Scott's story

When we heard Scott's story we knew we had to share it with you all.  God is working and He uses us in ways we would never imagine!

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"In 2010, I went on a construction mission trip to Nicaragua to build a medical center that Fox River was funding.  I had a couple of things close to my heart concerning this trip.  The first was that my son was coming along, and I was excited to see if he would deepen his relationship with Christ as a result of serving and being among 30 men, all of whom were believers.  I also had the simple call from Christ to fill a need – and the villages near the medical center site most certainly had.  It was fulfilling to know that one speck on the planet would have health care where none existed before our trip.  That was what stuck with me throughout the trip and beyond.  What God had in store was much greater than what I had imagined or even thought of imagining. 

While I spent the week making cement, I had a following of children who hung out at the site.  They seemed to be present to pass the time and make a little mischief.  I loved it.  Then, they began to work.  Kids from the age of 6 were carrying bricks, making cement, pushing wheel barrels full of cement to where they needed to go and other physically demanding work.  I was nothing short of impressed with their willingness to help and their exuberance and joy.  I thought that, at the most, the new clinic would improve their health.  They would be able to fight off infections, their mothers would have a lower infant mortality rate, and the like.  I assumed these kids would work with their fathers in their trade or work the fields as many of the other teens were doing.  What I didn’t expect was how tying the clinic to the church would change everything. 

In 2016, I returned to Nicaragua with my wife and daughter.  I was in the medical team, while they were on the community team, doing evangelism and outreach.  Upon arrival, I saw a couple of faces I recognized.  Some of the kids that worked with me had grown up and were there to greet me.  Fortunately, the Lord had prompted me to process some of the photos I took on my previous trip and bring a stack with me.  They really enjoyed being able to see their childhood pictures. 

Jorvin was one of the kids I remembered.  I had his childhood picture, still in my possession.  Donna, the full-time resident evangelist was with half a dozen of us as evening began to set in, prompted us to share our stories.  Jorvin was sharing his emotion-filled story.  He had decided to work for the church.  This meant he had to leave home.  He had to leave family.  To speak of leaving the family in this culture is quite a break in the norm.  His love for them was great, but his calling was greater.  He had even decided to leave the small community of Esmeralda and go to seminary in Managua.  Think of moving from rural Iowa to the heart of Detroit.  It was a culture shock and a big transition.  He was filled with love for Christ, but was also sad with what circumstances had brought.  I think he wondered where all this came from and if it was the right thing to do.  That is when I stood up and gave him a picture of him from six years earlier.  I told him that I had been praying for him for the last six years.  No more words were said.  It seemed clear when he stood up, wrapped his arms around me in tears and hugged me that it was God at work. 

The kids that worked and played with me six years earlier are leaders in the church.  Out of the bunch, Norvin leads worship, Denis is the pastor, Katherin is working with women and children and heading out to seminary as well.  The bulk of leadership at the church are the ages of 13-21. The church is thriving!  They have matured and stepped up to be the examples of joy and love, which are the hallmarks of a true Christ follower. 

In 2010, I had no idea I would be standing on the same site in Nicaragua six years later, and witness how God works.  Over time, over circumstances, through people.  He has a long-term vision for us, and I was able to see a small slice of that work through Jorvin’s story.


I could not be happier with what I witnessed in Esmeralda this past summer.

~Scott Mathison"