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From left, Sarah McCoy, Kimberly Zimmerman, Danny Toombs, Skyler Hudson and Megan Magness recently returned from a mission trip to Nicaragua as part of the Cameron University Baptist Collegiate Ministry. The group spent a week in the Central American country.(COURTESY PHOTO) A group of children from the village of Tipitapa in Nicaragua share a moment with a Cameron University Baptist Collegian Ministry member during a mission trip earlier this month.

BCM students help children in Nicaragua

A group of Cameron University Baptist Collegiate Ministry students received a fresh look on life while helping impoverished children on a mission trip to Nicaragua. 

Led by Danny Toombs, the ministry's director, the group departed from Lawton May 10 and returned a week later from the Central American country. They described an area desolated by poverty, but filled with a people who were joyous and content with what they had  however little it may be. Even something as simple as a page from a coloring book was a tremendous gift. Student Sarah McCoy said she was taken aback by how happy and content the children were.

"They don't have a lot, but they were satisfied with what they had and were happy with it," she said. "Here, we have so much and it seems like we're still not happy with much of it."

The group stayed at a hotel in the capital city of Managua and traveled out to a nearby village, Tipitapa, each day. The group joked that it was only a 45-minute drive out to the village, despite being much longer. Almost every guide and interpreter they asked would tell them everything  no matter how far away  was only a 45-minute drive out. They assisted a local minister who was operating his own mission in the village, bringing supplies, assistance and fellowship to the children and their parents. When Toombs made the arrangements for the trip, he wanted to ensure that his group didn't come in and dictate what work it was going to do, but rather wanted to help in any way it could.

"Some mission trips come in and they establish what projects they're going to do and how they're going to do it and it takes away from some of the local effort," Toombs said. "When we got there, we asked the minister what would he like us to do for them. This was about offering them a helping hand with whatever they needed."

Traveling from Lawton to a third world country took a bit of getting used to, even though almost everyone in the group had participated in other mission trips before. The sun rose earlier in the morning and subsequently set a little earlier in the evening. Humidity was a tremendous concern and everyone was on the lookout for mosquitoes. The hotel rooms didn't have air conditioning and the humidity and heat were such a concern that everyone slept with fans running at full blast. Despite still being on central time, the students still took a while to get used to the sun, which would be in the sky by 5 a.m.

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