One of my favorite things about living abroad is meeting people from all over the world. Last weekend we showed a movie as a reward for good attendance to some of the English Club kids. As we were setting up, we crossed paths with a group of German students who had used our beach Rancho to cool down after visiting the school during the day. Right about then a couple from Italy stopped by to check out the movie and learn about what is happening to further education here in Salinas. There is no way to plan who is going to show up or when, which brings me to the story of Surfer John from San Diego, CA.
About a year before we moved to Nicaragua, Surfer John showed up in Salinas Grande chasing waves. Within a couple of days, he had broken both of his boards and was wondering what in the world he was doing in this tiny fishing village. With no board, John spent a lot of time praying and ended up having a profound experience with the Lord. Some locals took him in like family and he spent the rest of the trip doing what he could to help out in the community. As he was leaving Managua, he happened to mention to our friend, Chachi, that he knew of a place for sale in Salinas Grandes that was all set up for a big family and entertaining guests. When we were looking for a place to land in Nicaragua, Chachi remembered the house and told me about it. We ended up renting that yellow house and it turned out to be the reason we found Salinas Grande. It was the place where the Lord solidified our vision for Water & Light, where we built community with new friends and welcomed old ones, where the first English class happened on the patio, and where we learned how much water a family of 6 can use. It was the place where we sat under the stars in awe of our Creator and were encouraged to dream bigger than we ever thought possible.
I got to hug Surfer John a couple of weeks ago and share our story with him. I am constantly amazed how God weaves lives together. Our words are powerful. The most insignificant conversation may provide the spark that ignites a new fire for someone else.