If you are interested in contributing to the Amigos story as a guest author, please contact Ivette Rivera at

From 2006 to 2019, One Thing Remains…

About Kendra Redding: Kendra is a registered nurse from Mississippi with a love for traveling and serving others. In addition to nursing, she also owns a group tourism business, with which she returned to Nicaragua on a medical mission in 2019.

In 2006, I was a typical teenager. I was a good kid, I made good grades, and I was involved in church and extracurricular activities. Much like many teenagers, however, I tended to believe that life was all about me. When my school presented the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Nicaragua, I thought it would be fun, but I did not expect the lasting impact that it would have on my life.

I didn’t know anything about international travel, physical labor, or self-sacrificing service at the time, but that one week changed everything. During that week, I experienced travel, climbed a volcano, and learned how to conquer my fears for the first time. I also picked up a shovel and experienced what it was like to physically work until I hurt. But most importantly, I learned how it feels to inconvenience yourself for the good of others. I learned what it was like to make true connections with strangers that, on the surface, I had nothing in common with. Finally, I realized that true happiness had nothing to do with how many physical things I can acquire.

Recently, thirteen years after my first trip to Nicaragua, I had the pleasure of returning to serve again with Amigos. Some things were different, but the life-changing aspect the week was just the same as it had been the first time. I connected with beautiful people that I otherwise would have never met. I dug alongside wonderful Nicaraguan people that taught me the meaning of hard work. I played with children that didn’t have an abundance of toys but had an abundance of joy. Though many years had passed since my first mission with Amigos, the lessons I learned and the impact on my life remained the same.

For the longest time, I have credited Amigos for Christ with helping me realize my purpose. Serving in Chinandega, Nicaragua was where I first realized my love for international travel. It was where I first discovered my love for international missions. It was where I first realized my love for serving others. And now, many years later, I find myself in a profession where I serve others daily, travel the world. and serve on missions every year. Had I not experienced serving with Amigos 13 years ago, I’m not sure that my story would have been the same, and for that I am forever grateful.

Share this story

Related Posts

Amigos Team
Grant Otte

Simple Invitations

After 6.5 years working at Amigos, my wife Nelly and I made the decision to begin the next chapter of our lives in the United

Read More »
Christ More Visible
Sabrina Bland

What a kitchen can do ?

What happens to a girl who helps her mom in Nicaragua every day? She cleans. She watches siblings. She cooks.  Her days are filled with

Read More »
1 Manzana Project
Ivette Rivera

Leading the Way

On a small farm surrounded by vast sugar cane fields, William Matamoros continued to lead the charge of bringing transformation to the community of El

Read More »
Amigos Academy
Paola Montalvo

Dreams of Excellence

When we first met Jimmy, he was a young student in a small makeshift primary school in the rural community of La Chuscada. Living just down

Read More »
Danny Duggan

Abundant Generosity

The first goal of our community development model Plan 7 pertains to leadership: that in every community we partner with, local leaders are the owners

Read More »
Christ More Visible
Ivette Rivera

Before the Bazaar 

Written by:  Lynnaya Preuss  I love a good garage sale. As a little girl, I would scooter around the neighborhood looking for a special treasure

Read More »