Today could be summed up with one word: kids! We were able to join with another team today from Maryland who planned a kids day from one of their partner churches in Managua. So we loaded up early on the bus and headed out to pick them up. It took our bus plus 2 others to transport over 100 kids and leaders out to Ruby Ranch. It was hard to describe the look on their faces when they stepped off the bus. It was a mixture of amazement, excitement and anticipation. And after a quick lay of the land and rules… they were off!
Horseback riding, bicycles, hiking, the sports court, the playground, trampolines occupied their (and our) time all morning long. Ruby Ranch is such a place of fun, but also a respite from every day life and struggle for these kids. To have open space to run and play is a great gift of God’s grace. I’m convinced that the universal language of love is fun – and boy, did we have some! We were exhausted by midday – just in time to grab some lunch with the kids. Everyone got a hot meal, but barely sat long enough to eat it all, before they were back up and having fun.
But then the time came that everyone had been eyeing all morning long… it was time to fire up the giant waterslide. After the safety speech it was a mad dash to the slide. Kid after kid came flying down to splash down into a pool of delight. We even got to participate in some of the fun.
At the end of the day, we all circled up and the had one of the sweetest moments as a handful of the kids stepped into the middle of the circle to say thanks. It was obvious this day meant a lot to each of them.
These were kids we had never worked with before, and despite some language challenges, it was amazing to make such fast friends. Saying ‘see you later’ is never fun and we most certainly had a hard time saying it. Each of us were profoundly impacted by the time we got to spend with the kids, but on a macro level, see the vision of Ruby Ranch – for which we have been a part of since the earliest years – come to fruition. Even though there is so much more work to be done and opportunities to be had at Ruby Ranch – God is most certainly using that place for His Kingdom purposes.
We returned for a typical evening of dinner and our team time of worship, Bible study and small groups. We are learning through how God shapes and matures us through journeys into the wilderness. Thanks for praying for us as we serve here in Nicaragua!