Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | July 1, 2011

Global Glimpses

Erin in Nicaragua

Who | Erin Lowry

Where I’ve Traveled With Kingsland | I have traveled to Managua, Nicaragua and Kolkata, India on the Junior and Senior Mission trips with the Kingsland Student Ministry.

What Challenged Me Most | I have found that challenges soon become passions, if one allows God to speak to their heart. During my trip to Managua, I found it very difficult to communicate with those around me. My Spanish isn’t the “best”, although I’ve taken several Spanish courses. I could understand what was being said around me, but didn’t have the skills to respond. This was one of the most challenging things I faced in India as well, because I love to communicate with others. I had to adapt to communicating through body language and even some pathetic hand motions (on my end) in some situations. I believe that these trips caused an awareness of my struggle with the language barrier, and so God has put a passion in my heart to teach English as a Second Language. Bridging that gap is an incredible ministry opportunity, and it was something that I had taken for granted until I was forced out of my comfort zone with totally new languages.

What I Will Remember Most | I will remember our work with the safe houses on both trips the most as well as our work at Mother Teresa’s. (So, you could say everything.) To narrow it down to one memory: the day we shared salvation with our girls at the aftercare home Kingsland supports in India. It was one of the most difficult days I have ever had on a mission trip. I’ve seen spiritual warfare, but not like this. Throughout the day, there were several minor, and a few major problems everywhere, nothing was running smoothly, and everyone was tired because it was near the end of the week. I was in the craft group; we made salvation bracelets to give the girls a tangible object to better understand the gift God has given us through His son. This was the first time I had ever shared the salvation story with several groups of people, and it was incredible. Around 15 girls prayed for salvation, but many resisted. They claimed that we were trying to get them to abandon their culture, their way of life. After we resolved this conflict, we witnessed the most discouraging thing we had seen all week. That particular day was a festival for one of the many Hindu gods, and so the children prepared a parade to celebrate. They dragged their idol up and down the sidewalk, dancing, burning incense, blowing bubbles, and cheering. Our new sisters in Christ did not participate, but it still felt like a blow to the chest. We had just shared with them, a new way of life, a sense of freedom that could be theirs, but they were still intrigued and tangled in lies. I remember the feeling of such accomplishment, of such happiness, quickly being followed by the reminder that we are never done. We should never stop glorifying the name of the Lord, and sharing the gift of His son. I pray for my new sisters all the time. I think about them throughout the day, as strong courageous ones, fighting for their justice and redemption. God has begun a work there, and I can’t wait to see where He takes it. “He who has begun a good work in you will carry it out to the day of completion” (Phil 1:6).

How My Outlook Has Changed | My trips to both Managua and Kolkata have changed my perspective on how I view people in general. I think that we forget, in America, with our luxury and technology, our gadgets and conveniences, the value of human interaction, as well as the significance of the individual human soul. Those who have had to live a standard below humanity have taught me how to be human. Caring for a woman who could have easily been 80 lbs (or less) from malnutrition and extreme poverty has helped me see the true meaning of beauty. Looking into the eyes of a broken and empty soul has changed how I look at those around me. Going on these trips has deepened my worldview more than I could explain. Everything that is a part of the phrase “Go Beyond” has been pushed to the limit in my life through these trips. They push you so far outside of your comfort zone that you have no choice but to surrender to God’s sovereignty and watch in amazement at what He accomplishes. It is truly glorious, to be at the end of your rope, and feel God pick you up, or speak truth through your words, or give you a glimpse of His almighty power. After these trips, my prayers have a more aggressive edge. Not prideful aggressive, but confident. I pray Psalm 10, 37, 62 over those girls, knowing that God will move. He is their fortress, their strength.

Why I Must Go Again | I must go again because of what I most remember. I remember the darkness. I remember the pain and suffering that God revealed to me, and the passion that has been stirring inside of me to fight injustice ever since I’ve Gone Beyond.


Responses

  1. Omar, this is one of my favorite blogs that you have posted (of course, Erin is my daughter). I am so thankful how God has used you and others at Kingsland to challenge Erin in her faith journey. I am amazed at the fact that my kids now teach and challenge me in my walk. Thank you for investing your time and talent in blogging. Thanks for your friendship. Doyle

    • DL…

      Erin has a tender heart for God and for serving others. Really enjoyed having her on our team last year as we served the least of these in Kolkata. You and Kay have set a good example for her of what it means to love God and to love people. Also grateful for your friendship.

      Blessings,
      O~

  2. An Angel came to Christ one day, and said, “What Now, that Thou hast borne the Souls of men, with Thorns upon Thy brow? My people shall be Witness we heard the Master say,” They will testify of me, each hour and very day. But, what if they should Silent Be, for Thou dost Know of man?
    And subtly, My Redeemer said,….”I Have No Other Plan.”

    “Oh Beloved, Look About You–
    Do You see what’s really there?
    Hungry, Lonely, Hurting People,
    Needy people Everywhere.
    Someone crying … Won’t You Help Me?”
    yet somewhere we do not Hear some are saying,
    “Dear God, Do You Love Me?”
    Won’t this people dare come near?
    I won’t harm them though I’m dirty
    or unpleasant just to see,
    I’m just Longing for Acceptance
    isn’t there a Friend for Me?
    Can you not hear Jesus saying:
    That’s why I placed You there.
    Open your eyes….they are crying,
    crying for someONE to care.
    Open your eyes…they are crying,
    show them their not alone.
    Open your heart to their crying
    and Jesus will make HIMSELF Known.

    My Friend: I stand in judgment now,
    and feel that you’re to blame some how
    On earth, I walked with you day by day,
    and never did you point the Way.

    You knew the Lord in Truth and Glory,
    but You never did tell the story.
    My knowledge then was very dim,
    You could’ve led me safe to Him.

    Though we lived together on earth,
    You never told me of the second birth,
    and now I stand this day condemned (damned in hell)
    because you failed to mention Him.

    You taught me many things that’s true,
    I called you “Friend” and trusted you,
    but I learned now It’s too late,
    You could’ve kept Me from this fate.

    We walked by day and talked by night,
    and you showed me not the light.
    You let me live, and love and die,
    you knew I’d never live on high.

    Yes, I called you a “Friend,”
    in life, and trusted you through Joy and Strife,
    and yet on coming to the end,
    I cannot now call You–“My Friend.”

    Hey Omar, hope you don’t mind, the Lord laid these on my heart to write these to you. Enjoyed your story Erin, I will be Interceding for You. May He lead and guide you Always. He has given You such a beautiful heart, and has filled it with His Love.

    God Bless Ya’ll

  3. Erin,

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is such a blessing to see how God is working in our youth! Thank you for having a heart to serve and moving out of your comfort zone and Going Beyond! What a blessing you and the others are to these people!


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