(Blog post written by Jacob “‘Merican Bacon” Mathes)
We have had an incredible time in Nicaragua this past week and it only gets better! Yesterday we started our second session with campers that are ages 12-17. I know there were a lot of nerves for us PC counselors since we aren’t used to working with kids who are bigger than we are. Good thing the Lord provides and our first day with them went better than any of us could have hoped. We ended the evening last night with an intense time of prayer and worship….wow the Lord was at work. The Holy Spirit tangibly moved as these teenagers felt the hand of God upon their lives.
Today has been pretty chill-baby, we had a great Bible study this morning (we are studying Jonah), about 5 snack times it seems like and then some fun activities including a huge game of dodgeball. A couple things had to be altered since today was super windy and supposedly the whole electricity grid of the Managua area went down for a few hours, but we rolled with it anyways.
The theme for this week has been “No Te Manches” which roughly translates to you are not dirty. The heart behind this is to show these kids that the things of this world dirty your soul and that only the love of Christ can wash us clean of our sin. We have been playing mud games all week and tonight there is an important game planned that will symbolize the trials of this world and the redemptive power of Christ. We are all excited to see what will happen tonight-our last night with campers.
Our team has learned about how much we need to rely on the Lord this week as well as the power of prayer. When we have no clue what the worship music is saying we pray. When we sit in on Bible study we pray. When we break for the night we pray. This morning we got up at 5am to pray with our Nicaraguan brothers and sisters in Christ because we know how big of a day this is in these campers lives. We are here for an eternal purpose and we know that the Lord did not send us here in vain.
We are praying consistently that God would work in ways so incredible that no one could doubt his power and sovereignty. One awesome example of the power of prayer occurred with one of my campers from the first session. Mi amigo Allan is a shy 10 year old from Managua with a tough family background. Going into the second night of worship of the first session I felt a burden on my heart that I needed to pray for Allan. I laid hands on him and began to pray for him, it felt as if none of the words were my own. I begged the Lord that if it was in his will that Allan would not be allowed to leave the auditorium that night without accepting Christ into his heart.
The next day after the niños had left we had a time to share cool stories from the three days with the kids. During this time a Nicaraguan counselor shared how she had gotten the opportunity to lead her little brother to Christ the night before. Her brother is Allan. He accepted Christ about 10 minutes after I prayed for him. Wow…Christ works in incredible ways and our prayers do not fall upon deaf ears. We are being heard and loved by the one who holds the universe in his hands.
We continue to pray expectantly that the Lord would lead us and move in mind-boggling ways as we finish up our last day of camp. Like Hebrews 10:19-23 says we have the boldness to enter into the sanctuary through the blood of Christ. So we draw near with a true heart and full assurance of faith so that we may hold fast to the confession of our hope, without wavering, because He who promised is faithful.
As we begin to close out camp we ask that you would continue to pray for us. Pray that we would have strength and energy to finish out this week strong. Pray that God’s will would be done in these 55 kids lives and that they would be changed for eternity. And lastly, pray big prayers that don’t confine the Lord because we know he is capable of all that we ask. We thank you for your continued support and prayer and look forward to what God will continue to do (as well as the hot showers in the states).