Monday, April 12, 2010

A Changed Life...A New Beginning

Well...We are finally back in Managua and will be heading back to the states tomorrow. Right now, I´m running on about 4 hours sleep and a full day of seeing the sights. We have a break for the next few hours, so I thought I would spend some time writing. I don´t think it´s possible to describe what I´m feeling right now. I deperately miss my family, but at the same time, sad to leave Nicaragua. The past two days have been the second most emotionally draining days of my life...second to the passing of my father.

Last night, seven of us went to the CICRIN orphanage on Ometepe. This was the original reason for my trip. Youth Mission Challenge will be helping ADios Ministries with their fundraising efforts for CICRIN. It was an hour ferry ride to the island...did I mention there´s a live volcano on the island? This was suppose to be the highlight of my trip...and while I did find CICRIN to be fascinating, I was debilitated by my thoughts of the previous two days. I had just spent two incredible days with the most amazing children...children that have seen more than you or I can ever imagine. We were told that some of these kids won´t make it to their 16th birthday...a thought that is too painful for me to even contemplate.

The last day of camp, we set aside clothes for the kids. Each child came through the line and picked two articles of clothing. The clothes were donations from various people and charities, including The Root Cellar in Portland. A group of us helped the kids pick out clothes, making sure their needs were being met. Some of the kids were brought to tears. Several of them came to the camp with no shoes, or rancid clothes. This made several members of the team ashamed for previous complaints of having to wear the same clothes for two days in a row. (Nothing like a double dose of perspective to jolt you back into reality!)

In the book, Chan writes:

¨We are programmed to think about what we don´t have, bombarded mutiple times throughout the day with what we need to buy that will make us feel happier...This dissatisfaction transfers over to our thinking about God. We forget that we already have everything we need in Him.¨
p. 30

With these kids, they found the most enjoyment from the most trivial distractions: coloring, jumping rope, taking pictures with our cameras, walking the beach, playing in the sand. They didn´t need high-tech gadgets or bright, shiney toys. They expressed the most joy when we spent quality one-on-one time with them...when we talked WITH them, not to them. There´s a distinct difference between the two, but I´ve come to realize that sometimes I confuse them.


This will be an exercise in expulsion. It goes without saying that we are a society of indulgences. We have WAY TOO MUCH. If you seriously think that you don´t live a life of extravagence, I´ll be happy to send you some pictures for comparison...I have plenty from this trip. (And, please know that I´m not placing any judgment. I´m just as guilty as the next person!) So...I want you to go through your closets and eliminate 10 items...if you´re feeling extremely rebellious, go for 20! You can even make it a family affair. Then donate the clothes to some charity...don´t take them to a consignment shop, because then it´s about you again (unless you want to take the money you make and donate it to a charity!)

If you´re up for a real challenge, you can join me. I am going home and eliminating half of the clothes in my closet. For accountability, I will post the before and after pictures on the blog. I told you this was the real deal! I want to hear about how you do on this assignment. If you´re a ¨Follower¨ post a comment to let me know. If you´re a subscriber, send me an email. I won´t ask you to do this very often...don´t worry!

His Faithful Servant-


  1. Well...I've started the process. I just counted all the clothes in my closet. I'm embarrassed to say that I have 314 articles of clothing! So, now I'm starting to purge. I plan on having 157 pieces of clothing eliminated by the end of the day. I'll let you know how it does....

  2. UPDATE...well, I went through the clothes for the first time. However, I only managaed to discard 65 items...not even half. So now, it's time for round two!