Last Leg

Hello there family and friends…we are in America! We have made it to L.A. safe and sound and are excited to be on our way. It has been a long day of travel, especially since most of us didn’t sleep last night, but we are doing well and we’ll be home soon.

It was an early morning start at the Provadenic. We left for the airport shortly after 5 a.m. Shirley and her husband Richard (and their precious son, Ritchie), Wilber, and Esteban were there to see us off. It seemed surreal to be standing there with them saying good bye. Shirley, who cooked for us, and Richard, who arranges all of the construction for the work site, have been a huge blessing to our team and have won very special places in our hearts. Wilber, of course, has become our team’s younger brother and we all feel like he has a place in our family. And Esteban became one of our team, a member working along side of us, believing in our cause, and praising God all the way. We felt sad to leave them, but grateful that God has brought them into our lives for a time.

Esteban is an orphan just like Wilber. He has no one in the world to take care of him and look after him. He is struggling to find work right now and is living with a pastor and his family. Esteban has a desire to open his own internet café in Matagalpa (where we went on our first day in Nicaragua). He already has a space he can use, but he needed $1,200 to get some used computers to start it off. When Corwin realized we had some money left over after paying for the supplies for the house that we made, he asked the team if we felt it was a good idea to bless Esteban with the rest of the money to help him start his business. Our team, of course, thought that was an excellent idea. So, at the airport, before we were about to say goodbye to him, we gave Esteban our gift. He was astounded. He couldn’t believe that we were giving him this gift that would start his life off. We were so excited to show our love to him in this way. We will never forget the friend he has been to all of us.

Corwin had a hard time saying good bye to his son. We have become very attached to his story and now feel like we are a part of Will’s life in an important way. It was hard for us to watch him say goodbye know that there are so many unknowns ahead. But we trust that GOD IS GOOD and that His timing is perfect and trustworthy. Wilber is in God’s hands. Please continue to pray for Wilber’s acceptance into the English boarding school. We will find out this Friday if its possible.

We got on the plane with mixed emotions. It is hard to fall in love with a country so much yet be so excited to leave it and head home. We are so grateful for the experiences we had there and we know they have truly changed us. But everything has its season and this season, for now, has come to an end.

The team was very excited to land in Houston. All I could hear were the excited musings of what foods they were going to eat and what they were excited to have again (I was just really excited to eat lettuce). Though we still talked about the fact that this strange dream is now coming to an end, you could see their excitement in being onto their next step of the story. After fueling up for the first time on North American food, we boarded our plane to L.A.

We were greeted at the airport in L.A. by friends from a place called the Wave Youth Center. They are people who are interning in youth ministry here in California. Tonight they took us to their youth drop-in night at their youth center. There were BMX ramps set up in the back parking lot and skate ramps set up in beside the church. There was lots of fun video games and other stuff inside the center, as well as a snack shack. About 100 kids were out for the night…most of them in the Jr. High age. It was a cool chance for our team to interact with kids who could speak English and bless the interns by helping them set up and tear down. It was a fun night to hang out with the interns and the kids in L.A. Afterwards we enjoyed some supper from the California-exclusive In-N-Out Burger and then headed back to the interns’ house where we will stay for the night.

The team has been processing our leaving in all sorts of different ways. Some are emotional, able to show their emotion freely. Some are quiet and internal. Others don’t want to think about it until they get home. The fact of the matter is that it will continue to be a process for us for the next little while and it will show itself in all sorts of ways. We will find our own ways to express what we think and feel in due time.

Tomorrow morning we will wake up and head for Huntington Beach for breakfast at the Sugar Shack and a little bit of time to explore and then we will head to the airport. We land in Calgary first and then head to Saskatoon later in the evening. As I posted last night, we will be home around midnight. We all cannot wait to receive your hugs and love.

Even though there are only 24 hours to go…there are always things to pray about.
Please pray for:
-continued safety and health; Sarah has been feeling really nauseated since Sunday night and it hasn’t really gone away.
-continued debriefing; that we are processing things well and dealing with the things we are feeling
-for Wilber; that he is safe and that he may get into his boarding school
-for the Belize team; that their travels are safe and they are debriefing their experience as well

That is it! This is officially the last on-field blog entry to be sent from Project Serve Nicaragua 2008 team. I, personally, have been grateful for the privilege of sharing our experience with you through posting on the blog. It has been a place for me to debrief my own thoughts and feelings and findings on this trip. Thank you all for reading and coming along with us, in a sense. You are a part of our team.

Blessings on you always...
Chandra, Corwin, and the team