Saturday, June 18, 2016



Hello Friends!  I'm so sorry that an email went out a few weeks ago with an old blog post.   I'm still battling it out with technology. :-)   Now the score is:  
Technology 5       Carey 0  
If you are wondering what is the latest news you can check out my two latest blog updates

I promise not to bother you with more emails but would love to respond to you personally and hear how you are doing and what is new in your lives.  My contact information is on the blog under the contact tab.

Love and blessings,

Saturday, May 7, 2016


Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions.   They are listed in no particular order. 

What’s next?

Trusting God in the day to day.  Working my admin assistant job and adjusting to many new things for now.  This first year back I am giving myself some margin to be able to adjust to new surroundings and prayerfully consider the opportunities that God opens up to me.

Why did you leave Nicaragua?
Whether to stay or whether to go is something that has always been covered with much prayer each year.  When I moved to Nicaragua I had made a 2 year commitment yet knew that I would be there for longer.  Many of you have heard me say,  “I’m here until God sends me somewhere else.”  God affirmed that for many years.   For the past 2 years as I prayed about the next year I felt that God was preparing my heart for an upcoming change.  1 year ago as I was praying and seeking Godly counsel from my leaders it seemed like the path was laid before me to leave Nicaragua and return to the States.  Honestly,  as right as I knew the decision was it was really hard for me to accept the idea of leaving Nicaragua,  the people and place I have grown and loved so dearly.   Through a variety of different circumstances, conversations and people God confirmed the timing of my return. 

How will we know about what is happening at NCA Matagalpa?

You can follow NCAM’s facebook page to see pics of some of the happenings  at the school.   You can also ask me, I am still in communication with people there and can share updates as I have them.   

Will you go into education in the US?
I’m still praying about this.   I plan to take a break for this year from the pressures and emotional commitment that being a teacher involves.   My head and my heart need a little recovery time before I’m ready to get back into that area of ministry.   Also,  my current teaching certificate is only valid in the state of Texas and I will need to apply for a transfer to South Carolina when I am ready.  However, if you know me well you know that I can’t stay away from kids and opportunities to be involved for long.   I have found a few local opportunities to use my Spanish and my teaching heart to volunteer.   Right now I have a peace about this and am enjoying being able to leave my job at 5pm and not have loads of lesson plans, grading and school work to do.

Will you return to Nicaragua?
At this point only God knows what the future holds.    I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will go back and visit but as far as moving  back for ministry I don’t know.   I miss my friends, the culture and the school very much and anticipate a visit to see them all in the future but as far as moving back  we’ll see where God leads.

What do you need right now?
·      Prayer for a few good, close friends here in Greenville.    It is easy in this culture to have lots of
     friends that you can hang out with and have a good time with but my heart is longing for a few deeper friendships.
·      Prayer for the continued re-entry process. 
·      Praise God I am covered financially as I transition from my support with Christ For the City  and now having a job as I set up a home and life in the USA for now.

What are ways that I can continue to support NCA?
  • ·      You can continue to collect Spanish books for the Library.  Every year in May we have access to a shipping container and can send the books down to the school.
  • ·      You can also support  building Capital Fund projects, the library and more through the Resourcing Christian Education website.  and select NCA Matagalpa Capital Projects  or NCA Matagalpa Library
  • ·      Support other missionaries who are serving at NCA Matagalpa

o   Nathan Sandahl and his family   Nathan is the Operations Manager at the school and  he and his family are a tremendous blessing to the community.
                       Missionary Ventures International

                                          P.O. Box 593550
                                          Orlando, FL 32859-3550

What is your greatest joy when you think about your time in Nicaragua?

The beautiful relationships that filled my life.   Relationships with dear people that became like family both Nicaraguan and members of the ex-pat community.   Also the relationship with the culture as I learned the idiosyncrasies of the day to day.

What Nicaraguan food do you miss?

I miss me some good ol' Gallo Pinto (red beans and rice).  I've made it a few times here and it is just not quite the same as Alba's Gallo Pinto back in Matagalpa.   

If you have more questions please feel free to email me and I'll add them to the list.  

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Writing on the Pages

The Writing on the Pages

Where does one begin when asked to sum up an 11 ½ year chapter of your life?  The answer is hard to put down into words.  I have been trying to write this update for the past 3 months.   Struggling to find words to adequately convey all that God has done, the growth I’ve experienced, relationships built and life-change experienced and witnessed through God’s hand seems an insurmountable task.   In the coming week I'll be posting some FAQ's  for you all too.  In the mean-time here goes....

The Nicaragua Chapter

Have you ever had a load like this guy?
To say that this journey has not been full of paradox would be far from the truth.  I can’t recount the number of times when faced with what seemed like impossible situations that could have left me feeling hopeless yet I was filled with unexplainable peace and confidence in God’s greater perspective of the situation.  That's not to say that I didn't have some freak out moments!  :-) These past four years serving at NCA Matagalpa have been rewarding and challenging in the deepest of ways.   As I reflect back I see so many little ways that God had been preparing me for the work that He would have me do in Matagalpa.    My interactions with Nicaraguan school teachers and school directors in churches that Christ For theCity partnered with in my early years in Nicaragua were just the beginning.  Those experiences helped me understand the struggle it is to find teachers who teach with their heart, and how difficult it is to say to parents behind on their school bill due to unemployment that they have to find a way to catch up so that you can have the funds to give their son’s teacher a paycheck.  The ability to comprehend the power of fear that drives Nicaraguans to only do precisely what their employer has directed them to do and no more for fear of losing their job and thus not being able to provide for their family.  All of this and more have opened my eyes to see what has led to such  lack of experience in critical problem solving and squelched creativity. 

These experiences and more have been God’s way of preparing me to partner with Nicaragua Christian Academy and open a new campus in Matagalpa and serve alongside a stellar team for the past few years.  Through applying my knowledge  and experience with the framework of  my Nicaraguan  coworkers we were able to address some of these hurdles from a different angle and achieve deeper levels of success and systemic change because WE collectively identified the “Why” before moving towards the “How” of making positive changes.   The school, staff, students and families are growing, collaborating by leaps and bounds and it makes my heart sing God's praises for all that He is doing at NCAM.

However nothing prepared me for the pain of saying good-bye to these special people that I have worked alongside for these past few years.   When your heart strings are tied in so closely to the people and the place God has placed you to serve the separation is painful. Leaving a place you love and truly felt called to is grief.

I feel so blessed to have been able to meet and work with so many incredible teachers, co-workers, students and parents and friends.   I sit here in awe and ask,  “God, who am I that you chose to use me?”.   The truth is I don’t have the answer but He rejoices in the growth, life, love and acceptance that has grown from me, a simple, broken vessel, that has been laid before Him during this chapter of my life. 

Isabella a 3rd grader and her Dad at their family's coffee farm
November and December were filled with busy schedules as I trained, explained and handed over lots of files to the new director Mr. Kynast and filled out the last evaluations, finalized our growth plans and had our last collaborative meetings with team members and began the process of saying good-bye to so many people that I love dearly.   Stepping into classrooms, hugging students that you’ve gone the extra mile for and having parents approach you with overwhelming hearts of gratitude filled the last weeks of classes.    Time was filled with tearful good-byes and walks down memory lane as we recounted so many precious memories of God’s overwhelming faithfulness together.   How do you say good-bye to a people and a place that has welcomed you in and allowed you to learn and grow with them for more than a decade?  The truth is you can’t.  You leave a piece of your heart with all of those people and places you loved and your heart grows bigger with all of the love and memories you carry with you as you leave the place you called home.  

“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
 Miriam Adeney

The Page Between

My focus since returning to the US has been setting aside time to rest and recover from a particularly busy season of life and re-center my life and energy in the One who made me.   When you are running 90 mph  every day from sun up to sun down and a little beyond you don’t stop long enough to realize just how tired your mind and body really are.   Long, quiet days have been wonderful to enjoy  time alone with God and slow my brain down to a healthier rhythm with  fewer distractions.   I spent a week in the Colorado mountains at the Potter’s Inn for an intensive time of  rest and reflection.   I felt as though God had been preparing my heart and mind to glean so much from this one-on-one time with a spiritual director.   Recognizing some unhealthy habits that I’ve developed as I have found my identity in what I do rather than who God has made me to be and I've begun taking active steps to find my fulfillment in who He has made me to be.  
Fredssy doing a science experiment

Fast forward three months and here I sit writing this update in Greenville, South Carolina.   God has provided for me in amazing ways as I was able to spend some quality time with my family in Colorado and Kansas as well as see some dear friends along the way as I headed out East.   After 4 weeks of  getting the lay of the land in Greenville my head is still spinning.   I guess the easiest way to explain this is that I’ve moved to a new country.  Sure the US is my passport country but it has changed a lot and so have I over the years.  Similar to when I moved to Nicaragua  I  have to learn the customs and culture of this “New Country”.  While it may not be as technical of a transition as my move to Nicaragua in 2004 the reality is that it is just as full of uncomfortable cultural mishaps, language miscommunication, new friendships, adventures and emotional roller coaster rides as a cross-cultural move.

Students making a playhouse for the elementary
The New Chapter

The new chapter of my journey is just beginning as I go through the process of getting connected on a deeper level with new people and get a pulse on where I am being called to serve and live here in Greenville.

Despite the overwhelming number of choices and decisions I encounter at every turn I  have seen some pretty cool provision from God in unique ways.  A former missionary family has graciously let me stay in their garage apartment while I get settled. God provided an awesome car and some super knowledgeable people to go with me to check  it out and make sure that the vehicle passed the test.  Then I’ve met some other people who are just super connected to service opportunities in the community  that I am really excited to get to know more in the coming months.   He even provided a camping opportunity that  filled a need to be outside in nature with a cool new family that I met at church.   He also provided a job to work as an administrative assistant at a circuit board repair company while I get my feet underneath me this year.  Connections are in the works in many ways but as with all good things they take time.   We serve a mighty King who is worthy of all praise in  struggle and in triumph.

So I close with some lyrics of a new song I just learned from  Elevation Worship called Only KingForever

What do we have to bring
This is our offering, our hearts before
The risen Lord
All power in Your Name
Jesus the one who saves, be lifted high
Our song will rise

Oh great and mighty King
You reign in majesty
Before Your throne we sing
Holy holy
Oh great and mighty King
For all eternity
We bow with heaven and sing
Holy holy

What do I have to bring to Him in this new chapter?   My heart, broken open for others in service to the King.   May He reign in majesty!  Thank you all for joining me on this journey.  I am eternally grateful for your partnership in so many ways.

Join me in praying

  •            A roommate and housing by the end of May
  •       Cultural re-entry
  •       The grieving process of missing my home (Nicaragua)   
  •       New Friends and Community     
  •       Unity for the NCA Matagalpa Team as they continue to grow   
  •       Wisdom in the journey ahead
  •       Balance for the new Director as he learns the ropes and settles in to his new                         community

  •      Continued professional development opportunities and coaching for the NCAM staff        and that they would continue to rise up and teach others what they know. 
  • Part of my Nicaraguan Missionary family.  Dear, dear friends!

Some of our AMAZING staff!!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Seasons of Change

 “The reality of God’s presence is not dependent on any place, but only dependent upon the determination to set the Lord always before us.”               

- Oswald Chambers

Seasons  of Change

We all experience different seasons of change in our lives.   Right now the weather in the US is transitioning from Summer to Fall.  The rhythm of the earths changes bring the sense of a slow and steady march towards the changes ahead.  Almost unseen to us the plants and trees little by little are preparing themselves for a season of rest as the Winter cold envelops the earth.   Our lives march onward with this same cadence.  

During the past year I have been praying  for wisdom and direction in my life.  God has revealed an upcoming change.   As I have prayed and sought counsel from mentors and  pastors  I am preparing for my own season of change.    In early January  2016 I will be packing my suitcases once more, turning in my residence card in Nicaragua and taking up residence in the United States.   When I first packed my suitcases in 2004 to move to this lovely land of lakes and volcanoes that has become my home I never imagined that I would be here for more than 11 years.   The thought of leaving is bittersweet.  The people, culture and community that I have been a part of here have really become home.

Whats Next
In January I will head to Colorado and Kansas to spend some time reconnecting with my family.  I will participate in some re-entry counseling for missionaries leaving the field and returning to their passport country.  Then, in February Ill head to Greenville, South Carolina.   There is a terrific church, lots of friends and a community that has walked this Nicaragua journey with me waiting  to accompany me as I weather this next season.   There are many details that are still unknown.  However, I do know that just as God took care of all of the details when I moved to Nicaragua eleven years ago I know that He holds the future in His hands and that His plans for me are good.  You can pray for me as I seek Gods direction for these next steps.   Above all,  I am thankful for the peace that God has granted in this decision.   I may not know the details but I know the God who holds them all and there is tremendous peace in that.

What will happen at NCA?
So glad that you asked!   In May of this year a new director was hired to assume the leadership if NCA Matagalpa.  Greg and his wife Grace will be arriving in Nicaragua in November to begin settling into their new home and learn the ropes.    God has provided in a miraculous way for the NCA community.   Greg was the director at NCA in Managua and was the person who hired me as the first grade teacher there 12 years ago.   Gregs heart for relationship with students, parents and teachers is remarkable.   I feel so blessed because I feel like God  paid special attention to some of the specific details of my prayers and has provided the right man to continue to lead and direct  NCA with a heart of service and dedication to God first and then to others.  

The honest truth is that God has blessed NCA beyond measure and He will continue to grow the school, the teachers and the community in remarkable ways weather I am a part of it or not.   The foundation is firmly set on Gods Word and the commitment flows from both  teachers and parents.   I feel so privileged to have been a part of the first chapters of the schools development and I look forward with great anticipation to the fruit that our labors will bear in the next generation of leaders and professionals in Matagalpa.

How to Support  Me in this Transition
First of all thank you!   Thank you! I would not still be here 11 years later if it were not for all of those who have faithfully given and prayed for me and the ministries that I have served alongside.   I still need your support and prayers in this next season of transition.   I will need full financial support through June of 2016.   As you can imagine there are lots of details to work through in moving back to the US and I know that I need a little time of rest and reflection before jumping right into a new job and responsibilities.

Wisdom from those who have gone before me in the transition to life in the USA says that I will need time.   Time to process life and the end of a long chapter of service and testimony of Gods work both in and through me, time to adapt to and understand living in US culture once again.   And time to rest after an incredibly busy, stressful and life-changing season of ministry in Matagalpa.

So I ask if you have been a faithful financial supporter through the years to please stand in the gap with me through June of 2016 as I re-adjust to many, many new things and set up life again state-side.  Pray for Gods direction during this time of transition.  Please feel free to call, write and ask deep questions.

How to pray
·      Unity for the NCA staff, parents and students as we all continue to move forward in mission and vision
·      Peace for all of us in the middle of transition
·      Wisdom as I seek Gods direction for the next steps (job, where to live, etc)
·      Continued financial provision in this season of transition
·      Sweet times of reflection and closure as I finish out these last 3 months in Nicaragua
·      Patience in the process of re-entry

As believers we know that our plans are not ours but God asks us to trust Him with our future, our desires and our talents.   With total confidence I am stepping forward into this new season knowing that the same God who led me to live and serve in Nicaragua will go with me as I return to the States.  I have no idea of the opportunities and future adventures the Lord will orchestrate.  I have no doubt that God will use the skills and abilities that he has been developing in me to expand His kingdom.   Thank you for being a vital part of what God is doing.

In His Service,


Sunday, March 22, 2015


Mauricio with the robot he designed
New School Year, New Staff, New Students, New Goals and above all JOY!

New Opportunities

We've done it once more... we've grown.   Our student body has grown from 144 last year to 207 at the start of the 2015 school year.   Yeah!  We are celebrating with the many new families that are joining the NCA family.   They have already jumped in and started getting involved in all sorts of different ways.  It is a joy to see both new and old working together to make the NCA community theirs.

New Roles

Two Kindergarteners waiting for their parents to pick
them up delighted me with their little reading voices
I am so thankful for some of the new roles that are being filled at school.   As we all know starting new things requires a few people to wear many hats until finances and experience come along and you are able to pass those hats/ roles along to others.   I'm delighted to have Annel, the sub-director moving out of the classroom and into the office full time.  She has been a tremendous help in managing all of the discipline and logistics of our secondary classes.   Consistency has been our focus this year in school wide procedures and expectations.

New Staff

Parent teacher conferences for secondary
Capturing the vision and mission of NCA is exciting and we are blessed to see God's hand of provision in 10 new staff joining us this year.  Join us in praying for them as they live and learn so many new things in the next few months

Nora- school counselor
David- Tech consultant
Martha- 2nd grade
Norlan- 3rd grade
Vilma- 4th grade
Freddy- HS Science
Yolanda- HS vocational classes
Felicia- Elem. English
Samantha- HS. English
Ulises- PE Assistant
Martha excited for our Celebration time

   New Goals

Do you notice something different here?
Consistency:  As I shared earlier  our focus this year is being consistent in our school-wide procedures and with discipline.   We are already seeing positive results from our efforts and that is very motivating.   However as we all know consistency is not something that you accomplish in one day but rather something you come back to every day all year long.   The importance of consistency
is paramount when setting high standards for what is expected both academically and behaviorally.   There is danger that comes from inconsistency.  This picture is a stop sign here in Matagalpa at a pretty major intersection.  There are three of them placed around town.   At first we thought that they were a joke put up by someone in town because it was not consistent with the international requirements for a stop-sign.  People ran the stop sign and did not respect as being placed by the local transportation office.  This stop sign is a perfect illustration of what can happen when we are not consistent.  Pray for the NCA Matagalpa staff, students and parents to strive for consistency.

New Home

In December my roommate Elisabeth moved out of my downtown apartment.  I was able to stay in the apartment for a few more months and God has miraculously provided a great place on the outskirts of town.   It has only been 3 weeks but I am loving watching the sunset from my porch.   God has provided in a wonderful way and I am so thankful for a calm, quiet place to call home here in Matagalpa.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

O Come Let Us Adore Him

O Come Let Us Adore Him

For you alone are worthy!

Wow!  This year has been full of many ups and downs!   Celebrations and struggles and through it all He ALONE is worthy.

Recently NCA Matagalpa held its first Christmas concert.  It was a night filled with joyful singing, beautiful recorders accompanying choruses of students artfully telling the story of Christmas.   The night concluded with the classic Christmas carol   O Come All Ye Faithful  or Venid Adoremos in Spanish.     I was overcome with reverence for our King as I sang the words surrounded by students, parents, and the staff of NCA.

I don't stop often enough to  bow in worship of the One who is Faithful, the One who is triumphant, the One to whom all glory belongs.    In an attempt to recap just a bit of this year and to recognize the One who has been and forever will be Faithful I bring this humble offering.

O come let us adore Him
O come let us adore Him
   through great growth in numbers and in unity at NCA this year
O come let us adore Him
   on the days when the road seemed so long and hard yet I was not alone
O come let us adore Him
   through the trials of trusting Him for the answer in His perfect timing
O come let us adore Him
   in joy as I am  reminded of His call on my life to serve where He has placed me

O come let us adore Him
   as students who have struggled with learning and behavior begin to feel that they have an important    place in our NCA family and begin to see that they can learn and overcome bad habits
O come let us adore Him
   when relationships are broken and can only be restored by the grace and humility of submitting it        all to Him who has made restoration possible.
O come let us adore Him
   for the opportunity to run and play ultimate frisbee with community in Matagalpa
O come let us adore Him
   when conversations are difficult but can only lead to growth and greater trust
O come let us adore Him
   for the opportunity to travel to Milwaukee and see great teachers and administrators in action and        be reminded of why I love teaching
O come let us adore Him  
   seeing my sisters become great, loving moms to their energetic, full of life boys
O come let us adore Him
   timely visits and conversations with friends and family that reminded me who I am and that God is    asking much because He wants to give much
O come let us adore Him
   watching teachers grow in confidence, creativity, and their love and knowledge of the Word                through a Biblical worldview

O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Stars on our staff
Custodians, guards and IT 

We are made for community.    God designed us to live life with others in it... not a life of self-sufficiency and solitude.    This is a reminder that God so graciously gives me every once in a while to remind me that I can not do it all on my own.   "Share the load." He says.  "Cast your cares on me and I'll help you."

Elementary World Cup Winners!
This month we have been working on trying to develop a strategic growth plan for NCA Matagalpa.   This has involved some time for reflection on what are our values as a school and what are the things that we don't want to change in our school community whether we stay the same size or grow to 500 students.

Due to our large growth spurt this year I was curious what our student and staff value about our community at NCA.   I sent out a little survey to our staff and students this week and I was encouraged by the things that stand out to them as important and valuable to our school community.

Here are some of their responses:

  • Devotion times 
  • Respect for the opinions of everyone
  • Organization
  • Trust
  • Strong sense of family
  • Genuine interest in helping us succeed
  • The variety in the staff and students
  • English

There are so many things to be thankful for with these responses.   Our students and staff are growing into a community of grace.    A community where we recognize the need to love, encourage  and live life together.   We are in no way perfect in this but we are in the beginning phase of building this community and by God's grace and sovereign design we are  valuing the important things.

7th grade Girls World Cup Winners
As we look forward and pray for the growth and development of our students, staff and parents we ask for your  prayer support.   This a challenging journey for us at times and we are anxious to see and know God more with each step.