Friends, friends, friends,
Happy sweet Saturday! I'm currently enjoying a morning of silence after a very long week. Tomorrow marks two months since I've been in León, Nicaragua and there's so much to share.
Guys, I'm learning so much Spanish. Every day, all the time. I have class M-TR from 8-10 AM where I'm challenged intellectually and I love it. My teacher's name is Juan Pacheco, and he's turned into one of my greatest encouragers and challenges since I've been here. I'm thankful for him and to all the people I work with who teach me diligently and speak to me with patience.
After class I walk about 30 minutes to the church I work with, Pastor Yader's church. His community is small, but the relationships are sincere and beautiful. I cook with a woman named Ligia (pronounced Lihia) who is incredibly graceful and patient with me. She comforts me, instructs me, listens to me, and cares very deeply about my well being. I began to notice that the kids who come to the feeding center were showing up early and staying late to spend time with each other and me, but I struggled knowing how to spend intentional time with them without being able to speak to them. I invested in many coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, and reading books. We now have a bookshelf to organize everything, and those materials are constantly needing to be replenished. I love to watch them read to each other, read to me, and color...an instant bonding experience. After the feeding center I've recently been very busy. I stay in the community before I commute back to my house by bus, which has given me an eye opening experience to what life really looks and feels like for them. I'm exposed to the natural, untainted interactions that leave me feeling so rejuvenated and honored, while in the same breath tired and exhausted. I've been noticing dynamics within families that leave me desperate crying out to God for guidance. I care about family structure, the role and presence of both the mother and father, and I'm incredibly in tune with how this structure or lack there of affects children. I often times observe situations that are unhealthy, heart breaking, and sometimes don't know the wisdom in discerning how to move forward. God is sovereign and I'm relying on Him daily because I need Him.
I've been attending church at Yader's on Sunday, and the three other services held throughout the week. It gives me the chance to learn Spanish while also making it clear I'm here to be with them, learn from them, and do life alongside them. Last night something beautiful happened. Up until this point I was hearing many words and occasionally picking up on something here or there which felt so good. Last night I understood the message. I understood sentences, not just words, and it left me crying with joy for almost the entire service. I can't express this feeling well enough with words, but it's like joy and humility on steroids. God desires relationship with us, we should plant ourselves with deep roots connected to Him as trees. We can't do anything without God. We should always be seeking for deeper relationship with God, he said. Beautiful.
My favorite part about being here is getting to know the children and their families. Something I've been praying over for a long time. Yesterday I attended the promoción (graduation) of a few of our kids in the church and was given the distinct and unexpected privilege of walking one of them down the aisle, representing her mother who came later. Again, I can't express what kind of bond and level of trust this created, and I'm excited to attend the fiesta next week celebrating Rebekah and her brother Elias. I also continue to pray for the relationship between me and their mother. Her name is Paola, and she's beautiful. She offered that I walk her kids down the aisle the second time as they accept their diplomas, but when I insisted she walk with her children she broke down in tears. I believe there's something more to be prayed over here and I look forward to a sincere relationship with her and their family.
God is good, and good is God. I'm learning how to be present, how to be diligent, how to deal with sadness, sickness, and frustration. I'm growing in Him everyday while I watch Him work through my life and the lives of others. Representing our church as the hands and feet of Christ in an impoverished community, where they possess more than I ever will in life, is humbling. Doing life alongside them is humbling.
I'm so thankful to each of you, whom without, this wouldn't be possible. I think of you all often and want to be as informative and connected as I can be. I post a lot of pictures on Facebook, and I have a website/blog: lindsayleverett.com.
Prayer requests at this moment consist of the families I'm encountering, cultural barriers, my relationships with the community I work with, Spanish, and personal strength. Also, my physical health and prayer to protect me from further illness, something I've been battling through. Genuinely, my heart is so happy. I love living here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. THANK YOU for you unending support, it means the world to me and makes this ministry possible.
I love you all,
We are excited to announce that Lindsay Leverett will be arriving in Nicaragua next Tuesday, October 13th! She will be serving alongside Twelve Churches, initially at Pastor Yader's church where she can engage in a variety of ministries, including a Feeding Center and the Cosmetology School. Lindsay has a passion for empowering impoverished women, children and families, and sharing the love of Christ with them:
"I'm a firm believer of the love and grace of Jesus Christ and I invest wholeheartedly in the people God places around me. I care about children and families, implementing sustainable change in impoverished communities, and deep, intentional relationships. I love to learn new things, drink good coffee, lead worship, write music, paint, explore, listen, and travel, but more than anything I love to laugh and play."
"For the past year and a half I've been working in Children's Ministries [at Killearn United Methodist Church] and it's here that God has placed me in the essential environment with the necessary individuals to help me grow and develop into the God fearing woman I am today and continuously strive to be. In February, 2015 I was invited to join a medical mission trip traveling to Leon, Nicaragua ... The trip was humbling and rekindled my passion to serve alongside the poor. It was there I recognized that God's design for my life is far greater than anything I could ever fathom, and His intent began to unfold."
We ask that you be in prayer for Lindsay, the work she will be doing, and for the people with whom she will be interacting. We believe that God will use her for His glory and mission in Nicaragua.
Learn more about Lindsay and follow her journey in Nicaragua as she tells the story through her blog at lindsayleverett.com
Twelve Churches is delighted to welcome Alex Eppenauer and Tyler Pyle as our 2015 summer interns. For years we have watched Alex love so many people, especially children, in Leon, Nicaragua. She has truly been an inspiraation to many of us. Alex bagan her mission trips to Leon in 2011. During Bible School in one of our churches she felt God's call to build a home for a young boy who lived in a plastic house with his brothers and parents. Alex remembered this call and vision when she returned to Seattle, Washington. Her passion resulted in raising the funds to build this family a home, which she built in 2013.
Alex is also a talented artist whose portrait of one member of her "Nicaraguan" family won awards and was on display in Wahington, D.C. Alex and her family have travelled to Nicaragua many times including Thanksgiving week to spend time with those they love in Leon. All who know Alex feel privileged to have this special young lady as one of our interns for the summer of 2015. We know she will lovingly touch the hearts of many people this summer.
Tyler Pyle is a FSU Junior majoring in psychology and economics. As part of FSU Wesley Tyler has traveled to Nicaragua three times on mission trips. She spent her summer 2014 in Ghana, Africa with the HCDP-Ghana working on a water purification project. We are excited for her to use God given gifts and talents with Twelve Churches this summer.