Teen Travel Writing Scholarship (Mission Trip to Nicaragua) - My Family Travels

I signed up. The decision could change my life. I planned on going to Nicaragua. The trip would last eight days in a new world. Even though Nicaragua is only in Central America, I soon found out life there was much different than my everyday comforts. This wasn’t a vacation or adventure; it was a mission trip. Our mission was to spread the word of God and touch the lives of many others. I went there with the intentions of meeting new people and seeing a couple cool miracles. Little did I know what plans were before me. 

I arrived at the airport early, the morning of June 24th. I sat in the airplane chair nervous and anxious of what lay ahead. After a flight that seemed to go on forever, but was only four hours, the pilot announced our landing. I opened my window and smiled with the pleasure of a new beautiful experience. When we reached our destination we were escorted through the airport.

Not only did the scenery look different but the airport employees all were required to wear a mask over their mouths to protect them from swine flu. As I proceeded through customs, I realized that I was legally in another country. I gazed at everything with excitement as we boarded a festive colorful bus. As soon as a stepped out of the airport and saw the colorful bus, I smiled. At that moment I knew that this trip would change my life forever.

The first day in Nicaragua, I was a part of a Vacation Bible School team; a children’s service to connect the kids with God. The first kids arrived at our service and suddenly my mood saddened. Some did not have shoes, others wore hand-me-down clothes, and a few were missing buttons and zippers on clothes. Surprisingly, they were truly happy and had genuine smiles on their faces. They were all very anxious to learn. The kids were placed in stations. The station included crafts, sports, and story time. I was a part of the crafts station, which I enjoyed because I got to interact with the kids. Although, they only spoke Spanish, I was touched by their love and care. My daily job was to make a child smile. Although it didn’t seem like a lot, it showed the kids that I honestly cared.

The next six days were filled with excitement. I met the most amazing people who all taught me new things about life. Some of the highlights were seeing how appreciative the children were at little things like balloons and crafts. Also how the children would save their snacks to feed another family member. The people in Nicaragua are considered to be less fortunate but instead of needing sympathy; they embrace their circumstances and appreciate the experience of life. Their hearts are pure and desirable for new information. God worked through our team to impact these children’s life. He delivered all of our needs for the trip and revealed something new to each one of us on the team.

I went to Nicaragua hoping to change the lives of the people that lived there. Yet, I had no idea how much the trip would help me. Going to another country for a greater purpose really gave me time to learn life lessons. It taught me that love and happiness doesn’t come from fame and fortune. But taught me to have a positive attitude and always appreciate what you have. It’s important to not only have fun, but to make a change; visit the world; and influence a life.

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