Life in the States feels so foreign to me now; Nicaragua is becoming my home. Most mornings I eat scrambled eggs and rice with beans, my new favorite meal. If I could eat that every morning for the next 106 days I would be perfectly content. I didn’t really like beans before coming down here – I was worried about having to eat them all the time. Life is funny.
Each day is a new adventure – we never quite know what to expect. Right now we’re still figuring out what our schedule will look like, though I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll ever fall into a structured routine. As our native pastor recently told us, “Nicaraguans change their minds.” And then he laughed really hard.
For instance: tomorrow we are putting on a children’s program in a faraway barrio (neighborhood). A week ago we told the families our program would be at 2 p.m., but today our pastor announced that we are having an additional church service tomorrow afternoon. So now the children’s program is at ten in the morning, except they won’t know this until we show up. Apparently this is not a big deal…
Thankfully I’ve learned to roll with the punches. Today at church (we’re up to four church services a week, fyi) I was asked to give a sermon. Oh, I only have three minutes to prepare? No big deal, I guess.
At least life is never boring.
As I’ve said before, I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. And what joy it brings me! But alas, it drains me as well. I’m equally loving and struggling through life. There is so much at stake and I have so much to fight for. My girls, my girls. Seven beautiful girls from all over the country, from the sands of California to the lakes of Michigan. Some have just graduated from high school and some are soon to graduate from college. They each carry a story, a collection of celebrations and struggles. Every night we sit on musty mattresses that smell like mildew and listen to one girl share her story. We laugh and we cry; we shake our fists at the boys who have hurt us. And then we pray.
Nicaragua is becoming my home, yes, and I hope to become one with the people and serve them well. But my first love is these girls. I desperately long for them to know who they are, to understand the pure beauty and invigorating power they carry, to know how much our Creator loves them. Everything I do is for them. God has blessed me with an incredible co leader, and together we battle for our girls. We want them to want God,
to hunger and thirst to starve for him. We know they will only starve for God as much as we do. And so we pray, we fast, we give more of ourselves to God and we beg for God to give more of himself to us.
To be honest, I don’t feel God right now. And sometimes that can be hard because I have to carry on by my intellect, by my recognition of who God is rather than how I feel. It’s so easy when I can physically feel the presence of God, when I hear his sweet whispers in my ear and am moved to the point of tears by his love. These days I don’t experience any of that. But I will not stop striving, for so many reasons – one of the main ones being my girls. It’s late as I write this; we’re all in bed with the lights off. I’m already looking forward to when I can see them again tomorrow, when we sit around our plastic table and hold hands and pray over our eggs&rice&beans. And I’m looking forward to it for the next 106 days.