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.