Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What are you celebrating this year?

As the year comes to a close, Vida Joven of Central Managua is planning their Liderazgo NavideƱo (Christmas Leadership) and the question they asked each team/school/barrio to be prepared to answer is, "What are you celebrating this year?" and to me that questions is H-U-G-E.  This year has been one to be celebrated and I couldn't be more thankful.  Let's review:

January: Fully funded face - need I say more?

February: Moved to Costa Rica where my big adventure began. 

March: Was studying Spanish in language school and dreams came true: I HELD A TOUCAN!  I was also participating in Young Life and Wyld Life and even went on Service Project over spring break.  

April: My sister came to visit me in Costa Rica after I took a trip to Nicaragua with Ella.  We got to see the ministry in action and help out with a Vida Joven "growth camp" that weekend.  People that I know better now remember me from that weekend and have asked me, "Why were you so shy?!" haha

May: My full trimester of language school started and Young Life took a summer break.  I would say May was my month to celebrate my new friendships. 

June: MY BIRTHDAY!  Celebrating with my host family and friends on my actual birthday and then took a visa trip to Panama.  One of my favorite birthdays to date! 

July: While celebrating my favorite holiday from afar (4th of July that is), I participated on Work Crew for 4 days straight and loved every bit of it minus the 4:30 am wake up calls. 

Watermelon lolly pops to celebrate the 4th of July on the bus ride to camp. 

August: Graduated from language school and The BIG move!  I finally made it to Nicaragua! So much celebrate in August: A place to live with a great gringo family, a new to me car, jumping right into ministry, being a part of a great team, and on and on it goes.  

September: Was a little bit quieter than previous months but I think what I celebrate from September is getting into the swing of things with life in Nicaragua.  Hanging out with and getting to know these girls more is a huge celebration!  We also had a student leader retreat  (There are plenty more not pictured but we just haven't had that many photo ops together...yet!) 

October: I got the sweet opportunity to travel back to Costa Rica for a few days on my way to the Dominican Republic (tickets were cheaper from CR to DR than Nica to DR and it was a good excuse for a mini vacation).  I visited my host family :) and hung out with friends and read books while it rained outside - just what I need after so many adventures.  In the DR we had an ISchools staff retreat where I finally got to meet the rest of the DR YL team and enjoy some time at the beach.  It was a week of rest and restoration that brought healing.  

November: The month I moved out of my last "host family" home.  I have been blessed for the last year + to live with other families - one in Raleigh, another in San Jose and finally one here in Managua.  It's amazing how the love of the Lord compels people to invite me into their house and let me be a part of their family.  I moved into my little casita at the beginning of the month but celebrated Thanksgiving with the Izzos (my Managua host family, if you will).  I am so thankful for that family!  Also, Ella and our friend Jen came to visit in Nica - one of the first official signs that ELLA WILL BE HERE SOON! (She brought some suitcases.)  

I just love these girls and wanted to include them in my celebration blog.  They are Vida Joven leaders from Managua and they have loved me well already! 
December: Decembe has just begun so I don't have any fancy photos to share with you but this month I will celebrate Ella coming officially, going to La Finca for a training camp with all of Central America Vida Joven, I will return to the states for about 3 1/2 weeks for Christmas, hanging out with friends and family and saying thank you to all of my donors. 

This year is one to remember and has given me an abundance of things to celebrate.