It was brought to our attention tonight that we need to do a better job of posting regularly, so I thought I would take this opportunity to update you on what we're feeling right now. Sorry if it's kind of jumbled; I'm tired, but I want to get this up here tonight because I know tomorrow will be busy.
We are now a week away from being in Nicaragua. Our flight leaves at around 6:00 AM next Thursday, September 29, so we should arrive in Managua around 11:20 AM (Nica time). As soon as we leave the plane, we should be greeted by the smiling faces of our friends who are already there. We are definitely excited about going, but the idea of leaving in just a week does feel a little weird. I don't know if it has truly sunk in yet that the loved ones we see so casually now are about to be out of reach for so long. The time is close enough now that it has, sadly, become apparent that there are things we really don't have time to do and people we really don't have time to see before we go.
However, there are a lot of things we have gotten to do and people we have gotten to see this summer. We have been so blessed by the friends we have had the privilege of spending time with. I know I have keenly felt the sinews holding the body of Christ together regardless of time and space. As we have dealt with the stress from various issues this summer, the support of these people has been invaluable. It's crazy that "the Body" seems to have a lot of shared frustrations right now. It's clear to me that God is working on and through a lot of people right now. We certainly live in an interesting age. (Yes, I know that God is always working in our lives, but He seems to be especially stirring the pot right now.)
Speaking of God working in our lives, just when we were thinking we would have no choice but to do a short sale of our house, we got a renter! It's crazy, I had a feeling all along that God would take care of everything, and so far He has. But, we were sweatin' it there for a few months, especially in the last weeks. I believe we had 19 sales showings and around 11 rental showings before we finally got our renter. Now we just need to find a good home to rent in Nicaragua. Our friends who are already there in Jinotega are still looking for good properties. Hopefully it will be easier for us since we don't have any children to consider.
It has been pretty cool getting to Skype with our team members since they got there. Seeing their familiar faces against familiar backdrops makes us even more eager to join them. We have been encouraged by reports of interest from the locals in our projects. So far I'm seeing open doors and fertile ground, though there are distinct challenges as well. I'm very curious to get there and to speak with the Nicaraguans myself (in Spanish! - well, soon). There is actually a woman who works for the mission who has recently become the language teacher. She has already been working with our friends, and I am anxious to see what she can do for us too. Learning Spanish is extremely important to us, so I'm happy to know that I'll have one-on-one time with my own personal teacher.
Well, it isn't quite time to pack our stuff yet, but I'm sure we will begin doing that in the next few days. We've actually been doing a lot of packing for all of the trips we have taken lately, so now that we're home for a week until we go for real, it is good to just "be" for a little bit. We are starting to go a little crazy, though, trying to balance getting the last minute stuff done with just enjoying the last of our time here. In some ways we wish it were already time to go, as hanging around here waiting for Thursday does make us feel anxious. Prayers are appreciated for us and especially for our family members. We are going to miss everyone dearly.