May 27 2009

My trip to Nicaragua

By Suzanna Vermeul-Wilson, CFCA sponsor

I have traveled to many places in my life. I have met all kinds of people in many different circumstances. I have served the poor, and I have seen people living in poverty. In my job as a social worker, every day I see children in circumstances that they should not have to live in. I see suffering and sadness, I see human tragedy. The trip that I took to Nicaragua has had an effect on me that I cannot explain. Long after I returned home, I continue to be drawn to that place, to those people.

Suzanna, her husband and their sponsored childMy husband did not want to go on this trip. I asked him several months prior to the mission awareness trip if he would want to go. He did not answer me for some time. After about a month passed, I asked again, and he said that he really didnít want to go. I asked that he consider it, that I really wanted to go ñ that I really wanted him to go. He capitulated, and I bought the tickets the same day! At the first meeting with our sponsored child, my husband cried tears of joy. When we returned home and filled out our evaluations, he stated that this trip was a ìlife-changing experience.î I told him that seeing him there, with those children, his tears of joy and his strong feelings about it made me love him more than ever.

I keep wondering if this intense feeling I have will fade. There is not a day that has passed since our return that I have not thought or prayed for the children and people of Nicaragua. I feel compelled to do something ñ Iím not sure what that is. I have been finding sponsors for children, but that does not quench the thirst that I have. I feel indescribably drawn to these people, to this country, to the simplicity which is their life. I find myself considering things in a new way ñ questioning the day-to-day decisions that our society makes: the waste, the excess, the rampant consumerism and materialism of our society.

I experienced such an intense feeling of relationship with all the people that I met on this trip, with the country, with their ways, it is a feeling that I canít really describe. It was wonderfully satisfying to meet our sponsored child and to see what our monthly assistance has done for him and his family. I felt a connection with him, yes, a happiness from him to meet us after all these 11 years of sponsorship. I felt the warmth from his family and their gratitude and a sense of connection that only our good God can give to people.

I feel that there is something I am called to do. There is a longing inside of me, a constant tug at my heart. I feel like Iím searching for something in a fog. I keep waking in the night with an anticipation in my mind. During the day my thoughts constantly drift to Nicaragua. At home, at work, even in my leisure time, I feel a strong pull that Iím supposed to do something with these feelings. Iím not sure what this is ñ what it means, or how I can be of further service. Every day I want to be back in Nicaragua. Is it the Lord somehow calling to me? I am listening, Lord ñ what are you trying to say to me?

9 thoughts on “My trip to Nicaragua”

  1. I just want to say THANKS from the bottom of my heart to all of you who care so much. Puerto Cabezas is my hometown.
    I was online today looking for nothing special when I decided to check out the needy kids in Port, this is when I run into this site. Well my daughter is 27 and I have a precious grand daughter 4 months old whom I’m crazy about, and I have just decided to be a sponsor for one of the kids in my home town.
    Keep up the good work and may GOD bless each and every one of you.
    Grace M Gammie

  2. I have just returned from my third trip to Nicaragua. Trust me the intense feeling that you have for the people whom you have met will only get stronger each time you visit. When I travel to Nicaragua I feel like I am visiting my family. I have received more joy and happiness from not only the children that we sponsor but also the staff of CFCA. I have never met more caring and compassionate people in my life. The monthly donation for the children we sponsor has been the best investment my husband and I have ever made.


  3. Dear Suzanna,
    What a very nice blog, I knew the day I met you and John that trip trip would effect you both like it had done for me. I cannot wait to get back and every letter form the children there fills me with a longing to be with them and to be able to do more.
    I think a part of me will always be there. The children were in my arms for a few hours but they will be in my heart forever.

  4. Suz!! How good to read your message. I now know that I am not alone with those feelings. I got a letter from my “Child” yeaterday she had written the day after we left. I don’t think I really ever left Nicaragua. My days are filled with prayers for those people we met and for all people in NIc. and the poor of all thge world.

  5. I was with Suzanna on that Mission Awareness Trip. It was my third trip to Nicaragua and there is always something new. This trip I was especially blessed to visit my sponsored child’s home. It was a very humbling experience to see the conditions they live in. As Suzanna said, we have so much excess in this country. These people have the bare minimum and are still ready to give a smile. My sponsored child’s family welcomed me into their home without embarassment and showed me what they had with humble pride. They are in my prayers daily, as are all of the people in the beautiful country of Nicaragua.

  6. I know exactly how you feel Suzanna! It was so good to read some one else’s feelings about Nicaragua! I first visited Nica in 2004. Like you, I couldn’t get the people and the country out of my mind. In 2006, I returned to work in Nica. I worked on a build project in Managua and then went out to Puerto Cabezas on the east coast and worked with women out there. I taught them basic quilting skills and techniques. They were such keen learners. It felt so good to be able to give something to these wonderful people. The women have since gone on to sew and sell their goods. Hurricane Felix devastated their community but some are stil able to sew and sell their products, thus earning much needed money for their families. Keep up the good work Suzanna. God needs people like you. Thank you for your inspirational article. God bless you.

  7. Thank you very much, Suzanna, for such an inspirational testimony of the love that human being can give and feel for another human being. Thank you for being part of this community of compassion where we give just as much as we receive. Please receive my prayers for you and your husband, my our Lord guide your heart and mission, blessing you both abundantly

  8. This is such a beautiful and inspirational testimony. I feel grateful for having read this, and am hopeful that I can go on a mission awareness trip to Mexico to visit my sponsored child. CFCA is doing such good work, making ordinary people into the hands of Jesus himself, and helping us all to see God’s love all over the world.

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