We live in a strange time indeed. Most people have stated, either comically or in all seriousness, that they wish that this year would be over and finished. Rebooted if you will. Between all the problems of the virus, the ensuing economic problems, and the general malaise of loneliness caused by social distancing, our lives seem to be in a constant state of flux and fear.
I want to tell you some good news. I want to share with you some of the positive things we have seen here in Granada.
Whatever the reasons there has been an upturn in requests for our classes. I am not sure whether more people have time on their hands or more people are getting tired of isolation and need something to occupy their minds, but this past week I have received dozens of new requests for our English classes.
I am trying to accommodate all the requests by the safest means possible. That means classes of one student separated by a several feet or by the technology afforded our modern culture. Xoom, Skype and Facebook messenger have become the new classrooms. They are no longer the means of education “in the future”, they are here, available, and utilized today.
One of my new students wants to learn English so that he can be more productive at his job at a local restaurant when it reopens. Another is vying for those ever elusive jobs at an English speaking call center. Yet another desires to prepare for a time in the hopefully near future when tourism will return to Nicaragua. One desires to study his Bible in English, comforted by the words of hope contained therein.
Each one with different motivations yet all united in the fact that this current crises will not stop them from improving. All believing that this will end and better days are ahead. All have hope.
I guess I spend a lot of time on that word. I am always drawn to the holy triumvirate of faith, hope and love. I know that each of my missives seem to focus on one of those three truths.
It is not that I have not had bad days, it is not that I don’t have moments that are difficult. It is solely that I choose to keep my eyes on the faith that sustains me, the hope that faith provides, and the love that faith compels me to show to others.
I first came here 5 years ago. I wasn’t sure what I would experience. I wasn’t certain what would come my way. But I was convinced that this is where I was supposed to be and these are the people I want to share my life with. I do not, even now in this torrent of uncertainty, believe that was a mistake.
In spite of the crisis, I see new opportunities every day for service. Every walk down the street opens up new doors. There is hope my friends. It is found in the faith we share and in the willingness to love those around us.
Do not lose heart. We will persevere.
I know that many people are motivated by challenges. The larger the obstacle the greater the satisfaction upon overcoming that hurdle. That is what I am feeling right now. As the barriers increase, the determination to vanquish them increases as well. That is because of hope.
I also want to share a prayer request. One of our partners here in Granada, the wife of a pastor, has been diagnosed with severe heart disease. She is a faithful servant and works tirelessly in feeding programs, clothing distribution, counseling, and the teaching of children. She is requesting our prayers. I hope you will join me in lifting her up to God for healing.
I pray that you are staying strong. I pray that you are persevering. I pray that you have not lost hope.
Dios los bendiga