During the trip, Val found herself with the opportunity to visit the home of a little girl living in Managua, Nicaragua. Immediately she longed to do something to improve this family’s living situation, as she was humbled and shocked to see the poverty. The team leader, Kay, and other staff told Val the best thing she could do was to point the girl’s family to the church in order to receive the help they needed.
At the end of the trip, Donna and Val began reflecting on this question that was asked of each team member:
“What do you do with this experience? You can do nothing; you can come back here; or you can serve back at home. What is God asking you to do?”
Looking back, Donna shares, “I was expecting to be uncomfortable, physically and emotionally and to have a life changing experience. My expectations were met on both. I never worked so hard or felt so hot, and I never realized how amazing a cold shower would feel after a day of true physical labor. I didn’t realize how guilty I would feel for complaining about trivial things, like when my house was a mess, or we ran out of bottled water. At least I had a roof over my head and water was free and clean.” She continues,
“The trip put my entire existence into perspective. God opened my eyes and I was humbled because I realized that even though the people I met in Nicaragua were poor in a way that I had never seen, they were so happy with whatever they did have. I realized that maybe we don’t need all of the ‘stuff’ and that relationships we acquire mean more than the stuff we acquire.”
Donna reflected on what God had done in her life, and said, “This trip set my heart on fire for God and serving others. God taught me that service fills up your heart in a way that nothing else can and the passion to serve continues to grow and grow and brings you closer and closer to him.”