The Estrada Family

A Nica-Canadian family, living in Nicaragua and starting a family!

Blessed

Today is David’s last day of work. (yay!) A few days ago he said that he’s a bit sad. He realized that he’s not going to see the kids or his coworkers every day anymore. When David first started working there we LIVED on the ministry property. We ate three meals a day in the dining hall. While we were buildng our house and had no where to live, they generously offered to rent us a room for a few months. Starting tomorrow he can’t just walk over any time to play with the kids. Now it has to be planned in advance. It will be a hard adjustment. But we know that this was God-s plan.

When we decided that David was going to resign, we put all or trust in God that He will provide for us. I translate when jobs are available, but some month I don’t have any. And now David is switching from a fixed income to an “on demand” job as well: Spanish classes. If he doesn’t have students, we might not have money. In preperation for that possibility I made a budget for the entire year. Each month is a bit different, but here is a basic break down:
Groceries – $50/week (we buy groceies on Sundays, so most months its $200, but a few are $450)
Bills – $50
Gas – $50 (specifically for the motorcycle so David can teach. Gas to go to church in a car comes out of extra money…if we have it.)
Extra – $50 (This just covers those extra expenses that we don’t really think about. Gas to go to church, money for our phones etc)
Special – ? (It varies month to month depending on what special events might be happening. Anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, etc. I tried to take them all into account, so if we have to buy a birthday present for a niece or nephew we’ll have the money ready.)

Our goal was to get a few month ahead with the budget, so that we have a fall back in case we don’t make enough one month. When we make more then we need in one month, it doesnt become extra spending money, the extra money carries over to the next month. Once we are a few months ahead (I would feel safe with 3 month ahead, 6 months would be greeeeat), then any extra money can go to the Phase II House Building Fund.

Going into January David had two Spanish students each taking class twice a week, and one that we were really hoping would like to continue class. Ideally we would like him to have at least eight students taking classes 3 days a week. Literally the day after David submitted his leter of resignation, one of his two confirmed students backed out. (oh, crap!) I tried not to panic. I just gave it up to God. We had our January budget covered, and we were sticking too it. The goal I had in my head was to do enough translating job to get us through to the end of March without having to rely too much on David’s teaching – its going to take a while for him to build a client base, we know that.

And then God started showering down the blessings in response to our obedience. David’s only remaining student asked for 3 classes a week; the student we hoped would start, did; I got an email from someone asking for 3 classes a week starting at the end of February; and I even had a conversation with someone in the States who wold be interested it doing some sort of class over skype (if it’s possible!).

I know, blessed, right? But wait, it doesnt end there!

Earlier this month a friend gave me an envelope and said “God blessed me, and I wanted to share that with you”; then I recieved a generous tip from someone I translated for. Suddenly, after one week of translating we had February covered. Then David told me two days ago that he recieved his liquidacion (severence that is paid out to employees when the leave their job). And boom, we have March covered! God is so good. Today is January 31st, and we already have enough money to get us into April.

Wow. Blessed.

I love that when we step out in Faith, God confirms to us that we are following His purpose by blessing us.. He is saying “See, I told you I had it covered.”

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:25-34

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

A Step of Faith

David submitted his letter of resignation today. [Deep breath in…and out]. Its scary, but we know its what he needs to do.

David has been working for over two and a half years at a Children’s Home [aka an orphanage] as a maintenance worker. He has a love/hate relationship with the job. As in sometimes he loves it, other times he hates it.

He loves the kids. Some of the kids have been there the entire time David has been working there, others have come and gone, but David loves them all. Shortly after he started working he was asked to spend some time with the kids as part of his job. All the kids, but especially the younger boys needed some positive male influence, especially since 95% of the people they come into contact with on a daily basis are women. David embraced that part of his job. He plays soccer, takes the kids swimming in the river, jumps on the trampoline with them, shows them how to repair their bikes. He loves it.

He has also learned a lot of new skills; carpentry, plumbing, welding, electricity, to name a few. He’s not an expert, but he has learned enough to use those skills in our own home. (Like building a beautiful book shelf and baby gate, and putting in new light fixtures or electrical connection.)

But then there’s a whole lot of other stuff. He picks up garbage, he unclogs toilets, he fixes broken pipes, cuts grass with a machete out in the burn hot sun, he cleans up the torn up dirty diapers in the morning after the garbage has been torn open by dogs. He does all those things, even though he knows, I know, and almost everyone around us knows that David was created for something much bigger.

For a long time we have known that this wasn’t where God ultimately wanted David to be. His plan wasn’t for David to pick up garbage forever. But his plan for NOW was just that. It was hard for David to go to work every day, knowing that he had the potential to do SO MUCH MORE. It was hard for me as his wife to see him leave the house every morning, and come home at the end of the day discouraged. There were times we talked about him leaving his job but we both knew that God had him there for a season, and that season wasn’t over yet.

So many times in 2012 we heard “Not yet” from God, it was getting hard to listen to. But then in September things started to change. We started to hear “get ready, the time is coming” and we both got excited. Well, honestly, we flipped back and forth between excited and terrified, though we were almost always feeling the opposite of each other.

So our plan: School – In 3 parts. First, David is going to go back to school. He is going to study on Saturdays to get his Bachelor of Education. Second, he is going to be teaching Spanish to missionaries full time. This is the biggest part of our step of faith, because at the moment we only have two clients, and we need at least 8 to meet our monthly budget. But we know God has that covered. And third, a School. We have a dream of one day building a school here in Nicaragua. I’m not ready to go into too many details yet about it, because I can’t even get them straight in my head, but I can tell you that when I close my eyes I can see it clearly. We have no idea where to start or how to do it, but we’re trusting that God will make things happen in His time, not ours.

So, big changes for the Estrada’s! I am still translating like usual, to help supplement our monthly budget, so I will be out of the house for pretty much the next month. David’s sister will be staying over to help with Bethany while I’m gone.

Please be praying for us as we step into the plans that God has laid our for us!

 

**If you (or someone you know) live in Managua and are looking to improve your Spanish, please contact me at julia.e.griffin@gmail.com. David is a fantastic teacher!**

 

3 Comments »

The Stand

I had no idea how fast babies plough through milestones! I am afraid to leave Bethany for a second, she might take off running and I’ll miss it!

The latest: SHE STANDS. She lets go of whatever she was holding on to and just stands there. It started off as a 1 or 2 second thing, before she grabbed back onto something or fell on her butt, but over the last week she hand been practicing, and yesterday David counted to 34 while she stood all by herself!

And yesterday, during one of her attempts, she lifted her left foot, and started to move it forward in an attempt to take a step. (Which failed, and she promptly fell on her bum) Oh. My. Gosh. I don’t think I can even handle how fast she is growing. She will be 10 months old in 6 days. How did this happen?

Next Friday I start my busy busy team season. I will be translating for 4 teams between Jan 20 and Feb 18, and at the moment I don’t know if I have any days off at all! Most of the time I will be in Jinotega, I will be in San Marcos for a few days with 3Fold Ministries, and maybe a few days here in Los Cedros.

I don’t want to miss the big stuff, but I need to work!

Leave a comment »