Our team was praying house to house in a poor bario in Matagalpa, Nicaragua when a young boy asked us if me if would talk to a friend of his. Actually, the boy’s invitation was “I have a friend who needs Jesus, come talk to him.” When I met Harrison, my eyes could hardly grasp what I saw. Sitting on the side of a well was an 11 year old boy, covered in filth and black soot from selling coal to feed his family. His body was the size of a 9 year old, but his eyes had the look of an old man who had experienced a lot of disappointment. Within a few minutes of conversation, it was obvious Harrison was on drugs. My heart ached for the years of innocence stolen from him.
We talked, we laughed, we kicked a ball around and then we talked about Jesus. When Harrison began to hear how much Jesus loved children and how he healed Jarius’ daughter, a girl about his age, I could see hope arising in his eyes. Later that night at a festival in a park, Harrison opened his heart to Jesus. Our team connected him with a local pastor and he was given an opportunity to go to drug rehab. A year later, I was able to return to Nicaragua to serve on a construction team to build a new church. One day a young boy came up to me at the site and said he wanted to help build the church. I sensed I knew him, but couldn’t place him. Then it dawned on me, this was Harrison, clean, drug-free and smiling. I hugged him with the greatest joy I’ve ever felt in my heart. From drug user to church builder in less than a year.
I would not have been able to serve on the summer missions team without the support of Above & Beyond. However, because of Above & Beyond, Harrison met Jesus and a neighborhood, a family, and a missions team got to witness the transforming power of Christ in a life.
Committed to the Race to Zero,
Short-term missionary, North Carolina