Creek Crossing Adventures

Some sisters go shopping, others will go out to lunch together to get that fun sister time into their schedule. But when living as missionaries in the jungle you have to just squeeze those times in every chance you get.

This day would be one of those days; I could sense it was going to be delightful. I had an errand to run two villages up river and my two oldest sisters, Mary and Eva had decided to join and make it a sister outing. I was excited to say the least. Trudging through the mud and braving the creek wouldn’t be so bad if it could be considered a sister outing.

After walking over half an hour through the jungle and past the first village we got to the creek. Thankfully that day the water was low and someone had placed a bamboo over it so that you could hopefully balance your way across the twenty-four-foot span without taking a swim. Don’t get me wrong, I love swimming, and after walking through the mud for thirty minutes it can actually be refreshing. But the nut so fun part is then having to walk in heavy wet jeans the rest of the way. Thankfully we all made it across the bamboo safely with only one of us taking a dive.

Twenty more minutes of mud and we arrived at our destination. The business we had come to see after was taken care of rather quickly; so after buying each of us a little snack, I took my sisters to see the newest development in the community. Sitting down on the new bridge to eat our snacks under the cool shade of the nearby mango tree, I shared with my sisters the story of the bridge we now sat on. The sidewalks had been there but the bridge had been missing; and so for years everyone passing through had to get off the sidewalk and go through the mud hole across sticks and logs they had put in place, to get to the next section of sidewalk. It was a huge inconvenience, especially at harvest time as the heavy bags of rice and beans were all carried this way. But a few months earlier the ministry had donated enough gas and nails to build a bridge. The community pitched in and each family sold a few pounds of beans to pay someone with a chainsaw to cut the lumber, then coming together for a community workday they had erected this sturdy much needed bridge. They had put their time and effort in and it had been worth it: They constantly thanked us hardily making sure we knew that they appreciated the help that had been provided through the ministry.  Our conversation soon drifted to other aspects of ministry and what God had been teaching us each individually, but all to soon the sun began rotating its way westward, breaking up our conversation and encouraging us to make the trek back home. We took it slow, playing around at and taking photos at the huge tree where the path went right underneath and between the roots, but eventually we found ourselves again at the little creek hoping to make it across the little bamboo without going in. Someone had moved the little makeshift bridge to a little different place causing it to be at a slant. Not taking note of this I accepted the pole cut by our friend Makin who had caught up with us on the trail, and attempted my crossing. The bamboo being at a slant I took only a few steps before plunging into the water. “No big deal,” I thought to myself, “I’ll just have to walk home in soggy clothes.” Our friend Makin cut another pole ensuring that the rest wouldn’t join me and all made it across without incident. I swam to the other side, but as I got out of the water I realized I was missing something: When plunging into the water “with little grace” my half sized machete had been flung out of its sheath on my side. Makin joined in the search, but half an hour later after finding nothing I told him we should give up and go home. Not willing to give up yet Makin made one last dive into the water and came up with a big smile on his face and my machete in his hand. “How did you manage to find it?” I asked him. “There was still one place I hadn’t looked,” he said handing the machete to me. I thanked him numerous times and he assured me it wasn’t any trouble. “What would we do without our friend Makin?” I asked Eva with a wink as we watched the old man walk off. In our first encounter with this strange man we had nicknamed him Angel Man; since that day many things had changed, but our friend never quit his many acts of kindness toward us.

A few months later I found myself again at this location wanting to cross the creek, but this time I didn’t have to worry that I would fall into the creek. The two communities had joined together and put a large log across the creek spanning from one bank to the other. Excited I assumed this bridge would surely last as it was high above the water and wouldn’t be washed away by the rising of the creek. Katie and Derlin and Namahka-Pilhpilia bridge

But my hopes were dashed as only a week later the bridge had been washed away when the water had risen, and I had to swim across the creek with my heavy jeans and boots.

The two communities had tried their best, but their efforts had failed. The sick and elderly once again wouldn’t be able to cross to get to the closest clinic. The wheels in my head began turning: Something could be done. Both villages had shown interest in making the situation better and would surely be willing to put their time into building a bridge if materials could be supplied. So after much thought we are considering building a 120 feet cement and cable bridge that wouldn’t wash away when the creek rises. If anyone is interested in helping fund supplies for this bridge you can contact us for more information.

In Christ, Sarah Lee

Categories: Miskitu Indian Mission, Nicaragua | Leave a comment

Another Day In KrinKrin

Another Day in KrinKrin

5-5-17

I stepped for a moment out of the office this morning where I’ve been making invitations for a girl’s conference coming up in June. The house is a buzz as normal. It’s only 8:45 but our day began early with breakfast at 6:00am, followed by family devotions. Dishes are washed, water carried, house swept, laundry done by hand and out on the line to dry in the hot dry season sun, and now everyone has found their own days’ work. Dad and Karen are in Puerto Cabezas ministering to a young lady while work here at home continues to happen as normal (what is normal anyway?). Rotten floor boards a being replaced, the cracks in the floor packed with cement, grocery list written, baby being cared for, child training book edited, update video narration written, and ministry flyers being put together. Everyone plays their own role; we are a team. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

I will get back to my work now, but I thought I would give you a glimpse into our life today. May each of you have a blessed day. Sarah Lee

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Chris replacing rotten floor boards

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Lizzie, Katie, and Eva filling cracks in floor

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John babysitting Miracle

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Mom making grocery list

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Camille editing Child-Training booklet

Categories: Miskitu Indian Mission, Nicaragua | 1 Comment

Joy and Victory over the Death of Discouragement

Dear Friends and Neighbors
Here are some thoughts that I jotted down on paper during my trip to Honduras a little over a week ago. I hope God will use them to speak to you and you will find encouragement in them.
JOY AND VICTORY OVER THE DEATH OF DISCOURAGEMENT
April 20 2017
My mind wanders this morning to a poor salesman and his wife as they discuss another day’s events. “I’ve been working for months now with Cindy, explaining to her all the qualities of the product we offer, and I thought for sure that she was going to take it,” the salesman tells his wife after a long day’s work. “But today she nearly spat in my face saying she wanted nothing to do with me or the product.” “It’s so hard when you know the product you offer is so good,” his wife added, feeling the disappointment in her husband’s voice. “You know, I’ve been doing this for four years and haven’t had one taker,” the salesman continued. “Sometimes it even crosses my mind to get a different occupation.” “But you cannot quit,” his wife encouraged; “you know how this product has saved both our lives and how many others it could save if they would just realize and accept it. Plus, our boss has been faithful to keep food on the table and even gives us unique gifts at times. Someday one person, even if only one, will realize the quality of the product and it will change their life like it has ours. Don’t be discouraged my love, we must continue on.” Many times, I feel this is us as missionaries. We know that Jesus Christ has changed our lives and could also change many others’ lives if they were only to accept Him. But when we share, we give, we love, and we care, and then seemingly see no fruit but rather rejection repeatedly, we can become discouraged. That love and passion we had for the people in the beginning may even grow a little cold. This is what I have felt happening in my heart over the past year; the tears I used to cry for my people’s souls do not flow so easily anymore. And the passion I had to tell everyone about what Jesus had done for me just does not burn as brightly anymore. At the beginning of 2017, I woke to the realization of this and fell on my face before God asking Him to fill me heart again with His love and renew my passion for my people again. It has been a process, but I feel Him beginning a work on my heart toward this. However, many days I still find joy missing. On Palm Sunday, while attending a church service in Managua, I recall the pastor just as much as mention how Jesus wept over Jerusalem and was reminded of how much I want to love like Jesus loves. But in the days that followed as I traveled to Honduras, I felt myself becoming increasingly discouraged. We visited several different ministries and missionaries that have been serving for years. Everywhere I looked I saw the same discouragement and love grown cold that I had been feeling. They still loved but because of all the disappointment, hurts, and heartbreaks, little passion remains. “So, this is it,” I thought to myself over and over again. “In the end, is this what I have to hope for? Of course it is,” I told myself. “It would be prideful to think that I will somehow be different. Besides look, I’m already struggling with it.” Great discouragement flooded over me as I believed the lies of Satan. “Nobody really understands what missionaries go through,” I thought, pitying myself. “Everyone always just wants to hear the number of people that got saved, and if that number is always zero, we are looked at as failures. Fantasized yet forgotten failures is what we are in the eyes of others,” I told myself wallowing deeper in self-pity. A fun Saturday in the mountains helped me forget a little bit of my discouragement, but deep in my heart I still carried the weight. “It’s a beautiful morning,” I told Mary and Camille as we walked to the sunrise service early Easter Sunday morning. I felt an anticipation in my heart of something good. The chilly morning air brushed across our faces as we walked up under the large spreading tree beside the pond where lawn chairs stood in rows waiting to be occupied. We found a place close to the center and waited till services started. After a few songs, the preacher, Andy Schmucker, got up and began to teach a message filled with power and the Spirit, yet simple enough for a child to understand. “El va a mander sus angeles para mover la piedra de tu corazon, y puedes vivir en victoria y gozo cada dia. – He will send His angles to roll the stone away from your heart so you can live in victory and joy every day,” Andy encouraged. Suddenly, I realized how much I had been living in fear of failing as a missionary, and how it was wrong of me to doubt that God could have victory in and through my life. I was being held in chains by my own fears. “Father, I don’t want to live in the death of discouragement and fear!” I cried. “I ask you to roll the stone away from my heart so that all the dead in me will leave and I can live in the victory You give me every day.” Andy continued, “Lazoro, Lazoro, ven fuera, no nesesitas estar muerto, tu puedes ser vivo hoy.” Lazarus, Lazarus, (Sarah, Sarah) come forth from the grave, you don’t need to be dead, you can live today!” Revelation 1:17-18 says “Do not be afraid, I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One, I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! I hold the keys to death and Hades.” I can love because He is still loving. I do not have to fear failure as a missionary, because Jesus is risen; I can live in the joy of that victory in me today! Every day I can wake up with joy because I know I will have victory in Christ that day. Every day I have to make a choice; “Lord help my choice be You today and every day.” Life as a missionary is hard! Not because there is no electricity or because we have to do our laundry by hand. Not because we use an outhouse or there is no air-conditioner. Not even just because we are away from everything we have ever known, but simply because rejection is hard, especially when you love someone so much. The realization that many souls depend on the choices you make every day is quite overwhelming. In your mind, you feel like you are all alone, yet the entire world is watching you to see whether you will succeed at a job only the Holy Spirit can really do. Or maybe you feel that you must reach some sort of standard of the people supporting you. These are some of the reasons why being a missionary is so hard. If you know a missionary or of a missionary, please pray for them. Even when you do not hear from them for a while or do not see any updates, they are probably really busy or struggling and do not even know what to tell people. That is when they really need your prayers. Pray that they would be able to continue loving, and that they would find victory and joy in Christ every day. Pray that they would be able to forgive the ones that come against them day after day and that they would remain humble servants in the face of great trial. Pray for each day a renewed passion and eyes focused on Jesus rather than the rejection and results. Pray for the hearts of the people they are serving; a change of heart is work done only by the Holy Spirit, not the missionary. If you know a missionary, prayerfully consider visiting them and encouraging them. Let them know you are praying for them, they may feel alone. Let them know you are not judging them by results, but encourage them to continue loving even when it is hard. If you meet a missionary, pray over them, it empowers them! If you know a missionary, let them know that they are loved and appreciated! And please pray for your missionaries faithfully, they need it more than you know.
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May God bless and keep you.
Your Sister in Christ, Sarah Lee
Categories: Lee Family, Miskitu Indian Mission, Nicaragua, Mission Trips | 2 Comments

Five Year Residents

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

April 7 2017

Greetings from the capital city of Nicaragua.

Finally, six months after our trip to Managua was postponed in November, on Monday we made the trip to renew our residencies. We kids caught an old school bus (public transportation) and bumped across the country on mostly dirt roads for twenty hours until we reached our destination. The ride was better than we had expected as the government is working on paving new sections of the road.IMG_2435

My parents took the smoother, less adventurous ride in a twelve-passenger plane and met us here. On Wednesday we spent all day at the immigration office and walked out that evening, Happy Legal Nicaraguan Residents for a full five years! We are super excited that they granted us the five years this time, because it will cut out this annual cost of expensive travel. We are truly grateful for all who have kept this process in your prayers and for those of you who gave financially to make it possible. God worked everything out perfectly. I can see that it was the best, even though waiting patiently was hard when most of our other plans revolved around this event. Trusting God is always rewarding!

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Chris headed back on the bus today; Eva, Katie, Lizzie, and John plan to leave tomorrow. My parents will be traveling back by plane on Tuesday, and Mary, Camille, and I plan on visiting Honduras where Camille served for two years prior to joining our family in KrinKrin. Please keep all these travels in your prayers, that God will safely rejoin us soon.

Your Sister in Christ, Sarah Lee

Categories: Miskitu Indian Mission, Nicaragua | 2 Comments