I just want to start out by saying this life is a privilege. When we originally came to Nicaragua, we came to plant churches. Having never been here before, or without knowing anyone, we were determined to change Nicaragua. We weren’t quite sure how that would happen, but we knew we had a purpose. Throughout the 3 years and 8 months we have been here we have received visions, dreams, words of knowledge and prophecy, either personally or through others. We came here to change Nicaragua in some grandiose way, but the truth is, Nicaragua has changed us.
If you look back at our “Mission Statement”, you’ll see that we have pretty much followed it. Originally, when we wrote this, we thought it was absolutely ridiculous. We thought, “How can we write a plan of what is going to happen in a Country we have never been to, surrounded by people we’ve never met?”. However, our church encouraged us to think about it and at least put down what we desired to happen. So prayerfully and thoughtfully we wrote the mission. The truth is, though, that wasn’t the true mission.
It’s funny how true the saying is, “the Lord works in mysterious ways”. The day that Preston got a mysterious call from a man he had never met asking for English classes, would be the day our mission really began. Marlon had never met Preston and Preston had never met Marlon…but this phone call ended up being a divine appointment. Here is what I know, Preston and I had the desire to come to Central America since we were in Jr. High. The Lord allowed us to move here to experience our dream, and it was amazing. While experiencing our dream he used us for one specific purpose, to call one man back into ministry…you see, that was our real mission.
Preston and I began to feel the pull to return to the States a couple months ago, around the same time. It was weird, because no matter how hard things seemed we never had the desire to return to Texas. We were ready to live and die in Nicaragua, and the Lord used that. As we felt the call home and began praying and fasting, we began to notice more than one prophecy being fulfilled. You see, when we came to Nicaragua many people prophesied many things. Some of these prophecies would later be confirmation that it was time to leave, though, at the time it just seemed like discouragement. To be absolutely certain this is what the Lord wanted, we went home for 1 month at Christmas. Most of you who know us, know that this is a long time…I mean in the past 3 years we had been home a total of 2 months (between the two of us). We wanted to be sure we were doing what the Lord wanted and not just reacting out of burnout.
While in Texas we took a vacation to Florida. While in Florida we had plenty of time to think and pray about our future. While praying I got a word for Marlon, our assistant pastor.
“Marlon, you didn’t meet Preston by accident, it was a divine appointment. When you met Preston you didn’t like gringos and you had sworn never to work with them again. You had decided that you would never pastor a church again, but just be a servant in the church. Because of this I sent gringos to you to call you out to pastor. You decided you would choose how you serve, but I am your Lord and you will forever serve in my house as I command you. You are not just a servant, you are and will forever be a pastor. Preston and Carrie came to Nicaragua for you, you were the mission.”
After this message from the Lord it was clear to us, it was time to go. You see, so many things have been happening in our personal lives relationally and spiritually in Nicaragua. We knew this was fulfilling the many prophecies which let us know it was time. So, when we came back to Nicaragua we talked with Marlon about handing the church over to him. The Lord had been preparing him also, so he agreed it was time. We will be having a ceremony at the church for Marlon soon (I will make a post after the ceremony).
We will be leaving Nicaragua at the end of February 2015. We came to plant churches, but the Lord taught us so much more during this time. Like, His children are so important to Him that He’ll send an entire family 1,381 miles to reach one person. My desire as we re-enter the U.S. is to reach out to the Spanish speaking women who don’t know English. I know how incredibly lonely it feels. I know how it feels when people speak to you like your def because you don’t understand them. I know how it feels when people say things like, “learn the language” or “why are you even here, go back to your own Country”. It’s incredibly hurtful…and it’s a lonely feeling. I know the cost immigrants pay to try and come to our Country legally, only to be rejected (which means they are out the $190 they paid and have to start the process over again). I personally think, as a body of believers, we need to put ourselves in other peoples shoes. I believe that we need to realize different people come from all different backgrounds for all different reasons. The United States is a Country made up of immigrants. All of us have family who immigrated there for a reason, yet we look at those who do it now as some sort of act of terrorism. How quickly we can forget our own history. This is why I return to the United States as a missionary there. We love Nicaragua, but loving something has never stopped us from moving on to the next mission. Coming to Nicaragua has grown us in faith, hope and love…what more could we ask for?
When we moved here we sold and gave away everything we owned. When we move back, we will be moving in with Prestons parents. When we decided to move back, I started putting in applications in Conroe. I have an interview the day after we get back and I have no business casual clothing. We came here with 8 bags and we are going home with 4. Everything we have in our home in Nicaragua, will be donated to the church for them to sell in the thrift shop. We have no means of transportation, we need clothing, the kids will be starting school (so that’s an expense clothing wise). So any help is appreciated. If you would like to help us with the re-entry process in the form of a one time donation, or with other needs, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you so much and see you soon.