Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I've explained in earlier blogs a little of what we do here in Nicaragua. There is a team 6 missionares working with the youth in 5 different local churches. Our annual calendar is full of various kinds of activities but at this time we are focusing on three weeks of youth camp that will be hosted here in January. The youth are excited and are inviting friends. Our goal is to have 300 campers total and we have a work crew of around 40. We're working on the camp theme, programs, games, food, decorations, and so much more. It's a lot to do for 6 people but many of the youth are sacrificing time and energy to help out.
Word of Life started up here in Nicaragua just about a year ago and we will be having a banquet tomorrow to celebrate all the God has done in the past year. We will have around 50 people dining at the Aguilar household. We're excited but there is much preparation to do! I'll be baking 4 pound cakes today! :)
Also, I have great news. Jader and I had decided a few months ago to designate a certain ammount of money in order to purchase a car. We have been traveling by bus and taxi but unfortunately you waste a lot of time waiting for the bus, etc. We began to pray and ask God to lead us in this process. I will have to make this very long car story short, but we were able to buy the car and picked it up yesterday. It's wonderful! Jader actually is using it now to run errands and I think he will get them done in at least half the ammount of time it would take him by bus. God is good. Also we got the car for a much better price than we were expecting!
I wish I had more time to write but I need to go and help prepare for the banquet we're having. Thanks for reading and keeping up with stuff here in Nicaragua!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Also, Tapati is a faithful blog reader and keeps up with my blog even after more than a month of my not posting. She'll mention to me that I haven't written on my blog and it encourages me to know that she's interested and wants to know what's going on in my life. I'm so thankful to have Tapati as a friend and wanted to post just a tad of my appreciation for her on my blog. Thanks for being amazing, Tapati! :)
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
In chapter 10 of the book of Romans Paul is talking about his own people, the Jews, and he is desiring that they be saved, or have right relationship with God. He says:
"For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness." Romans 10:3-4
He says they are zealous for God but it's not based on knowledge. They are not understanding an important truth. He says they did not know the righteosness that comes from God. Since they didn't know or understand this righteousness they began to try to establish their own righteousness out of their own strengths and efforts. They were zealous but zealous because they were busy earning their relationship with God. It looks like trying to be good or do good believing that it gives us some kind of credit before God.
Paul shares the key truth of the message of Jesus.
"Christ is the end of the law (He fulfills our righteousness) so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes." Romans 10:4
It's not based on our efforts, but our faith that "God made him who knew no sin (Jesus) to be sin for us, (die on the cross) so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21
"The word (Jesus) is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified(made right with God)." Romans 10:8-9
This is the glory of Jesus, a restored relationship and peace with God.
"Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith in to this grace which we now stand." Romans 5:1
We deserve spiritual death and separation from God because of our sin but because of His love He gives us relationship with Him for all of eternity!
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
I'm with a thankful heart this morning and hope this encourages you!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Hey there! It has been forever since I have posted, and I have many great things to share. Much has happened and I'm sorry for not being better at updating! Well, I'd like to share some wonderful news. Jader received the U.S. visa :) Yup, good stuff! We were feeling very stretched in our faith with this visa stuff because the stats show that around 50% of Nicaraguans that apply for the visa actually get it. God is good and has faithfully provided for our needs and grown us in the process! :)
A few days after receiving the visa Jader took me to the restaurant in the Hilton Princess in Nicaragua. I thought we were going to meet Mayra and Guillermo up there and have a going away dinner before I headed to the States. So, Jader and I were there "waiting" for them to arrive. As we were waiting Jader began to talk. He began to summarize our time together in Nicaragua and share his heart and then he popped the question! I was INCREDIBLY SUPRISED! I knew he was going to propose soon, but the way Jader, Mayra, and Guillermo made the plans for the evening I thought there was no way he was going to do it that night. Needless to say Mayra and Guillermo never showed up. :) We had a wonderful dinner together celebrating our engagement. We have set the date for February 14th and wedding plans are underway!
Also, if you have not heard yet, I am back in the U.S. I got in Saturday afternoon and have been enjoying my time visiting with family. I was staying in the Woodlands for the first few days and then I headed to Austin and have been visiting my sister, brother-in-law and beautiful nephew.
Tomorrow I plan to head to College Station for the day and I look forward to seeing my church family and catching up with them. It looks like I'll be returning to Nicaragua at the end of November and will help prepare for the upcoming youth camps and then work in the camps. Camp will end in January and then the plan is for both Jader and I to make it to the States early February and get married.
Well, I hope to see many of you soon! Thanks for keeping up with me and reading the blog. Hopefully I will start updating more frequently! I hope you have a beautiful day!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
In response to our ministry we had principals ask us to do more ministry with their students. We will be having three day retreats for high school graduates. There was such a sense of God opening doors, ordering events and expanding the ministry of Word of Life Nicaragua here. There is much work to do!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Anyways, I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do as far as blogging goes! I have some more pictures from Costa Rica, some from the leadership retreat, and also some from my dad's trip to Nicaragua. I like to share pictures because it seems to make the trip come alive to those who aren't here experiencing it firsthand.
Here are some pictures of scenery from Costa Rica:
Isn't it beautiful! Here are some more photos from Costa Rica, but these are taken from a property called Camp Brittany. It's named after a girl who died in Costa Rica and had dreams of seeing a camp built with the purpose of ministering to kids. People have donated money and now they are beginning to use this camp. They are just finishing up two weeks of camp in Costa Rica.
So, that's the rest of my Costa Rica photos. It was a wonderful trip!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
I've been in Costa Rica 6 days now and it's wonderful. This is one of those important steps for me to take in order to know Word of Life better and familiarize myself with people who are partnering with the ministry that takes place in Nicaragua.
I've gotten to know the Aguilar's extended family, which is large because these are latinos we're talking about! :) Also, I've been staying in the house of some friends of theirs who attend their home church. I can walk to the church in two minutes! I've done activities with the church and spent time getting to know people.
Also, the daughter of the family I'm staying with teaches young children who are blind. I went to work with her today and it was an amazing experience. Ana is incredibly gifted in this area of work and was sharing the Word with the children's mothers. What a beautiful ministry!
I'll be here until Monday and then it will be back to Nicaraguan life. It's been nice to visit Costa Rica but my heart is in Nicaragua and that's not just because Jader is there! :) I miss the Nicaraguans, their culture, the way they speak Spanish, and the specific youth that I've been able to know and work with. I'm thankful to be able to step back and see desires that God has formed in my heart.
I definitely have some specific prayer requests!
1) First Word of Life Bible Club Leadership Retreat in Nicaragua-July 10-12- There are over 30 leaders. Pray for provision for them to be able to pay the camp fee and that all can come. Pray for spiritual growth to take place during this retreat.
2) My dad is coming to meet Jader!!! Pray that this would go smoothly. Jader knows some English (not much) and I will serve as translator too. :)
3) Jader and I go to Mexico WOL camp-July 19-Aug.3-I'll meet the director of Mexico/Central American missions for WOL and Jader and I will be serving for two weeks of WOL camp during that time as well.
4) Pray for discipleship-I had my first discipleship with a girl named Ana last week. She was confused about salvation. She thought you can lose it by sinning and earn it by being good. She was living in fear of messing up and losing communication with God. We talked about some verses and she learned about what the Bible says about salvation and eternal life and where our righteousness rests on Jesus. She was relieved by this truth and we prayed together to receive this gift of eternal life that never can be lost. Pray for us to be teaching the Word every opportunity and waking moment we have. There is GREAT need for it.
Thanks for your prayers and for keeping in touch!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
I've been staying with an amazing family and have had the opportunity to know several people who partner with Word of Life Nicaragua. The Aguilars have an amazing home church here in Costa Rica and I've been participating in events with the church and meeting lots of neat people.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
|First days in Nicaragua|
I hope it comes out okay! Hope you enjoy!
Monday, June 16, 2008
I arrived mid afternoon yesterday and I'm staying at Mayra and Guillermo's house. They are the ministry coordinators for Word of Life Nicaragua. Their family, Mayra's parents who are in town visiting from Costa Rica, Jader, and I all had traditional Nicaraguan food at a local restaurant.
Afterwards, they dropped Jader and I off to help with a Bible Club at a church called "Encuentro con Cristo." I believe Bible Clubs will be the main focus of my ministry time here. Here's how it works, from what I understand...There are missionaries (Jader, Guillermo's family, and I'm helping out too), the missionaries partner with local churches who are interested in doing Bible Clubs. The churches then pick 2-8 young adult leaders, or they volunteer and these leaders are trained/discipled by the missionaries to put on the club at their church. The young adult leaders then publicize about the Bible Club program and invite lots of friends to come to the weekly Bible Club.
The young adult leaders are in charge of the program and they teach Bible lessons, organize ice breakers, play games and sing worship songs. Also, a major component is daily Bible reading and scripture memorization. Those who participate in the Bible Club have a journal with scripture to read daily and a verse to memorize each week. The leaders serve as accountability for the youth to help them grow in spiritual disciplines. Missionaries disciple leaders and club leaders disciple those who attend the Bible Club.
There is so much more to Word of Life ministry than Bible Clubs but his is what I know the most about right now. They also do outreach activities. I believe this week we will go with youth from Encuentro con Cristo and visit an orphanage. I know these outreaches are a major component to Word of Life as well. There's a lot for me to learn and that's why I'm here to get to know this ministry and discern if it's what I'm called to do full time.
I didn't take any pictures last night at the Bible Club but I'll try and take some next time I got to one so you all can see what it's like.
So, that's about all I've got for now! I'll be keeping you posted!
"I will praise the Lord who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand I will not be shaken." Psalm 16:7-8
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
And here's the long version: (7 minutes)
On my upcoming trip to Nicaragua I will be working with an organization called Word of Life so I'll be doing a different type of ministry than what I did last summer. This time I'll be working primarily in the capital city of Managua. I'm excited to share my experiences with you! I'll be leaving one week from tomorrow!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
I have three more weeks of school left and then two weeks with the family. Time sure flies by! I'm currently in the support raising process and I'm learning a TON through it. It's such a beautiful thing to partner with people to reach others with the hope of Jesus.
Well, as I'm preparing to leave for my upcoming three month trip, and continuing in prayer about the long-term possibility, I find myself reflecting on life and God's will. I've read some neat things about how God works and what He desires for us.
The following verse expresses some of what I've learned.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men's hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy] Ecclesiastes 3:11 (Amplified)
I love that! We've been given a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy.
So, I'm going through Experiencing God and I read something that echoed this definition. Henry Blackaby says that God places us where He can work through us His purposes that He's had since before the creation of the world.
There is a verses that comes to mind from Ephesians as well. It says "For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. Ephesians 2:10 (Amplified)
I'm encouraged by God's word and excited to see the work that is for me in Nicaragua. These are things He has planned and known before the world was even created!