I sort of dropped the ball on finishing my Nicaragua posts. :) Not like there's anything going on here...
After a few gentle reminders I finally finished uploading pictures. One of the art projects we did was to take individual pictures of each student at Vacation Bible School. We then had the pictures printed at a local mall, and the students made a picture frame and received their pictures to put in the frame. It created a lot of excitement (I think I wrote about that). It is beautiful to look at the pictures. Here is a slideshow:
And since slideshows are always better with music, I recommend this song:
I have been telling people that the trip to Nicaragua was "hard." But the hardest thing about it was not the heat. It was not seeing the poverty. It was not being away from my family. It wasn't sleeping on the floor or eating new foods. And it wasn't loving naughty kids. The hardest thing was what I saw inside myself. I could see much more clearly just how much I loved myself. I love to be comfortable. I seek my own comfort. I was much less willing to give of myself than I thought I would be. About halfway through the trip, Berto asked me, "So, is Nicaragua like you thought it would be?" We had been to a tough village in Mexico and the conditions were very similar, so I replied, "yes!" But I was not the same person that went to Mexico 14 years ago. Facing my own selfishness was hard. It is always hard to confront sin in my own life. I thought I was ready to go, and I was ready for many aspects of the trip, but I think I wasn't ready for that. But it was good. It was very, very good. I was challenged from a spiritual standpoint. I see how much I rely on my own strength of will to do what is right than I rely on the grace of Jesus Christ. This is why I fail so often! (I can't even get through one blog post without failing.) I am challenged to repent and pray more, so this is what I have been striving to do since I have come home.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
(Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)