Published in  
September 21, 2021

Environment of Worship

June 2021, I’m cruising down the roads of Nicaragua in an old school bus with 12 coworkers that have become my family. The windows are pulled down to feel the breeze because of how hot it is but more importantly to stick our heads and hands out the window and scream laughter as we drive through the greenery and look off at the mountains and sunset. 

This was the first time I had been out of the country since Covid and the feeling of being in a new country hit me and the unknown of what was to come of the week was only increasing my stoke. As we were driving I recognized the feeling that travel brings and it’s familiarity to how I feel when I worship. Everytime I get to sing there is a euphoric feeling about entering into a secret place with the Lord, an excitement that is familiar but accompanied by the unknown.

My biggest passions, travel and worship, were intertwining and at that moment their similarities were unraveling before my eyes.

The bus dropped us off in San Juan del Sur and now I was finally starting to experience everything I was looking forward to, one of those being a worship night on the beach. Worship is one of my favorite things to do and now I was finding myself worshiping in a whole new context: worship in my second language.

I grew up hearing it in my home, speaking to my family, listening to spanish music while my grandparents watched me, staying with family in Guatemala, and even studying the language and culture in school. The familiarity of leading worship and performing in the States is also with me yet the unknown feeling of something completely new and different was there.

Our whole team walked down to the beach–may I add a 30 second walk from La Casa de Ride Nature, a super rigorous trek, I know. We started to set up on the sand for our worship night and then the guitars began strumming, voices rose, the soothing sound of a flute flew, and a rhythmic kajon kept the beat. Our worship night began with our eclectic team; a mixture of Americans, Nicaraguans, Costa Ricans, Colombians, skaters, surfers, artists, wakeboarders. As the worship progressed the sun set and the waves washed in tired surfers and little skater groms who just want to sit next to the guys in the thrasher and Go Skate Day tee's. Local artisans lined the side of the street selling their jewelry.

Songs were being played one after the other, as I sang back and forth from Spanish to English. As I was worshiping a beautiful revelation came to mind:

it doesn’t matter the language or the sound of our worship, but that an environment of worship was being cultivated.

An environment of joy, freedom, unity, and rest for every surfer, skater, artist, tourist, and local to come be a part of.

In the midst of worship I got up and started dancing with a little girl who had decided to come and sit. As we were dancing I looked around and saw all the young skater boys sitting on the wall with our skaters, and a local surfer stopped and talked to our group. I saw a beautiful mixture of people brought together through the sound of worship for our Creator.