This past week, I was blessed enough to travel to Managua, Nicaragua to serve on my first medical mission trip. I can honestly say that my heart and my soul are forever changed. Although I am back, sitting in my cubicle and soaking in the non-polluted, air conditioned air, my heart and mind are elsewhere. I would give up every convenience I have, every luxury, even my clean non-parasitic water that runs so freely from my sinks, for one more week serving the hearts and medical needs of Managua.
Nicaragua is the 2nd poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, just behind Haiti, and it shows. From the minute we left the airport gates, I felt overwhlemed by the sights blasting before me from every direction. I am not niave and I have seen poverty on our own streets of our very own country, but nothing compares to what I saw this past week. Trash takes the place of grass and front yards in Managua. Animals are imaciated and covered in sores and mange, but what was even more devestating was watching small children reach into buckets of murky, stagnent water for a drink while we were playing a game of baseball with them. The water they drank wasn't even something I would allow my dog to drink, but they have no choice. One of the hardest moments was having to tell 3 children that they couldn't have a sip of our water because we only had enough for our team and without adequate hydration in a climate we were not acclimated too, we wouldn't be able to serve them to our best abilities. I couldn't force the word "no" from my lips, so instead I walked away from them and their request. How can I deprive a child from water???? In the end, I understood, but it didn't make the pain in my heart any less crippling.
Over the next week, I am going to use this blog as a way to open up my journal to you all. I will take you through the days with me as I am able to recount them and hopefully even process them a bit more in my own mind. As one of the worship songs we sang throughout our stint in Managua states "Now that I have seen, I am responsible, faith without deeds is dead. Now that I have held you in my own arms, I cannot let go until you are". I am not sure if anyone even reads this blog, but I feel lead to share the stories of the people I have met and the sights that have been seared onto my heart. I will not forgot and I will tell the world of what I've seen. I truly am responsible.