The best new exploration this month was a night hiking trip to Masaya Volcano and the bat caves. There are 30,000 bats (6 different species – including some vampire bats) that exit the caves each night.
Next, we went to look over the volcano. It was pitch black, the smoke was so thick, the smell was so strong, and we couldn’t see an edge or a road or anything, but we knew we were really, really close to the volcano, so we just had to trust our guide, Julio. We had to run to the edge from the vehicle and peek over the precipice (with no railing but a SINGLE old wood fence post). There were two holes where you could see the reflection of the lava. It was really neat and I wanted to stay and look at it, but my eyes, nose, throat, and lungs were burning every second, so I made a mad dash for the car. We all coughed for about 20 minutes afterwards!
Lessons & Learnings, Prayers & Praises
I had the privilege one weekend to attend a renewal retreat. We spent the day in prayer, fellowship, reflection, quiet, napping in a hammock, laughing, delicious food, and learning. I also got my hands on Earl Grey tea and restricted myself to a respectable four cups… Anyway, before going into the weekend I was armed with my intentions for the day, “Okay, Jesus.
We need to solve: a) this thunderstorm thing. Once or twice nightly is doing nothing good for my health, sleep, or mental state. I need you to let me know what we should do about this. b) These students of mine. You know all about them.” I was thoroughly drained. I had tried doing “relaxing” things each evening and making time to rest, but it was doing nothing for me. Well, a whole boatload of transformation happened for me on this “Jesus day.” It was amazing. None of the answers I wanted, but all the answers I needed. But, one of the most wonderful lessons was: rest is not restoration. I can rest, but if I am not resting in Jesus, I will never be restored, and the rest, too, will be temporary. Now, one of the other teachers and I have vowed to do one of these “Jesus Days” every other weekend. I always immensely look forward to them.
– Petition: Those storms. They have caused a lot of anxiety and two panic attacks.
– Petition: Residency. My residency has been denied several times. Now my Canadian documents are about to expire and I would have to restart the entire process. Right now I am in the country with an expired tourist visa, too. We are in the process of trying to obtain one more document, praying that this time will be successful.
– Praise: There is amazing work going on here. I have been thoroughly encouraged by short and long term missionaries alike.
Everyone has a very unique, grace-abounding story. I’ve had more of a chance to learn about many of the local projects and organizations and it’s just too hard to put into words other than “grace abounding stories!”
– Praise: Provision – exactly when we need it. This month has been challenging, and yet I am provided for in all ways exactly as I need it. Strength for the day, one day at a time.
Thinking of you all at home in your cool, wintery lives!