As my foot paced off the plane in Bluefields, Nicaragua, I knew that this unforgettable moment was just the beginning of a remarkable journey I was about to embrace. Having no indication of what I wanted to do with my last semester before graduation, I searched for answers and God placed on my heart to study abroad. We often ask God to speak to us and when his voice appears we become afraid to answer his calling. I know I was. I was thinking to myself, “what is it that he wants me to experience in another country? What are the lessons I’m suppose to appreciate while I am here?” This was when the words faith and humility were revealed to me.
While walking to pick up my bags, the beautiful smiles I saw from inside the gate, everyone patiently waiting for the other students and myself to arrive, were more than just a welcome. Considering Bluefields my home was far from my mind but for the next four months it was going to be. After three months of preparation, I was really in Bluefields, Nicaragua.
This experience has been the most humbling experience in my life. When I heard I was going to be in a third world country, the living conditions never registered in my brain. When the administrator who was over us began to take us on a tour of the house where we are living, my eyes grew big. There is no dryer, which means I hang my clothes outside. No American cable television, so I am missing all of my latest shows, like The Game and Criminal Minds. And lastly, I have to take cold showers. So I found myself complaining so much about everything that I didn’t even realize that when I walked around Bluefields, the people here never complain. I began to reevaluate myself.
As an American, I know I am fortunate and the privileges that are afforded to me are often taken for granted. But here, I see children working just as hard as their parents. Name brand clothing is not common to them and the word “Jordan” does not even exist to them.
But they never complain about taking cold showers – some would be glad to even take daily showers. It dawned on me that these people are comfortable and pleased with their living conditions. They make difficult situations less difficult without any hesitation.
After three weeks of being in Nicaragua, I realized why God placed me here in this atmosphere. He wanted to humble me and show me that life is more than just the latest TV shows, the name brand clothes and heels I love to wear, the latest technology gadgets I desire to have and the air-conditioned room I often sleep in.
Life is not about Shalonda.
Now, as I take my cold showers, I do it with humility and I pray and ask God to fill my mind with positive thoughts so I can give back to Bluefields, Nicaragua one day. Before I start complaining about the small things that goes on in my life, I now remember to abide in humility because here in Nicaragua in spite of their circumstances they still persevere and live life delightfully. I am blessed for this opportunity and I cannot wait for God to reveals more of Nicaragua to me.
“All of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)