Jake’s Jammin’ in Nicaragua
CMDA is the Christian Medical Dental Association. They’re missions organization is called GHO- or Global Health Outreach. Erin and I, along with 43 team members, went to a small coastal town called Masachapa, about two hours west of capital Managua, for a week-long clinic. From this experience, our lives have been changed. While in Masachapa, our GHO team saw over 1,600 patients in the medical, dental and optometry clinics. There were over 150 people who dedicated their lives to Christ during the week- praise God!
Erin and I had the opportunity to hold a daily children’s program in the afternoons for about 50 kids, filled with songs (mostly in Spanish), bible stories and of course games! Pato, pato, ganso, a.k.a. duck, duck, goose, was a group favorite! The kids are beautiful, but I never would have guessed they have such open, caring hearts, ready to give even in as little as they have. Being able to share the good news with these kids was unbelievable. By the end of the week, they were sharing the evangecube with other kids, and we were able to leave the cubes there for the Nicaraguan Sunday School teachers to use in their classes. (Evangecubes are a pictorial description of our need for a Savior).
Erin and I also had the opportunity to do some door-to-door evangelism with Pastor Randy from Indy and a local Nicaraguan pastor. One woman told us she had prayed for us for over a year. She said, “You are sent here from God,” to which Randy replied, “Actually we are!” She could not believe we were standing in her living room. People in Nicaragua have such basic needs, we can’t even imagine.
I had the opportunity to perform at two local concerts during the week. One particular man came because he heard the music and wanted to see what was happening. A recovering alcoholic in his late 20’s, the man said to me, “I really enjoy your music. I’m so depressed, and I have so many needs.” I found out the man couldn’t get a job because he didn’t have any shoes to wear to work. I “just happened” to have an extra pair of shoes with me that day, and I felt the nudge to give him my shoes! So I did, and got the man in contact with a local pastor to help with his spiritual needs. Jesus tells us to meet people where they are, and come alongside any way we can. That is just one of the incredible stories of the week.
We met real, physical, emotional and spiritual needs in Masachapa, Nicaragua. I really felt like God had me RIGHT where He wanted me in all I did that week. I need to live my daily life like a short-term missions trip. We won’t soon be the same. It’s impossible to look at healthcare the same either. The work, the skill and expertise of the many trained physicians aren’t enough out in this environment. The Holy Spirit was there to fill the gap. And the Nicaraguans are forever grateful. Praise God.
We also got the chance to have a ton of fun. Here I am upside down on a zipline in Managua, with a crazy guide. Yep, that’s right. Suffering for Jesus…all in a day’s work.