Over the past ten days or so we have worked closely with an incredible group of young people from Valor High School. Valor is a Christian high school in Denver, Colorado, with a devotion to providing their students with what they call Discovery Experiences. Essentially, they have an entire program at their school that encourages and organizes short term mission trips. Some are local, to places like downtown Denver, and some are international, like here in Nicaragua, India, Puerto Rico and more. Each student is encouraged to complete ‘service hours’ while enrolled at Valor, and many of those can come from a mission trip. But its not just a box to be checked. Many of the students we hosted this past week have rich relationships with Christ, want to know Him more deeply, and have huge hearts to serve. It is inspiring and so beautiful.
Their trip consisted of putting on a camp for the kids who live out near Ruby Ranch, as well as a few different projects. And then after camp and working out at the Ranch, they completely blessed the Casa Robles boys and Casa Havilah girls with home visits, a beach day, and an after church lunch and movie date at the local mall. For their day off we went to the Huembes market and then out to Laguna de Apoyo, for an afternoon of swimming and relaxing.
I was trying to think of the most profound thing of their time here in Nicaragua, from my perspective as someone hosting them, and I think what I enjoyed the most was the conversations. Many of the students are incredibly smart, athletic, successful teenagers. Many of them are maybe only going into their junior year, but have a very good idea of what they want to do in the future. (I spoke with one who told me he was planning on getting into a fast track MD program, and then probably becoming a cardiologist or radiologist. He also took Algebra as a 4th grader.) But more than all their success and accolades, they were all genuinely interesting and kind-hearted human beings, who were just as curious about normal life here in Nicaragua for the kids we were around to why we had moved here to serve full time. We also had the opportunity to have very honest, straight forward conversations about what it means to follow Christ with your life. What it means to honor the Lord through your success. And a lot of these conversations happened instead of the student participating in whatever ‘fun’ thing was going on. I was continually honored that they would want my perspective or thoughts on what they were walking through. And it was a joy to answer questions about what the Lord has taught me through our time here in Nicaragua. Through our process to get here. We were blown away by the students.
We were so glad to host those 29 Coloradans, and can’t wait to see how they change the world.