The last teams of the summer had a wonderful time with the girls swimming! Lot's of swimming! We went to a waterpark outside of Managua called Hertylandia. This was built years ago, and now even though it shows a little bit of age, it still has three functioning water slides! The girls had a time going down frontwards, backwards, stomachwards, sidewards, and trainwards (I think at one point there was a train of at least eight people)! And for those who had some fear of the slides it was an opportunity to develop trust and improve their swimming skills.
We also had the pleasure of going to the beach. A favorite of ours! The water was amazingly warm, and the current was perfect for playing in the waves. I stayed out playing far longer than the team!
We played, we laughed and we ate. There were horse back rides and quad rides as well. But most of all I think the girls just loved being in the pool. The freedom of swimming is something they love to feel. And of course on the way home after a long hard day at the beach, the bus falls asleep. This is one of my favorite sights. The bus is quiet and all you hear are the cobblestones under the bus tires, purring everyone to sleep.
In the middle of the last two teams I had to leave the country for three days to renew my visa. I decided to go to Costa Rica. Specifically a place called Playa Hermosa. I had wanted to drive my own car, but when I got the list of requirements I needed to fulfill to get permission to take it to CR, I decided it was easier to take the bus. It's not a long ride, just the border wait can be annoying. (Next time I will do what I need to do to take my car). Most of my time there was just resting and doing LAUNDRY hahaha! I don't have a washing machine so I took my dirty clothes, because the little casita had a washer and dryer. What a treat!! (I get excited about the strangest things!) It was a good time to rest and rejuvenate!
And as for my life at home, I have moved into a smaller and less expensive house. It is in a development of about 50-60 small homes. The homes here are more 'apartment' size. It is perfect for Lucy and me. There is a good size backyard for her to play and run and, I am now finding out, dig... The homes are guarded 24-7 by 3-4 guards each shift. I feel safe and at peace. I shared a house before and am missing a few creature comforts. One being a washing machine. I have been washing my clothes 'por mano' like the locals. It was fun at first, but I cringe when I have to wash sheets and towels. Have you ever tried to wash sheets and towels by hand? The postive side is that it is exercise and my arms are stronger. I will have to invest in a washing machine soon, bigger muscles or not. As you can see below Lucy is doing great. She really is a sweet blessing. She is very independent, brushing her own teeth (hahaha) and bringing the outside in to help her feel more comfy (yes she dragged that branch in through the little door opening). I thank God for her everyday! She has been the perfect companion.
Since the team season has been over, we have been winding down with the girls. Getting back to a regular schedule of homework, chores and fun. We have begun to embroider Christmas cards again. The older giirls have been teaching the little girls how to make the cards all on their own. This has been a prayer of mine. That the girls would reach out to one another without prompting. The have really grown into a family.
We have another girl moving into the Villa, taking Rosa's place. Rosa decided to leave and go back home a few months ago. It was a challenge for her to have structure and discipline in her life. I am sure she missed her home too. We miss her very much.
Maria is due to move in any day now. She has visited the Villa with her mom and has spent a weekend with us. The older girls took her under their wing, especially Sara and Karina. They reached out and really tried to help her feel welcome. I just found out that she slept on the floor for the nights she stayed. Simply because she is not used to sleeping in a bed. This is just one example of challenges some of the girls face when they move in with us.We are excited to have Maria and anticipating what the Lord will do in her life.
During the slow times without teams, I have been able to rest and get caught up with paperwork and communication. To spend more time with friends nurturing those relationships the Lord has blessed me with. Most of all it has been a time to catch up with the Lord. It is hard when the 'busyness' gets in the way, or rather I let it get in the way, to have that intimate time with Him with no time restraints. I desire more of this in my daily life. Please pray for this time with Him for me.
The girls will be ending their school year in November. We are going to begin a vocational program at the Villa for the girls during their vacation. I will keep you updated on this program. I am excited to see what talents and gifts each girl has and what they will find joy in doing.
- Pray for Maria and her family, as well as the girls living in the Villa, as Maria moves in a joins our family.
- Praise Him for the changes He has made in the hearts of girls already. Pray their hearts would be softened more and open to His love and healing.
- Pray the vocational program would be successful, wisdom for myself as I take the lead of this program.
- Pray for Forward Edge International as they move forward with funding campaigns.
- Pray for our staff at Villa Esperanza. That our team would be united in Christ, lead by God and prayer would be our priority.