The Estrada Family

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

Part 2: Eleven years, His voice, His plan = My Story

on October 26, 2014

Summer 2004 I worked as Head Counselor at Circle Square Ranch in Brantford – my first time on the Leadership Team – and September 2004 I started my first year of university at UW (University of Waterloo). As time went on, and my Nicaragua trip was further behind me, I began to question if I was really called to Nicaragua, or just to be a missionary. As I considered other places I would like to go, I applied for a 5 week summer trip to Tanzania with other students from my school, but I didn’t make it on the team.

Summer 2005 I was back at the Ranch, this time as the Recreation Coordinator. The Ranch quickly became my second home, and I started working weekends with retreat groups when I started back at school. Around October or November of my second year at UW, I went to a Med-club meeting and someone announced a potential service opportunity: A medical trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. I signed up as soon as I could. An opportunity to go to a place I love, doing something I love? Heck yes.

May 2006 we traveled to Costa Rica and began our two week service learning trip. Truth: I hated it. The food, the language, the heat… I struggled with all of it. I remember questioning what God was thinking. “Sorry God, I must have heard you wrong. I’m not going to be a missionary. I just want to go home“. I was counting down the days until I would get to go home. We finished up clinic in Costa Rica, and made our way towards the Nicaraguan boarder.

Something amazing happened. When you cross the boarder from Costa Rica into Nicaragua, first, you have to leave Costa Rica, then you walk over about 100m of no-mans-land, and finally you enter Nicaragua. As I walked I had this crazy feeling come over me. It was that feeling you get when you finally come home after being away for a long time. It was the feeling I got when I drove down the load driveway to the Ranch. It was a feeling of peace. I was entering a country that I had only been in once before, two YEARS ago, and I felt like I was going home.

In that moment I knew two things for sure. 1. That feeling of peace came from God and God alone. 2. This was His way of telling me “Two years ago I didn’t tell you you would be a missionary just anywhere. I was being specific. Nicaragua will be your home“.

Ometepe Island

Ometepe Island

The rest of the trip wasn’t necessarily easier after that. I still struggled with the language. I still hated the food. But I didn’t want to go home anymore.

Because a part of me knew that I was home.


If you made it this far you’re in the home stretch! Part III will be posted tomorrow!

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