When we moved to Nicaragua I think we both sort of expected to have to give up all the things we enjoyed about our lives in the states. Everything from food and hobbies, to the demographic of people we enjoy to work with and be around. And there are some things that have changed, for sure. And things we haven’t rediscovered here, but also have found that to be ok, as well. But one thing we have been so glad to get to continue in is working alongside high school and college aged people. We absolutely love it. And the team who just left from Tallahassee, Florida, is no different.

The youth pastor from Wildwood has been bringing teams down to Nicaragua for the last 14 years. He has literally seen Ruby Ranch since day one, and has watched as the kids out in Las Parcelas (the community near the ranch) have grown from young primary-aged students to thriving secondary school students, and even those who have gotten married and now have kiddos. There is a rich history of Wildwood serving here in Nicaragua, and despite all our joking with them about breaking water pipes, we love having them here serving with us.



Part of the team’s project was to build a new deer pen.


The camp photo after a super sweet chapel time.


The final goodbye at the gate.

The nearly two weeks was packed full of work projects, VBS for local kids, and a little bit of fun. Way too many PB&J sandwiches were eaten, and some pretty hilarious pranks were pulled. But all in all, we had an awesome time with this team, and we are so glad to know each and every one of them.


The 2017 Wildwood team. We love these people!


We are at the beginning of another week of our busy season down here in Nica, and it has been so good lately.

We were able to host a team of college-aged students from Ft Myers, Florida, two weeks ago and we loved it! Many of the team had been to Nicaragua before, as well as other overseas missions to places like Haiti. It was incredibly fun to work alongside each of them as they helped us finish the chapel upgrade at Ruby Ranch, paint the water pipe and dig holes to be able to plant more trees up at the chapel.

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And then we had the great honor of joining them out in Cristo Rey, the new dump community where many of them are able to sponsor kids as a part of a scholarship program. As we arrived at the church that they work out of we even recognized a few kiddos from last summer at RR. It was a really special afternoon for us as we reconnected with these kids (in the photo below) who are so sweet and so excited about life.

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And then, as if the entire week with them wasn’t enough, we were invited to join into their last team time together, a time of encouragement and love. Each bracelet in the photo below represents a sweet word from a new friend, and we are so grateful for each of them.

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In other news, our kiddo is growing like a champ and kicking up a storm! Most evenings I get some not so subtle reminders that there is in fact a little human growing inside me, but we have grown to look forward to those little interactions and can’t wait until we get to meet him or her for the first time.

I do have a big ultrasound appointment coming up next week, in which we will check on the progress of Home-slice (which is the most current nickname). Everything so far has been good, with the exception of my iron being a little low, but that is easily remedied. We feel so lucky to be this little person’s parents and we are genuinely looking forward to all that is coming.

On that note, with a new addition to our family, we are realizing that we need more monthly support. Not only will our bills inevitably increase, but we have had some random things come up in regards to the kiddo that we weren’t really expecting, and I am sure that will only continue. So if you would like to join our support team, please e-mail us at landjbaron@gmail.com. We need to raise $500 more per month.

And thank you for your continued prayers!

It has been two weeks since we returned from Oregon and it has been FULL, but in the best way possible.

We returned to Nicaragua a day after a team from Denver, Colorado, arrived. Valor is a Christian high school who has been coming down here to Nicaragua for the past ten years or so, and we love working alongside them. A truly special aspect of this year’s team was that there were quite a few ‘returners’ so as soon as we arrived at the Buzbee’s Quinta (where the teams stay) we were greeted by a line of high school (and a few college) aged students we had met last year, and I got to hug each one of them! It was like a reunion of sweet friends.

During their trip they worked on some work projects at RR and put on a VBS for the kids out near the Ranch, but the most memorable moments for me happened later in their trip.


Morning worship time.

For most teams who come to work with us in Managua, their trip isn’t complete without a morning spent in prayer at Miss Ruby’s house. Located near the old Managua city dump, and in a pretty rough neighborhood, Miss Ruby’s house was dedicated long ago as a house of prayer, with the upstairs being completely set apart for it. The leaders of the Valor team had been ‘preparing’ their students all week-long during their team times in the evening. Having conversations about faith, God, the Holy Spirit, and other aspects of our Christian walk. We were even told that the evening the team had discussed the gifts of the Spirit there were many students who stuck around after to ask more questions and talk through different things they were curious about.

As we began our prayer time I shared a picture the Lord had given me on the ride to the prayer house about a cemetery, and how there were people in that room who felt just like that. That they were dead, despite the way their lives looked on the outside, it was like each day they had to return to this place of emptiness. I shared with them from Ezekiel 37 where Ezekiel was led out to a valley filled with dry bones and the Lord prompted him to prophesy to the bones that they would live. I prayed that over the room and we began to individually pray for students. As I prayed for one of the girls I felt tears falling on my shoulder, and heard the sobs of a young man from the team. When we were finished praying for the girl, I turned to the young man and told him we would like to pray for him. And then I did something I hardly ever do. I asked him this simple question: “Do you know Jesus?”

He about tackled me with the giant hug he gave me! I began to speak the truth of how the Lord sees him and the love of Jesus over him, and prayed over him. As we stepped back I asked him if he wanted Jesus in his life. He nodded emphatically and I just said, “Awesome! Let’s pray.” And then I led him in probably the most ‘unofficial’ faith prayer of all time, but as he repeated the words with tears streaming down his cheeks, it didn’t matter. This young man met his savior in that moment, and no fumbling attempt on my part was going to change it. We cheered. We cried. We clapped and rejoiced and high-fived each other. Because he met Jesus. The thing his heart had been longing for, had been prepared for, had come. And that is worth rejoicing. Every. Single. Time.


The whole team at Miss Ruby’s.

The next evening, alongside another young man who gave his life to Jesus at the prayer house and eleven other young adults who wanted to publicly declare their commitment to the Lord, our friend was baptized. As his leader proclaimed that his old life was dead and he was a new creation, tears rolled down my cheeks. I hope I never tire of witnessing the miraculous. Of stepping into those thin spaces where Heaven feels tangible and it feels like all of creation is boldly proclaiming, “Your will be done, Your kingdom come.”


The thirteen who chose to be baptized. 

Please continue in prayer for us as we host more teams this summer. Also, please pray for all of us who pray with our visitors. Often the prayer days come under significant attack and we have to fight to even arrive at the house. 

We are back in Nicaragua after two and a half weeks in the US and even though the past few weeks were a whirlwind, we are so full and grateful for the time we had in the states.

I had planned to return to Oregon in June for my little brother’s high school graduation, but when Landon’s Grandpa Dave passed away on May 9th, it changed our plans dramatically. Within 24 hours we were able to buy Landon a plane ticket (thanks to a friend’s generosity) and buy a one way flight for me to return to Oregon a week earlier than intended. It was a whirlwind, since we had already had other travel plans in May, which were established in back in January, but we made it to both places and we are so glad we were there.

The first few days we were able to just relax at the coast with Landon’s parents, helping to prepare and think through the memorial service. We hiked, I took long walks, and we shared plenty of good conversations. Being in the wilderness in Oregon is soul nourishing for both of us, so I was very glad we were able to have the time to rest, if even for a couple of days.


The Oregon coast is incredible.

Between being at the coast and the memorial service, we were able to spend a few days in Portland with my sister and brother-in-law, catching up, running errands and having the most un-baby-shower baby shower that ever was. Really, we were able to eat good food with some dear friends and family, and the conversation flowed back and forth about the baby. It was beautiful, and such a sweet time for us to get to hug so many dear ones.


Our friend Adrienne, and her four kids, whom we hadn’t seen in years. I lived with Adrienne and her husband Berchimas (as well as the two oldest in this photo) when I was in Rwanda.

The memorial service was beautiful. Personal and intimate, with Grandpa Dave’s four brother’s performing It Is Well at the graveside in an a capella quartet arrangement. And then the service at the church was perfect. Honoring to the man Grandpa Dave was, with humor, laughter, worship and Jesus being praised. For a man who lived 91 years fully, I would say he would have been glad for the way we remembered him that day.


Landon and his Grandma at the graveside service.

Then on Saturday my mom, sisters and sister-in-law hosted another perfectly un-baby-shower baby shower, and our hearts were full by everyone who made such an effort to be there to congratulate, encourage and bless us. We got hugs from so many sweet friends and family members, and I left the gathering feeling an overwhelming sense of gratefulness knowing that our kiddo is already loved beyond my wildest dreams.

Saturday evening we celebrated Luke’s high school graduation, and Sunday we celebrated he and Grace’s birthday 18th and 16th birthdays. It is crazy for me to think about the fact that I was going into 8th grade and my sophomore year when each of them was born, and now they are headed to college and almost done with high school. Time has flown.


The rest of the week we spent soaking up as much of the things we miss from Eugene as possible. We ate delicious food, hung out with amazing friends and family, and drank delicious coffee. Another baby shower was hosted by my dear friend Becca, and I spent an evening visiting with some of my closest friends from our church in Eugene. It was so thoughtfully done and so sweet. Again, I left with an overwhelming sense of gratefulness for the lover our kiddo is already receiving.

And now we are back in Managua, loving working with Valor Christian High School from Denver, Colorado, as well as hanging out with all the other teams who are here right now.

Thank you for continuing to pray for us. We look forward to sharing more of the awesome stuff God is doing down here as the weeks go on this summer.

For people who have known us for a long time this news may come as a shock. It still is a little bit of a shock for us. But we are so excited to announce that…

We are going to have a baby!!

This new little human is expected to arrive sometime around the end of October and is already SO, SO, SO loved.


I am doing great and loving having more energy in the second trimester. I am also very excited to have the baby here in Nicaragua, as I have an awesome doctor and will deliver at a fantastic hospital in Managua.

We are so grateful for each and every one of you who will share in this joy with us!

Please continue to pray for us, and for the baby. Also, as much as we would love to accept gifts and care packages, the most helpful thing for us would be funds to put towards the doctor and hospital bills. We pay everything out of pocket here, so anything that can help lift the financial burden would be so helpful.


A week ago today I was at Miss Ruby’s House with a youth team from a Fort Myers based church. It was an incredible moment to realize that the day was Good Friday, the day which represents the moment when Jesus died a death He didn’t deserve only to beat death and hell three days later, a day we know as Easter, or Resurrection Sunday. When we pray at Miss Ruby’s we usually begin the time by inviting the members of the team to listen to the worship music as we pray for their leaders downstairs. I usually start the music and explain what the time is for, and then make my exit to join the leaders and other members of our prayer team downstairs.

On this particular visit to the prayer house we prayed downstairs mostly for one leader, a sweet friend of mine, and then felt like it was time to go upstairs to begin praying for the team. As I climbed the stairs I couldn’t help but remember the lyrics to a song I had only just heard a few days prior. The song is by an artist named Chance the Rapper, and is titled How Great. (You might remember it from after the Grammys being circulated around social media…) The line that kept running through my head was,

/ The book don’t end with Malachi /

Earlier in the week as I listened to the song, and that line in particular, tears streamed down my face as the Lord reminded me that He didn’t leave the promises undone. All the prophecies and promises that were spoken about in the major and minor prophets, and really since Genesis, He didn’t leave them unmet. And the culmination, the most important moment of history, came in the moment that Jesus rose from the dead, proving He in fact was the Messiah. And forever beating the hold death had over us.

I felt compelled to share with the team in front of me (and now with this online audience) this truth. The Lord didn’t leave the promises undone then, and He won’t now. He rose. Jesus is risen. He is alive. He didn’t send a bunch of prophecies and then leave them undone. And the same is true in your life. He doesn’t make promises He doesn’t keep. Don’t allow attacks on your identity make you question your worth or worthiness. Those words aren’t what Jesus was thinking when He hung on the cross, or when He let out the loud scream in the moment He died. You were worth it. Every second of excruciating pain He experienced as an innocent man, you were worth it.

‘You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ Romans 5.6-8

The story doesn’t end with Malachi…


One year and two days ago we moved here to Managua, Nicaragua. We sold, stored and packed up almost six years worth of married life stuff, and went to the airport in Eugene with six bags checked to our names. We knew but we didn’t know. We had ideas as to what being here would look like, but really, we were signing on for a giant adventure. An adventure in another climate, culture, language and country, and we really had no idea.

One year later we have met people from all over the United States, and will meet even more this year. We rent a home from an awesome Christian family whom we are so grateful for. One year later we are the ones ‘helping’ the newbies get settled and find their furniture, household goods and vehicles. One year later we still sound ridiculous when we speak Spanish but we find ourselves understanding more and more. We aren’t scared to go new places or try new food like we were last year. (That sounds funny, but without the language we really stuck to what we knew last year.) We have had our ups and our downs, but I can honestly say that one year later we are even more certain that this is where we are supposed to be, and we wouldn’t trade it.

Please continue to pray for us as we receive three teams this week for Semana Santa, and for the teams. That their time would be full and deep and the Lord would work mightily in and through them all.

If you would like to financially partner with what we are doing down here, or financially support us, please shoot us an e-mail. 

These are most of the kiddos who go to the Las Parcelas school, which is right up the road from Ruby Ranch. These are the sweet littles we get to visit with at camp, wave to as we pass by on the road, and receive hugs from any time we see them. They have captured our hearts and we are so excited to see how each of them grow in the things the Lord has for them in their lives.


Photo credit goes to our super talented friend, Kristen

Will you join us in keeping each of these kiddos in your prayers? Life in the country is simple, but hard. So please keep Brittany, Karla, Tania, Yudelasi, Pedro, Dana, Evaline, Stacey, Jesus, Ariel, Mario, Jose, Estevan, Kenny, Jose, Raquel, Gimena and Oscar in your prayers.

Thank you!!


We just had the most lovely week and a half with dear friends from Oregon.

Since we arrived back in Nicaragua in January we really have been going non-stop. From buying furniture and fixing random issues at our house, to hosting a few teams and receiving our friends who just moved here, we hadn’t stopped. I tend to gauge our ‘busy-ness’ level by when the last time we were able to spend a few hours having ‘fun’ was. Like going to the beach for the evening, or having a slow morning at home. And up until twelve days ago, the last time was in November. 🙂 So when Tim and Jen arrived, we were just as ready to share this beautiful country with them as we were to share some time off together.

And we showed them the country! The awesome thing about the western side of Nicaragua is that *most* of the roads to major cities are well maintained and well paved, so going north to Esteli and then south to San Juan Del Sur in the same week is completely doable. And we’re from Oregon, with friends all over the state, so driving for a few hours is no big deal.


The view from the rancho at FEV

We began our time with the Hendricks in the north western part of Nicaragua. We made it up to Esteli to visit our friend Don Gonzalo and purchase some cigars (the area is known for their world-renowned cigars they produce) and then headed north east of Maltagalpa to visit a magical place called Finca Esperanza Verde. The north of Nicaragua is higher in elevation and consists of lush rainforest type land, plus cooler temperatures. (I was in jeans, a sweatshirt, my puffy coat and socks and shoes! It was heavenly!) The ecolodge is an hour away from any sort of big ‘town’ and the reprieve from all the hustle and bustle was very welcomed.


Salinas Grande sunset

From Maltagalpa we returned to Managua for a night, and then out to Salinas Grande on Sunday afternoon to visit the Herrings. They had been in their home for only two weeks, but were already able to tell us the best waves to try to catch. We spent the afternoon and evening playing on the boogie boards, laughing, eating and sharing sweet conversations.


San Juan Surf has THE BEST iced coffee

On Tuesday we headed south. San Juan Del Sur is a great tourist town, with awesome beaches close by, and we all wanted some sunshine time. We spent the next three days reading, talking, boogie boarding, surfing and relaxing. It was phenomenal!


Fresh squeezed orange juice for $0.75


Playa Hermosa always lives up to it’s name

Unfortunately, Friday and Saturday’s plans got canceled due to a food poisoning issue for Tim and Jen, but as we told them, that just means they have to come back to be able to visit the places we couldn’t get to. 🙂

I know visiting a developing country can be stressful, especially with a language barrier, but we are so grateful for our friends’ willingness and desire to come and see what we’re doing and try to understand what our life here is like a little more. And for the past week or so of a slow down. I didn’t realize how much we needed the break, too.


Last week was a big deal in a lot of ways.

On February 2nd we went to the airport to pick up the team of engineers, architects, surveyors and designers who would work all week on designing and laying out a Master Plan for Ruby Ranch. I won’t lie, waiting at the airport for 16 different people who came on different flights, whom we had never met before, was a challenge. The greeting section at the airport here in Managua is intense to say the least. In fact the videographer put it perfectly, “I looked up at a wall and then I realized it wasn’t a real wall, but rather a wall of people.” But we successfully found everyone, and got them on the bus and made it back to Quinta Havilah in one piece.


Friday and Saturday were full of walking around Ruby Ranch with the team and talking through the various aspects of the camp. It was so fun and interesting to watch each of the different specialties of engineers and architects focus in on the thing they are obviously passionate about. For instance the electrical engineer took numerous photos of the power poles. And the landscape architects spent lots of time asking questions about the plants and scribbling notes about what they saw. It was so exciting, really! I think because we go to Ruby Ranch so often and we are so used to seeing the different parts, it can be easy to forget to have a sense of wonder. It is a big, beautiful, kind of insane place. And sometimes I can forget to let it amaze me.

On Sunday we took a rest day, going to church, the Masaya Volcano and the Masaya Market.


On Monday morning John (the eMi in country liaison and team leader) told Brinson, Landon and I that the architects needed to have a meeting with us. And then for the next three hours or so we talked through each part of the design that they had more questions about. Everything from what sort of animal life do we like having at RR to how many horses do we want to have. It was intense, exciting and amazing to be a part of that discussion.

For the rest of the week the team worked all hours of the day (and night) to put together their recommendations and report. The civil engineers tested our water and looked at what we would need to do with our septic system in order to be able to accommodate the 200 people we’re projecting. The structural engineers designed a new bridge to enter the camp (!) and looked at how our current entrance could be bettered. The landscape architects researched plants, laid out plans for strategic places to plant shade trees, and even drew sketches of what it could look like. The videographer captured each person and our site passionately and beautifully. The architects put walls, windows and floors to the ideas we’ve only been able to hold in our hearts and minds for so long. And the surveyors sacrificed each day by tromping around the current property and the piece we want to purchase in order to be able to make a clear map of what is there.


On Thursday morning we made the journey down to Miss Ruby’s and shared a beautiful time of prayer with our new friends. One that I hope they will remember for a long time. I won’t go into details here, but the Lord is so good and His desire to be with us is always so encouraging.

Friday morning was the day. The day we got to see the presentation of their work, a quick snapshot of all the time and energy they had put into this big plan for a place we love so much. We were not disappointed. In fact, we were so encouraged and moved, many of us were crying by the end. Getting to see on paper and in mock ups what has been held in our hearts for so long was so encouraging, and receiving it from such a talented, passionate group of people made it that much sweeter.


We will be sharing the Master Plan details when we get them (which will be a couple of months) but please continue in prayer for us as we enter this season of planning and preparing. And if you’d like to give towards the development of Ruby Ranch, you can do so by visiting our partnering ministry’s website, and making sure to put a note on your donation that says “Ruby Ranch.”