Warm Welcoming

Hey there friends and family. So you are probably wondering just where we are and what we are doing. We apologize, we’ve been figuring out the kinks of staying in a new place and not having the internet directly assessable. We haven’t posted blogs since Sunday night, but we are posting them all today. Ensure that you read all three to know whats been going on.

Today was a beautiful day in Nicaragua. The sun was shining as we awoke this morning and had our first breakfast at the orphanage. It was wonderful to eat outside and only see and hear the sounds of the jungle around us. Heavenly, really.

Because Denver had his appointment to meet his Compassion sponsor child this morning, our team day was swapped around to today as opposed to later in the week. We were happy to welcome the change as we headed to meet the lady from the organization. Denver was a bundle of nerves, unsure what it would be like to meet this young boy. We drove and encouraged him to live his motto here; No Regrets.

We drove up to the school where young Brian attends and Denver knew that it was time. He headed into the school and we all waited in the van for his return. Soon he walked out, a grin painted across his face from ear to ear. Behind him was Brian, the cutest little Nicaraguan boy in a red t-shirt that you’ve ever seen, and he seems excited to be meeting Denver.

We traveled to Brian’s house so Denver could meet his family and see where he lives. He lived in a tiny little tin shack, no bigger than Denver’s living room at home. In the house his whole family slept and lived. They were grateful to have Denver join them there. They shared with him their joy when they discovered little Brian was going to be sponsored. They told him that it has changed their lives. The father of the family, as if in an act of sheer gratitude, gave Denver a baseball jersey of a team from that area. He put it on Denver and smiled at him, expressing a thousand thank you’s in his eyes. Denver was so blessed to meet this family. He said his goodbyes and got into our van, a glow about him. It was an honour for our team to encounter this with him.

We headed from there to Pochomil beach, one of the most famour beaches in CentroAmerica, especially during the surf seasons. It is the off season now, so it is almost as if we have the entire stretch of beach to ourselves. As we pulled into the park, the owners of all the restaurants around came running at our van, hoping they could coax us into their establishment. It is a sign of the desperation of the time.

We nestled into our little get away spot. The kids seemed to be ecstatic to be at the ocean, especially Braden who had never been there before. It was beautiful to watch their faces as they marveled at the extending beach, the vast ocean in front of them, and as the sun warmed our whole bodies.

Our day was filed with lots of fun. Walking on the beach, playing in the waves, horseback riding on the sand, laying in the hammocks, and walking around the shops bartering with venders for bracelets and necklaces. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch…some having lobster and some just sticking with chicken and Denver and Matt eating an entire fish, prepared with skin and tail and eyes and all! The kids picked shells and sand dollars and soaked up some sun. It was a nice and relaxing afternoon.

We headed back into the city later on in the evening. We had all brought some clean dressier clothes for a very special supper; McDonald’s. Here, McDonald’s is such a treat that people dress well to go there. So dress well we did, and enjoy some good old fashioned North American burgers.

As we drove home I could hear the van filled with conversation. I overheard parts of conversations about God, love, home, family, and dreams for the future. My heart couldn’t help but smile to realize what was going on here. This is it, we’re a family now. We work together, pray together, play together, and walk alongside each other. We’re at a place now where we share together all that we need. It was a stunning realization. All the changes and ups and downs and humbling experiences that we had all been sharing was making us open and vulnerable to one another.

Our evening team meetings, which is always one of my own favourite times, was a pleasant one. It was touching to hear the kids talk about just how much this trip has already impacted their lives and their world view. We discussed the terrible cycles of poverty and just how detrimental they seem to be. There were tears as some acknowledged just how eye opening and overwhelming this has all been. We supported and listened and blessed one another as we all spent the time to join into each other’s experience. Braden made the comment about how we truly are a family now, sharing into each other’s lives.

As a leader, it is a distinct blessing to watch the growth of the team, as a whole and as individuals. Its exciting to hear them pray out loud for things they have become passionate about or to see the shed tears over the places which God has softened their hearts. It reminds me why God commissioned us to go and preach His good news and love to the nations. It wasn’t just because every nation needs to hear it…but its because it then gives every nation an opportunity to teach us the same. We are being molded here.

We pray you are all well. We talk about you and think about you often and carry you with us as we go. We can also feel your prayers every day as they carry us through this. The holy spirit is helping us make sense of it all.

There a few things we could love your continued prayer on:
- Our health; that we stay healthy as we are now all week!
- Our projects; we are excited to start project #2 tomorrow
- The Belize Team
- Corwin and Wilber; yesterday Corwin went to pick up Wilber’s passport which he thought was ready. When he got all the way into Managua at 6:30 in the morning he found out that there had been a misunderstanding and that the passport was not able to be picked up and that he needed his lawyer present. Corwin was really hoping that he would be able to bring Wilber’s passport home with him so he could get it processed in Canada, but, since his lawyer is on vacation til Tuesday, the day after we leave, it seems impossible. But God is the God of impossible things. Please pray that Corwin can get Wilber’s passport before we leave, by some miracle.

Blessings on you…we love you…

-Cor, Chan, Kirk, Marshall, Denver, Cloe, Erin, Matt, Braden, Bobbi, Cara, Curtis, Antonio, Jocelyn, Jaclyn, Esteban, & Will.