The past several weeks I have gone into the valley of Los Rios, where I live, with the national workers here on the farm so that the people in the valley can know who I am and who I’m with – Pinas de Paz. My favorite mode of doing this has been horse back riding.
Well, last week, I was able to walk down into the valley by myself for the first time and I would like to recount that precious time and so you can walk the road with me.
As I exited the farm I walked down the steep entry way to the main road. In front of me, the Guardabarrancos (Nicaragua’s national bird) flew off as they saw me coming. Their turquoise, green and brown coloring is beautiful. The wind was blowing through the trees and the dust was swirling around my feet.
As I got to the main road (above) I passed many things before I made it to the church and Pastor’s wife I was going to visit. There were pigs that were tied to trees and scrounging around in the dirt for something to eat. (Note: I now know why these pigs are tied up, because last time one followed us up to the farm and ran all around until it followed us back down again. haha) There were so many beautiful butterflies flying around the mud puddles – blue, orange, yellow and white. I passed the coffee, pineapple, dragonfruit and bean crops and people who were coming back from working in the fields all morning.
There were holes on the side of the road that filled with water when it rained and where, I am told, people dig to get water as the water system is so broken here. I also passed many dogs that just laid in the road and looked like they hadn’t had food in a long while as I could see all their bones. And the chickens were everywhere – running this way and that way.
As I got closer to my destination, there were more people. Children playing in the streets – younger ones with old soda bottles and dirt and older ones with ropes. Some of the girls I passed said, “hello, goodbye!” They seemed very exited to use those two English words.
When I got to Danelia, the pastor’s wife’s house, her and her daughter Kelly greeted me at the door with big smiles. The first thing Danelia did was ask me how I was doing. She said she imagined it must be hard to come to a new place and to leave your family and all you knew. She said if I ever felt lonely or just needed a friend to just give her a call or just come by her place and she’d be there for me. Wow. What an encouragement. What a blessing. How cool that I continually get to be blessed even when I think I’m going to be a blessing. God is so good.
I hope through this journey you’ve gone on with me…down the road into the valley, you’ve gotten a glimpse of what I am beginning to see more each day. The brokenness and yet the beauty that surrounds me here in Los Rios.
Isn’t that what surrounds each of us? Brokenness and beauty? If we want to, of course we can focus on either one or the other…But then we miss the grace of God in both the broken and the beautiful. Where can you see God working in the broken and the beautiful in your life?
I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey with me down in the Los Rios valley as I begin to explore and discover it. As I begin to know the valley and the people here better I can’t wait to keep sharing these stories with you.
Thanks for walking this path with me,