When introducing my family and friends in Nicaragua, I honestly don’t know where to begin. Do I start with the most desperate situation? Or do I ease you guys into it with a more mild need than some of the more difficult stories.
After much thought and consideration, I’ve decided to start with one of the more difficult stories from our trip. This isn’t necessarily my story to tell, because it was a story that was learned from my friend Amanda. We were serving in the church that we call Pastor Ishmael‘s church. This is one of her favorite places to serve because this is one of the first places that Pastor Larry and Donna Wright started doing their feeding programs. On every single trip that I’ve ever been on, that’s one of the places that we’ve always gone.
A little sidenote for you… This is actually a place that was the foundation for us deciding to create our nonprofit feeding the 5000. When we were there we learned that there was a little boy who was getting soup served to him on a plate and when we looked over his plate turned over and it burned his entire face. He’s doing a lot better now. That was six years ago and the kid is absolutely stunning. But in that moment we were in agreement that plates were no longer an acceptable form of service for something like soup or rice or anything they could spill like that.
Anyways, back to Naomi’s story. Today I’m gonna tell you the story about a little girl. She’s 12 years old, she’s a rockstar, and she’s already the strongest person that I’ve ever met in my entire life. Her life almost ended about a year ago when her parents beat her almost to death with a metal rod. They beat her head so hard that her skull was actually fractured in multiple places. Apparently being a parent was too much for them, so they left her in a ditch to die. They literally left their child beaten and bruised battered and tormented and hoped for her to die. The worst part about it all she remembers everything. She remembers every single time they had her. And she remembers watching them walk away.
I wasn’t going to tell the story because again it’s not my story to tell. I’m not Naomi, the little girl, and I’m not the person she told the story to. But you know I think it’s really important that people understand that Nicaragua and missions and serving is more than just giving out food and toys for little kids. It’s about learning these stories from kids like little Naomi who was l beaten almost to death. I mean her fate literally was for her to die, but God has bigger plans for her.
Pastor Ishmael and his wife are truly angels sent down from above who came down and rescued this little girl. As soon as they met he, they took her immediately to the emergency room. Healthcare is a lot different and Nicaragua than it is in America. It’s more like Canada where it’s free healthcare, but the lines are a little longer. From my understanding the doctors were able to make her a priority and help her.
They didn’t have a good report honestly. But Pastor Ishmael and his wife and all of their prayer warriors prayed and prayed and prayed and this little girl regained all of her strength, all of her health, and can I just tell you when I was able to meet her, she is one of the most beautiful people inside and out that I’ve ever met in my entire life.
Whenever Amanda was told the story she had no idea that Naomi was standing right beside her. So just imagine that the pastor sitting here telling Amanda this absolutely tragic story and Amanda doesn’t know yet if the story is going to end with the fate of the little girl dying or if she was going to make it, if she would be mentally or physically handicapped or whatever the fate was going to be. But then the pastor looked at Amanda and said, “Do you want to meet her?” And Amanda‘s face completely lit up, and the pastor said, “Look right beside you,” and the little girl stood as tall and confidently as she possibly could.
This story isn’t just a sob story so that you can feel bad for the kids there. These kinds of things happen in America, and these kinds of things happen in Canada. They happen all over the world, but for me and my family, we learned that these things happen in Nicaragua a lot more than we realize.
Every time I go down there it seems like I learned of another story like this. Also just a sidebar Pastor Ishmael and his wife are adopting Naomi. They actually said from the moment they saw her lying in that ditch, that they knew she would belong to them and they would be her parents. Things haven’t gone through legally, and the paperwork hasn’t been done but they’ve already decided that she’s theirs, and she is could not be more grateful to have parents who actually love her.
This little girl has been taken care of and she will continue to be loved and I guarantee you she’s going to be a leader in that church. One of the girls on our trip, Savannah, brought some really really nice clothing and jewelry to give away to some of the kids. She kept waiting for the right opportunity and as soon as Amanda heard Naomi‘s story she looked at me with this look on her face that I never seen before and said “Go get Savanna now.”
I tend to do as I’m told, so I ran to get Savanna and told her to get her things. She ran straight up to the church and immediately knew exactly what was happening. She gave Naomi the most beautiful matching earring and necklace set and a bracelet that I’m telling you the little girl cried over. We gave her new clothes, no I can’t say we. I have to say it was all Savannah. She did it all. She brought some of the most beautiful things to give this little girl and it made her entire day.
After learning about her story, everybody became really sensitive to how to react to someone who’s been a victim of not just trauma. But this is the the physical abuse that can happen from someone who should be the most protective person in your life. It was almost like everyone just got it like everyone had taken psych 101, psych 102, all the same classes necessary to know that you ask a little girl if it’s OK for you to hug her before just doing so. Everybody was incredibly sensitive to her, but she was so strong. She is and will always remain the strongest person I’ve ever met in my life.
She knows her purpose and at 12 years old she knows that God created her to do more than to lie to ditch and die after being beaten to death by her parents.
The more I learn about World Missions Outreach, is that we truly are all in this together.