We're Back From...

7.30.2014


Hello, friends! 

I know I was cryptic last week when I said I was off the grid. The truth is, Jordan and I left with 48 other members of our church for a missions trip to Nicaragua early in the morning on Saturday, July 19. We got back in the evening on Saturday, July 26.

We signed up for the trip way back in January, and we sent out support letters to friends and family and have been praying about this trip for months. I felt bad about keeping this a secret, but I did so for two reasons:

1. Not to be That Paranoid Person, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to share with the Internet that we were going to be away from our apartment for a whole week. I trust all of you, of course, but you just never know what kind of shady characters are out there, and I felt better not announcing our absence to the whole world.

2. The second reason is the main reason I didn't share about our trip. After we signed up and paid our deposit, I was really excited about going and getting to share this experience with Jordan. However, when we started telling people about the trip, I got this overwhelming feeling of self-righteousness about it. Whenever I heard about someone going on a fancy vacation or buying a house or a new car or whatever else, I couldn't help but think, Well fine you're going to Europe, but I'm spending thousands of dollars to go to a third-world country and help spread the gospel to poor people.

That's terrible, I know.

I began praying about my attitude and that I would be excited about this trip for the right reasons and also be able to be excited for my friends when they shared about summer vacations. I didn't feel right about blogging about this trip until I had my attitude under control. God was faithful and answered my prayer, and my feelings of self-righteousness went away. 

For the most part anyway. Let's be honest. I still do want to go to Europe. But who doesn't?

So that's the longish story of why I kept this trip a secret. But now we're back, and I'm excited to share with you all that went on during our week in Nicaragua! 

I picked a few pictures to share below, and later next week I'll have a few posts in more detail of what went on in the village. Telling you everything that we did and saw in the village of La Pintata would seriously take a month of posts, but I'll try to limit myself. If you have any specific questions about our trip, please email or leave a comment so I can try to answer those specifically!



^^^This is where we stayed Saturday night when we arrived in Nicaragua and then again on Friday night before we left to come home. The mission house in Managua, Nicaragua, hosts a new group every week. Below is the view from the balcony of the mission house.
^^^We slept here, in the classrooms inside this school. The students moved the desks and held school outside under tents. They have school all year in Nicaragua, with a break for December and January. This picture is of the middle "courtyard" area, and the classrooms are around the outside.

^^^ (Note: I did not take this picture.) Jordan is in the middle with the hat and sunglasses. He was on the vet team and spent the week administering vaccinations to the animals of local farmers. They vaccinated horses, pigs, and cattle. Their group also shared the gospel with the famers they saw. In the back in the red shirt is Miguel, the translator they took with them all week. And get this: the Nicaraguan veterinarian's actual name was Dr. Nicaragua. That just kills me.

^^^ This is Jordan and I with Jordan's dad and mom. Jordan's mom has gone every year for five years, and Jordan's dad went to Nicaragua last year. It was truly a blessing and a great bonding time with the in-laws for us all to be in Nicaragua together. Bumgarners for the win!



I know I've been a sporadic blogger lately. I still haven't even blogged about what we did for my birthday yet! (Three words: summer bucket list)

Over the next few weeks, I plan on getting caught up with all the things that have been going on in my life lately. I hope you'll stick with me! I really do love sharing about my adventures and general life happenings with all of you.

Also coming up over the next few weeks is my Project 12 post for July, a review of compression socks, and two giveaways! The Lady Okie Blog is gonna be hoppin', so watch out.

29 comments:

  1. Amazing!!! I am so proud of you guys for going. I've always wanted to go on a mission trip of some kind--I know it was probably life changing :)

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  2. I also would love to go on a mission trip. Looking forward to hearing more about it!

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  3. Yay! I love all of this and am super excited to hear more. Glad you had a great trip and I just had to laugh at the 'road'! Welcome to missionary life. welcome.

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    1. We saw road construction while we were there... it was literally them packing dirt into a hole in the road. We just had to laugh. I can't seem to get away from construction! haha.

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  4. I can understand not telling the Internet you'll be gone in a foreign country for a whole week! Your readers are great but you just don't know with the others :P I'm glad you had a great time and can't wait to hear more about it!

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  5. This is awesome!! You guys are so amazing and so inspirational. I can't wait to hear more about your trip and I'm so glad your back! I need a few good laughs :) Ha!

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  6. so awesome!! Looks like a great trip - Great pictures and glad you are back safe!

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  7. So amazing! These are great pictures. I can't wait to read more about your experience!

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  8. I am always in awe of people who have the call to missions. I'm such a non-traveler. So glad God lays that on people's heart... & there's people like you that listen to it :)

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  9. This was so honest! (and I am so with you.)
    Whenever I'm saving up thousands of dollars to go somewhere and serve, I find myself judging those who plan to get drunk poolside. God has been working on my heart a little, but I'm not completely there yet. Thank you for your integrity - both in going, and in your humility to share.

    Hope you had a wicked awesome time. Can't wait to hear some more about it!

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  10. Lots to look forward to in your blog. Thanks for the recap of your trip! I can only imagine the family bonding possible while serving in a foreign country! Sweet deal!

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    1. There was a lot of bonding :) It was a really good time, and I'm so glad we all were able to share the experience.

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  11. What an amazing trip! Kudos for working so hard to do so much good :)

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  12. What an amazing experience that must have been!! And such a wonderful thing to get out there and do. Looking forward to hearing more.

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  13. Totally get the whole "don't tell people I'm away" thing just based on things I've read online. I'm kinda paranoid that way too though!

    But anyway: how fantastic! What a really cool way to get away -- by helping others! I'm glad you shared your experience but I totally get that inner-tension surrounding things like this... of not wanting to come across as self-righteous. Well, you totally didn't (in case you were worried) and this is very inspiring! :)

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  14. SO COOL! Totally puts my trip to Charleston to shame. ;)

    But seriously. I always love to hear about the missions work people do. Much respect from me.

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  15. I'm so glad your back! For reals! Just so you know I was most excited about Jordan being on the vet team! I want to be on the vet team! That sounds awesome! It looks like you guys had an amazing time!

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  16. I have a question! What does mission trip mean? I mean, I understand the concept of a service trip and a faith-based motivation for one, but why do you call yours a mission trip? Was your end goal the faith aspect rather than the service?

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    1. So, this is a really good question. I've been thinking about it since you posted it. Why DO we call it missions work? Why are they called missionaries?

      I don't know if this entirely answers the question, but I think it all ties into your last question: what is the end goal? I'll explain more about our trip specifically in a few posts next week, but basically we went with a medical missions team, and we set up a medical clinic in a remote village in Nicaragua. We told the people that we were there for two reasons: 1. To bring medical care to the people and help heal their physical ailments. 2. To tell them about Jesus.

      Ultimately, as great as it is to get a tooth pulled or receive medication or get eye glasses (all things we did while we were there), as a Christian group we felt that the most important thing we could offer the people was the Word of God. The Bible says that Jesus is the living water, which is basically saying that if we have a relationship with him, our outer body may waste away, but we are promised an eternal life with him in heaven.

      That might sound like crazy Christian talk to a lot of people, but that's why we go, and I guess that's why we call it a missions trip. The mission is to bring the hope of Jesus, and we do that by being selfless, being kind, being servants to the poor, and by tending to their physical needs by literally being the hands and feet of Jesus.

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  17. Yay yay yay! Welcome back! I totally get not telling people - I never post about being out of town... I just feel weird about it. Anyway, I think it's awesome that you went on a mission trip and I appreciate you being honest about the attitude thing. I think that can be a pretty common feeling, so it's nice to hear someone being honest about it. Can't wait to hear more!

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  18. What an amazing journey this must have been! Respect, girl. :)

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  19. What an amazing thing to do with your time. Hope you had an amazing time. looking forward to getting caught up with all you have been up to lately.

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  20. How awesome!!! I look forward to hearing more about your trip. It looks like you guys had an amazing time and did some amazing GOOD. Welcome back!

    -Amy

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  21. I went to Honduras on a church mission trip several years ago and it looks very similar... the landscaping, the mission house and even the school you stayed in. Brought back really blessed memories...

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  22. I never tell people I'm away from home (on the internet), till after I get back and then I'm all like "Surprise! I was gone and you couldn't even tell!" :) Safety first. Except I did tell people that I moved to China because now I have nothing left to steal in the US. Sounds like an awesome time...and in the end, wouldn't you, personally, rather do this kind of trip than a random vacation? If we're talking about the best ways to invest our time and money, I think this might have a little bit better rate of return than the average vacation does (not that there's no room for vacation in life!)

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  23. Welcome back! This is awesome. And, oh my goodness, that horse/donkey! He does not look like he wants a vaccine. Jordan's job on the vet team must have been challenging. What team were you on? Did you know your jobs ahead of time, or were you just thrown into your positions? I'm looking forward to reading more about your trip!

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  24. Wow, amazing! Can't wait to hear more about it! Also: Are you sure you didn't make Dr. Nicaragua up? That can't be his real name, can it??

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  25. Wow Amanda! Looking forward to reading more about some of your experiences!

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  26. SO FREAKING AWESOME. I mean really. AWESOME. :)
    And can I just say, this line?
    "Well fine you're going to Europe, but I'm spending thousands of dollars to go to a third-world country and help spread the gospel to poor people."
    Makes me love you even more. :)

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