Dear Family and Friends,
We have now been residents of Nicaragua for 4 days and we already have many stories to tell – stories of God’s goodness and provision, our experience of the culture, and the great people that He has placed in our path. I will choose some highlights and then share some praises and petitions.
1) We feel very secure in our home and are enjoying the families in our neighborhood. Rebekah and Will played with an 11 year old Nicaraguan boy Thursday morning for 2 hours while a Korean woman and I spoke broken Spanish with each other. We also spent some time with another neighbor, a CRWM missionary family (Steve and Kim Holtrop), that we met back in May and look forward to more time with them.
2) We have received incredible support from the school. The director and his wife (Liam & Jessica) have coordinated so many details to help us to feel at home. We had beds when we arrived along with soap, towels, toilet paper, etc. We had a meal brought in Thursday night, went to Liam and Jessica’s Friday night for supper, and were invited to NCA’s principle’s house for last night. We do not yet have a stove, so all of these meals are so appreciated and a great opportunity to build relationships.
3) Rebekah and Will went to school Friday afternoon for the first time. Their classes really kind of mirror their personalities. Rebekah’s class is more reserved and seems to warm up slowly. She could not stop talking about them at bedtime – she said the girls fought over who got to play with her. There is one other little blond girl in her class that took her under her wing and showed her the ropes. Will’s class was jumping up and down and yelling when they saw him. We heard one of the boys say, “Wow, he’s big!” Will is the only American boy in his class of almost all boys. There is one little blond girl in the class that actually lives 2 houses down from us. Both of their classes have been talking about them since the beginning of the year and anticipating their arrival which was evident today.
1) Thank you for your prayers for our health! We are actually all healthy now! Quite amazing. I’m having trouble with allergies as it is very dusty (our feet are constantly black as we walk across what appears on the surface to be a clean floor). But, Allegra seems to help.
2) We are finding out how amazing our journey here was. We checked in 7 tubs and 1 piece of luggage. Several missionaries have told us that Nicaragua often has a box embargo which means that we would not have been able to use the tubs. We” just happened” to fly at a time when there was no embargo. We also took 4 carry-ons and 4 backpacks. We flew American the first leg and TACA the second leg of our journey. As we compare notes, we also realize how amazing it is that all of our luggage made it with us. We chose the American/TACA route because we did not need to pay for our luggage and it was the cheapest flight. Other missionaries say they fly this combination too, but often the luggage does not arrive until the next day or days later. Our connection was also very tight. We were actually uncertain that we would make our flight on TACA because we needed to walk for around 15 minutes to get to this airline, then needed to check in, and go through security a second time - but we made it through just in time. When we arrived in Managua, one of our bins was missing the cover and sitting in the middle of the baggage claim. It was a bin that had several valuable things in it, however nothing was stolen or broken. When we got to the house, we all started digging into the bins and started to put things away. The kids were in the living room area looking through the bins when Dan asked us to come into the kitchen area to pray. We held hands in a circle and thanked Him for His protection of us and our things. A few seconds after he was finished praying, we heard an explosion in the living room. A light bulb had blown up! The kids had been in that area prior to our prayer. We so clearly recognize how God is protecting, providing for, and empowering us. We know too, that God is responding to the prayers of our team. We are so thankful for you!
3) For how God is taking care of the details. We will be purchasing furniture and appliance items from another missionary family for 40% - 50% of what they purchased them for 2 years ago. The timing of our arrival and their departure is so perfect and other missionaries have confirmed that we are getting some high quality items for a very low price. We are not sure when the items will arrive, but know they will come sometime within the next week or so. Thank you for your prayers for details!
1) For wisdom to know what kind of vehicle to buy. We looked at one yesterday that another missionary is trying to sell and just were not at peace with it because it had close to 200,000 miles on it and seems questionable in terms of reliability. Driving in Managua is a little – no, a lot – scary. There are no speed limits; traffic rules are subjective; motorcycles drive in between vehicles; there are horse drawn carts, bicycles, people selling things in the middle of the street, children running up to cars to beg for money, and huge potholes that need attention as well. Keeping this in mind - we are trying to find a vehicle that is reasonably priced, is safe (has some metal around it), and gets good gas mileage. This, we are learning, is not an easy find. We will trust God to provide for us in this way too. Thank you for your prayers for this.
2) For our continued adjustment to the culture and for Dan as he begins work at the school on tomorrow. Dan and I will attend a Spanish class at NCA on Tuesdays which we look forward to and I’m looking into other possibilities as well. We both desire very much to be able to better communicate with Nicaraguans. Dan and Liam talked and dreamed a bit Friday night about what his position will look like. Dan is excited about the possibilities, as some responsibilities are routine and others leave room for creativity which is the kind of balance he likes. We are also talking through some possibilities for me to mentor high school students and help teachers at the school.
3) For Rebekah and Will to see God at work in and through their lives. I asked both of them about what the worst thing and the best thing about living in Nicaragua is. Rebekah said that the best thing is that we have a house. And the worst thing is that it is hot. Will said that the worst thing is that it is hot and that he misses our home in Iowa. He said the best thing is that we have everything that we need and that we have a house here. He said one night as I tucked him in, “I’m glad we have one home instead of many homes.” Makes me realize how tiring our travel schedule was for our kids. Rebekah is very interested in learning Spanish and was practicing with her computer program today. Will said that he tried to talk with the Nicaraguan boy he played with today about Jesus.
We will be praying this week for the US elections. We did get our absentee ballot in before we left. Will was pretty interested this year in the candidates as he tuned in to the ads on TV. One day he said, “I think I will vote for Mc Cain because he says he will lower taxes. I think that will be good for my allowance.” I told him that he should start his own special interest group or something. We do have an election for the Mayor of Managua next Sunday which is a big deal politically. Your prayers for a peaceful election and for God guiding hand in the process is appreciated as well.
Thank you again for being a part of this journey with us. We recognize the significant part you play in our work here and we are so thankful for you. We want you to experience this with us through prayer and through learning more about what God is doing in our lives, in the ministry we are a part of, and in Nicaragua. Thank you!
Peace to you,
Lisa (for Dan, Rebekah, and Will)