This past month has been one for the books! I went from single to married, to living alone to having faithful company at my side, as well as moving houses, and making my first official home. I’ve been adjusting well but I think its safe to say that I’ve had plenty of change and spontaneity to keep me on my toes. From a work-life perspective, I have been learning my new role as a community development promoter and navigating being on an all Nicaraguan team. For those unaware, a few months ago, I was moved to this new team to help support the organization with a need that surfaced on 1 of our 3 community development teams for someone with a health background.
As a ‘promoter’ I work alongside my team of 7 others, promoting our 5 areas of focus throughout my 7 assigned Amigos for Christ partner communities. These areas include community leadership, clean water and sanitation, health, education, and economic development. I get the privilege of using my nursing knowledge to support the role of health in the communities in which I work. I spend a lot of my time giving health talks on topics of health prevention as well as supporting our mobile laboratory in parasite testing. Most recently, I have been spending my days visiting a lot of families. We serve thousands of families so we dedicate most of our time to getting know the individuals that make up each family. This week, was alike most other weeks but on one day in particular, I was refreshed out of my routine and sincerely felt the Lord’s presence with me in each visit.
My first visit of the day was at the house of a woman named Maria. As a walked up to the house I saw her peek out from behind a barrel full of rain water. She seemed reluctant to allow me to come closer, but when she realized that I worked for Amigos, she waved me back to join her in the back patio. Here was a lady nearing her mid 80s, racking her dirt back yard in the heat of the day. She looked so feeble and frail. As I started to talk to her about her family, home, and her knowledge of Amigos, she surprised me with how quick witted and sharp she was. She told me that she lived alone as her husband had passed away within the last year. I could tell that the truth of his death weighed on her but that she didn’t allow it to slow her down. Her house was beautifully maintained despite her age and loss. We talked about the modern bathroom that her husband had built a few years ago, and laughed together as she told me that she loved bathing where she didn’t have to wear her “panties” because she knew no one would see her. I wanted to spend all day chatting and keeping her company.
The next home I was invited into, I met lady named Araceli and her niece, Yelsi. Yelsi was stretched out in a hammock on the porch when I arrived. At first, I thought she was sleeping but as I greeted her, she responded with a huge smile. She had some form of disability. When I asked her name and then repeated it she laughed and seemed excited to have new company with her. She reminded me so much of my twin sister who also has special needs. During the visit I had to review information about specifics of the family members and when I asked about Yelsi she was very engaged although nonverbal. Her aunt told me that her birthday was in December and she giggled when I asked her what she wanted for her 13th birthday. It turns out that the home was occupied by only women, just alike my home growing up. This was a sweet reminder from the Lord of home.
It was undeniable that the Lord greeted me in every house I walked in to. At the end of the day, as I made the 1 1/2 hour drive back to Chinandega, I was reminded of the prayer I prayed that same morning for Jesus to refresh my day, for Him to accompany me throughout the day. I knew I needed a refreshing for the work that I was doing and for his companionship amidst the obstacles presented by all the change. As always, He is faithful to hear my prayers. He never disappoints and absolutely loves to be invited into the reality of my days, because He already is, but wants to be recognized by me. Those are the days that echo joy and purpose. I’m thankful that He goes before me and reminds me that He is indeed here by my side.