My trip to Nicaragua was interesting… well even just getting there was a mess! I leave on Thursday July 23rd and hope to arrive that night in Nicaragua, but the Lord had a different plan. A different plan for us all!!! My flight from San Antonio to Houston was delayed because of storms in Houston. What should have been a 50 minute flight ended up being a 3 hour delay and having to refuel in Austin!! So I arrive in Houston 15 minutes after my flight to Managua leaves. So I am expecting the airlines will put me in a hotel since it was kind of their fault, and the weathers, that I missed my flight.. but that was not going to happen.
So praise the Lord that I have a wonderful friend named Ashley Witten that came and picked me up from the airport in Houston and let me crash on her couch that night. I took a taxi from her apartment the next morning to the airport to catch the first flight out to Managua!
I get to the airport in Managua and surprisingly get through customs and baggage claim very quickly! I am waiting for about 30-45 minutes for our contact Cary to come and get me at the airport. The team had all flown in the night before… when I should have flown in, but plans had been changed. I have to say that I was very nervous. I had no contact information for Cary, an address, a phone number, nothing!! I didn’t even know where were were staying! So I just waited patiently and nervously for her to arrive. I barely even knew what she looked like. All I had was a picture from the Global Journey guide that was in black and white and just not a very good picture of clarity!
So Cary comes and picks me up, we get in the car and she tells me that there has been an accident. The team had been visiting a park and Sarah had hurt her leg pretty badly. They were at the hospital getting things fixed and worked out. We were to maybe go over there later on after I put my things away and ate some lunch! So we drive through downtown Managua, which is the capital of Nicaragua! We go pass the old cathedral, passed the earthquake fault lines that no one wants to build houses on, and through the streets on the way to the sports complex. All along I thought that we were going to an orphanage and doing like a volleyball camp for the kids. But wow… was I mistaken! We were going to a sports complex in the hills of Nicuragua!
So we arrive in front of the complex and Cary gets out to open the big metal sliding gate so we can drive through. Before she gets out she reveals that she has not told me the whole story!! I replied…”Oh no Sarah was bitten by a snake!” Which I thought was legit because we were in central america! She replied no and said that the team had been visiting “the Peace Park” and a group of 5 teenagers came at them and tried to steal Ryan’s camera, backpack, and Sarah’s purse. When they wouldn’t give it up, pone man pulled out a knife and threatened them more. Everyone scattered… The man with the knife chased after Ryan… Ryan threw her camera after she couldn’t run anymore. The man ran after the camera. Meanwhile… Sarah tried to jump down this 4 foot drop to run to some stairs but instead fell. Cutting both legs pretty badly!! The young man was coming over to her to get her bag when he saw all the blood and ran! Sarah then was taken to the hospital and stayed for 2 nights!
I can not even tell you how much God worked in this crisis situation! It was just a blessing that no one got injured further, or that the young men didn’t try to do other things. Also, the bag that Ryan carried had so many more expensive things in it. Sarah was so unselfish in the whole thing saying that she was glad that it was her and not anyone else. Sarah was very blessed in the fact that she didn’t break any bones, hit her head, or any other injury! The Lord protected the team, and even though it didn’t seem like it at the time, the Lord used it to bring the team closer together. And we are hoping that the young men that took the camera saw the pictures that were on it and changed their thinking. We just hope that in some way this whole experience GLORIFIES GOD!!!
Everyone is fine…. Sarah was well taken care of (and still is being taken care of very well) and even though there was some mental anguish from it all, the Lord protected everyone from great harm!! Over the course of the trip, I just questioned why I was not there… why wasn’t I there to be able to protect my team! But only the Lord knows his timing and it is perfect!
Read Psalms 91:11
But, please dont let this event scare you from traveling to this country or any other! The Lord will protect you where ever you will go and will never leave you! These events could have happened in any city in the US!! There were so many wonderful people that we met, and had a chance to serve with some amazing missionaries, and play with some amazing kids! It was a learning experience for us all and one that we will never forget!!!
And now for the good stuff that happened: PLEASE READ NEXT BLOG!!