Last night, as I slept on my cushioned mattress topper in New Orleans, I dreamed of Nicaraguan sheet metal houses and dirt floors. As I woke, it was hard to rise and continue my regular life, because the life changing moments of the past week still held true in my mind.
I picture the 83 year old woman in the Batman t-shirt welcoming us to her home, the fruit distributor praying with one of our team members for the first time in his life, the young unwed mother to be holding her belly as she gave her life to Christ, and the faces of the children as they gathered in the church with their bowls, spoons, and cups to receive their most nutritious and filling meal of the week.
But then, I also can’t stop thinking about the conversation I had with the lady security officer in the Miami International Airport. She noticed the matching shirts on our smiling team and asked, “Where have you been?”
“Oh,” I replied, surprised by her question, “We’ve been in Granada, Nicaragua for a week serving together.”
“Serving together?” she asked. “What were you doing in Nicaragua?”
Suddenly moving into churchy language, I said, “We were doing evangelistic work.”
Hmm,” she replied. “I’m not sure what that means.”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “What I meant to say is that we’ve been in Nicaragua sharing and showing the love of Jesus.”
Her face contorted. “Really?”
“Ok,” she said, no longer interested. “Move along now. Welcome back to the United States.”
I turned and continued through the airport, surprised at her resistance to the name of Jesus.
“Welcome back to reality,” I whispered to myself.
Our Nicaragua trip was awesome. I hope everyone on the trip has an opportunity to return and see more people won into the kingdom for Jesus. I pray that our church family will continue to support the ongoing work of the Lord in that place. I believe He will call more people from our congregations to serve in full time in remote areas.
However, my prayer for all of us, especially today, is that we will continue to live as missionaries in our everyday lives. For, that is where our everyday realities will meet our true convictions.
Thank you for sharing, John. It wasn’t the name of Jesus the lady in the airport had a problem with. She most likely couldn’t relate to love. She probably had no love. And didn’t believe love existed. Or at least wasn’t looking for love. Or she would have said, “Share with me.”
Could be, Karl.