We’re kind of adventure junkies. Our family loves everything about the outdoors. We love to travel and experience new places and meet new people. Over the years we've enjoyed many amazing adventures at the ocean and the mountains in our home state of Oregon. We had never really thought of living anywhere else until we visited Nicaragua in April of 2016. We returned home with a longing in our hearts to go back and help build a 500 acre piece of property called Ruby Ranch into an adventure camp for Nicaragua’s poorest children.
It's beautiful how God has a way of stirring our hearts. How he uses connections and gifts and dreams and weaves them all together for his purposes. He has a way of pushing us out of our comfortable places and into new things. For us that is Nicaragua.
While we were praying about jumping into the deep end of this new adventure, we began to share what God was putting on our hearts with a few friends. Most thought we were crazy to even think about moving our family to Nicaragua, but a few responded with things like, "Somehow I'm not surprised. You guys were made for this!" God kept reminding us of words that he had spoken to our hearts a few years before. Words like these... "Perhaps you have been created for such a time as this." (Esther 4:14) and these...
We knew that we had a choice to make. We knew God was asking us to step out even before every detail was known, to risk the ocean and say yes to this something new that he was stirring up in us. We knew that saying yes meant closing a business that we had spent ten years building. It meant completely uprooting our family from all that was familiar. And honestly, from the outside it did seem completely crazy. But we knew that we had to take the step and trust that God was going before us. We sold our house and most of our belongings and we are now living in Managua, Nicaragua. We're working with Open Hearts Ministries to build Ruby Ranch into an incredible wilderness adventure camp for children who live their everyday in poverty. We are so excited to be a part of this beautiful, life-changing project.
It hasn't been easy. Learning a new culture and language has been hard. Leaving behind our family and friends has been the hardest. It has been such a crazy mix of beauty and challenges. But we are daily clinging tightly to our faithful God and His promises and the knowing that He has called us here. To help build Ruby Ranch and to love and serve those around us here in Nicaragua. We have a feeling that this is only the beginning of saying yes and following God into even deeper waters.
And the really beautiful thing?
It feels as if He has been preparing our hearts for this adventure for a really long time.