Well the day we all knew was inevitably coming finally arrived. Before we even left on mission for Nicaragua we had a session during our training preparing us for our return to the States. At first, it may not seem a big deal, but transitioning back to “normal” life can be a difficult transition. I always remind our team that Satan would love to steal, kill or destroy the good work that God did in and through us. For many, this was a mountaintop experience – we had unhurried time in God’s presence, we were unplugged from the world and God moved in a powerful way at our Ruby prayer time. It can often seem a bit daunting to re-integrate knowing that any struggles, relational tension, temptations and often spiritual warfare awaits.
But we hold strong to Philippians 1:6 that, “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to bring it to completion.” God doesn’t leave us on our own. We are trusting that the same Holy Spirit that was present for us in Nicaragua is most definitely present with us here in the States. And we stand strong knowing that “greater is He who is in us, than He who is in the world.”
Our day in Nicaragua started in the usual manner. We had our breakfast followed by morning team time. I asked our students to step-up and lead this time. I was so encouraged hearing a student each morning open up God’s Word and lead us in a brief devotional time.
We then had some time to pack our personal bags and then unpack all the remaining donated flip flops. They will continue to be distributed by the Buzbees at multiple locations where they do ministry in Nicaragua: Casa Havilah (the girls’ rescue home), Casa Robles (the boys’ rescue home), Club Esperanza (the new ministry center for the children of La Chureca) and at Ruby Ranch (serving the children of Las Parcelas). We were so honored to have Craft Hope partner with our mission and receive hundreds of boxes of donated flip flops from around the world!
About mid-morning, it was time to say our goodbyes. After some tears and hugs to the Buzbee clan, their staff and Katie P. who will still be there with her team, we loaded the bus to head to the airport. God was good to delay our flight a bit as we were running behind. But we arrived and had a brief time to relax in the Managua airport before our departure. Reality was definitely setting in.
I was so encouraged to see our team engaging with those God put in our path. From other mission teams in the airport to the other passengers we were sitting by. I overheard many Gospel conversations about why we were in Nicaragua and why Christ’s love compels us to go.
Arrival in Miami was smooth with no problems through immigration or customs. Most of our team then made a beeline for some “American” food at TGI Fridays. It was the first time my stomach hurt… must be something to eating Gallo Pinto everyday.
We arrived in Tallahassee to smiling faces, cheers and a banner welcoming us back. It’s good to be home. Despite feelings of wanting to still be in Nicaragua, we know that God has work for us here in Tallyland… because the mission never ends!