Friday, January 10

Debes Casarte Aqui

During our vacation I spent a day with friends from the office exploring places around Managua. This is a lagoon (Laguna de Apoyo) which formed within a volcanic crater. 

Sooo.... I officially have 22 days left in this country with which I have fallen in love. I want to clarify- I mean I am in love with Nicaragua; not in love with someone specifically from Nicaragua. I feel like I need to clarify because as people have asked me how much time I have left in Nica and I answer them, many, many people respond  with, "Debes casarte aqui." (You should get married here.) Throughout my time in Nicaragua this has been a constant word of advice given to me, however, the number of times I have heard the joke about getting married has increased dramatically in these past few days. hahaha. Most of the time I respond with either oy! Tengo que buscar a alguien ahorita/ Ah! I have to find someone right now or Si... que lastima, verdad?/Ya.... what a shame, right?

I can only take these silly comments as a form of love and I understand; a large part of me wishes I could stay in Nicaragua, but I am embracing and journeying along with the guidelines of my Mission Intern program with the United Methodist Church. I completed my 1-1/2 years serving in Nicaragua and now it is time to return to serve in my home country for 1-1/2 years, as well.

My new placement site is in Hayesville, North Carolina at the Hinton Center. You can find out more about it here. My official job title is Assistant to Housing Ministries. The Hinton Center acts a retreat space for many churches and groups, but it also has several ministries and outreaches beyond being a place of refuge. The Hinton Center works to empower and support small local congregations, provides fire word to local residents, receives church groups who work with local community members on home repairs and small projects, and much more. A big part of my role will be making connections with community members & visiting people in their homes, working on publicity & social media, and everyday office tasks. 

It sounds like a wonderful job. Truly. I will admit though, the first thing I questioned was "where my Latinos at?" I definitely have a passion for working with Spanish speakers and am interested in many of the issues which face many people in our Spanish speaking populations in the United States. Also, I have some awesome experience regarding those issues....There may be a few connections I can make in Hayesville, but this job will not be working directly with immigrant students or helping to improve problems Latino Americans face everyday. I will work with a people who live in a different kind of poverty than that I have seen in Nicaragua.

However, the point of my Mission Intern program is not for us all to get our dream jobs or exactly what we want to do. The purpose is to serve humbly and willingly wherever we may be called to work. It will be a 1-1/2 living in solidarity with people who live in rural North Carolina, listening to God, and learning more & more about others and myself. The fact I will have my own apartment with air conditioning, carpet, TV, internet, etc... I'm like WHAT?! 

It will be interesting to live not only in North Carolina but in the United States in general again. I will admit I am a little bit scared and anxious. It does make it a little easier when I realize that in February I get to give my family a big giant hug.

May you Experience God's Grace & Peace,