By: Kali Venable
In July of 2013, on my second week-long trip with Amigos, I worked in the community of La Chuscada digging ditches for their water system.
We were one of the first mission groups to work on the system so we spent the week in a part of Chuscada that was directly off the main road. I remember the spot vividly, I remember the people – mainly the children – and I have photos that serve as reminders when I start to forget.
During these past two weeks I got to go back to Chuscada – where the water system has been on for over a year now and each home has a Modern Bathroom – to help build a wall that will surround a large, model public school for northern Nicaragua.
The work site was in a part of Chuscada I remember walking through two years ago and photographing a few desks covered by a tin roof that served as the community school. Today, there is a six-room school in place of it and 10 years from now there will be an even bigger one.
Last Tuesday I brought two photos of a few boys I’d spent time with on my previous visit with me to the community. I didn’t think I would be able to find them because I had yet to see them, but I thought I might be able to ask some of the community members near our work site if they knew any of them and could take me to them or at least give the boys the photos to keep.
In the morning I showed my photographs to a family I whose house I was visiting and felt discouraged when none of them recognized the kids. Having pretty much given up on reuniting with the boys, I volunteered to go get bags of concrete mix from the Amigos Complex that afternoon.
When we pulled back up to the school in the truck, I was in awe. Two of the boys in my photographs were standing right in front of me talking to some of the Amigos staff members.
I hoped off the truck, ran to my backpack to retrieve the photos, and returned to the front of the school where the boys stood. I told them that I played with them two years ago when I was here helping install the piping for their water system and handed them the photos I had. They both smiled and said “recuerdo” – I remember.
Most of the time the work God is doing in my life is hard for me to understand and requires more trust in Him than anything else. But when I pulled back up to the school and saw them standing there that day in La Chuscada it was so apparent He’d placed the boys in front of me, or I in front of them, so that we would meet again.
Our reunion was a reminder that the relationships I build here are not momentary, that when I tell someone “I’ll see you again,” it isn’t just out of comfort, it is out of trust in God and His ability to bring people back to each other despite the odds.