The first time we came to Nicaragua was in 2009. Our church, Keystone Community, in Saline, Michigan, was promoting a short-term mission trip to Nicaragua. As my husband and I sat in church and heard the announcement, we hit each other in the leg and said, “Let’s go!” It was on the way home from church, we asked ourselves, “Where in the world is Nicaragua?” We thought it was somewhere in Africa!! Oops!!!!
Our week in Nicaragua was quite the adventure. We worked at an orphanage that week. We instantly fell in love with the kids and the people of Nicaragua. Even the horrible stomach bug I got couldn’t deter me from the excitement and the things I was learning that week. At the end of the week, Tim and I walked around the compound we were staying at. We were reflecting about the week and all that God was teaching us. Tim asked me what I thought about Nicaragua. I told him he didn’t want to know. We kinda both nervously laughed and came out both saying the same things. God had worked through each of us, at separate times during the week. We didn’t know exactly what He wanted us to do, but we knew Nicaragua was in our future.
As we left Nicaragua and returned back to Michigan. Our hearts were empty. I couldn’t stop crying. I ached for the children back in Nicaragua and felt like there was something missing. Tim felt the exact same way. Nicaragua had changed our lives. When we shared our feelings with friends and family, they told us to wait that the feeling would wear off. However, the feeling never wore off. We asked our Pastor and our small group to pray about Nicaragua with us. We spent a whole year praying about it.
The next year, May 2010, we were able to return to Nicaragua on another mission trip with our church. For me, the whole year praying led up to this moment. In my prayer time, I asked God to be completely direct with us. I asked Him to either shut the door to Nicaragua rapidly or make it completely visible and to show us instantly. I needed direction and a clear one at that. So when we arrived in Nicaragua, as the wheels were hitting the tarmac, Tim and I look at each other across the seats on the airplane and started crying, we knew instantly Nicaragua was where we were suppose to be.
That whole week flew by so fast. We felt like we were in a wind tunnel and couldn’t keep our balance. But even though it was a crazy ride, it was a ride we wanted to get right back on. When we shared with the mission team while in Nicaragua, they all confirmed what we knew God was calling us too. So, we answered His calling and began our journey to Nicaragua. When we went back home to Michigan, we knew if we didn’t tell someone immediately, it would be easy to just forget what God was calling us to. That Friday, we had our Pastor and his family over. We broke the news to them that we were leaving the church. Their expressions were priceless. We further began to explain the reason we were leaving. We told them that God was calling us to Nicaragua full time. Their response: “Yeah ,we already knew!” Our families had the same responses.
So in June, 2011 we started our journey to get to Nicaragua. So many churches, so many miles, so much food!!! It felt like full times jobs in addition to our already full time jobs. Tim was busy working and getting promotions at his job and I was fully enjoying being a full time stay at home mom. But all the traveling and speaking was so worth it as the end of the year drew upon us quickly. In February, 2012, we had the privilege to come and live in Nicaragua for six months. What a joyful experience to see exactly what God was calling us too. You know sometimes, well most times, we have our path all figured out. We are happy, content with what we think we should do. Only, to no avail, God shows us more light for the step we are on. In May, 2012, Tim and I was sure God was calling us to a new adventure here in Nicaragua. We didn’t have a clue if what we were feeling or what we felt was being confirmed was really, truly from God. So, what do you do when you aren’t sure if what you are hearing is really what you are hearing….you take it to your small group here in Nicaragua. Our five Nicaraguan friends who had walked day to day with us, who wept with us, anointed us with oil, prayed with us and fellowshipped with us; these would be the people we would bring it to and have them pray with us about it. We shared with them, that we felt God was asking us to step out in faith and on our own to start a feeding program in Cristo Rey. We were clueless. We had no money and no answers. Our friends agreed to pray with us. Two weeks later, they came to us, to share something that they had never told anyone. You see, for the past year, these five friends had been praying about the same thing God was leading us to. For Tim and I, it was clarification. God was allowing us to take a BIG step of faith in His direction.
When we came back to Michigan in August, we had a lot to do. Not only did we have to finish raising our monthly support to live in Nicaragua, we also had to start planning for this feeding program. For me, personally, now the worries started!! HOW, WHEN, WHY????? constantly rolled around in my head. I was confident in the calling laid before us, I just wasn’t sure how God was going to do it. It also didn’t help that I had my own agenda and was also confident that we’d be back in Nicaragua by the middle of December. I didn’t really ask God about this, I just repeatedly told Him that this was going to happen. So, for 3 months, we travelled, we shared, we cried, we ate and we applied for our non-profit status.
In the midst of trying to raise our support and feeling like it was going at snail pace; we received a Skype call from our friends in Nicaragua. It’s October now and they told us that they were taking their savings account and starting the feeding program. GULP!!!! What????? How in the world is this going to work?? We don’t have any money yet?????? I just felt like the weight of the world was put on our shoulders. When that feeling happens, there is nothing else to do, BUT pray and so we did!!! Within hours, God had provided (like He ALWAYS does)!! The feeding program would have enough money to run for 1 full year!!! WOWZER!!!! But not only that, within the next 2-3 weeks, God would provide my family with our full support and a little extra. GUESS WHAT????? We left for home, NICARAGUA, on December 11, 2012!!! God’s timing is perfect and always will be!!
So, now we are living in Nicaragua, Managua to be exact. Our boys’ Remington and Dylan are loving Nicaragua. Remington is fifteen and in the 9th grade. He loves researching things and writing reports for school. He is our child of information- he can tell you information about most dictators, professional wrestlers, basketball players and the State of Michigan. He loves hanging with his friends from school (especially a certain girl friend)! He also loves our dog Brownie and our cat, Batman doesn’t like him!
Dylan is thirteen. He loves drawing and is getting really good at drawing faces and candy skulls. He is in the 7th grade and is the kid who gets good grades without trying. He is our child that likes to just sit back and relax. He loves the tv show The Arrow. He loves music! If you ask him who sings this song….He will know!!! He is good at understanding and speaking Spanish so don’t let his quietness make you think he doesn’t know it! He also loves wrestling with brownie and cutting up dead coconuts in our yard with his machete!
The Taylor Family