Sounds like a riddle, right? But it is the happy trio of lives intersecting to create a community. Our newest friends live/work/play in Nicaragua. This isn’t an “assignment” this is their life. They are not building a church or ministry, they are building Kingdom relationships. Their heart is with the youth in small Nicaraguan communities. 150 youth come each week to a Bible study, theatre class (that incorporates breakdancing from a pro), early surf sessions, work at a bakery, lessons in running a restaurant, classes making macrame, and the list goes on.
Just past their concrete church building, they are building a youth center. Youth (ages 2-20) are welcome to come to activities throughout the week and the place is PACKED on Sunday mornings.
Although Nicaragua is quite developed in many areas (restaurants, stores, beautiful ocean-front homes, etc) the smaller outlying areas are like most 3rd world countries…warm, welcoming and trying to survive. There are very few cars, no running water, and education is a luxury that most do not afford. It is common to see motorcycles with a family of 5 riding, old-school cowboys on a horse rounding up their cattle on the road and the chicken bus going past with market goods. The opportunities for youth in the outlying areas are scarce. Learning a trade and skills requires someone to teach you. That is the vision of the Youth Center. Not just to teach , but to equip youth with hope and a future. And in the midst of it all, show the love of JESUS for them. Giving spiritual eyes to the daily life of living with a purpose. JJ repeats that faith is not a religion, it is seeking Jesus and following Him.
We are settling in and enjoying meeting people and the slower pace of life. We also are living in a small surf town that has everything we need and we are riding in a car (sometimes a motorcycle or scooter) and have running water in our house. But as we drive up the dusty road, we see a different perspective. Although life is hard, there is hope. We can see that God is working in this place and we are thankful for the time to get involved, get to know the locals and the culture.