Nicaragua Mission Trip/Day Nine/November 19, 2016

6:30 am This will be my last entry on the blog for this year’s Nicaragua Mission Trip. Our work here for this season is done. Thank God for all we have experienced and shared here. Thank God for the email from Sarah which got this dialogue going. Thank God for the mission team and Administrative Council that voted unanimously to come and join in this great work. Thank God for our church which is the source of such mission focus and outreach without which we would not be here. Thank God for this team each of which said yes to an invitation to go and make a difference in the world. Thank God for the folks here at Jubilee House Community who followed God’s lead to come to Nicaragua in the first place. Thank God for the people and ministries we have shared time and work with here. Thank God for the Kingdom life began by Jesus and led by the Holy Spirit that calls and invites us to join in the work God is seeking to do in the world through loving and gracing! As is typically the case when we follow God’s lead to move out of our comfort zones and into a larger experience of God and life we have received much more than we have shared on this journey. We are all somewhat overwhelmed with how powerful and present God has been in and through it all. Words could never express the fullness of it, or the joy of it, or the wonder of it, or the beauty of it, or the power of it! Life in the Kingdom of God seems to be like that. When it touches us and moves in our lives we are never truly the same again. None of us will ever be the same again because of all that God has done in us, with us, to us, and through us on this journey. And for all of the experience, every minute, every second we have spent here we pause to give the God of the universe our deepest thanks!!

It another beautiful morning here. I will miss the sounds and sight of this sacred and holy place. I will miss the different harmony the birds sing here in the mornings. I will miss the rooster crowing at 5:00 am. I will miss the sunlight as it breaks through the trees into the compound. I will miss the sounds of a city much different than most I have experienced. I will miss the routine of our mornings and of our days. I will miss blogging each morning and evening with my cup of Nicaraguan coffee. I will miss the newness and anticipation of each new day and the possibilities of what was scheduled as we lived them out and they became flesh and blood experiences that profoundly touched us, empowered us, and inspired us. I will miss Ian and Grace the newest members of our little mission family and working side by side with them in the vineyard led by God’s most Holy Spirit. I will miss the mornings and evenings breaking bread with the staff of Jubilee House and the fellowship and incredible food we enjoyed. I will miss stories, the history, the education and those who led us through each of those as we learned and grew. I will miss the sights and sounds and adventures of traveling and working in a beautiful country with a very rich and inspiring story and narrative with its heroes and everyday people that have been a part of each of our days here. I will miss the work, as challenging as it was, in the “pit”, in the “oven”, and at the clinic. I will miss the Nicaraguan workers that led and taught us many new things related to building and construction. I will miss this team, my mission family. While I will get to continue life with most of them, 3 of them will be leaving us to go back to their families and communities to live and work and play. I will miss God in this place and in these people in the unique and different way I have experienced God and God’s loving here. Yes, I will miss….

Now the work, hopefully continues as we search deep within ourselves as to what this experience means for each one of us and for the communities of faith we each serve. For the experience to die here would be most tragic indeed. For the experience to find no faithful or passionate witness from beyond here would be a death that would be sad and wasteful to say the least. So….we each must ask ourselves what is next? I had a young man at the Methodist Children’s Home come up to me after his baptism and ask, “what now Pastor Travis?” What now indeed!! May we open ourselves to who God will be and what God is seeking to do in and through each of us as we have been a part of this holy experience. I know you will join me and the team as we prayerfully seek God’s answer to such a question. In the next couple of weeks our mission team will be witnessing to you about our experience here. We will be sharing with you through pictures and stories the power of who God has been here among us. Pray for us as we prepare that witness and as we seek to share it with you. What God has done here involves more than just 9 mission team members. It involves the whole body of Christ at St. John’s, at Genesis, and Salado. May we be open, receptive, and responsive to all God has yet for us to do as the church has left the country my friends!!

We will see you Sunday as we gather to celebrate, give thanks, and worship and learn together as the body of Christ our Lord! I will see you on the road……………………..

Much grace always,

Pastor Travis
I John 3:1

About Travis Franklin

Travis served St John's as the Senior Pastor from 2015 until 2017. He now serves as a District Superintendent in the UMC.
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