in Nica for three weeks. In some ways it’s hard to believe that three weeks have gone by but in other ways it’s very believable that three weeks have passed.
This week was physically exhausting to say the least. It’s my week to attend to the dorm girls while getting ready for school. Which meant a 4:00am wake up call and 25 girls missing socks and not wanting to get out of bed. We also had a medical team here from all over the globe care for the women and children here at Casa Esperanza as well as people from the community. In one room there were teeth being pulled and in another room minor surgeries were happening. It was amazing to see what could be done with so little. Doctors with time and equipment…generators…add people and miracles happened. It was neat to be a very small part of caring in a practical manner to the people of Managua. The doctors worked tirelessly from 8:00am until 4:00pm or after. Amazing people who love God giving of themselves fully.
Oscar was hammin' it up! There are several more that I took that he was just posing away. LOL!
Emotionally and spiritually exhausting as well though. In the states for me to be over tired is no bueno…but here everything seems to be multiplied. So with the physical exhaustion came the spiritual and emotional exhaustion multiplied by 10. Part of the emotional exhaustion steamed from the new rescued girl that I mentioned last week. She has a story of torture and slavery and complete brokenness. In the medical team there was licensed counselor and she spent many days having sessions with the girls in the dorm as well as one-on-one sessions with the new girl…I’ll call her “Abbie” for sake of security. Abbie explained about the horrors of living with an aunt who beat her and forced her to service men in the home as well as tend to the daily chores of the home. Abbie was a live in slave in every sense of the word. She was often beat and whipped when she failed at doing what she was told. She suffered burns from electrical wires and cigarettes. Abbie bears the scars of beatings as well as self-injury. The counselor had asked me if I would sit in a counseling session with Abbie and share part of my story with her. This was a short session where we talked about coping skills that Abbie could use while here at HOH and ways in which she can start the healing process. Shortly after the session Abbie went to another staff member at the HOH because she had cut herself and expressed that she wished to die. This precious child is 13 and she has not seen the hope of Christ yet. Please be praying for Abbie…that she would move towards her own healing…which is bottom line having Christ!
God has been moving in a HUGE way here through the craziness of this week as well!
This week we welcomed two teens and one mother of three out of prostitution and into the residential program and two sisters into the dorm. Even in the chaos of having hundreds of people pass through the gates of HOH God gave us more women out of slavery. Yay God! J
It’s been amazing to be a part of the HOH’s daily life. It’s totally and completely different than visiting for a week…different in a good way. I love to be a part of the “normality” of living here…meals, homework, chores, etc. It’s a different side of things and it’s a privilege to be a part of what God is doing here in such ways.
One thing that God has shown me about himself this week in every thing that has happened is a deeper understanding of his character…specifically him desiring us…me.
I guess it started a week ago when Laura, a staff member, asked April, the founder of HOH, about an interesting observation with some of the things that the dorm girls say. The dorm girls are all looking so desperately to be loved and cherished and as they get to know and trust you they will often call you their love or say that they love you. As their trust and affection for you grows they no longer say that they love you but they replace it with something a little bit deeper…I want you. Now in the states if we were to say this it would have a much different meaning…but here to say I want you is somewhat normal…but a deep sign of absolute acceptance and affection.
God used this seemingly small difference in language to reveal himself a little bit more to me. God loves us…no doubt about that…but wanting is a little bit different for me. For me a lot of my insecurities around friendships or where I belong with family are rooted in a deep belief of not really being wanted or being wanted just for what I can do for someone. God has used this little observation do open up darkness in my heart…where lies have lived for years…and open them up and shine his Truth and his light. Realizing on a very deep level that I am not just loved…but…WANTED by the God of the universe does big things for my heart and my thoughts. He is shifting how I see my place in his family…at his house…at his table…I have a spot not just because he loves be but he wants me. He wants me there.
Desires my heart…my obedience…my following him…he wants me for me…for who he created me to be not what my lies dictate me to be.
He wants us!
This may seem silly or maybe like “duh” to some…but for me this was and is and will continue to be a life changing truth that will continue to sink deeper and change my steps for eternity. I know I say this often…but God is just SO good to us! He is so good to his children. He wants us…and he wants us to KNOW him….and to really know him. I could just keep writing that over and over...He wants you my friend. No strings…no nothing…just a deep desire for you to know him and for him to be given full access to your life. Let him in my friend. He is a good God and he wants nothing but your good and for you to look more and more like him.
Run to the God that wants you because you are loved by him…not to the idols that steal and destroy.
P.S. Funny story: I was in my little house and the other Ashley, who is also an intern for six months was visiting. I saw a roach...now for those who don't know...I am TERRIFIED of roaches. I can handle any other bug or creature..but roaches..ugh! They creep me out! Anyways...I saw a roach..and I legit screamed like a little girl! The other Ashley died laughing at me and through her laughs she said "You just did a hardcore legit "I'm really scared" scream!" And last night there was a scorpion on my wall...there was no reaction from me...only roaches get the scream. :)
P.P.S. Lupe and her sister Anna are back! Oscar went and picked them up last Sunday evening! :)