You know that friend that you haven’t talked to in ages and because it has been so incredibly long since you've spoken you keep waiting longer because if you'd make that call now it would be a long one and you just cant squeeze the time in. Well that is what has happened with this blog. Since moving to Nicaragua the pace of our Gomez world has catapulted and the idea of attempting to capture even a glimpse into it to tell our faithful readers and supporters of our transition has been nothing less than overwhelming to me.
So this is how i begin, with my deepest and sincerest apologies for waiting this long to give an update. And I might as well apologize for the length of this post as it is with that friend, it will be lengthy. It is definitely not for the faint of heart to move to a new country with 2 littles- new country, new culture, new language, new friends, new foods, new home….well you get the idea. The task of having to settle into our place and purchase literally everything from hangers to furniture to appliances, cookware, food, supplies all while toting the kids, negotiating prices and discovering our new city has been staggering. I have done many moves in my lifetime but none come have close to the enormity of this one. Nothing really could have prepared me. This comes on top of feeling like our lives had been in “transition” since August, with the packing and selling of our stuff in Florida right to WI where we traveled more, lived out of suitcases, condensed even more of our stuff and prepped for the move. Many times Alvaro and I talk about how we just want to breathe and slow down. And we will. This is all part of it, right?!
The part of the LEARNING CURVE. The part where we win some and loose some, the part where we stand and fall, the part where we discover harmony and we experience chaos, the part where we lean into Him.
I’m definitely not a psychology major but when I saw this diagram before we left for Nicaragua I held onto it to see if it would attest to what I’d feel. It had already been correct on so many levels. As the difficulty of saying goodbyes both in Florida and Wisconsin with family and friends brought disorientation along with closure. The ‘neutral’ zone of being in Wisconsin brought me anxiety and a little emptiness as I tried to prepare my heart, emotions and mind for the move ahead. Fast forward to this last week of 2016 that we are in and I can say I’m at reorientation. But it doesn’t look quite like an orderly, tidy graph it resembles more ‘all over the place’ emotions and expressions. And thats normal. Thats ok. It’s part of the LEARNING CURVE.
It’s part of the LETTING GO that I’m learning. Nicaragua definitely doesn’t run on our kind of timing. It doesn’t have the ease of Target, Home Depot or for that matter even Amazon. Many days we are found running to and fro and at the end of the day asking what happened today? Truth be told we are still living out of suitcases 2 months later because of the overwhelming task of trying to figure out where to put our things and how to organize. Things normally in the US I would be possibly frantic over I’m learning to just let go. In the midst of hosting and having people over the ‘Sarah in the US’ would be desperate to have all spaces clean and presentable BEFORE people arrive, people here don’t need invites and so I have learned to let go of the sink of dishes, the horribly dirty bathroom and the clutter everywhere. Just 2 weeks ago we got a table and now have somewhere to eat which is an amazing victory! And so I celebrate these wins and let go of what I now consider petty things. Embracing this new culture, this new season, this new beginning.
That leads me into the updating part! With all this said God has been faithful in all things. He is constant and trustworthy, He is patient with our learning curves. He remains the same in our shifting environments and continues to amaze me with His tenderness.
We have a wonderful home to be able to open to others, we have a reliable truck to transport many people, we have had the incredible opportunity to watch Bella and Dominic acclimate and immerse themselves right into this world. We have seen God do awesome things in just 2 months, to be honest more than Alvaro and I even imagined would transpire this quickly. The people of Esteli, Nicaragua are in need of His love just as much as every other city in this world. We count ourselves privileged to be able to be here in this season to be His hands and feet.
The two things we envisioned as part of The Table Network to see progress here, FREEDOM and FAMILY are outplaying in front of our eyes. We get a front row seat at how God is at work. When we arrived in November there was a group of about 8 young adults dreaming of what could be done in this city. As of last week there were 42 young adults/college aged in our home. Our agenda and goal is to simply love on them as they step into our home, to listen to their stories, their hurts and their hangups. To provide a place where there is no judgement or pressure, a place to belong. And the comments coming from young adults who have contemplated suicide, been in drugs, live in broken homes is not something ‘we’ can produce but truly only from Him whose mission this really is. Some commenting they feel more love after spending a couple hours in our home than they do at home, others saying the hope and sense of belonging makes them want to come back. Some even crying in the midst of breaking into smaller groups as they open up or share their past. A majority of them with church backgrounds coming with the belief that they need to earn their salvation or still be good enough to come to Jesus.
I saw a quote this week and I’m not sure the actual author of it but it resonated with me. “I believe that discipleship is just a big word for walking with people towards Jesus.” With the growth of the young adult group we began a night for those who wanted a bit deeper discipleship or understanding and have begun the book “The Gospel Centered Life” with them. Just 2 weeks ago we had the first night and 16 showed up. Our hearts are to meet people where they are at, right in the middle of their questions, their frustrations and even their joys and to walk alongside of them.
In the midst of this we see the bigger picture and the incredible need in Nicaragua of training and equipping other leaders and pastors as well. So while we rejoice in the things God is doing in our home locally in this city of Esteli we dream of what it will look like for a gospel-centered saturation throughout this country of Nicaragua as well as the entity of Central America. Alvaro has done a couple of trips already with connections we have already established in various cities and more scheduled in the following weeks.
None of these things would be possible without the faithfulness of those of you praying for our family here in Nicaragua. We wouldn’t be able to walk this dream out if it wasn’t for the amazing support that many of you have provided. To be honest we aren’t sure what 2017 holds, with the rate of this group growing we’d love to see it eventually move into a bigger space in the central heart of Esteli. We would welcome anyone who would want to know more about our ministry, give a one-time gift, monthly support or possibly even make a visit!
In the next week I hope to add pictures and some video on this blog of the first 2 months here - as always you can follow us on Facebook or Instagram as well. Thank you so much for not just believing in us but for allowing us to be here with your generosity. We wish everyone an amazing New Year!