“Calmate” (chill out) If you are around Massiel for any length of time I guarantee you will hear this phrase. More than likely accompanied by a belly laugh.
About 2 years ago when my dearest friend Matheson and I spent the summer in Nicaragua my friendship with Massiel began to grow. Really, it was more of at a distance to start off. Where I had met her my first trip to Nicaragua in 2004, our friendship hadn’t quite developed. But, that summer when Matheson and I would spend the night in the village she would stay with Massiel and I would stay with my “family” and they “just so happened” to be neighbors.
I say “just so happened” with those cute little quotes, because really with God things don’t ever “just so happen.” When I look at all kinds of instances in my life, I find that his attention to detail is pretty incredible. I’ve been reading through Ruth lately and the author of Ruth says the same exact thing in chapter 2 that it “just so happened” that Ruth found herself in Boaz’s field…” Yea, right! God SO did that on purpose! The same way that he crossed Massiel and my path!
It wasn’t until this time last year that the Lord showed me how that “just so happened” summer of building a foundation of a friendship with Massiel via Matheson how this young lady would become one of the most special people in my life!
My trip last December was a surprise. I didn’t tell anyone but the people that were going to pick me up that I was coming. I arrived at night and I was driving into Bethel to surprise the family I was planning on staying with I ended up being the one surprised because “it just so happened”…they WEREN’T HOME!!
Plan B…I go to Connie’s house…surprised again! She had a full house of people she was already housing.
Plan C… at this point I figured well, I guess I’ll just go to my “family’s” house. So, as we inch closer to the house I asked Juan Carlos to park in front of the neighbor’s house…Massiel’s. As soon as we stopped the Lord spoke to my heart and said…”This is it! This is where you’re staying” I got out of the car, started to walk through the front door and I see Massiel at the other end of the hallway. She did a double take as she burst into tears and we started hugging, screaming and laughing. As her Mom, Dad and sister were laughing at us I asked them if it would be ok if I could stay and from that day on the whole trip she was my little shadow.
Everywhere I went I asked her if she wanted to come and we stayed together every second. I stayed with her family the rest of my trip and I knew that the Lord was using this time to deepen this relationship and I LOVED watching him do it!
I took Massiel with me one night to the Mission Center so I could meet and hang out with the World Race team and thought it’d be good for them to love on her too. I remember a conversation I had with one of the World Racers that night. I was telling him about Massiel and I said:
“I’ve been praying about an opportunity to ask her about her walk with Christ and it just hasn’t happened yet.”
I love the response he gave me…
“Ya know, it says in the Bible that we are the fragrance or aroma of Christ and sometimes, I think we’re just called to smell like Jesus. I think that’s what you’re doing.” (2 corinth. 2:15 in case you’re wondering.)
Since last year my relationship with Massiel has become so much deeper! We talk at least every other week by phone, where I’m caught up on all the latest happenings of her 16 (when this blog is posted she will have just turned 17) year old life.
It is such a testament to God’s work in her life that now when I ask her how I can be praying for her she floods me with things I can be lifting up for her in prayer. Where before it was “I’m good” or “just school.” It has to be the sweetest most humbling thing in the world for me to hear her pray for me!
Massiel came to our youth retreat we had this past June and since then it’s incredible to see how she’s grown! Jesus is becoming more attractive to her and he’s growing her desire for his word in her heart! I love watching the process!
The fruit in her life is evident! As I was leading a group by myself in July and Massiel, along with some other youth jumped right in and served right alongside with them!
Also, just this past September, she teamed up with 3 other girls that also went to the youth retreat this summer and using their Navigator Bible Study books they started an outreach Bible Study in a nearby village! She called me after their first trip and said “Lauren, we thought only 15 girls were going to show up and 60 came!!” I can’t stop smiling every time I think about it! There’s so much to praise the Lord for!!
That’s really the purpose of this whole blog post! I just want to thank Jesus for the upmost privilege to love on these families in Nicaragua. To pour into their lives like Massiel and watch HIM do the work!
To thank him for Massiel who has changed my life and made me love it even more! She’s one special girl who today, December 2nd is celebrating her 17th birthday and she’ll be graduating from high school December 14th. Then, in January, she’ll be starting college; studying to be a nurse! I’m so grateful to be able to be in Nicaragua to see her graduate!
Couldn’t be more proud of her and I’m happy to celebrate her today! Her girly-girlness who loves everything pink, nail polish, hair, dancing and perfume!
She is definitely one…worth celebrating!