We had some sweet friends come and visit. But they aren’t just any ol’ friends. Meet Christine and her daughter Haley.
Christine and her husband Rich came on a trip with Living Water to Haiti, about two years ago. And the connection was instant-like many of you who we have had the pleasure of meeting along our journey. And they kept in touch over the years, and have been so kind, encouraging, and loving towards us in such big and little ways. In fact, their church in New Jersey is the one I wrote about a while back too. A church that just blew us away with how much they serve others, care about missions, and especially the cause of clean water. It’s incredible really. If you have a few moments, feel free to check out their website http://www.liquidchurch.com/serve/clean-water/.
Anywhoo, Christine and Rich wanted their daughter Haley to come and visit. To see life outside of the US of A,to experience how others live, what they do, how life works in a third world context. They wanted her to see what service looks like, and missions, and all that stuff too. So the ladies braved the traveling all on their own, and came and stayed with us for a week. The really cool part was, since they wanted to see Nicaragua and the different ways people are serving and helping here, we got to do whatever we wanted with them for the week! I have to admit, at first I was a bit intimidated, not sure where to take them, or what to show them. But I got creative and came up with some new things!
We have some friends here who are doing some pretty cool things, and so we asked them if the three of us could tag along and see what they do. When you live here, and meet other people here, one of the first things you learn is what they/why there are here. Of course, things in Nicaragua are a bit different than Haiti, as we have met foreigners who live here for so many different reasons. Haiti it was only ever two kinds of folks really. Those told by God to be there, and those running from something/trying to do penance for something they had done. So, bizarrely, in Nicaragua, people are here for fun! For the sheer pleasure and beauty. Some are retiring here. Some have started business, hotels, bed & breakfast, or work for to help the poor, for for non profits, and of course missionaries.
Of course we know what our friends do. But when was the last time you went to your friends place of work? Or where they do ministry? Or helped them with something they volunteer at? So I just loved that our friends were willing to let us come and check it out.
The first thing we did was go with a friend, Summer, to visit a school they work with. Summer and her husband Ryan are here working with multiple churches and one school. They do all different things within that context.So we spent the day visiting the school. Afterwards, we went into the community and visited some of the school kids homes, and met their families.
(These are all great photos Christine took. She is so talented!! Thanks for giving me all these photos!)
We of course took them out to see what Living Water was up to that week. We went into a community that was drilling, and they got to see the whole process, help out with hygiene lessons, and visit homes in the community.
Another cool thing we did was hang out with a friend, Bethany, and they helped teach the English class she does with a group of teenage girls. Bethany has invited these girls into her house three times a week, in order to help them learn English and in turn help give them even more opportunities in the future. She loves on them, shares God’s love with them, and you can tell the girls love the class and appreciate the time she gives to them. So Haley and Christine taught the class all week! It was of course hard for them to talk slow and use simple words (things anyone appreciates when learning a new language, myself included!!) And they even brought stuff to have a little birthday party for one of the girls who had a birthday that week!
What a fun week we had together. Those two were such great guests, so easy to take along with us, and loved simply seeing and being a part of every day life here. I loved hearing thoughts and opinions from Haley, only twelve years old, and yet she saw and processed so many things. Things that many adults have a hard time seeing and trying to comprehend. She loved seeing and experiencing new things, and had such a great attitude about it. I was impressed for sure! And I can’t wait to see what God was doing, is doing, and will continue to do in her heart as she process what she saw, felt, and experienced that week.