Well we are at least one country closer. Though it seems like we are worlds or centuries or eons apart from where we were when we “woke up” this morning.
Our day started early as we left for the airport shortly after 4 a.m. We were loaded into our van…17 people with 16 pieces of luggage and 15 pieces of carry on in one little van. Esteban, like a champ, got us there in no time at all by taking quite the shortcut. At one point Denver and I looked up and realized we weren’t really on a road at all. But then we saw a jogger and we realized civilization must be nearby.
We had many friends join us to say goodbye to us at the airport. Shirley and Richard came with their sons Milton and little Richie. Julio came along with them. Evelyn caught a bus with her daughter Tatiana and Hector. It was a warm departure…no tears, just moments of happiness shared with each other. We were happy to hug our friends one last time.
It was a little harder to say goodbye to Esteban and Will. They have truly become part of our team. Esteban has taught us much about the Nicaraguan culture and the intense sacrifice of a servant as he takes care of Wilber in Corwin’s absence. And Will has become our friend. He has helped us translate and he has shown us his excitement in becoming a part of our home. We are excited to have him home, God willing, very soon.
Our flights this morning were over in the blink of our tired eyes. We were peaceful as we boarded the plane and all fell asleep quite easily as soon as we got into our seats. It was nice, really, to be able to rest our minds and hearts as we leave this place we love.
Houston came and went and we arrived in LA around 3 this afternoon. There was a mix of emotions…some relief in the familiarity of home, some reality in the fact that we had truly left, and some anticipation in wondering where we go from here. We were met by Curtis’s brother, Ryan, and his band of interns from a church called Cornerstone Church here in LA. They graciously picked us up from the airport and brought us to their church where they have a skateboard and bmx park night. We were going to be a part of their evening, helping them set up and take down as well as just chilling with some kids.
The night started out great, the boys enjoying the skating and video games and the girls trying to get to know some of the people they have met. But, it was stopped short by a power outage about half way through. Corwin had been asked to share a bit of his testimony with his adoption with Wilber during something they call “halftime”. Even without power, we were able to gather together to hear a bit of his message before disbanding prematurely for the night. It was a cool experience, even though brief.
After the youth night we headed to In N Out Burger and started to get our first tastes of American fast foods. It wasn’t long before our tummies figured out we weren’t in Nicaragua anymore.
We are staying at the intern’s house. It’s a home owned by the church for those interning in the youth department. Two friends from home, Taylor Pfeifer and Curtis’ brother Ryan Hango, are interning here this year. It is cool to see where they have been living.
We are exhausted as we crawl into bed tonight. Just tired from the processing and the emotions and the traveling. We need rest. Both sleep and just peace and quiet.
Tomorrow morning we will have one last team meeting before heading to Huntington Beach for breakfast and then to the airport. We will be meeting the Belize team at LAX, an interesting time and place for our reunion. We are sharing our flights home with them and are looking forward to hearing more about there time there and to arrive back home with them.
We can’t wait to be home soon; to see our friends and family and share this time with you. I’m sure you guys are probably looking forward to having your young ones back as well.
As we sleep, please pray for continued safety in travel as well as our tummies. Some of us have the rumblies, especially Braden. Pray we are all feeling well as we come home.
So I believe this is me signing off. It has been an incredible journey to share with you and I’m grateful for your faithfulness in prayer and support. It has been an honour to share this with you. Bless you dearly.
The Project Serve 2009 Nicaragua Team.