Now Elizabeth's full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. --Luke 1:57 (NKJV)
We began our first year in Nicaragua last November. It seemed that we spent the vast portion of our first year here getting settled in our newly adopted homeland. We bought and renovated a property to house our family and our business. We welcomed baby Peter into the world. We did a lot of work with Nicaraguan officialdom to gain legal permission to reside here. Through it all, Lucas worked faithfully each week at MTech, the business he runs. A lot happened as we took those baby steps to prepare us to make some larger strides toward the business and ministry goals with which we came.
God gave us a vision for life here even before we were married. We came hoping to grow Lucas' Drupal computer programming business to the point where we could employ several local workers. We wanted to do this to help bring economic development to a country that needs it and improve lives for people in a concrete and sustainable way. It seemed to be where our desires and abilities met the world's needs.
Mid way through the first year, Lucas connected with a young man who was at a crossroad in his career. This young man was already doing Drupal work but being pushed to move onto other things. By God's blessing, Lucas was able to help him secure some contract work through MTech's connections. He and Lucas became partners in running a Drupal training day last November, both in Managua and Leon and were able to teach 20 interested people the basics of the technology Lucas uses. This has been such a blessing particularly as this young man is both technically saavy and bilingual.
Since we've returned for our second year, God is orchestrating some bigger moves forward with the business.
First, Lucas and his partner did a repeat of the Drupal training day in February and were able to teach 19 interested people the basics of "Drupal from zero". But February was different than November; it was in only one location, not two; and it drew people from the furthest north & south parts of the country. Those people traveled many hours to attend. Wow.
Second, Lucas was able to connect with SuNica, a local not-for-profit organization that works in Leon and Chinandega and needed some work done on their Drupal-based website that was very well suited to Lucas using as a training project. So we were able to employ a local young man for the project. It took some extra time on Lucas' part to do the training as the learning curve was steep, but that really shot a lot of things forward with our goals for the business. Word got around that there was well-paid work to be had for interested and qualified people.
Third, and un-related to the SuNica project, a local community that we had been seeking to connect with but unsure how to find contacted Lucas and his partner with their desire to offer some training in Drupal. Such a clear answer to prayer as they contacted us since we didn't quite know how to find them!
Also, after the second round of training in February, yet another motivated local young man, contacted Lucas to see about the possibility of some regular training to improve his Drupal skills. This has led to the formation of a small class of a few interested people on Thursdays.
So what's on the horizon now? We are praying for God to show us what He wants to do through this and His timing.
It seems that a possible next step will be to hire one of these local and motivated young men to help with some general office help (specifically dealing with the sometimes very time-consuming complexities of Nicaraguan officialdom) and work on appropriate on-the-job training type projects as they come up. The idea is a bit of an apprenticeship. As Lucas continues to work a slightly reduced work week himself, having an apprentice will ideally help him to accomplish everything he needs to during work hours and also move training things forward too.
Moving forward, Lucas and his teaching partner will be doing another training day for the recently discovered group of "techies" towards the end of March. Another thing that God seems to be moving forward is the Thursday class as some new people have asked to join.
Lucas was also blessed to be able to connect with a likeminded gentleman from the US who is considering transitioning his family down to Nicaragua to possibly partner with us. Another worker like that would be a wonderful answer to our prayers; we would not be in this 'alone' as we know "Two are better than one, because they have good return for their work." (Ec 4:9)
Please join us in praying for God's widsom and clarity and power to be evident as we seek to walk along with Him in these next steps! Specifically, we need wisdom how to manage our precious time so there is enough time for our family and marriage, while still seeing progress on this work that God is doing on the business front.