February is flying by and our service trip to Nicaragua is fast approaching! Rob and I decided to join a group of 15 other members of Darden Christian Fellowship (students and spouses) on a service trip to Nicaragua over Rob’s spring break.
The trip is divided into two different service components. The first leg of our trip will be spent in a rural coffee farm community where we will be working alongside locals to build/repair community buildings and to host Vacation Bible School for kids. The second leg of our trip will take us into Granada to work on a consulting project for a local jewelry company. The Jicaro Project provides training, employment, and community to youth and single mothers in a poor neighborhood of the country’s capital. Proceeds from jewelry sales help support struggling families and community improvement projects. One of the things our team will be assisting them with is whether or not it makes sense for this local company to enter the US market (and if so, how would be best and most sustainable way to enter). The other aspect is advising on how to best expand current operational capacity.
We are doing much to prepare ourselves ahead of the trip – mentally, spiritually, practically – and it’s already been a great way to bond even deeper as husband and wife, as well as with some of our closest friends. As a group, we’ve read When Helping Hurts, written reflection papers, held discussion groups, prayed, talked with the people we’ll be working closely with/serving in Nicaragua, and brainstormed ideas ahead of the trip.
We all wrote reflection papers to share our thoughts with each other, but I thought I’d share my reflection here if you’re interested in reading. This is my first international service trip, as well as my first visit to a developing country.
I have all sorts of emotions, ranging from excitement to nervousness, and even some fear. If you’d like, I’d appreciate prayers for an impactful experience – for myself, my team members, and the Nicaraguans we will work alongside. I’d also appreciate prayers for safety and deepening of relationships. I can’t wait to share our experiences!