Je'Nelle Lytle, while relatively new to the nursing industry, has been on several mission trips in the past.
Je'Nelle graduated from Biola University's Department of Baccalaureate Nursing in 2008 and is currently working at Scripps Encinitas.
She said her experience on mission trips is one of her biggest assets to the team.
"I (have) passion and heart for missions," Je'Nelle said, explaining that she has been to Taiwan, Swaziland and Mexico to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"On these trips, I learned so much about being flexible and what it looks like to love people where they are at," she said. "I have also seen that in order to show someone about God's love, you often have to meet their physical needs first, which is a huge part of why I became a nurse in the first place. I wanted to be able to use a passion God gave me for the human body and how it works to bless those who are in need. I have been given so much; I just want to give back."
She has had some experience with medical mission work as well. While in nursing school, her class took a monthly trip to a clinic in Mexico. They gave patients medications for common ailments or recommended people go to the Emergency Room if their condition seemed serious. They also made home visits for people who were unable to make it to the clinic.
"I really enjoyed being able to help people who had very little access to basic medical care," she said.
Je'Nelle said this trip serves as the start of a "beautiful journey" for her.
"It's the fruition of many long and sleepless nights studying for exams and clinicals," she said. "I am most looking forward to serving the people of Nicaragua. There is something so beautiful about truly serving people, especially those who are grateful for what you do. Although it will be hard work, it somehow feels so effortless and fulfilling in a way that only missions can."
After each mission trip she's been on, Je'Nelle said she's come home with a different life perspective.
"As Americans, we have so much," she said. "We live unlike most of the world, and yet we all think we don't have enough. People all over the world have nothing, and yet they have more joy than most people we come into contact with on a daily basis. I know these people will teach me more than I can ever teach them; it just always ends up that way."
In her own words, why going to Nicaragua is important:
"It's important to me to do things like this because I truly believe it is a part of my calling in life. I have a passion for helping the less fortunate, and this has been my favorite way to do so. Missions took a hold of my heart in the tenth grade and never really lost its grip. I chose to go to school at a Christian university, one whose nursing department grew out of the "School of Missionary Medicine," because I knew I would get the kind of education I was looking for; one that would point me in the direction of trips just like this one. I don't think anything can truly prepare you for what you experience out in the mission field, but the things you learn are irreplaceable. Nicaragua is important to me because it's people are wonderful human beings, just like you and I, made in the image of God, who have a need, and it's one that I am able to assist in meeting... How can I ignore it?