Today we went to Mahanain, the poorest community we will be visiting on this trip. This community has no water, no electricity, and no actual bathrooms.

On the drive there, there was an awful smell, due to the nearby shrimp factory. Despite this unwelcoming stench, the community was very inviting.

I had the opportunity to talk with an elderly woman, named Julianna, and two young girls. Before we sat down and chatted, she made sure to brush off the chair well. I saw this and appreciated the fact that though she had little, she wanted to make sure that what she did have was in tip-top shape.

After chatting, we had a church service and I was able to share my testimony. I told this group of strangers something about myself that I haven’t even told some of my best friends. I really felt like the Lord wanted me to share this part of story, not for me but for the community.

It is common down here for the Nicaraguans to think that Americans are well off and have no struggles like theirs, but my struggles are quite similar to theirs. 

While telling my story, I started tearing up. These weren’t tears of sadness, but tears of revelation. I realized that if I hadn’t gone through the struggles I shared, I wouldn’t have been able to relate to this community. And by sharing this hard time in my life, and being more able to relate, I feel like I was better able to serve. 

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