We have been asked that many times. And honestly, sometimes our answer sounds a little crazy. God began putting Nicaragua on our hearts over and over again all last year. It was everywhere we turned. From reading a story online about the Smith family who moved to Nicaragua and started Nica Vida Surf, to seeing it pop up everywhere in books or things we read, to meeting new friends at a bbq last summer who take teams to Nicaragua every summer. It was everywhere. I think God was trying to tell us something. Meeting the Barons and hearing them share about Open Hearts Ministries was when we decided that we were going. I can't even put into words how loudly God spoke to my heart as we sat with them at dinner and heard of the vision for Ruby Ranch Nicaragua. I knew it was for us. So we are headed to Nicaragua to see for ourselves where God might be leading us. We know that God is drawing our hearts to Nicaragua and we have to say yes. We are joining our friends, the Herring family, on this trip. Here is a little info from a newsletter we wrote together:
"The past year we have been drawn to Nicaragua through various connections and decided to take the step and go with our families to serve in various ways.
First, we plan to experience the culture of Nicaragua by staying at Nica Vida in Popoyo. We are excited to spend time relaxing and connecting with family, God and the local community. While we're there we will have the privilege of giving out water filters in the community. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and the need for clean drinking water is great.
Our next stop will be Open Hearts Ministries in Managua. We will be visiting Club Esperanza which is a preschool and kindergarten, after-school club for older kids, and a feeding program. We are also excited about Ruby Ranch! The ranch is a place designed to minister to inner city kids, giving them a chance to enjoy creation and the love of Jesus.
The last part of our trip we will be connecting with the founder of Tree of Life 84 in Estelli. We are hoping to find a way to support this future orphanage in any way we can and catch a vision for how Christ is working.
We hope to expose our children to new cultures, find ways to connect among our family, and learn to love and serve people throughout the world."
So ... yes. We're headed to Nicaragua. For one month. I know it will be one of the most life-changing things we have ever done, and I can't wait. Our heart is to experience and see other people and cultures, and to serve in whatever way God puts in front of us while we're there. We hope to hear from God and see where he might be leading us. There are so many unknowns, but one thing we know for certain is this ... God is drawing our hearts to Nicaragua.
And I can't wait!
"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you." Deuteronomy thirty-one eight