Wow! Its been almost 2 months since I last posted. That’s the longest time between posts since I started this blog years ago. I don’t know why I haven’t written except for the fact that I have been writing in so many other ways that by the time I think about posting a blog, I am all written out. I have been doing a lot of writing for my on-line seminary course that I am taking. That has been taking up a lot of my spare time, but it has been great. Also, I just finished my second trimester at language school and the last month has been pretty busy with some final projects that also involved a lot of writing. Then, Maria and I have been going through a book and workbook together called “The Peacemaker” to help us learn how to work through conflict with one another in a way that gives glory to God. And this too has involved a lot of writing. So, as you can see, I have been doing a lot of writing lately outside of this blog. But I do hope that I can continue to put up posts regularly regarding our ministry and/or things that the Lord is showing us in our lives.
So, since I have a three week break between semesters, we traveled to Nicaragua last week for seven days. We stayed in Leon, which is the city that we will be moving to in December. We stayed with our new friends, Scott and Bethany McEwan, a younger missionary couple who just moved to Nicaragua a year ago. We have been talking and praying about the possibility of partnering with them when we arrive in December. So, having the opportunity to spend the week with them and get to know them better was great. After further discussion and just seeing how both our vision and philosophy for ministry are very compatible, we both agree that the Lord has brought us together, and so we have decided to partner together in God’s Kingdom work in Nicaragua. We are very excited that the Lord has orchestrated this. We really enjoyed spending time with them and seeing a little of their ministry. They also partner with the ministry of The Nehemiah Center, which is also what we hope to be doing. Therefore some of our time there was spent in meetings with the directors and staff of the Nehemiah Center. Our last meeting of the week was with the Director of the Nehemiah Center, who is Nicaraguan, therefore the whole meeting was in Spanish! That really forced me to put into practice all that I have been learning over the last 6 months. I think the meetings went really well.
So, at the close of the meeting with the Director of the Nehemiah Center, we were graciously accepted to partner together with them. We are very excited to see how the Lord is orchestrating all the details and preparing the ground ahead of us. We plan to work with the Nehemiah Center in the area of Youth Leadership training and development and possibly with their Pastoral Leadership training and development. But initially we just want to come along side of them, shadow them, and just learn about the various ministries as we seek the Lord for where He may specifically call us. They are doing a lot of great work in communities all throughout Nicaragua. There are many possibilities.
So, some of our time will be spent with the Nehemiah Center and some of our time will be spent working with the McEwan’s in various aspects of discipleship. This will also include beginning our work with Reaching and Teaching Ministries as we seek to bring Bible based training and discipleship to pastors, leaders, and others in the community.
Scott and I will be starting a ministry to youth and young men who are part of the Department of Juvenile Justice. These are hard core kids (ages range from teens to late twenties) that have had some serious difficulties in their lives and have made some very poor decisions. We will be teaching them computer skills twice a week so as to help get them some practical skills, but we will also be doing a Bible study with them in hopes that God opens their hearts and shows them their great need for Him. We hope that this study will open the door for further discipleship and mentoring of some of them who really want to learn more about God.
We will also be working with Scott and Bethany in the ministry at House of Hope, a residential ministry in Managua that helps rescue women and children who are caught in prostitution and sex trafficking. Scott also teaches computer classes to these women and children every Friday. We will assist with this in hopes that the Lord can use us to reach out to these struggling women and children and encourage them in the knowledge and love of Christ. These women and children have lived a hard life. They have suffered much, some based on their own choices and some based on choices that were forced upon them. But their is power in the Gospel and we know that the Lord is a redeemer and a restorer. He makes beauty from ashes, and we are excited that we may get to play a role in God’s transforming work in the lives of these women and children. We visited there on Friday and it was quite a sight to see these women and children. We could see the pain on the faces of many, but at the same time we were able to see a sparkle of hope. Our desire is simply to fan the flame of hope in their lives as we share with them the Word of hope.
So, there you have it! God is certainly laying out a plan and purpose for us in Nicaragua and we are so excited that He calls us to play a role in His redemptive work among the nations. We met some great people while there, both nationals and other missionaries who all have such a great love for God and a great desire to see people come to know Him.
Please continue to pray for us that the Lord will make our path clear. Pray that we will be able to find a good home to rent in an area that will be safe for our family as well as provide an opportunity to share Christ with those in our community. Pray also that my last trimester in language training will be a great benefit to me in gaining a firm grip on the language. I had many people in Nicaragua tell me that they were extremely impressed with my Spanish, but I still felt like their was so much more that I wanted to say, but simply couldn’t because I don’t know the language well enough. However I was very excited that, while waiting for 4 hours at the border crossing, a girl came up to me speaking Spanish and asking if I spoke Spanish or English. Usually I would default to saying that I speak English, but this time I decided to go for it and I told her that I can speak Spanish. She proceeded to speak to me in Spanish and asked me if she could ask me some survey questions to help them determine how well their tourism industry is doing. And I was able to do answer all the questions in Spanish. At the end, she thanked me for answering the questions and then told me to continue learning the language because I was doing a great job speaking Spanish. So, that was certainly a boost for me. Anyway, please pray that the Lord gives me the grace needed to absorb all that I can in these last three and a half months.