The dark of winter is upon us and the shadow of COVID continues to grow with extended travel restrictions, lockdowns, curfews and more across Canada. In all this darkness I take heart that the light is shining brightly at Skylark this month! As I write this a group of youth from various churches in Nicaragua are gathered for several days of training, encouragement, worship and fun as they are challenged to be luminaries in their world, shining the light of Jesus faithfully. For several Januaries I have been on site to witness firsthand the energy, passion and commitment of the youth who attend these conferences. I really miss not being able to be there this year.In previous years the church partner in the USA has sent some of their leaders to do the training but of course that is not possible this year. But that has not stopped this amazing church from training and partnering with Nicaraguan leaders to run the conferences, supported by their generous financial donations. Lives are being impacted, youth equipped, leaders trained even when the short-term team can’t be on the ground. For this I give thanks to God knowing that nothing, not even COVID can separate us from God’s love.
Resilient: A word that often comes to my mind as I think of the wonderful people of Nicaragua. They have a long history of resilience. In the last three years they have weathered civil unrest, a pandemic, two massive hurricanes, and are now bracing for a new COVID wave. They weather each storm and just don’t give up.
As the leader of a mission largely built on short-term missions from Canada and the USA, trips that are now largely impossible and unlikely for the near future, I know that resilience is essential. We have been pivoting our operations and our financial plans to reflect the new reality. Our amazing team has worked and prayed hard to enable us to not just survive but to also extend our impact in the mission God has called us to. Our upcoming Annual Report and our web site are filled with stories of how people have renewed health, new opportunities to support their families, new communication skills, a great head start to school, and a deeper understanding of God’s love for us in Jesus. I am humbled by the amazing support of our generous individual and church donors who keep us going by the grace of God. Thank you, gracias; dios te bendiga; may God bless you.