Well, if you told me even a few years ago that I would be sleeping on a cot out in the remote mountain villages of Nicaragua, I’d have looked at you like you were crazy, too.

I’ve come to realize through my journey with the Lord over the past eight years, and through a mission trip to Nicaragua with Christian Veterinary Mission, that God’s ways are not our own and He often works in ways we would not expect.

Volcanoe in the background as cows graze

Sharing Christ’s love with people through practicing veterinary medicine may sound a little different, but that is exactly what practitioners and veterinary students are doing through Christian Veterinary Mission.

Our hosts in Nicaragua were Oscar and Tami Gaitan, a local pastor and his wife. Through the veterinary work our group did in the villages, they were able to build relationships with the people and share the gospel with them.

While we were busy deworming and spaying dogs, castrating pigs or even while we worked with farmers to vaccinate and deworm their cattle, Oscar and Tami spoke to the people about Jesus.


The people were given numbers when they arrived so we would know whose animal to look at next. The numbers just happened to be written on pamphlets containing the gospel of Christ.

In the evenings, we got to learn more about some of the interactions that took place during the workday.

CVM short-term mission team

One local man asked us: If we were getting paid so much to do these procedures in the U.S., why come to Nicaragua and do them for free?

It made me think about why we were there in Nicaragua. Christ has filled us so completely with his love that serving others is a natural overflow of His love for us.

We could ask Jesus similar questions. He had a comfortable home in Heaven; why leave it and be restricted and bound to a human body? Why grow up in the humble home of a carpenter?

Why endure ridicule, physical anguish and separation from His Father for me? For you? Answer … because His love is just that great!

God told the Israelites in Isaiah 55:8-9 that “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.

Working with cattle in the mud

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Our team saw this again and again during our time in Nicaragua as the Lord provided for the needs of our group, not always in the way we would expect and sometimes early, but never late.

When we first arrived in the country, we had absolutely no anesthetic available for our surgeries. At that point, we didn’t think we would be doing any surgeries during our time in Nicaragua.

The authorities wouldn’t allow Oscar to purchase the supplies as he had for previous veterinary groups.

The morning of our first workday, one of our veterinarians went along with Oscar to again attempt the purchase of our anesthetic.

Vaccinating cattle

You guessed it; they were successful and we ended up doing 22 surgeries.

Looking back on that experience, I realize how easy it would have been for God to have had the medications there when we arrived, but we would have just been very pleased with our planning skills and that would be all.

Instead, He provided, right when we needed the anesthetics; all glory to God because we could not have gotten those drugs without His provision.

Who would have thought that God’s plan for the redemption of men would involve Jesus coming to Earth in the humble form of a baby to be born in a stable?

There was no room for him that night – but have we made room for him in our hearts and our lives now?

Another day we were invited into a family’s home as they prepared and served us dinner. Apologizing over and over for the accommodations, they told us they knew it was not what we were used to in the U.S.

We were just grateful for a meal at the end of a long and tiring day – and it was difficult to explain that we were not there for them to serve us, but the other way around.

Jesus demonstrated that example for us in Matthew 20:28, explaining “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Born into the humblest of settings, His goal was never to have nice clothes or a fancy home or to be the leader of his community.

He came to eat with the tax collectors and the prostitutes, to wash the feet of His disciples and wash away the sins of us all.

God is working in the lives of the people in Nicaragua. I feel privileged to have played a small role and be a witness to what he is doing there.

Love is the common denominator for what CVM is doing around the world and what God, through Jesus, has done for us. As the love of God is demonstrated through free veterinary services, people’s hearts are opened to pastors like Oscar Gaitan.

They may hear for the first time the story of salvation that began on that first Christmas night so long ago.

My prayer is that, this Christmas, we would each be able to reflect on that ultimate gift of love to us. Where will you find your Savior this Christmas? You can find mine lying in a manger.

Christine Inman is from Williamsport, Indiana, and a third-year vet student at Purdue University. She is president of the Christian Veterinarian Fellowship at Purdue.


PHOTO 1: Early morning in the mountains. Photo courtesy of Christine Inman

PHOTO 2: Volcano with cows on our way out to the mountains. Photo courtesy of  Hannah Shankel

PHOTO 3: The CVM short-term mission team. Photo courtesy of Hannah Shankel

PHOTO 4: Working the cattle in the mud was pretty slippery. Photo courtesy of Amber Courter.

PHOTO 5: The author vaccinates cows being restrained by local farmers. Photo courtesy of Amber Courter