Today, I am beginning a new study and this is what this first week is about - To Live Is Christ. Can you say that and really mean it? That is the question. Can I be like Paul and live for Christ, no matter what the cost? We often find ourselves saying, Lord show me your will for my life but.... What do you put at the end of that sentence? But don't ask me to get out of my comfort zone; but don't ask me to change jobs; but don't ask me to speak in front of large groups; but don't ask me to be bold in my faith and share the gospel with a perfect stranger; but don't ask me to move to a foreign country to be a missionary!
This week we have shared with friends and family on FaceBook about where we feel God is leading us in our ministry when we get out of language school. We feel that God is leading us to the North East side of Nicaragua to be able to start a hospital. Yep...I said it- a hospital. YIKES! That is so not what I planned on doing here. I spoke with a dear family friend last night about all this and she said this, "but I thought you already knew what you would be doing after language school. I thought there were two positions open to be missionaries there and you were just stepping into those positions." I told her that the way it works with our organization is that if you feel called to a certain country, like Nicaragua, then you go to language school in Costa Rica for a year or up to a year and then go to your country of service and begin your ministry (what you feel God has called you to do). Well we have done things a little different. We were the first ones to be approved to come straight to the country of service to do language school. Some missionary candidates know exactly what God has called them to do when they get there and some continue to have God reveal His plan to them during that first year. During the year of language school your focus is suppose to be solely on language school and not getting involved in ministries yet. This was the con that was brought up when we wanted to come straight here. It is so hard when people ask...."so what are you doing in ministry?" Well, we are going to language school. How "glamorous" is that to say to people. Well, at least that is not what they want to hear. People think you should be doing something else in addition to going to language school. But it is very taxing on your brain to be in a new country, learn a new culture and learn a new language much less begin to do ministry. But after a few months, we felt more at ease with our daily routines and began to do more in the area of ministry. We did not begin to help with leading bible studies and agriculture at the Emmanuel Home of Protection just to say we are doing something. We felt God leading us to help in these areas. We will continue to do these things until God tells us it is time to head North.
Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to meet with our field director, Darrel, to share with him what we felt God was calling us to do. (I remember him telling us even before we left and when we first got to Nicaragua , be open to what God has in store for you. I know you feel like God is calling you in a certain direction right now, remember it can change. Well he was correct.) Our meeting went well and he gave us his approval but reminded us that this would be a long road and lots of work. He advised us to do lots of research and then speak with Jason, President of BMDMI. On a side note let me say that Josh still feels lead to church plant and disciple but we feel like God is using this opportunity to open MANY doors to be able to do this. During the next few weeks and months we will have a lot to do. We will need to meet with Jason and then we are not sure of the process after that but think that it will have to go before the board as well. So be in prayer with us that God will open doors where they need to open and close doors where they need to close. Also prayer for discernment for Josh and I along the way. We don't want this to be a Josh and Laurie thing. We want to join God where He is already at work and if this is truly God's plan, that He will continue to reveal that to us. We will continue to do more research of the needs of the area and make new contacts. We will be traveling to remote areas and seeing the different areas. Thank you for your prayers.