Barefoot jumping up and down. Hands and feet are moving; the feet are dancing and the hands are clapping to the same rhythm. The colors of this small church seem to shout as loud as the music, the brightness of the pink and blue adds to the volume and pace of the worship. It’s a celebration of a church somewhere in the middle of the Nicaraguan jungle. I see a young lady, probably my age, jumping up and down with her eyes closed. She’s caught up in the music, her intense focus seems to tell me that she came here just for this. I use my camera as an excuse to hide the fact that my stamina isn’t as great as the other church members. I’m sweating and panting, but I blame it on the hot and humid weather. I move around the room trying to capture the unique expression of their excitement for God in all of its movement, colors and sound. The church isn’t bigger than my living room and I only counted 13 adults when we came in. But they fill the room, they fill every empty space with their purposeful presence. They know why they’re here. They know the One they came here for.
Little did I know that today I was about to find out why I’m here as well. We left our home on the RamaCay-island for a day to travel down a beautiful river through the jungle to arrive at Tik-Tik-Kanoo. As we stepped out of the boat, a small village enfolded itself before our eyes on a large open field at the river side. Our Bethel-team is invited to attend their church service and do ministry here. As soon as we walk into the church, I feel the Presence of God and the open hearts of the people. That feeling is confirmed when worship breaks out and passionate prayers of intercession are lifted up. This land is ready for revival. There are deep wells of Living Water in the ground of this hidden village at the riverside.
And God powerfully touched me personally while I was praying on my knees on the wooden floor. He began to speak to me about the true definition of significance. He showed me that He brought 16 world-changers from all across the world to go deep down the jungle to just be in this little church of less than 20 people. It’s worth the travels, the money that people donated for us in order to be here, the energy and the time we put into ministry. In fact, He would have done it if there would have been only one person here. That one individual is worth it all. It’s worth it and it’s actually not even a sacrifice. It’s a privilege to be able to give the little that we have for a person that God has the highest value for. He would have let Himself be brutally murdered even if it was just for one person. That’s the price He was willing to pay for one. That’s the value of a human being.
All of a sudden I don’t see a small, simple church of 20 people anymore. I see a target of Gods affection. I’m eternally thankful for the amazing opportunity to be with not just one, but a whole room full of God’s heroes. They make this day significant, our ministry significant, our trip significant. It’s their prayers that brought us here, it’s their hungry hearts that already established a culture of His Presence in their midst.
After praying, talking, dancing and singing with these beautiful heroes for hours, we step into the boat to go back to our island. It’s then that I hear that some of those church members walked for four hours through the jungle just to go to church today. Never again will I measure significance in numbers.
This post is part 5 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.