Dustin and I were out to dinner the other night for our anniversary and we had a moment to process the chaos of last August. Thinking back...it is quite a story. Sometimes I shake my head at what we get ourselves into but, I thought I would share in case you thought it was all unicorns and rainbows around here.
When we came back to Oregon last June we had no idea how long we would have to be out of the country. Political unrest led us to believe that it would be best to move out of our rental and put everything into the kid's club so we wouldn't have to pay any rent for the amount of time we would be away. We returned in August to a lot of unknown. Since we didn't know what the state of Managua would be, we hired a driver to pick us up from the airport and help us navigate any rioting/protests. While we were gone we were sending money to keep the building of a house going on the property where we have the kid's club. We knew that if we were going to head there to live, we would need beds, a stove, and a refrigerator. Thankfully Managua was calm when we arrived so we stopped at a store to try to purchase those items. We had taken a red eye so the kids were all asleep in the car and the driver stayed with them while we shopped. After we quickly picked out our items we realized our credit cards had been shut down (for our "safety") because we were making a large purchase in a foreign country. We had even advised the credit card company that we would be traveling! No problem, just a simple call right? Nope. We had no cell phone service because there was no way to pay our bill when we were out of the country (you have to go to the office in person to pay). Luckily the store had wifi and we were able to call the credit card company and ask them to release the transaction. Finally we were granted approval and set up delivery down our very rough road.
We headed back to Salinas Grande. It was my birthday so some friends met us with pizza and drinks and we sat together in the rancho celebrating. After they left we put down cushions to make beds up in the kids loft. Our house was still under construction and did not have doors, windows, or floors downstairs, but the kids loft had a roof and finished tile floor. We were thankful for a roof over our head when the rain started that night. We lived for about a month like that. More or less camping (after our mattress got delivered, we moved it to the rancho for a little more space). It makes me so grateful that this year the house is done, complete with windows to keep out the mosquitoes and a place to cook inside. Before living here I had never been so thankful for shelter. At times I was thankful for my house and loved sharing it with others, but the actual sanctuary of shelter from the wind, bugs, rain, and extreme tropical sun is something I will never take for granted.
I was sharing with Dustin last night that I honestly teeter between to extremes most of the time. At times I see the way that the Lord is providing exactly what we need in the moment and I feel his presence to love and extend educational opportunties to the kids we serve in a powerful way. I feel like there is no place else I was more meant to be. I'm so grateful our kids see this kind of life. On the very next day I teeter over to despair and the deepest desire to just be comfortable for a moment and have one easy meal that is not prepared from scratch. Just one day when I do not have to rely on the Lord to completely keep me sane through every challenge or miscommunication. We have been here long enough now that I trust that when I feel in the "depths of despair" I keep stepping forward knowing that I have a God who sees me and every struggle, a Creator who is writing a beautiful story out of my mess.