[Guest Blog by Bailey Futrell]
In a song by Rush of Fools called “Held in Your Hands”, it says, “All our yesterdays and all of our tomorrows; held in your hands, held in your hands.” These lyrics perfectly describe our past week in Nicaragua. Having been to Nicaragua I knew that there is no such thing as having plans and sticking to them, and that it is very important to be flexible. However, more than once I found myself worrying about our plans changing and not being able to do what we had planned on doing. God showed me this week just how big, sovereign and cool He really is.
First of all, God showed just a small glimpse of how big He is through our experiences this week. Our first full day there on Sunday we went to church in a small town called Mateare, where we would be working for the week. They had Sunday school that started at 9. We began singing and sang 5 or 6 songs, and then we prayed for about 5 minutes and split into different ages for classes. Kids, youth and adults all went to different places. I stayed in with the adult class and there was a Bible lesson taught and then we gathered together in a circle and 3 different people prayed for a total of 20 minutes (not exaggerating). Sunday school was over around 11:00. We walked around all afternoon inviting people to the service in the afternoon at 4:00. That service lasted until 6:30; we sang over 10 songs and prayed for almost 30 minutes throughout the service. While both of these services seemed very long to us, it was so awesome to see people thousands of miles away praying to and worshipping the same God that we pray to and worship at home, and how time isn’t an issue to them because they know they are worshipping the God of the Universe and He is bigger than time and worthy of all of their time.
Secondly, God showed me how sovereign He is. Going into the week, we were told that we were going to be able to spend 4 days in the high school, and that we would be able to spend however long we wanted to in each class. When we get to church on Sunday, they tell us that we are only going to be allowed to be in the school for a maximum of two hours per day and only 15 minutes per classroom, and that they wanted us to address the effects of drugs and alcohol and how they can ruin lives. So we were forced to scrap all of our plans for what we are going to teach and completely change everything. So we get to the school on Monday at 10:00, and as soon as we get there they have a 30-minute break so we’re not able to enter the classes until 10:30, giving us only an hour and a half to teach the whole school. We actually did cover the entire school in the time frame, all thanks to God. When we were about to leave the school, the principal tells us that there will be no school on Wednesday or Thursday. So now we just have one more day in the school that we planned on having four. But God and his sovereignty showed up and gave us exactly what He wanted us to teach on, and helped us put together a skit also. The testimonies we gave and the skit really had a major impact on the kids. We touched more kid’s hearts in those two days teaching about Solomon and giving testimonies than we ever would have teaching from gospel tracts for four days. God is sovereign.
Saying that God is cool is really an understatement. The way that He works all things together for His good on His own timeline is just amazing. On Friday night, David told me what he was going to preach about on Sunday; Ephesians 2:1-9, and how verse 4 is the turning point of the passage because it says BUT GOD. That night I was packing my mission journal from last summer and what I studied through when I was in Nicaragua, and it was Ephesians. In verse 4 of chapter 2, I wrote out the notes, BUT GOD; wow, how cool. We get to the church on Sunday, and David tells the pastor what he was going to preach on, and the pastor says, “That’s great because my favorite verse in all of the Bible is verse 4.” Man, God is just so cool and I know that He used this message to impact lives and it was in His plan for over a year.
I just want to say thank you for all of the prayers and financial gifts that many people gave towards our trip. None of this would’ve been possible without each and every one of those prayers and dollars. We used each of them to bless many people and families with food and bibles and stories, most importantly the story of Jesus Christ and what He did for each of us. Although we blessed many people and shared the gospel with many people, God blessed each member of the team (including myself) a lot more than anyone that we blessed. He is such a big, sovereign and cool God.