Never Dying in Nicaragua

“No lloren por mi… no, no, no. Cuando ustedes escuchen que morí, no les crean. Yo voy a estar más vivo que nunca gozándome con nuestro amado Señor Jesucristo”

“Don’t cry for me… no, no, no. When you hear that I have died, don’t believe it. I will be more alive than ever, rejoicing with our beloved Lord Jesus!”

Señor David Spencer

 

Five years ago, I got on a plane to travel internationally for the first time. There was a burning in my heart to love every tongue, tribe, and nation. I knew when I stepped off the plane in Managua, Nicaragua it was my chance to dip my toes into a life of showing and sharing Jesus to all people of the world. It took a lot to get me to that point, but none of it would not have been possible without the pioneering of Señor David Spencer in Nicaragua. He spent a lifetime devoted to Central America and established a great church and community in Nicaragua (Hosanna).

A couple of nights into the trip, we drove an hour or so through thick and forested mountains to get to a church called Masaya. In July, it was the height of the rainy season, so we walked into the church while the kind greeters held umbrellas over our heads. It only got worse as we heard peels of thunder and saw lightening paint the sky. We were being ushered to the front row of the church when the lights flickered off. The storm killed the power, and with one small generator, only a few mics could project, leaving us in a dim lit room with no fans blowing in the sticky heat.

Still, this didn’t stop the service. We sang lively songs in Spanish, listened to a message, and then watched as the community presented a painting to David and Bonnie Spencer. Senior took the mic and spoke from his heart. Tears welled up in his eyes as he said, “I am Nicaraguan, I have your blood and I have a Nicaraguan liver.” We sat in the church for about four hours, listening to a man who loves his adopted home. He poured his life out for Central America, even as a kid he acted like Robin Hood to give the poor what they needed and into his old age he continued traveling and speaking the good news to good people.

This moment reverberates in mind when I think of some of the reasons of why I do what I do. He showed me a glimpse of God’s passion for a single nation through his impassioned connection to a group of people in the mountains of Nicaragua. It was an honor to sit in his sun room and hear old mountain stories, to stand in the kitchen and eat a fresh mango he peeled, and to befriend his daughter who would help to pull me through some of the darkest of moments in my life.

He left the earth to meet Jesus on May 16th, 2018 and his words to his congregation when he announced his diagnosis show the strength and vigor of his spirit hidden in Christ, ““Don’t cry for me… no, no, no. When you hear that I have died, don’t believe it. I will be more alive than ever, rejoicing with our beloved Lord Jesus!”

A few weeks ago, I gave a speech about the Monarch Butterfly migration path and then sat with my classmates as some of our dear professors gave us some bits of wisdom to take with us as we fly out of Murray. A professor told us it is not the food, the decorations, the homework, the topic of conversation, or the mistakes that you remember about people, rather, you remember how they make you feel. We have a strong power in our words actions to transform the emotions around us. We remember what was deeply felt, the joy, sorrow, anger, confusion, and contentment. Those are what we hold onto because those are the feelings that change our hearts, the seat of our emotions.

Señor David Spencer made me feel capable of impacting a nation. The first trip I took to Nicaragua changed my worldview and lifestyle dramatically. Above all, it taught me how to abide always in the vine of life and pursue mercy and justice all the days of my life. It is comforting to know Señor David Spencer is now in complete healing, standing next to the author and perfecter of our faith.