See more photos on Amy's blog
We are so pleased to bring you this CinA update introducing Amy Gallagher, our first long-term intern from the US who is serving alongside Julio and Narlly and the rest of the team in Dario. The following is a message directly from Amy explaining her background, heart for ministry, and perspectives regarding her first several weeks in Dario. Amy is also blogging about her experience at reachingnicaragua.wordpress.com.
Our God is a God that came to serve, and being a servant is the epitome of love. The theme for this school year is Mark 10:45 “For even the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” It is that kind of love that has saved us and that love is what overflows from our hearts as followers of Jesus Christ.
I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to come here and live alongside Julio and Narlly as an intern for Compassion in Action. My name is Amy Gallagher. I was raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania by two loving parents, who came to know the Lord the same year I was born. My home church was and is a strong advocate of ministry outside of the church, so as a part of the youth group I went on mission trips every summer of middle and high school. After my senior year, I went to Granada, Nicaragua and I found myself distraught by the fact that I had to leave. Betty and Doug McRoberts, the directors of Fields of Abundance Mission, asked me if I wanted to spend 5 weeks with them the following summer. I did, and it was an amazing time of learning what ministry looks like. After coming home, I went through a time where I was bewildered. My heart longed to go back, but there was no place for me. At that point, Julio and Narlly had become friends with Doug and Betty, and in January Narlly told Betty her concerns with her art teacher and how she would love some help. I took a preliminary trip this past July where I spent two weeks living with Julio and Narlly, getting to know Dario and the people they work with. Obviously, I loved it here and have come back to serve in whatever way I can! I am so excited to see what God will do with the time I have here.
It’s unbelievable to think that we’ve already been in school for more than a month! I arrived January 26th, allowing me time to adjust before school started. Looking back on those weeks, I am so amazed at how Julio and Narlly have kept their eyes on their savior and their call throughout everything that has happened. Many of you may not be aware, but there have been legal issues with adjacent property owners who have been cutting down the fence which surrounds the school property, trying to force establishment of a road right through the middle of the property! This would split the elementary school from the high school and create a major safety concern. It seems like a lot of the accumulated frustration broke during the first two weeks I had been here. There were quite a few meetings with officials. Narlly even had the chance to watch herself talk about the conflict on TV. (I don’t think she enjoyed it as much as we did)
There should be another meeting between the neighbors, the mayor, Julio and Narlly to try to resolve the issue peacefully. Prayer for that would be greatly appreciated! I’ve also had the opportunity to see a glimpse of what taking care of the logistics at the school looks like, which I can say takes a lot of energy. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that every time I talk to Narlly someone else pulls her in a different direction. Both of them are able to be flexible with change, while still managing to get things done. I don’t think I could do it. All that to say, this school year has been extremely busy, but we are all excited to see what God is going to do. Our theme verse is Mark 10:45 and although we have only been in school for 5 weeks, it has been an awesome privilege to brainstorm ideas about how we can encourage the student body to serve the community.
Two weeks before I arrived, Pastor Orlando Obando and his family moved from Nueva Guinea, Nicaragua, to pastor the church CinA originally established in the barrio near the school. Compared to the time I spent here in July, it seems like the attendance has been slowly growing. Pastor Orlando is extremely motivated to evangelize to the surrounding community, which is an encouraging passion to have from a pastor. Gleaning from his passion, Julio and Narlly have been finding and embracing opportunities to share the gospel and encourage different individuals to seek the Lord. Despite the stress of school starting and the property battle, they’ve made it a priority to continue these relationships and some of them are coming out to church somewhat regularly. Praise the Lord! He is at work and to see his hand actively moving is not only encouraging, but also an amazing blessing.
God bless you all for your continued support of this special ministry,