110 Toys (Stories from Nicaragua)
It was the last day of our campaign and we wanted to give the numerous kids, who’d come to our afternoon meetings something to remember the week that they’d heard about Jesus the Savior. So we bought some small toys. Little whistles, power rangers, plastic animals, teapots, etc… They are miniscule toys to our American eyes, but these kids in Christo Rey, Nicaragua have nothing, no toys.
We’d averaged around 60-75 kids a day at our meetings with bible story skits and sharing the Gospel. So we bought 110 of these wee-little toys, thinking that we’d be safe. But even then I was contemplating not handing out the toys. We had already gone to the market and then the mud of the village. There was no turning back. I thought that maybe the local pastor could hand them out discreetly around Christmas time. We prayed and decided that we’d hand out the toys anyway and we prayed that God would make a way so that every child received a toy.
On that last day, I’d never seen so many kids during a mission campaign. As we lined them up, we gave each one a toy as they passed us by. Sounds organized right? Wrong. It was pure chaos. Kids were trying to come back through the line to grab a second toy. The line was more of a mass. Spanish words were flying around like a giant flock of seagulls being fed bread by tourists on the beach. There weren’t enough interpreters to stem the tide. I know some Spanish, especially in short slow phrases. But it was all flowing out too fast and in such abundance I could discern none of it.
As the kids kept coming and coming, I was praying for a “fish and loaves” type of miracle. There were just too many. And we were running out of toys fast. The line finally started to diminish a bit, but we were almost out of toys. As the last child went through the line, we handed her the last toy. That means we had 110 kids that day and that God indeed made a way! We didn’t know how many would show up, but He knew.
When you put yourself in situations where you have no choice, but to depend on Him, God will show up in amazing ways, especially when you are serving others and sharing his life changing message. So take a risk. Share the Gospel with your neighbor. Go on a trip to do so in India or Nicaragua or Timbuktu or wherever. If you take a risk for Him, you will experience Him in an amazing encounter like never before. Its what happens when you live a life “on mission”.