With my son, Jasper, and a team of nine from Antioch, I woke up this morning in Managua. It rained a good bit during the night (and has been raining every day). It is the rainy season, but I guess the current frequency of rain is unusual for this, the western and drier part of the country (weather comes mostly east-to-west in Nicaragua).
I woke up early to the sound of bird calls, some familiar and some new. Great-tailed Grackles are common here, and obvious, and the next bird I identified was a Social Flycatcher. Parrots, parakeets, doves, and pigeons are numerous, but I haven’t had time to identify any to species yet. There’s a smallish hummingbird just outside the window, and a family of what I take to be ant-wrens foraging under the garden trees.
The goal of our week is to learn about how God is working here in Nicaragua. We'll hope to serve a bit, with a ministry called House of Hope, which rescues girls from the prostitution that's ubiquitous in this country. We've already learned quite a bit about the Nehemiah Center, which promotes transformational development, a holistic, community-healing approach to missiology.
It's a great team I'm here with, and a privilege to be getting to know them. And our host family, the Loftsgards, are really special, and have made us feel like we're long-time members. In some respects, it's just a week carved out from the normal hum of my life, but in others it promises to be life-changing.