Where do I begin? First off, I am not a writer. I repeat, I am not a writer! With that being said, I wanted to start a blog to share with our friends and family what God has been up to in our lives. Stan and I have been so blessed with such an outpouring of love, support, and most importantly the prayers of so many. We have tried to keep everyone up to date as much as we can thus far. However I feel that I can share more of my heart in a blog . So here we go…
In 2012, Stan went on his very first mission trip to Guatemala and he came back changed. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but he was different. Every time he talked about his trip and the people of Guatemala, I could see a new love and passion in his heart. This is where I believe God started a new work that would eventually lead us to pursue life on a mission. We began to pray about what this type of life would look like for our family. Several years went by and we were still waiting for clear direction. We fully believed God’s word in Philippians 1:6 that says, “He who began a good work in you would bring it to completion…” But the wait was longer than we thought it would be. Looking back on it now, we realized that God was doing a work in the waiting – He was preparing us for what was to come.
Fast forward to 2016 when we received our call to Nicaragua. It all started with a small group of friends gathered together to say good-bye to one of the worship leaders in our church. Zack Dodd and his family were preparing to move to Florida where he was taking a new position as director of WEGO Ministries. Stan and I had no idea that God was going to speak very clearly to us that night. As we sat there listening to Zack and his sweet wife Carlie share their story, the Holy Spirit began to stir in our spirits. Zack shared all about the work that he would be doing as director – overseeing an orphanage in Mongolia and a school in Nicaragua. Immediately, we both felt God speak to our hearts the moment he mentioned Nicaragua. After the gathering Stan and I got into our car, looked at each other and said at the exact time, “I think God just answered our prayer! We are supposed to go to Nicaragua.” It was truly a beautiful and defining moment in our lives. We got in touch with Zack and started the process of going on our first mission trip as a family.
On June 19th, we took off on our first trip to this beautiful little country in Central America. I have to be honest here: I thought I was prepared for what I was about to experience but I was not. Nicaragua wrecked me, and I still have trouble putting into words what the Lord did in me. I fell in love with the little community of Jinotepe. The people there have a grip on not only my heart, but on Stan’s heart as well. They are a beautiful people who are hungry for the gospel and are eager to serve and care for one another. Since June, Stan has made four trips, and I have made three back to Jinotepe. Each time we return, we see God move in so many ways and our relationships grow deeper with each trip. I wish I could share all of what I call “God Moments” over this last year, but that would make for a very long blog post.
So here we are May 2017: preparing as a family to fly out again to spend six weeks in the community of Jinotepe as missionaries with WEGO. We ask that you all will cover us in prayer. Pray for safety, health, and, most importantly, pray that we will be able to share the gospel to the broken and the lost in Nicaragua. Before we left on our first trip, a dear friend shared this passage with me and I have been praying it over us before every trip. It is Colossians 4:3-6 “At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison-that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer each person.” Our prayer is that over the next six weeks, God will open doors for us to share the gospel clearly, that we will walk in wisdom and be gracious in our speech. I will try each week to post and update the blog so that you can share in what God is doing in Jinotepe, Nicaragua. Thank you so much again for your outpouring of love and support.