#ThankfulProject: An Experience | Enduring All Things

Monday, November 4, 2013

#ThankfulProject: An Experience

As I mentioned on Friday, I am excited to announce a blogging project for this month. I am going to be joining Kenzie from Chasing Happy as she takes this month to be intentionally thankful for the blessings in her life.
The Thankful Project is 28 days of intentional gratitude. Kenzie has created a list of 28 prompts and bloggers will link to her blog every day with their #ThankfulProject posts.
I will not be joining every day from now till Thanksgiving because, let's be honest, I don't want to spend too much time worrying about getting a post out every day (and I know that's what I would do). I think the point of being thankful is taking the time to reflect on what you are thankful for and thank God for your blessings, not necessarily to tell the world about it. But I do like the idea of being intentional about it every day. Also, I have some other fun bloggy things planned this month! Anyway, I will be joining the link up once or twice a week along with my usual Thankful Thursday posts. I am excited!

Today's Prompt: An Experience
I have been blessed with many wonderful experiences in my life; Going to a Christian college, Harding Honor Symposium, marrying my best friend, travel softball, teaching Sunday school, playing collegiate ultimate frisbee, and serving as an officer in my social club just to name a few. But today I want to focus on one somewhat small (8 days) experience that had a lasting impact on my life... my mission trip to Nicaragua in 2008.

The summer after I graduated from high school, I joined a team of people from my church on a mission trip to Chinandega, Nicaragua. We held a free medical clinic for the locals, we held a vacation bible school for the kids, we held a gospel meeting in the evenings, and we did a lot of door knocking evangelism.
My dad preaching in the church building during the gospel meeting one night.
Me and Pearson before heading out for the day's work
Over this week, I saw a lot. I saw the poverty in the homes these people owned. I saw the eagerness of the kids in bible class. I saw the openness the people had to hear what we told them when we knocked on their doors. I saw the needs they had for medical and dental attention that they can't normally get. I had been told how fortunate we are here in the United States. I had been told that people in other countries are usually more eager to hear the Truth. I had been told that people who were less fortunate were usually more content with what they had. But none of this ever really hit home until I was there. Amazing.
Playing with one of the girls at VBS.
All of the VBS workers and some of the kids
I am thankful for this experience because I saw the need for food, shelter, and Jesus first hand. And Nicaragua is not even a third-world country so there is much worse out there. I am thankful for this experience because it taught me of the need for Christian love and action all over the world.

I am also thankful for how this trip brought our team closer together. Some of the people on the team from my home church were not people I was very close to before. Also, we met up with a team from another church in Georgia so I didn't know them at all. One of the strongest memories I have from that week was all the young people on the trip sitting around the pool at the hotel in Managua (the capitol where we flew in and out of) singing praises to God. Not to mention playing soccer every day with a rock.
Playing soccer with the local kids. using a rock for the ball.
The whole group from our church on top of Mt. Messiah on our sight seeing day.
I definitely recommend visiting and working with a country less fortunate than ours if you ever get a chance. It will change your life.

What experience are you thankful for?
Thanks for reading!

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