This. All of this. This is why we go.
When short-term mission teams return from their trip to Nicaragua, it's often hard to describe the experience to those at home. It has a deep, incredible impact in your soul. The poverty, the plastic homes, the sounds, the smells, the happy faces of children, the sadness in the eyes of a young mother - it can be overwhelming. Why come on a mission trip to Nicaragua? Phil and Sharon Edge from South Carolina are long-time supporters of CCM. We talked with Sharon about their recent trip with Marietta First Baptist Church.
CCM: "How many times have you been to Nicaragua?
Sharon: "I have been to Nicaragua 9 times. My first trip was February 2014."
CCM: "There was a period of time between your mission trips to Nicaragua – were there any thoughts about Nicaragua during that time?"
Sharon: "The longest period of time between trips was 14 months. My thoughts during that time were of concern for my friends and for the ministry of CCM. I prayed for the needs of the people of Nicaragua. I was concerned for their safety. I longed to return and I was excited when I had the opportunity to return in May 2019."
CCM: When you returned to Nica this past May, what was it like when you stepped off the plane and started the journey to our campus in Masaya?
Sharon: "As I stepped off the plane I felt excitement. Contentment. It felt right to be back in a country I loved. I felt a great sense of peace as I walked through the airport, through security, and out of the door as Leo greeted me with a huge smile and a welcoming hug! Soon other CCM staff appeared and it was a sweet reunion."
CCM: What was the most impactful part of your last trip?
Sharon: "The opportunity to provide food for those in need. The smiles and pure joy in their expressions were both heartwarming and heartbreaking. We told of the love of our Savior, and testified of His great love for us and how Jesus meets us at our point of need. As we traveled to five different churches we were able to meet our friends at the point of their need as well. Spiritual and physical . Spiritual hunger for the Word of God, and food bags for their physical hunger. It was a great blessing to be a part of this trip"
CCM: What kind of needs did you notice the most among families and kids?
Sharon: "The lack of jobs has caused a crisis in Nicaragua. Families don’t have a means to purchase food. No income means no money. No money means no food or not enough food. So many people were grateful for a bag of food containing basic items including rice and beans. James 2:16 tells us “And one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, stay warm, and be well fed,’ but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it?” So first you minister to their physical needs, then you minister to their spiritual needs."
"You could take the money spent on this trip and go anywhere in the world. Why would you choose to come here?"
While in Nicaragua, Sharon met a young man who had lost everything he worked for. The money that he had saved, his home, and his faith. He questioned why anyone would come to Nicaragua on a mission trip. "You could take the money spent on this trip and go anywhere in the world. Why would you choose to come here?", he said. He doubted God, felt forgotten, turned his back on the foundations of his faith. A visit from Sharon and the Marietta team gave him hope that we was NOT FORGOTTEN - not by the Lord and not by the team. He trusted God again.
Why go on a short-term mission trip with CCM? Sharon said it best:
"We shared the gospel with men, women, and children. We encouraged the believers. We supported the local pastors and the interpreters who worked alongside us every day. Yet I am convinced we received the biggest blessings of all. We go to bless others, yet we receive the blessings. We go to encourage others, yet we are encouraged. We go to love on others, yet a child greets you as you step off the bus and they wrap their arms around you, seeking nothing but a hug and a smile.
This. All of this. This is why we give. This is why we go."