Friday, April 18, 2014

He is Not Here

In this season of Easter we often reflect on the great demonstration of God's love for us through the sacrifice of His only Son on the cross.   It is only because of that sacrifice that you and I today and can experience a glimpse of the grace and love He lavishes on us.  As I look on this great demonstration of His power and saving grace I sometimes limit my view to the "big" demonstrations of His presence and miss the day to day manifestations of this same great power and love.   Dare I listen to the message of the angel to the women at Christ's empty tomb,  "He is not here, He has risen!"  I'm in no way saying that what took place on the cross is any less important simply that it is not only there that we find reflections of His sovereignty and love.

Where is His presence in the day to day?   With eyes wide open I can see His hand at work all around me.   Wanting to give Him all the glory here are reflections of His hand moving among us here in Matagalpa.

High Schoolers using recently donated microscopes
Second Graders doing an experiment with dancing raisins
NCA is growing by leaps and bounds.    More students means more parents and more lives to invest in.  Some of our student's  stories  are heartbreaking, filled with hurt, distrust, shame, anger and brokenness.  This month I have had the privilege of seeing divorced parents come alongside their teenage son to support him in becoming a responsible young man.   My first encounter with the parents was an icy one as neither of them wanted to accept their part in the character formation of their son but instead heaped insults and blame on the other parent.   When asked if all of us could meet together to formulate a support plan for their son both parents said NO.   Through nothing other than the hand of God in the hearts of both of these parents they agreed the following week to meet and we were able to talk openly and honestly about the steps each one of us needed to take in order to support and hold their son accountable.   Fearful of the explosive potential of this meeting I asked many to be in prayer for God's peace to reign during the meeting and God's peace and wisdom was revealed in the hearts of all present.

Sara chatting (right) with a parent
Providing learning opportunities for the teachers and staff at my school is a strong desire of mine.   It is a personal struggle for me as I am so busy doing much of the admin stuff for the school that I don't get to prepare for and lead as many training sessions as I'd like.  However, God in is goodness continues to bring amazing people to us that are eager to share their ideas and help our staff grow.  This year he brought us Sara. She is an amazingly gifted teacher with experience as an instructional coach at a school in the Dominican Republic.  She has been a GIFT to NCA in so many ways.  Encouraging us all to grow in new and challenging ways.   In addition to Sara others like Brianna have come to spend a week sharing creative science experiments with our staff and students.   I can not help but be overcome with gratitude at the countless ways that our Father makes His presence known in our lives and reminds us that He knows the desires of our hearts.
Brianna doing an experiment with the 5th graders

In the past week Nicaragua has experienced several earthquakes measuring 6+ on the richter scale followed by hundreds of aftershocks.    God's hand has been over the country as there has been relatively little loss of life and damage compared to similar earthquakes in the past.    We praise God for his protection and continue to pray for peace and provision for those who have been affected.  There is still fear of more quakes especially in Managua.

It is my prayer that this song from I Chronicles 16:8-14 would always be on my lips.
"Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.  Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.  Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.  Look to the Lord and his strengths; seek his face always.  Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgements he pronounced, you his servants, the descendants of Israel, his chosen ones, the children of Israel, the children of Jacob.  He is the Lord our God; his judgements are in all the earth." 

Parents and students building a flower nursery for NCA