Barefoot on dark rocks. They’re shaped and softened by waves that don’t stop beating them. The ocean smells like it has been traveling for miles carrying the white foam on top of their water. It’s beautiful here. I can’t even fully comprehend the fact that I’m on a Caribbean island. The sun is shining loud, but the sound of the wind brings the temperature down to a pleasant warmth. Palm trees are dancing in the rhythm of the flowing ocean, which is colored in different shades of blue by the different exposures to the sunlight. Time has slowed down to an island pace. I’ve been craving some alone-time, but the giggles of the local kids seem to find me even in this hidden corner between the rocks. It’s fine, it actually adds to the background of this story I’m writing. We’re here for them. I thought. But I’m still pondering about the words that…
Pause. Small fingers are running through my hair. A gentle touch on my skin, my scarf is moved between their hands. A fair-skinned redhead sitting on a rock alone, it must be an intriguing sight for these island girls. Their beautiful, big eyes stare at me with childlike curiosity. I smile back and invite them to sit next to me. Alone-time while girls are braiding your hair, why not?
Continue. I’m still pondering about the words Jesus said a few days ago. “I never asked you to change the world. To love the one who’s in front of you and enjoy the moment you’re in is more than enough.” It has been almost a week since we left the States on this mission trip and we’re on the RamaCay-island for a few days now. But even in that short amount of time, God has been able to shake my foundations and renew my definition of love, success and purpose. Not striving the get instant results and not trying to change the world in one day has released me from the pressure I always put on myself to be effective.
I’ve fallen in love with this island already, the beauty in nature and culture is a true reflection of Gods glory. We’re building relationships with the people and we’re getting to know them as we adjust to their lifestyle. Every agenda, plan or schedule is reduced (or expanded) to connecting with the community. It means that playing with the kids, exploring the island, enjoying the peaceful pace of their daily life, conversations on dark rocks like these and watching their baseball games are becoming our greatest priorities. The church services and children’s ministry is just a very small part of what we’re doing, most of our ‘ministry’ is blended with daily life. The healings and touched hearts will just be a small part of our testimony of this trip. It’s so different, but I love it.
I’m able to love it more and more, because God is revealing His purposes more and more. He doesn’t need me here. He can show up and show off all by Himself on this island, He doesn’t need our team for it. But He wants me here, because He is extending the honor of meeting the beautiful Rama-tribe and the joy of seeing the beauty of the island to me. And at the same time, He wants to pour out His love through my hugging arms, smiling eyes and encouraging words. Not because He needs me here, but because He wants me here. I don’t need to try to change the world, nor this island. Loving the one and enjoying the now: it truly is more than enough.
This post is part 3 of a series of blog posts ‘Nicarama14′ about my mission trip to Nicaragua.
It’s also part of the ‘barefoot’-series, which will be accompanied by an iPhone snapshot of the place where I wrote it in my travel journal. Read all of the other posts here.