We've been 7 months with our personal home being the temporary facility for the Casa Restauración. Did I say it's been 7 months, seems like 7 years! There's a reason why people tend to have children in their younger years. To try to take on that responsibility in your golden years, well, let me say, it's a challenge.
One of the cultural customs in Nicaragua is that families stay together. The guys take it in stride that we live all in the same house. However, I've always been an introvert and to have to share my space with another is a real STRETCH for me. My husband is use to me, but when I seek the refuge of my room, the guys want to know "what's wrong with her".
Let me share a funny moment with you from 2 years ago before there was a Casa Restauración: I think I will always remember the time when Jack Noel was talking about living with us - FOREVER. At first, I was not on the same page of conversation with him. But as I tuned in more, I realized that he was NOT talking about a temporary situation where he could save some money and get on his feet. When I finally asked the question, "how long do you plan on staying with us", I was not prepared for his answer. It was a good thing I had not taken a drink of water at that moment, because it certainly would have been projectiled across the room. "FOREVER", caught me by surprise. I asked him if he wouldn't like to have his own house one day. 'No, I want to live with you ALWAYS', was his reply. I told him that families in America do not continue to live with each other after the children become adults. He reminded me that I was no longer living in America!
Let me get back to our current housing situation. We moved into our current home because it had two bedrooms and we no longer wanted others living with us. There was a breakdown in management of the original Casa Restauración, (see March blog - Blindsided), and we had to move the residents in with us. We have had consistently 2-3 young men living with us since the end of January.
There is a house next door to us that has been for rent for months. It would be ideal to rent and place the guys in it. There is plenty of room to allow for more guys to join the recovery program. And we could personally manage the facility and keep better watch over everyone.
So what is the problem? Peace! Lack of peace about signing a lease for the property. Everything about it makes sense - it's next door for easy monitoring, there would be more peace and quiet in our home, and it's an opportunity to reach more guys. BUT, there is no peace in our spirits. Until God shows a solution, we will continue to make do with the arrangements as they are.
When I agreed to accompany my pastor husband to another country, I certainly was not aware that it would involve me becoming a house parent. That was not in the original plan, but God's plans are not always our plans. So many times that fact comes up in our daily lives. A friend asked me once: 'if before you moved to Nicaragua you knew that your work would involve young men living with you, what would you have done'. My reply was "stayed behind". 'Exactly', she said, 'God had to get you to Nicaragua first before He could reveal His total plan'.
Don't get me wrong, I love the guys and most of the time they are a delight. However, let me repeat, I AM an introvert and I like my privacy and personal space. My privacy is gone, I've tried to carve out an area in the house that is mine to hide away in, it just does not work out. They are so needy for time and attention; someone is always coming to me to either talk or just hang out. Friends that really know me, find this amusing - I was a mother to girls, and truth is known in our family that the granddaughters got more of time. So how is it that I am a house mother to BOYS?
Oh, the humor of God!!