Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Lesson in Beauty

Laura and I arrived, met up with Annita and the three of us hit the ground running! Many of the women we are outreaching to had some basic needs that needed attending. After a quick lunch and a few much needed cups of coffee we grabbed a bicycle taxi and headed to a brothel area. We were quite a sight as we were crammed into this taxi driving down a road that people go to for one reason! Yet, we were smiling and waving to many of the women standing outside. Our taxi driver/cycler(I am not sure even what these things are called??!) graciously and valiantly agreed to be our body guard. We were on a mad hunt for Carmen who had an open, gaping wound that needed my attention! We finally located Carmen at the local bar/brothel and she came outside and there on the side of the street (with quite an audience) we got her fixed and bandaged up! I never caught the full story but someone beat her up and sliced her knee with a broken, glass bottle. Unless we tood care of it and got her on anitbiotics there was no other option for her. Nice to have my nursing training come in handy on the streets of Nicaragua!

That night we were joined by Ashley and Delia! We grabbed some Salvadorian food and then all crashed! The next day we headed to a famous tourist area were there is a lot of prostitution and trafficking. We had planned to go undercover and talk to some of the women, we were all set until we found out that the danger was at a higher risk than we had anticipated. Don't get me wrong these types of scoutings are always dangerous but for reasons I am unable to explain, we had to make a call and cancel the outing! We found out that if a guy had been with us, we could have gone!! Okay guys...if you are reading this....WE NEED YOU! We did however get some of the main information we needed and we are set to go again next month and we have a guy this time!

Finally, the day for the jewelry workshop.
I am so blessed and so grateful for all the prayers and donations for this past event! We held the jewelry workshop in a new area and I was unsure how it would turn out. The day exceeded my expectations! Out of all the workshops we have ever conducted, this one by far was the best. The peace and joy that filled the atmosphere was so amazing.

All throughout the summer God has sent us so many amazing girls from the USA to help out at all the right times. We were privileged to have Ashley and Delia join us these past few days. The girls are students from Fuller Seminary and were finishing up their practicum here in Costa Rica. Here below is Ashley's words of the Mariposa event:

         "I’ve been in Nicaragua for the past couple of days, shadowing and helping a ministry called LightForce that works with girls and women who are either prostituting themselves or have been trafficked.  Today, we held a jewelry workshop for the women, and I wanted to share my thoughts from the experience.....

Her eyes surveyed the beads, deciding which color to string next onto her hoop earring.  Black bead, sparkly crystal bead, brown bead.  When she completed her earring, she held the sets in her hand and smiled contently.  These earrings were her creation- her unique creation.  I smiled as I witnessed her joy.
I bet God does the same thing when He creates each one of us.  He deliberates on every aspect of our personality, body part, and, especially, our spirit.  After creating us, I can imagine God sitting back and smiling contently at His creation.
He smiles contently at this woman making the earrings, who sells her body for money on the side streets of Nicaragua, just like He smiles contently at the missionaries who began this ministry.  They may be different nationalities, have different pasts, and be immersed in different circumstances, but they have the same Creator.
While the intent is for the earrings to help the women create a small business, which would enable them to stop prostituting their bodies, the main goal of the ministry is to help them understand the realization I just described:  they are a unique and beautiful creation, God’s creation.
After making several pairs of earrings, the women clutched their creations and headed back to the streets to make money.  My heart ached.  Regardless of their profession, they are still God’s creation in whom He delights.  Regardless of my profession, I am still God’s creation in whom He delights."

Ashley so sweetly described the events of the day in way many of us thought but could not explain. Watching these women discover their ability to create things of beauty is like Christmas morning for me every single time. I so love their looks of delight and wonder, almost child like. As Ashley said, it gives me a tiny glimpse of God's delight in us.

Thank you for helping LightForce sparks smiles and best of all, HOPE!

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