On the first day of work in Nicaragua, we set up a clinic in a little place off the main road called Villa Quince. It was a rough day for me. I found it hard to get in a groove, or even know what to do. Later that night, I complained to God about my experience and how it didn’t feel like home. He gave me some precious words and wise reminders about my purpose and his hand in my life. So, I trudged on the next day. It was better, though not quite what I was looking for or had been expecting. I felt better, and knew it would be okay.
Then I met Rancheria.
Her face you will never find in a picture, or even in my words. She is found in the heart. I can see her in every picture I review of my trip, though. In every smiling face and every particle of dirt I look over, I remember. She’s still sticking to my shoes and is found in the imprint on my silicon bracelet. I love her very much and miss her too.
We set up a new clinic on the ground of her school. I met her children, a few of which were Andrae, Alen, Fransisco, Lisseth, Mario, Guanalupae and Ariel. I felt her pain as I helped with fluoride treatments on her loved ones. I saw her joy in the eyes of ones whose hurting might be healed. I encountered her love in every little body I held close to my heart when I left. And I will never forget.
I pray for you everyday, precious Rancheria, just as I did on the day that we parted. Don’t forget the love of God you found in the 3 days we were together. Hold tight to him, for he will never leave you. Remember what I told you? He wants you and doesn’t like the separation that exists between you and him because of sin. He cares about every little detail of your
seemingly forgotten life and he wants to help you make it better. Open up the door of your heart. Let him in so he can mend what is broken and really heal that which is sick. We could do so little for you, and I hate that. But he can do so much more. Reach out, and he will meet you there.
Don’t forget each other. When the bad times come, hold one another up. Don’t forsake meeting together at church.
Trust God. Everything will be okay and you will be able to smile like you never have before. I pray he puts joy in your heart, protection over your life, and love in every movement you make. Never forget. I won’t.
I will remember.
You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas. You formed the mountains by your power and armed yourself with mighty strength. You quieted the raging oceans, with their pounding waves and silenced the shouting of the nations. Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of you wonders. From where the sun rises to the place where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.