I woke up this morning thinking today was going to be a relatively restful day, a break between a busy yesterday, and a full tomorrow. And, while it wasn’t what I was originally thinking, it totally was…
Just as I was about to start making breakfast, we heard someone come up to the house (people don’t knock here in Waspam. Instead, they wait about four yards from the door and shout “Buenas”, a greeting to let you know they’ve come to see you). We opened the door, and it was Cleveland! This young man is new to Waspam, but he and his wife, Anna, have made a deep connection with the Keoghs. After looking high and low for work in the area, and finding none, Cleveland decided to start a bread-making business; his mother ran a little bakery throughout his childhood, so kneading dough is second nature to him. Anna just found out she is pregnant, so the sooner the business gets going, the better. Cleveland had stopped by to deliver some bread we had ordered earlier, his brother and business partner, Henry, joining him after finishing his deliver rounds.
They started to share their stories with us, and I soon saw that despite Cleveland’s mere 23 years, and Henry’s 22, these brothers are what we’d call “old souls”. They have seen much hardship in life, both from tragic circumstances and their own choices. But what astounded me the most is that despite all the tragedy and heartbreak these brothers have seen, their love for the Lord is natural, authentic and vibrant. You can see it in their faces, hear it in their Creole voices. (Here in Nicaragua, “Creole” is a form of Pidgin English, spoken in areas south of Waspam, that sounds kind of Caribbean. These boys grew up speaking it.)
As the brothers shared their struggles in finding work, being taken advantage of by manipulative employers, and falling in love with the wrong girls, Tom was able to link their pain and cries of injustice with Biblical truth. A beautiful scene. As he shared, you could see the relief on their faces; they kept saying, “Dat iz troot, raieet dea!” (“Wow, that’s true!”) as they saw how God’s Word confirmed their inner convictions. What a privilege to witness cross-cultural discipleship in action!
We seamlessly transitioned from reading the Word to praising God for His goodness, and spent the next 2+ hours sharing songs with each other. Many were written by Cleveland and Henry themselves, and a few we all knew. No one wanted to leave, for God’s sweet presence was felt by all in the room.
These young boys love the Lord with all their hearts, as they have since childhood. Pray with me that they would have a desire to sink into God’s Word; a passionate, everyday faith can only grow exponentially when given the meat of God’s truth to sustain it. And pray for this Saturday; we’re going over to their house this time (and I’m super excited). Pray that God will protect this time (it’s so easy for other things to come up here), and that He will give us His eyes to see, His ears to hear how to encourage this young family closer to Jesus and to live more and more like Him.
God, in His amazing sovereignty, knew that a morning spent encouraging and being encouraged by believers my own age would be so much more refreshing than one spent alone “relaxing”. And I shall never forget this morning. Thank You, Jesus.