Leah Sweetman '21 and Vinnie Adams '10

Leah Sweetman ’21 (pictured left)  and Vinnie Adams ’10 (pictured right) in Nicaragua 

It’s more about who you know that cares enough to help you succeed

At Trinity, classes are taught from a Christian perspective, providing students with the tools they need for lifelong learning, community-focused decision-making, and a strong sense of calling and vocation. For Leah Sweetman ’21 and Vinnie Adams ’10, refining those tools led to careers in Nicaragua – a clear example of following God’s call in their lives.

Growing up in the Midwest, Sweetman knew from a young age she wanted to live in a different country. “I looked for a college that let me grow in my independence but was still close enough to home where I could visit frequently,” Sweetman said. “I was really impressed by Trinity’s academic programs and valued that I could continue my athletic career on the softball team.”

Working toward a degree in cross-cultural ministry, Sweetman leaned on her advisor, Dr. Benjamin Ribbens, to achieve her goals of studying in Ecuador during her time at Trinity and still graduating in just 3.5 years.

Shortly after graduation, Sweetman began a one-year internship with Resonate Global Mission, serving with local ministries in Nicaragua. “As my internship ended,” Sweetman said, “I was unsure what my next steps would be. I had a job offer in the U.S. working in the field that I had spent my life working toward. However, I felt called to stay in Nicaragua. God miraculously opened the door to teaching. It became evident to me that although I felt underprepared and a bit overwhelmed, it fit exactly what I needed for my personal, professional, and spiritual growth.”

Sweetman began teaching English and social studies to 7th- and 8th-grade students at Nicaragua Christian Academy (NCA). “Although I didn’t graduate with a degree in education, NCA took a chance on me and valued the skills I gained at Trinity.”

Today, Sweetman holds the role of Intercultural Facilitator at the Nehemiah Center in Nicaragua, connecting programs in Nicaragua to their North American support network through fundraising, hosting international teams, navigating cultural conversations, and witnessing a transformation in the lives of new Christians. She’s still involved in NCA coaching and substitute teaching.

“I am so thankful for the opportunities I have had, and the way God is using organizations like NCA and the Nehemiah Center to transform lives in Nicaragua – as well as pouring into their employees like me.”

Adams’ relationship with NCA formed when he was a junior in high school, spending a semester studying at the school. “After the semester, I felt convinced that I wanted to go into education, specifically special education, Adams said. “My cousin is a former student at Elim Christian School, and Elim was the type of place that kept coming to mind when I imagined my working future. Knowing that Trinity had a strong relationship with Elim, I wound up at Trinity in the SPED program.”

During his time at Trinity, Adams traveled back to Nicaragua and was a student teacher at NCA. “This marked my second time living in Nicaragua and was a big part of forming my love for the country. There were relationships I formed during this time that I was able to circle back to when I was in the discernment process of moving here. Pete Post, Don Woo, Rhonda Mattson, and Joy Meyer were some of the professors at Trinity who influenced me the most.”

Adams currently spends part of his time working with the church outreach ministry at Tesoros de Dios, traveling to local churches to give theological and practical presentations about disability ministry, as well as visiting with and praying for families in their homes. He also fulfills pastoral duties at an international church in Managua by preaching sermons, planning worship, leading meetings, creating communications, and spending time in prayer with community members.

Both Sweetman and Adams have responded to God’s call to serve overseas, and both credit Trinity for providing the tools they need to shine His light in Central America.

“Trinity prepared me for life after graduation by helping me articulate what I believe and how to practically live that out,” Sweetman said. “For me, life abroad has given me a great appreciation for the world that God created, as well as reassurance in the way He is the same across languages, borders, and cultures.”

Adams shared, “God continues to direct and work, and it’s been a fun journey to be on.”

If you’re interested in exploring job opportunities at Nicaragua Christian Academy, visit this link to see current openings.