Friday, August 14, 2015

Choosing to Make It Happen

Well, I haven't blogged in so long I kinda feel like I forgot how. Like, how in the world do I just jump in and tell you whats on my mind with out like TONS of back story?! I don't know, so I am just jumping in. If you don't understand this post, I am sorry for being so scattered and would love to chat with you more about it :) 

Over the summer Reed and I decided we are going to take our friends on a trip to Nicaragua. We don't have the money, we don't know how to plan a group trip, and we are crazy busy with life. BUT we are choosing to make it happen.

God has given us a passion for Nicaragua. Not just as a couple, or because Reeds parents live there but because God touched each of our hearts there and each of us consider it a place where God changed our lives.

View of the Lathrops Pineapple Farm & Minsistry
For those of you don't know, here is a small, teeny tiny, back story on our beautiful Nicaragua story. 
Reeds parents became full time missionaries in Nicaragua 10 years ago. Reed moved with his family to Nicaragua for his senior year of high school. His naturalist side fell in love with the land and wild life, while his parents began an amazing ministry focusing on community in a poor valley area. After graduation Reed moved back to the States. I visited Nicaragua for the first time on a short term mission trip the same year Reeds family moved (the summer before my freshman year of high school). I loved it and knew I would come back some day. The summer before my Sophomore year my best friend and I went back for a few weeks and got to be apart of the Lathrops ministry in the beginning stages. We both knew we wanted to share this with friends so we came home and gathered a group of girls from school and lead a trip of 15 girls to Nicaragua the summer before our Senior year. This month long trip was where Reed and I started dating and when we both realized that Nicaragua was a place we would always consider home. 
For some reason after that trip back with 15 friends Reed and I stopped sharing our passion for the country and missions with our friends. We would talk about Nicaragua and visited regularly, but we never DID anything to share the passion that God placed on our hearts. We tried to explain it with words, but so often words fail when a simple experience could change a life.

This past spring Reeds parents where visiting and got to meet some of our friends. This visit sparked talk of visiting Nicaragua and sharing how the Lathrops live. Finally, Reed and I got it. Our friends aren't just going to take our word for it and book a trip someplace they have never been. We had to guide them and show them this beautiful country.

This October 31st, eight of us from across SC (hence the name Palmettos & Pineapples), are heading to a country that Reed and I know can change lives. But we also know that a trip like this takes lots and lots of preparation. God has given us a passion, and sitting around waiting on Him to work isn't listening to Him correctly. God told us to GO and to use the gifts he has equipped us with, He didn't say wait until it is easy, or until you have the extra money to go. He just said GO!

"He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." Mark 16:15

We are going, we are expecting God to use all 8 of us in a way we could never imagine. We are preparing to use each of our strengths and talents. We will be working with the local school and visiting the community. We will also be visiting the local hospital where we will connect and pray for the patients and hopefully give them some much needed love. We are also planning to use this beautiful country as a place to find fellowship. There is just something different about connecting with people in a place that doesn't have internet, or even electricity all the time! I am looking forward to doing life with my friends in a deeper way than I ever have before. We are expecting God to show up in a powerful way, in how we are ministering to the Nicaraguans, along with encouraging the Lathrops, while also expecting God to open our eyes and hearts to a better understanding of His love for His family.

We are all choosing to make it happen, we are trusting that God is going to provide the funds and needs to make this trip work. We know that when we follow God's commands and use the gifts, passions, and talents He has given us that we will do great things!

**Reed and I ask that y'all pray for this trip, for the leaders, the hearts we will encounter, and the friends we are exposing to a place that God is so evident in. 
If you feel lead to help make this less of a financial stretch for the members of our group, please visit our GOFUNDME page. 
 photo gracie-sig_zps2d86285f.jpg

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