I must apologize from the depths of my heart that this blog will be for the actual readers and not just the lookers...no pictures to go along with the stories from this past week.
I must confess that my apology isn't super sincere..the lack of pictures is due to the fact of teams from Blueridge coming and going. :)
This week has been on of a lot of tears and hugs and just love. Tears of joy and being able to talk with friends and family...hugs for everyone...and love for my Jesus family! I've been overwhelmed with how God has loved me well with timing the team to arrive just when I would need a physical "pick-me-up" and to set me on my feet and get me going again. He is so good...in the small and in the big.
Being a small part of the teams has been a neat experience for me..being on the other side so to speak. I was able to sit in on one of the "debrief" sessions with the first team and it was just what I needed. Hearing what God was doing in each person's heart and life through there time here in Nica. (I kept my record of being the first to cry and the last to stop.) Tears of being so moved with hearing stories of the men and women on the team loving my girls well. Hearing their hearts for the girls and how God was showing them things in their lives that needed correction on needed encouragement. Amazing that God would take someone from Lynchburg, VA to Nicaragua to grow their understanding and knowledge of himself. He's good right?!
Being able to be a small part of the body of Christ here has been refreshing...I don't even have the words to express how encouraged I feel. I was talking with God while running the other day about just how being apart of my Jesus family in a physical way has given me strength in a way that I know only He can do! Knowing that this is my reboot..my refresher with my Jesus family until December...I've been taking in every moment. It still seems a little surreal that when I look up to see who is speaking or who is translating that it's one of my friends..my Jesus family.
At the House of Hope we welcomed two young ladies into the residential program this week as well. Amazing to see God bringing more and more women out of prostitution and into this community. Being a part of this on the front lines has been and will continue to be an amazing opportunity...to love these women well...and to show them Jesus. God is so good to bring them to HOH. The new women are young...16 and 15. The 15 year old..I will call her Jessica..has a mom and many siblings who also live at the HOH. Jessica is 4-5 months pregnant with her first child. She left the life of prostitution the day that the first Blueridge team got here! Amazing..God's timing..it's just so perfect. Jessica is being loved on by Blueridge and by her mom and siblings in a way that only God can orchestrate. The other girl, 16, who I will call Megan, is a spunky full of life young lady. She also came the the HOH the day after Blueridge arrived. Megan lives right next-door to me so it's fun to have her just pop in my room and ask me about "strange" American things I am eating. Fruit roll ups of course...which for the lack of my Spanish I just end up calling a cookie...close enough right? Megan is learning how to cook and take care of household duties...which every 16 year old should learn. :) I have woken up to the sound of her washing her clothes at 4:00am however...so maybe there will be a lesson on when to actually do these household chores?
Being able to be a part of the excitement of new women coming out of a life of darkness and being given on opportunity to experience life..and light..and ultimately Jesus has been a privilege and an honor. God is so good.
God is also good when the darkness of the girl's past is heavy.
This week one of the girls wanted to share her story with someone on the team, after sharing her story she was upset and vulnerable...just like we all get after opening up to someone...and she came to me sobbing just wanting to be held. I took her in my arms and for a couple of hours just held her as tightly as I could. These are the moments that I KNOW God is near...that God is good...and God just loves us with such abandon. The moments when life is dark. When I am holding a young girl who is just barely 13 and has been used and tortured for most of her precious life. As her tears ran down my legs I prayed for her...and for Jesus to let her know what I am saying because of the language barrier..which is really only a barrier if I let it become one. Being able to sing songs of praise to Jesus and pray for this precious child is evidence that God is good.
That's what I've been learning this week. That in the joy of two young ladies stepping out of prostitution and into a life of freedom...and in the sadness of unspeakable pain and sorrow..that God is good. He is good.
Oh that we may know God more.
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to KNOW this live that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Eph. 3:16-19
love you friends!