A Year of Firsts

There are about 48 hours left before we take to the skies to make our way to the US for 7 weeks.    It is always such fun to count months and then weeks and finally, the days before our trip.   But as we reach these last few, the reality of even a temporary good-bye begins to sink in.

This year has been a year to remember.  It will go down in the books as a year full of firsts.

This year has also been a year of answered prayer.  Beyond the amazing way that God answered prayers for the ministry, God has been sweet to our children.   Our two oldest children have prayed for good Miskito friends, really good friends, for a long time.    This year was the year.

Aidan and Arlee decided to study Spanish at IVA.   This was a courageous move from my viewpoint. IVA begins at 7th grade - Arlee was in 5th grade at the time.  Aidan was in 8th, but certainly not at a 7th grade level in his Spanish.

The experience was unforgettable.  They did oral presentations, read newspaper articles, created projects in Spanish and took 4 challenging exams.   Both of them ended up with excellent grades.

BUT, more than this academic experience... my children deepened friendships.

When they entered through the gate that divides our personal property from the school property, they entered into the social aspect of IVA as well.     Barefoot soccer, rag-tag band practice, Miskito dancing groups, etc.  

Aidan & Arlee both love soccer.   They play with everything they have just like the Miskito kids... without shoes.    Both of them have recently broken toes, but this truly has not slowed them down.   Tomorrow, they will participate in a dance exposition - 5 girls and 5 boys from IVA doing traditional Miskito dancing.

In September, they both played drums in the band.   Neither of them had ever played a drum before, nor marched one step in a parade.   They were determined.

Aidan and Arlee do not see skin color,  they do not shy back from lack of language skills.  They are much more brave than their mama.   And much more compassionate.

Our trip to the US will be another adventure for these two and for our other three.   As we head out this time, we are intentionally focusing ourselves on time to regroup and find our bearings before burn-out sets in.   Burn-out doesn't mean that we didn't have a GREAT year.  It just means that we have reached the absolute end of ourselves and need some time to lean into God.

It has been a good year for our kids.   It will be a great trip for our kids.


Roger Engle said…
Love the blog post, Laura. We Engles will miss you all while you're in the states. We hope you get that recharge time you're hoping for. I can say from experience that it's sometimes more difficult to relax while in the states than it is while here in La Mosquitia. Be blessed and return safely.

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