New life in Nicaragua

Speaking truthfully, I don't believe in luck.  When God is above and around and inside of you, you tend not to see life as something left to chance.  There is a strong and righteous right hand holding all of the intricacies of your days lived out, planned in detail before you took your first breath.

Five years ago a baby was born somewhere in the country of Nicaragua.  No doubt she cried out after those first moments of being pushed into the world.  I don't know who caught her and wiped her clean.   I don't know who swaddled her tiny body and satisfied her curious mouth.  I don't know if she was held closely with whispers of how she was the most wonderful child ever to be born.  I don't know.

What I know is that time moved her here to New Life Nicaragua Orphanage, and now she sits awkwardly on my lap as I hold her brokenness.  I wonder how many moments were the witness to her tears.  How long has she endured the pain of rejection and abuse?  How many nights did her belly ache in its emptiness?

I call to her softly, her name and tell her she is beautiful in my terrible Spanish.  She smiles anyway.  Her dark eyes hold secrets and sadness in their depths, and I just want to dive in and take the memory of them away.  She won't look at me.

I rub her small back, and think about my own healthy five year old at home who is several inches taller and far outweighs her meager 24 pounds.  That sweet scarred head lays against me and I feel I am being touched by a miracle.  I'm thinking of her story.

How many times was she put into that rice sack and slammed against the solid concrete wall?  What did Evil think when It saw how It had broken her body?  How could It think to go back and do it again?  When did a heart grow so cold that it died to the cries of the innocent?  Where were the people who could love her?

I look up to see Chris approaching us.  She and her husband Tim left their home in the U.S. over a decade ago to begin a new life here in Nicaragua.  Through a series of providential events lived out in the intimacies of their own lives, God called on the Bagwells to begin this ministry of hope and healing.  They opened their hearts and their hands as they said yes to living out the Gospel.

These are the people who love small and broken five year olds.  These are the people who have sacrificed in the name of Jesus to rescue these children, care for these children, and find families who will love them forever.

Chris tells me in her endearing southern accent how much this little girl has improved in the short time she has been at the orphanage.  She moves in closer to hold the gaze of those dark eyes, and begins to speak in the softest way of beautiful princesses.

My arms are holding joy, and she begins to giggle in the most wonderful way.  I am hearing music, the sweetest song that has ever been written in love.

To learn more about New Life Orphanage, visit Tim and Chris' website at


  1. Thank you for shining a light on our work. I liked the way you chose to express yourself--very nicely done.

    1. Your lives are a testimony to God's goodness and grace. It has been all of my pleasure to have experienced a small taste of your life. I thank you.

  2. Beautiful! Thank you Tim and Chris! Had it not been for you we would not have our sweet Nancy!

  3. My husband and I were serving at New Life just a week after Josie arrived at the orphanage. She was so withdrawn and sad. I knew that she needed to be loved especially well and I spent most of the days we were there holding her. I fell in love with her and wanted so badly to lift her out of her pain. When we had to leave I was broken-hearted to leave her behind. Thank you for loving her. Thank you for paying her special attention. I think of her all the time and she is always in my heart--it is a comfort to know that there are others in the world who feel the same way.

    1. On mission with you Sara. Thanks for sharing.


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