Monday, March 14, 2016

Where I've been!

In the wee hours of Saturday, March 5th, I flew to Managua, Nicaragua with a group of eleven others, (which included our youngest daughter, her husband and his mom).  We were there to work at Forward Edge's Villa Esperanza and in the nearby village of Berlin.  At Villa Esperanza we spent time with the girls and did some painting and other projects around the Villa.  In the mountain village of Berlin, we completely painted the little school inside and out, and also did some other repairs on the school.  We flew home late Saturday night, March 12th.  I don't know how, but it feels like we were gone more than a week, not in a negative sense, but in the amount of things we were able to accomplish in that short time, and in the depth of the relationships formed among the team members and with the girls and staff at Villa Esperanza.

My heart feels so full of what God did this past week, and a bit fragile with the overwhelming emotions of what I saw and experienced.  I'm sure I'll post more in the coming days, but for now I'm catching up on posting my gratitude list.  
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)


-foraging some flowering quince
-helpful staff at the travel clinic when I went to get my booster tetanus
-two full checked bags of items to donate for Villa Esperanza
-Leap Day!

-another great "nana school" day with my first grade granddaughter
-painting an Easter craft
-my niece-in-law bringing her puppy over so my granddaughter can see it
-Joyce Meyer's podcast on 2 Chronicles 20
-packing to leave for Nicaragua-it feels surreal
-a dinner invite with my daughter and son-in-law and grandkids

-mourning with those who mourn
-a phone conversation with my friend
-the possibility of an open door

-spending the day together before I leave for Nicaragua
-lunch at one of our favorite places
-my daughter, oldest granddaughter and youngest granddaughter coming over to say goodbye

-a safe flight and safe arrival of all of our team's luggage
-beautiful Nicaragua!
-the yummy lunch after our arrival
-the Villa
-the girls
-the sounds of the birds here
-the flowers and the mango, grapefruit, avocado and coconut trees

-singing "You Are Great" at Verbo Iglesias
-going to church with, having lunch with, playing with the girls
-affectionate W., age 12, the same age as my granddaughter

-a job indoors working on lights and painting
-new day off plans for Wednesday that do not involve zip lining, which is not my thing
-our team working hard without complaining
-craft night with the girls

-morning coffee on the porch with those beautiful bird sounds
-more cleaning and painting at the school in Berlin with many of the children and villagers helping
-providing lunch for them to eat with us
-the privilege of getting to share a devotional with them, the simple gospel
-my daughter and son-in-law sharing their testimonies at our nightly team debrief
-belly laughing with my girl
-encouraging notes from my daughter and granddaughter and friend
-wi-fi so I could communicate with my husband at home

-Pastor Ricardo's morning devotions that spoke right to me
-the bus ride- seeing more of Managua and the surrounding area on the way to the lake
-trying kayaking and paddle boarding for the first time
-everyone working together to try to recover my son-in-laws GoPro that fell in the lake
-tropical fruit smoothies
-eating out at a local Nicaraguan restaurant 
-sharing my testimony at team debrief

-finishing the school at Berlin
-William's testimony
-the teacher at the little school
-saying goodbye to the people and children of the village

-hearing testimonies from some of the girls at the Villa

-morning coffee and devotions 
-the story of Gloria and her God-given idea for Villa Esperanza
-working around the Villa and getting to know some of my teammates better while working together
-our farewell dinner and "dance party" with the girls
-the girls laying hands on us and saying Numbers 6:23-27 over us
-V.'s note to me
-one of our teammates realizing he knew of Christ but had never received Christ personally, 
and doing so at our team debrief

-fun, laughter and a good meal with the team on our layover in Houston
-hugs and kisses from my husband at the airport
-a hot bubble bath and sleeping in my own bed

-God's Word to us at church
-filling up a new local restaurant for lunch with church members after the owners visited our church
-resting and napping, trying to recuperate from traveling

still following,


  1. Giving praise & thanks to God for seeing your protection with safe travels. Thank you for sharing your praises & the pictures of such a blessed trip! Reading what you shared shows how God is moving so incredibly.

    1. I loved this trip so much. It was such a blessing to be a part of this.

  2. Elizabeth, is this an outreach of your church? What a blessing.

    1. It's a ministry of Forward Edge International.

  3. fun, fun, fun...can't help but remember my trip to Nicaragua a year ago. What a beautiful country and people

    1. Did you go to Villa Esperanza as well? I know you're familiar with Forward Edge.

  4. It sounds like so much fun and lots of hard work. The best combination! Did your son-in-law find his GoPro?

  5. It was interesting and inspiring to scroll through your photos & read your commentary...

    1. Thank you, Rebecca. I loved this trip and would go back in a heartbeat.

  6. I'm so glad your trip was good. I prayed much for you and the team while you were away. My emotions are always fragile when I return from a missions trip and I think that's when God speaks to my heart again as I re-enter life here at home. Can't wait to hear more.

    1. Thank you for your prayers. I love Nicaragua and the wonderful people I met there.

  7. Your trip sounds wonderful. I can only imagine the fullness of your heart as you brought "the hands and feet of Jesus" to these needy people. And to experience it with your daughter and son-in-law and his mother, well, that had to be pretty special, too.

    Enjoyed your comments and photos.


    1. It was a special time. I loved it, and hope God makes a way for me to go again!

  8. Every entry in your journal gives evidence of God's loving, creative provision in your life! (Actually, he's achieving the same for all of us, whether we're noticing or not. 'Such a blessing though, to live aware as you are.) Thank you for sharing these inspiring highlights from your week in Nicaragua! Gratefully, Nancy (another Glory Writer)

  9. Everything sounds wonderful!!! I bet all the hard work didn't even seem like work.
    God Bless~

    1. It was hard work, but it was fun to work with the team and the people from the village. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, even though it was physically exhausting.


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