The sun shown through the plane window brightly. I smelt horrible. We all smelt horrible. We had been awake for 14 hours at this point. I was woken up by the captain saying, "We are 20 minutes away from the Managua airport. Please fasten your seat belts as we prepare for landing." I was 20 minutes away from stepping foot onto a foreign country. Never had I ever left the United States. I remember feeling fear; but not the kind of fear you're thinking. The kind of fear that is only called "fear" because there is no other word it. I wasn't scared of dying, I wasn't scared of seeing poverty or famine, and I wasn't scared of missing my family. I was scared that after all this time, all of these dreams of traveling the world, that I would get to Nicaragua and just hate it. But as soon as I looked out the window of the plane and saw this amazing, beautiful country beneath me, I had never felt more at home.
Of all the things I learned that week in Nicaragua, the largest lesson was that I can be at home wherever I am. I could have sulked. I could have been homesick, but I honestly didn't miss anyone while we were gone. That's not to say my family and friends are not worthy of being missed, but I just knew I would see them all again. I would see each member of my family and each one of my best friends again: whether "again" meant when we arrived home, or if it meant after death in Heaven. We could have died on that trip; we could die at home; they could have died while we were on that trip. One does not fear death when they know they have an entire eternity to live for. Maybe this is why I felt at home. I was living for eternity, not for my mere (not guaranteed) 85 years of life. I was there, and I am here, to share the Gospel. Again, maybe that's why I felt at home: because the Gospel, essentially, is my home. It's where I go to rest after a long day; it's where I grieve for losses; it's where I find hope for my past, present and future; and it's where I belong. Wherever I find the Gospel, I will find myself at home. Because, where the Gospel dwells, that's where I dwell. This dwelling is not of Earth. This dwelling is not made of bricks, concrete, wood or stone. This dwelling of the Gospel is made of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit lives within me. This means, I can go anywhere in the world, and wherever my feet land, I will find myself at home.
Nicaragua is beautiful. More importantly, it's people are beautiful. I wasn't surprised, I mean God created them. How could something God created not be beautiful? As excited as I was to go and share the Gospel, I was even more excited to come home to share it. Those people thirsted for it. They welcomed God in our conversations. I felt empowered because of the work I saw being done through us, by God and I couldn't help thinking that I wanted to see that work more at home. I want to see God work through me each and everyday, and maybe it took traveling to Nicaragua for me to live for eternity here.