We had counted down the months, days, hours . . . and now we were waiting for the minutes until we would see our daughter, Taylor. Eight months earlier, she had embarked on an eleven-month mission trip to eleven countries around the world. (South Africa, Botswana, Madagascar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala). This eighth month into her journey, we were meeting her in Nicaragua to share in her mission.
The first morning in Nicaragua, I woke up feeling nervous about touring Nicaragua on our own (We hadn't met up with World Race or Taylor yet, and we speak basically no Spanish.), but we decided not to let fear reign. My alternative was to stay by the pool . . . I can do that at home. We decided to explore.
We hired a driver. As soon as I got in the car, I noticed that he had a Bible open. I asked him about it. He used it to learn English. We chatted, and he told us how he had come to know Jesus as his Savior. God had rescued him from a life of drugs. Now, he was married and had a beautiful six-year-old daughter.
God’s fingerprints were on this day, and my soul sung. For the hour-long drive to Granada, we chatted despite our language barrier. We had a shared love for God and people. He was our brother in Christ, and we had an immediate bond. He explained the history of Nicaragua and explained his beautiful culture and country. He waited for us while we explored Granada. In just an hour’s time, we had met a friend.
Granada is the oldest Spanish colonial city in the Americas. We visited an ancient church and climbed the bell tower . . . the view was amazing!! Granada life is colorful, historic, and active!
After winding up the precarious bell tower staircase, the view was worth the effort. Tin roofs, Spanish balconies, volcanoes, crowded streets, and a huge lake, formed from two volcanoes, were part of this magnificent, tropical setting.
In the bell tower, we met two young men from California who were scraped up from a fall they took when they were boarding down a volcano. “So worth it!” they declared. We chatted with them for a while, and they showed us a map app you could use offline.
Nate and I went into a museum in Nicaragua to learn more about the culture. While there, we downloaded the map app the young men had shown us. While we were online, Taylor asked us where we were. When we told her we were in Granada, she said, “No way! I am in Granada.”
Using our new map app, we figured out we were two blocks from her. Our hearts raced! We weren’t scheduled to see her until 10:00 that night. Would we be able to have a sneak peak? Was God going to be that good to us? Sure enough! She had free time for that very hour. We used the app the young men showed us and found her! Tears and hugs! We only had a few minutes, but they were precious ones!
After touring Granada, we invited our driver to lunch, and he took us to his village to a restaurant he knew of that was so unique . . . rainforest outside with private tables in little cabana areas. However, instead of eating the lunch we bought him, he asked if we minded if he took it home to his wife and daughter. He ordered a 2-pound fish, and after Nate and I ate lunch, we dropped it off at his house, which was in one of the poorer parts of Nicaragua. What we considered a typical lunch was such a treat for him.
We met his wife and six year old daughter; she was so precious! When I told her she was "muy bonita" she told me she had her daddy's eyes. This little one sings in Hebrew!
Our driver then drove us by his church. We talked about Jesus and His great love for us. He said God saved him from a life of drugs in 2004 and now he is married, owns a house, has a 6-year-old daughter, and he teaches Sunday school.
God in the details. He orchestrates our lives with blessing when we trust in Him. And to think . . . I almost spent the day by a pool.