We first shared the news of the recent changes with our existing donors and prayer supporters of FIT Nicaragua. Shortly after sending out that message, we received a one-time donation of $5000. At first I thought it must be a mistake! (I even wrote to the donor and asked.) But it wasn’t… And what we can do with it is nothing short of miraculous!
I’ve already mentioned we’re leaving our 12-passenger van to be used by the ministry. Specifically, we were planning to let families hire a driver for this van, reducing their overall transportation costs.
But with this one donation, we are able to hire a driver full-time for an entire year and perform some needed maintenance! This accomplishes two key goals:
- Adopting families living in or near the apartment complex where our missionary is housed will have access to a driver and air-conditioned full-size van, as needed. They will only pay a nominal amount to contribute to a repair-fund, plus gas. For families that have been averaging $500 – 800/month in transportation costs, this is a HUGE savings, not to mention the fact that they will be able to get out way more often!
- A Nicaraguan family currently struggling to make ends meet will be guaranteed a steady income — and benefits! — for at least 12 months! When our driver isn’t actually driving, we will be investing in his future with English classes. (It is our hope that additional donations will come through next year, to allow us to continue his employment the second year.)
We were absolutely blown away by this gift, and what we can accomplish when we work together. This one donation will not only significantly impact adopting families, but change the lives of a family of four for an entire year. Absolutely amazing.
But the story doesn’t end there.
When we first found out about this gift, the adopting families currently in Nicaragua asked if we could hire the driver immediately. While we wanted to, this van is currently our family’s only source of transportation. If we gave it to the adopting families now (instead of in January, after we’ve moved back to the U.S.), we wouldn’t have any way to get ourselves around.
So when the families asked, we had to say no. We just didn’t see any way to make it happen now.
Later that same day, our ministry partner called to ask again if there was any way we could hire the driver now and make the van available to the families. The driver can obviously really benefit from the full-time work, he explained, and the families need transportation now.
I will admit I was pretty frustrated at the same question being posed to me multiple times. I told him, “No, I already told the families this was not possible. They will have to hire taxis now, because we don’t have another vehicle.” He pressed further, even suggesting his family could carpool with mine if we gave the van to the adopting families now. (He is a natural salesman, so you can imagine how persuasive he might be.)
At this point, I was ready to be done with the conversation. “Listen,” I said. “It is impossible to hire the driver right now. It is impossible for the families to have access to the van right now. I’m sorry. But that is just the way it is.”
The next morning, I went to breakfast with a friend who was preparing to move back to the States. I asked her if she was selling everything. “Yes,” she told me. “All except the car we’re leaving with you guys.”
After a few back-and-forths (and talking to our husbands), we realized there had been a slight miscommunication that caused the confusion. Regardless, the point was that these departing missionaries were leaving their vehicle for us to use until we return to the States in December.
I sat there laughing in amazement, thinking, “Really, God? You love to prove me wrong, don’t you? You couldn’t let it be impossible even for 24 hours?”
Nothing is impossible with God.
Today is the first day of full-time employment for our driver. And, because we are providing benefits, he and his kids will finally have access to medical care. This morning, he is helping move a family from one apartment to another, and then taking another family to a weekly therapy appointment in the afternoon.
It’s a great day… and it’s also a day I thought was completely impossible.
I’m so glad I am not the one deciding what is possible and what isn’t!
[From left: me, our driver, and our national ministry partner]
As you can see, your financial support goes a long way toward making life-long changes in Nicaragua. We need the gifts of generous donors in the States to help us meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of families traveling to Nicaragua to adopt orphans. We are currently 75% to our goal of funding a missionary whose primary job is to help meet those needs. We only need $605 more in monthly support. Please consider helping us reach that goal, so our Nicaragua team can switch gears from raising monthly support to just serving these families.