I am super excited to be back with my church family and would like to share with you about my time in Nicaragua this summer. In June, we took 40 people to Los Cedros, Nicaragua for a week long mission trip. This has been our largest group to date! When the group left, my two boys and I stayed for an additional 5.5 weeks. Kari, my wife, came back with the big group to keep our foster kids and then rejoined us after 4 weeks.
We had an amazing time of ministry beginning with the group trip and then assisting the Mustard Seed Mission with several other church trips. The SoHills team helped the locals build a pavilion at one of the schools that will enable the missionaries, Michael and Lisa Perkins, to have more influence in the children’s lives. This new facility will also allow parents and community leaders to have meetings in a neutral area as well as serve as a base of operations for future trips.
Later in the summer, we helped another church build a home for a mother in need. These building projects are beneficial in and of themselves, but also help us make disciples by demonstrating we care about people’s needs and providing opportunities to speak into their spiritual life.
Mission trips tend to be really good at removing barriers for ministry. We step out of our comfort zones and are removed from the hustle and bustle that keeps us from hearing and obeying God. My prayer for everyone involved in the mission trip is that we continue to be willing to step out and use the skills we learned on our trip to provide for people here and disciple one another.
My goals after the SoHills team left were to help our missionaries as needed, develop better systems for the child sponsorship program, better understand the needs of the people of Nicaragua, and ultimately develop ideas for discipleship. We enjoyed playing the role of Mission Host and assisting other groups during their time at the Mustard Seed Mission. In this role, I grew a better understanding of the outdated systems that make tasks take days or weeks to accomplish that would be completed in only hours here.
God tends to use our plans for His purposes and there were several things I learned aside from the goals of the trip. I became painfully aware of the struggle of single parenting. I was reminded of how special my church family is to me. I felt the weight of how much I need meaningful relationships in my life.
It took a lot of generous people to get the group to Nicaragua and to keep my family there all summer. I want to thank each and every person who helped. This experience will not be forgotten and will enhance our ministry both in Nicaragua and here in Carrollton.
I would encourage anyone who is interested in going on a future trip to contact me so we can begin discussing the most appropriate trip for you and your family.