Buenas Dias Partners in the Adventure!
Many thanks for praying & being such enthusiastic supporters! You are a gift to our family & we are deeply grateful for each one of you! Es verdad (It’s true)!
We’ve been home in Colorado for a month now, & as much as we prepared as family in prayer, conversation, & logistics for our return, we can honestly report it has not been quite as smooth as we had hoped. At the same time, it hasn’t been bad, & even the things that we’ve been stretched by, we can see as good. Perhaps next time we wouldn’t cut it so close (less than a week) to school starting & returning to work! J
Nicaragua was, in a word – AWESOME! This side of the adventure, we are so encouraged that the vision God unfolded to all 7 of us before leaving really did become a reality. You might remember we had 4 specific anchors as we departed.
- An opportunity for us to serve together as a whole family
- To begin new & deepen existing relationships with those of the Covenant Church of Ameya & the Library Staff in San Juan del Sur
- Work on our language barrier by studying Spanish
- Extended family time to be able to invest in us for a season
We had many opportunities open up to us to serve. We wanted to do things that we could do as a whole family, so we are pretty sure that our time looked differently than if we would have split up more often. Daily, as we prayed & asked God “How can we love this day?” things were right in front of us. We painted a lot of schools, taught a lot of art classes, helped bring running water to schools for the 1st time, repaired a leaky roof, led a lot of children’s ministry, taught on prayer, repaired a missions house, organized the library, & said YES, as much as we possibly could when someone asked “could you….?”
Along the way we experienced many different churches & styles of worship & God gave us a glimpse of how big His Kingdom really is as a result. From Catholic to Pentecostal, to Evangelical to non-denominational from really big to really small – that met in cathedrals built in the 1800’s to backyards, restaurants, homes with dirt floors, libraries, & yes – even on the beach! All in Spanish with the exception of “English” night hosted by Christian Surfers that we never wanted to miss!
Relationships are important to us, & so we put ourselves in the middle of people as often as we could. We spent a lot of time flying kites on the beach& jumping rope at the park. Both activities would always draw a crowd – & not just limited to kids! As we “played” we made space for conversations. With our varying levels of Spanish, some of us could speak more, & some of us less, but there were three things we could share – Dios te conoce (God knows you), Dios te ama (God loves you), & Esta destinados para esta relación con Dios (You are meant for this relationship with God). Sometimes our opportunities were for a single afternoon & sometimes our relationships grew. Because we were loving & serving as a whole family, our relationships naturally engaged whole families in return – & we are confident, much deeper as a result.
We were shown hospitality in some really amazing ways. Really! We were blown away frequently at how people we were just meeting welcomed us into their homes & lives! We hope to be able to put some of this into action at home here in Colorado.
Leaving Nicaragua was bittersweet because of all of the friends we had made. It is true, there were at least a dozen families we could have stuffed in our luggage & brought home with us!
All said & done, we had opportunities to engage life in communities from the tippy-top boarder with Honduras, all the way to the bitty-bottom boarder with Costa Rica. We went into the mountains – Nicaragua’s beautiful coffee country & also to Ometepee Island. To have opportunities to experience so much of this country was simply incredible. We loved everywhere we got to be, but long to return to Chinandega (Ameya). It really is amazing how quickly we’ve found ourselves wondering when & if God will lead us back – even if just for a visit. We made many friends that are long term missionaries & we are looking for ways to continue to support each of them in their ongoing efforts. We are grateful for a few of them even now as they help us finish up a handful of projects we simply ran out of time to complete ourselves.
We did go to Spanish School for our first 2 months, & actually wish that we would have continued going all the way through for the consistency of studying. We learned a lot though & are hopeful as a family we can continue to challenge each other to keep at it! We still do have a long way to go.
As we’ve been back, we’ve already had many opportunities to share about our mission’s trip. As we do, we’ve really come to the conclusion that this was actually more of our very own discipleship training school. We learned & grew so much in our faith as individuals & as a family. We learned more about how to share our faith more confidently, to serve in a variety of settings – even when we didn’t think we had the necessary skills, we worked on knowing how to hear God’s voice & then to obey, we studied God’s Word, & read books on community development; we learned how to rest & how to LOVE!
Having a chance to do this as a whole family was such a gift to us – in many ways a trajectory changer for us living forward. These shared experiences & now memories of these past months will be with us forever.
We’ve been asked a lot, what is next for us as a family. For now, we know that Wes is a senior in High School & we’re doing what we can to live into this year well with him. Diane has returned to her role with children’s ministry at our local Covenant Church, & we’ve got some amazing girls in 5th, 6th, 7th, & 10th grades. Mike having left his job before we went to Nicaragua is now seeking new employment. We certainly do see ourselves as missionaries, & are looking for opportunities to see how this might play out for us this year right here in Colorado. We really don’t know if God has more for us internationally, but we are choosing to live each day open to His calling where ever He may lead us. Choosing each day to LOVE in the hours that He gives us.
Thank you again for partnering with us & being a part of this incredible journey. Be sure to check out our blog for more stories & at least a gazillion pictures! We’ll continue to keep it updated with the latest!
Peace Be With You,
La Familia Borden