Hey everyone. It's Mala Lewis. I have been back from my Nicaragua missions trip for four days now and still have been struggling with what to post on Facebook. I want to post pictures but I am not sure I can sufficiently explain what this experience was. I do know what it was not. It was not a photo op with small children for me to feel good about "doing something".
There were plenty of beautiful faces and hugs and laughter in spite of the language barrier. We fed children, stuffed pinatas, led groups in the prayer of salvation. We saw children who were attending school behind fences topped with barbed wire. They danced for us and often greeted us as if we were famous. We received love from them far more than we were able to give. This was not a trip for us to display our humanitarian efforts or our ability to "rough it" as we slept where bats flew through every night and geckos were our friendly companions while the face melting heat was relentless.
We witnessed in the local prison and passed out food & purchased a new printer that resulted in a prisoner finally being set free. We laid hands on the sick, prayed for the broken hearted, told testimonies and preached and offered baptism of the Holy Spirit. All this we did in a place where the living conditions exceeded the worst nightmare of most Americans. Drinking water was not readily available and was so contaminated that it caused kidney issues for many. Trash was everywhere and was used to create land within the swamps to build homes out of whatever materials were available. There were rivers of human feces along the streets and just feet from the front doors of many homes. In this place that part of your heart that is reserved for love of animals had to be locked away as we saw dozens of dogs and horses that were mere skin and bone, rife with tumors or skin malformations: eating pieces of plastic in an attempt to get any nourishment that might still be there. Animals of all kinds were tied, tethered and more often than not used as a tool and given no worth or attention. Witchcraft and demonic influence were prevalent. Child abductions and sex trafficking, even of very small children, was a common occurrence.
This was also not a vacation and we were not tourists, though we saw many incredible sites. Active volcanoes and the boiling mud and sizzling rocks of the Fumaroles, the Basilica at Leon, a cold water spring near one of those volcanoes and the waves of the Pacific ocean crashing on the gray sandy shores; all sights where the incredible beauty of this country was overshadowed only by the great light of the Christian brothers and sisters we worked along side. I can tell you this...LIGHT DRIVES OUT THE DARKNESS and the truth of the gospel shone brilliantly in this place where darkness wants to take over.
The Christians we worked along side displayed the love of Christ in ways most Americans can't begin to understand. They poured all they had into those around them, including into us. We who have so much can learn from them. They gave selflessly, honestly and with light and love for everyone around them. I have never witnessed such genuine love and compassion, such unbridled worship, truly the last shall be first will be displayed as these humble servants of Christ stand head and shoulders above us where love and compassion and work ethic for the kingdom are concerned. I learned so much. I felt loved. I felt challenged. I want to continue to run to the battle that rages in dark places, knowing that the love of God precedes me and arrives with me. We go to bring the gospel to a lost and dying world. We go to be a portion of hope to our brothers and sisters around the world to know God has not forgotten them. Light drives out darkness. May I shine wherever God sends me.