I first went to Nicaragua with the idea that I would help change the world, but my time there has done more to change me than I could ever imagine.  My understanding of poverty and darkness has grown exponentially, but I have learned that no matter how desperate a situation may be, there is still to be found in the vast majority of people a divine spark of beauty and light, as many of my friends there are so much stronger and wiser than I could ever be.  At first, I wondered if I would ever want to go back.  Now, I can’t stay away.

– T.F.

Yuri is a sweet, 16-year-old girl whose parents died when she was ten, leaving her alone to take care of her siblings. Yuri often doesn’t have food to feed her brothers and sisters and they go to bed hungry. Yuri assisted our team during the visit and when the time came for us to leave we gave her a bag of flour, beans, rice and a bottle of oil to make tortillas for her and her family. Yuri broke down in tears at this simple gesture of appreciation. Later, after I returned home, I was eating ice cream with friends and I was overwhelmed by the reality of how much I take for granted.

– Jeff S.

In my nine years with Operation Mobilization I had the opportunity to visit and work in more than 80 countries. In those countries I experienced and lived through rough and incomprehensible situations which I thought had prepared me for the worst. Nevertheless, while visiting Nicaragua for the second time in 12 years I realized that I was not prepared for what I found there: men and women, young and old, searching in the city dump for food, something to sell, something to wear and who knows, maybe something to love. We can assist not just to fulfill their physical needs, but also to provide them with the ultimate, true source of love . . .

– Rodrigo B.

My heart pounded within as I experienced the warmth and smell of the rain typical of Central American cities. I was in Nicaragua by a step of faith, a faith to return to ministry work after years of focusing on raising a family, a new career, and much healing by God. I met Ruby, a sister in the Lord who is a wonderful prayer warrior, ready to pray and bless her visitors with a word from God. I saw God in her eyes, her words, her prayers, and it was a tremendous blessing and confirmation for my life. Here I am, Lord, use me. Blessed and encouraged, I returned home with a full heart, determined to give my all to the Nicaraguan partnership.

– H.P.

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