Friday, December 7, 2012

Home for Christmas

Well, we are home for Christmas..
Right now we are soaking in family, warm showers, refills, comfy beds, smoothly paved roads, smiling Chick-fil-a staff, hot chocolate and everything christmas. We are really looking forward to this time with family and friends. We don't think we will be able to return until next Christmas so we have lots of hugs and love to give before we head home in a month. We are so thankful for this time. It is a blessing.

Would you consider participating with us in our work?  We truly need more monthly supporters. Of course, one time donations are gladly accepted!  However,  monthly sponsorships give us the peace of mind financially so that we can focus more on our work. In whatever way you feel led to give, you can bless many. Even a $10 donation can make a big difference.  Every dollar counts and will be utilized for the benefit and growth of God's Kingdom.

We know that many of our close loved ones are already sponsoring us monthly and for that we thank you so so much. We also know that we have loved ones who are unable to sponsor us at this time and we completely understand. Everyone can help us out by taking the time to share this information on Facebook, through emails, etc. with your family, friends, and your church. We would love to share face-to-face with the leadership at your church about the work in Nicaragua and can schedule that this month while we are here in the states.  If that isn't possible we can Skype with them in January.

Here is a little more detail about what this monthly sponsorship will be able to help us do in Nicaragua.

This monthly sponsorship provides us with the ability to live in Nicaragua to work alongside some great preachers and their families, the staff at Nicaragua Christian School, and some of the happiest dirtiest little children you will ever meet. This money covers the required expenses such as transportation, housing, groceries, and other assorted living expenses as well as benevolent work, church aid, mission team preparation,  and the occasional treat to put a smile on a few niño's faces. These things are just a general over view of what a monthly sponsorship can do. Below you will find a more detailed break down of what we do.

Church Work:
Ryan and I will initially be working with 6 congregations across Nicaragua and hopefully through the years this number will grow as God's word is spread across Nicaragua. We have been very blessed with some great friendships that have come from the families working in these communities. God is doing great things through these special people and we are blessed to work with them.

Sergio and Daysi Salazar: Ruben Dario, Nicaragua. Sergio holds church services on campus at Nicaragua Christian School and is in charge of the spiritual growth at NCS. These two hold a very special place in our hearts. They have been so welcoming to the two of us personally as we transition to our new life. They are so talented with young professionals and with youth. The children at the school love their Sergio.

Mariano and Adriana Espinal: Ojoche, Nicaragua. Mariano works in a rural area in the northern mountainous area of Nicaragua. Mariano helped us to carry out the first attempt at a livestock program, where the church provides materials and two pigs to families in exchange for bible study time as well as the first 3 born piglets that can then be passed on to new families in the future. He has been extremely flexible and willing to help in anyway he can and is always working really hard with the underprivileged youth in his community! 

Espertaco and Dorris Alonso: Primero de Mayo, Nicaragua. Espertaco and Dorris are our newest couple to work with us and have been here for a little over a year. They came in to a very complicated work situation and they have faced it head on and are constantly coming up with new creative ideas to spread the love of Christ to their community. They have been a huge blessing to the people of Nicaragua. 

Jesus and Marlena Perez: Quezalquaque, Nicaragua. Jesus was the first preacher that Campbell Street started working with. He use to drive every weekend to share God's word in Ojoche (2.5 hours away) and the first person he baptized down there is now the preacher in Ojoche (Mariano)! Jesus now works in Quezalquaque and does great things in that community. For the next few months we will be helping him do a livestock program with some of his members to help provide sustainability. 

Jacinto and Lilliana Mendoza: Xiloa, Nicaragua. Jacinto works in a small community of Xiloa which is right outside of the capital, Managua. With the gentle spirit of Jacinto combined with his incredible speaking ability, we hope to see great things in the future from this community. 

** Posoltega, Nicaragua: We also work with a church in Posoltega. Norman Perez was our preacher there for a few years and he is now moving on to another work opportunity and so we are now currently searching for a new preacher to continue the work there. 

Nicaragua Christian School: 
Nicaragua Christian school is a big area of our work in Nicaragua. It was started in 2007 by a couple who attend our church in Jackson, TN. Our church is a big supporter along with many churches around the US. It was opened in one of the poorest areas in Nicaragua. This school provides the opportunity of education to those who would otherwise not have the opportunity. Each child has a sponsor who helps provide them with all that they need for their education along with a meal each day, teeth brushing, and vitamins.  Focusing on spiritual growth at Nicaragua Christian School this year will be our main priority. We have recently started the work on our new multi-purpose auditorium/gymnasium that can seat up to 600 people. Please stop by and "like" Nicaragua Christian School on Facebook to receive updates on the school!

El Camino Missions: 
El Camino missions is an organization that we are starting in Nicaragua. El Camino means "the way" and we are basing this organization off the verse John 14:6 (I am the way, the truth, and the life). It is at the beginning stages and our four main focuses will be on the growth of God's Kingdom, providing job and educational opportunities, benevolence programs, and directing short term missions. We pray that God will bless this work and that many lives will be touched through this mission.  Please stop by and "like" El Camino Missions on Facebook for updates on the progress!

If you would be interested in becoming a monthly sponsor please email us and we will send you the form to sign up with auto-withdrawal.  Email: Bush@nicaraguachristian.org. If you are already a sponsor or can't at this time please please help us by forwarding this on so that we can get the word out.

We thank you for your interest in us and in the people of Nicaragua. God is so strong and so mighty, there is nothing HE can not do!

Merry Christmas,
The Bushes

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

God Speaks.

Well yesterday was one of those days.. one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.
Yes, I said it and yes, I am about to be real but we will get back to yesterday in a minute.

Nicaragua and the blessings that come from it really do give me joy. The 100's of children and families we have the privilege to work with give me nothing but pure, real, amazing Joy.  But not every day feels of sunshine and there are many days where we must fight questions and frustrations of being in this third-world country. There are days when we come home and feel like we have lost and we question why we are here.

As much as I love doing mission work and I love living near people that I cherish so much, it is hard and sometimes I just want to be able to hug my daddy. I want to drink a Mountain Dew or eat a Chic-fil-a chicken sandwich. I want to sit in a room surrounded by my best friends. I want to sit on the back porch with my mama. I want a reason to wear a scarf or sit by a fire. I want free refills. I want to go to a basketball game. I want to be able to cook my husband dinner and turn work off for a night. I want to get an "I voted" sticker. I want to have consistent water and electricity. I want to hear my church family sing about how awesome our God is in English. But though all of these things are great blessings, God has other plans. Bigger plans. Eternal plans. And while I complain about needing an extra pillow or wanting to be able to set up a Christmas tree for our first married Christmas and all those other things, my neighbors are wishing they could have running water or a mattress to sleep on.

Like I said, there are bad days and yesterday was one of them. One where I woke up ready to take on the world and then one frustrating thing after another and all the sudden we were both a defeated mess. Ryan spent the day angry and I spent the day taking tums trying to calm my anxious stomach (TMI). But you know, it is absolutely amazing to me how God works. We felt defeated and worn down and honestly, just flat out ready to be back in the states for a break. Then comes God swooping in as the hero He is to save the day. After tears shed, frustrations shared, and honestly not feeling like doing much of anything, Ryan and I decided we needed to spend some time reading the Bible together and praying. We decided to start on this past weekends reading in Psalms (137-138) from Project 51 (because we were behind). So we turned to Psalm 137 (NOT by coincidence) and would you believe that through all of our frustrations God spoke directly to us (Of course you would, because our God is awesome, right? :)
 It was actually like we were screaming to God in Psalm 137.. 

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
 when we remembered Zion.
There on the poplars
 we hung our harps,
for there our captors asked us for songs,
 our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
 they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
How can we sing the songs of the Lord
 while in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
 may my right hand forget its skill.
May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
 if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem
 my highest joy.
Remember, Lord, what the Edomites did
 on the day Jerusalem fell.
“Tear it down,” they cried,
 “tear it down to its foundations!”
Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
 happy is the one who repays you
 according to what you have done to us.
Happy is the one who seizes your infants
 and dashes them against the rocks.

And he responded to us in Psalm 138.. 

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
 before the “gods” I will sing your praise.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
 and will praise your name
 for your unfailing love and your faithfulness,
 for you have so exalted your solemn decree
 that it surpasses your fame.
When I called, you answered me;
 you greatly emboldened me.
May all the kings of the earth praise you, Lord,
 when they hear what you have decreed.
May they sing of the ways of the Lord,
 for the glory of the Lord is great.
Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly;
 though lofty, he sees them from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
 you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;
 with your right hand you save me.
The Lord will vindicate me;
 your love, Lord, endures forever—
 do not abandon the works of your hands.

God spoke. He said, "Child, I am here, I see you no matter where you are, I am WITH you, DO NOT ABANDON THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS."

We are not alone. Ryan and I needed encouragement. We needed a reminder. We needed something familiar. Why should we ever look to anything else? Yes, worshipping in English is a blessing but God's family comes from every tribe and every nation. We have been given the opportunity to worship, praise, and adore our Lord with God's people. Whether it is in our earthly home town or not. This is OUR family and God's people.

I can't share Psalm 137 and 138 without sharing one of my favorite Psalms especially since moving here, Psalm 139

You have searched me, Lord,
 and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
 you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
 you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
 and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
 too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
 Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
 if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
 if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
 your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
 and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
 the night will shine like the day,
 for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
 you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
 your works are wonderful,
 I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
 when I was made in the secret place,
 when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
 all the days ordained for me were written in your book
 before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
 How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
 they would outnumber the grains of sand—
 when I awake, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
 Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
 your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
 and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
 I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
 and lead me in the way everlasting.

Thank you, Father, for loving us. For wrapping your arms around us and for speaking when our faith is no bigger than a mustard seed. Thank you for constantly reminding us of what your Son did for us and for giving us the opportunity to receive the gift of eternal life. Please help us as we all seek to share this gift you give with others. We thank you for the work you have put before us. Forgive us when we doubt you and forgive us for seeking earthly approval. Help us to always seek you first and grant us grace and peace as we strive to serve you. Amen.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

6 months of marriage

Ryan and I have been married for 6 months.

When I look back and think about all that has happened in my life and look at where I am today all I can say is "Thank You". To think that God had all of this planned out before I was even born, knowing my faults and my flaws, yet still with His mercy, grace and love, taking time to plan and so carefully choose the perfect person for me is amazing. God has given me the most beautiful life and I am so undeserving. 

In the past 6 months we have finished out our home in Jacks Creek, we've been in Jamaica, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and all over Nicaragua. We have survived an earthquake, a volcano eruption, and a tsunami (Not as bad as it sounds but still interesting facts about our first few months). Ryan has toughed out a food bacteria and loved me even after I gave him a shot. 

 We look forward to spending the rest of our life adventures together.

On Friday morning Ryan bought me a puppy for our 6 month mark(which is September 17). We found him the day before at a veterinarian's near a friends house. He is half Siberian Husky half German Shepherd. He will be a great protector and friend for us as he gets older. He has the most beautiful blue eyes you have ever seen and he makes you want to say "HE'S SO FLUFFY I COULD DIE"(Despicable me, anyone?). Andd I love him so much it is sickening.We tried alllll day to figure out a name that would be easy and fun for the Nicaraguan children but also something that would not be difficult to pronounce in English. We settled with "Pancho" which means "free" and is also a popular nickname here. It suits him. He is already a "free" spirit taking high dives off the bed and such. Pancho and Ody are going to best friends when we finally get Ody down here! PANCHO not to be confused with PONCHO. When Isaac (my brother) met him on skype the other night he said and I quote, "He is SO cute I just want to take him outside and hold him over my head in the rain". Took me a minute to get it. Yeah. 

I try to make Saturdays my day of cleaning but thanks to the new member of our family it seemed a bit harder than usual yesterday. Ryan had to go take care of some things at one of the churches and so it was just me and little Pancho. I am sure you know this, but puppies like to chase brooms, and step in the dirt pile, and pee right after you mop... So I ended up letting Jaden next door take him for a little while. During the time that Ryan and Pancho were gone and it was just me at home, I turned up ZoeGroup, which unexpectedly made my cry(which also prevented me from cleaning). For me, I have discovered that one of the hardest things about living down here is not being able to worship with people in my native language. Don't get me wrong, I love worshiping God with my Nicaraguan hermanos but that is always going to be something I am going to long for and look forward to when we can come to the States for a visit. So, sing a little louder for us this Sunday!

Oh cleanser of the mess I've made. Your boundless love for me portrayed. With patience for my learning curve by holding back what I deserve. 
How Wonderful your mercy is, How awesome are your ways. I come, I come to worship you for all you've done. 
Oh Cleanser of the mess I've made. With everything at your feet laid. I watch as all my cares erode. And from my soul these words Explode. 
How Wonderful your mercy is, How awesome are your ways. I come, I come to worship you for all you've done. 

We are ever so grateful for the amazing people God has placed in our lives in Nicaragua. There are some incredible faith-filled families down here that we are really looking forward to spending the next years working along side. We are also grateful for those who have encouraged us, prayed for us, and supported us in some way. Thank you, thank you, thank you. God is watching over us. He knows what we need and I smile when I think of our future here. 

You, God, are my God, Earnestly I see you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. 
I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. 
Psalm 63: 1-5

In all all things Lord, we thank you.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

One month and a day..

One Month and a day. We have been in Nicaragua for one month and a day and so much has already happened. I cannot believe how much time has already gone by. We have had many fun experiences a long with some not so fun.

We just got home from two weeks of language school in Laguna de Apoyo. Here are some fun facts:

  • We had a tarantula in our room about a foot from our bed one night during school. 
  • We studied Spanish for 4 hours each day
  • We slept under a bug net. We had no air and took cold showers. 
  • We had many critters hanging out in our bathroom such as toads, spiders, geckos, centipedes, etc. 
  • We had monkeys swinging from tree to tree above and usually were the sound we went to sleep to and the sound we woke up to.
  • We had four pet dogs and two birds. 
  • We were one with nature.
  • We ate beans and rice with all 3 meals for two straight weeks.
  • We had internet for what seemed to be 30 minutes every other day.
  • We learned how to use a Potter's wheel at a little town called San Juan de Oriente, where they are known for their pottery. 
  • We climbed in caves formed by lava from the Masaya volcano and were swarmed by bats. 
  • There was at least 10 different countries represented (coming and going) where we stayed by the time we left.
  • We are thankful for our church family in Leon!
God works in mysterious ways and we learned a lot about him... in a lot of mysterious ways. haha
 It was a great experience and we would do it again in a heartbeat... but would probably take some extra bug spray...

We have a big challenge ahead of us. Learning a new language is not easy. Yes, we learned a lot the past two weeks. And yes, I learned a lot last year just from living here. And yes, Ryan took 2 years in high-school. But neither of us are anywhere near where we would like to be. We plan to start this week at a language school in Leon for at least 3 days a week 4 hours a day. It is very important to Ryan and myself that we first learn the language. We do not know how long we will be here and we do not want many years to catch up with us and us be unable to speak. Please keep this long road of studying/practicing our spanish in your prayers. We look forward to the day that it just "clicks" like they say. 

Other than working really hard on our spanish, Ryan and I will be working on learning the "ropes" around here. I could tell you just about anything you need to know about the school but when it comes to directions/using the bank/paying the electricity bill or how to turn on a water tower I am helpless. 

Please keep praying for us as we transition in to this new way of life.

If you are interested in receiving a monthly E-newsletter let us know by sending us an email at Bush@nicaraguachristian.org with subject: "Monthly newsletter" Thanks! 

Fernando David Salazar born August 17, 2012 
to Sergio and Daysi (Our on campus preacher and his wife)

A picture taken right outside the kitchen at Language School 

Ryan and Summer at the Masaya Volcano

Dios Te Bendiga.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

August 1, 2012

I am thankful to inform everyone that we arrived in Nicaragua without a glitch. We had no problem in customs, we had no gate changes, and we did not lose any baggage. That is a first. And not to mention that my house was mice free. God has been watching over us.

Three days in and I can't even begin to express all of the emotions I have been feeling. Confusion, fear, excitement are some big ones.

Confusion mainly comes from the fact that neither Ryan or I can wrap our heads around the fact that we aren't going back to the states in a few days or a month. I am sure that it is all part of the "culture shock" experience and I do remember having these feelings last January when I moved to Nicaragua the first time. This time it is different though, we are trying not to put a period at the end of it, we want our time here to be planned by God. During our meetings with the preachers, staff, and parents we have had this week we would hear Mr. David say things like "They came down here to work with you for many years" or "They gave up being with their families to be here with you" it kind of stings a little but it also seems so surreal that God would choose us to work with such amazing people. What a blessing this is going to be.

Fear is a selfish feeling that comes from us choosing to give God complete control. I am always trying to do things myself. But we have to have faith that God is going to take care of us. That funds are going to come in so that we can be here. That we will be able to help those who need us. That we will see the need. That we will always show God's love even if we are having a bad day. The fear of missing something back home with family or friends. But what I am trying to realize is that if I allow God to be in complete control of my life that he will never leave me or fail me. He loves us and he knew years before we were born that Ryan and I would move to Nicaragua together on August 1, 2012. Our God is so big!

Excitement has been all over. Seeing my old friends. Seeing the precious children at Nicaragua Christian School (If you ever want to feel special, come play with the children in Nicaragua they really know how to put a smile on your face). Seeing how much they have grown. Seeing the new playground and new preschool buildings. Having children from the church run and jump in my arms. Seeing all the parents greet Ryan and tell them how thankful they are that we are here. Seeing everyone love Ryan. Going to language school in a few weeks. Hearing all the good things that are happening. Hearing all the bad things, because that will be when God is most glorified. And the biggest excitement comes with finally being here with Ryan. My heart is full.

Other than visiting at the school and having meetings with the preachers and their wives, the NCS staff, and the NCS parents, we have just been resting, visiting, and trying to unpack.

Tonight we are playing games and spending time with the youth of Vida en Familia Iglesia de Cristo.

On August 20, we will begin language school in Granada for a month.

Thank you for your prayers, thoughts, comments, and support during this time. I am thankful that I am experiencing all these emotions because that means we are here. Finally.

We are waiting patiently for you all to start booking your flights to come visit.
In the meantime, please keep us and all the work in Nicaragua in your prayers.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalms 139:9-10

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Better late than never

Mr. and Mrs. Bush 
Photo Credit goes to Storyteller photography

Ryan and I are going on 4 months of marriage and are preparing to move back to Nicaragua in exactly 3 weeks. Our flight leaves August 1st and we will not be returning to the states until our visit for Christmas on December 4th. We can hardly wait to be there.

We have spent our 4 months of marriage finishing our home (so we can rent it out), raising money, and traveling around to visit with family and friends for the last time for a while.

God has blessed us tremendously and there are a lot of big things going on in Nicaragua right now.
-Please keep the work in Nicaragua in your prayers- and hopefully we can share these things soon!

Our wedding was perfect. Not only did we have all of our loved ones in the states there with us on our special day but we also were able to skype in all our friends in Nicaragua. The children at the school surprised us with a song (in spanish) that was played during our ceremony. It could not have been more special. We spent our honeymoon week in Runaway Bay, Jamaica and it was beautiful. We are very excited about all the traveling we are going to be able to get in this year!

In August, we will spend the first two weeks in León and then we will head to Apoyo Spanish school for a month.

Thanks for keeping up with us and for keeping us in your prayers. We are so thankful for all the love and support we have been given over the past few months. 

We are looking forward to starting our lives together in Nicaragua...

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,

    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

(A Better update is coming soon!) 

Friday, January 20, 2012

One year later.

January 20, 2011....
On this day, one year ago, I left for Leon, Nicaragua. I thought I was going to stay for two years but God had other plans.  Wonderful plans. Plans that exceeded anything I could hope for or imagine. I spent so much time dwelling on the past, so much time trying to control my future, so many years saying "no, I think this sounds better." I had been hurt, I had been lost, I had made the wrong choices. Let me say that good can come when you feel hopeless and broken. God had something big planned for me and when he saw that I was finally willing to let him lead, he took me on the greatest adventure of my life.

It started in 2009 when I left for a mission trip to Nicaragua Christian School. I had been on several mission trips but this one was different. This one changed my life. This one haunted me everyday after, in a good way. It redefined and reminded me of the woman God wanted me to be and where my real passion lies: Children in need. After graduation in May of 2010 I decided there was a reason nothing made sense to me anymore, a reason my "next plans" no longer appealed to me, a reason I was beginning to feel real uncomfortable with myself. But, I knew something was coming. I felt a stirring. God had laid something on my heart and I did not know what to do with it. I didn't think God would really want to send ME? Why would he want me there? I couldn't do anything to help? As I struggled to understand what I was being told, I began talking to my parents and praying about this idea. I then set up a meeting with the US directors of Nicaragua Christian School. Still not sure if this was even possible, I asked if I could move to the school and work.

For the next six months I watched in amazement as everything fell in to its perfect little place, as I prepared to move to Nicaragua in January of 2011. I sent out my letters in August and by the end of September I had all the money I needed for the two years I had planned to work down there. When November rolled around, due to some obviously God-planned happenstances, I went on a first date with Ryan Bush. Although I was excited about the opportunity to get to know him, I could not help but feel confusion about the timing. I felt like I had finally accepted the fact I was going to do this alone.   I never thought a man would care to date someone with countries between them. Meanwhile, during all these thoughts, God was saying, "Oh ye of little Faith.. Watch this."

January 20, 2011 comes along quickly and I am saying goodbye to everything I know and love to head toward my new life. Landing in Nicaragua, I was quickly reminded of the reason for my passion.  I was there to let God show me how I could help the poor, innocent, abused, broken, dirty, beautiful, hands and feet of God's little children.

For the next 9 months I began a healing process. I wrestled with God, I was broken and he healed me, I was lost and found, I learned from him, and I fell in love with God along with 206 precious children. I learned and was filled with God's never ending, faithful, and ever so redeeming love. I was able to watch first hand as he transformed lives and I saw him make beautiful things out of the dust.

During my time in Nicaragua I also fell in love with a man. Although it was very difficult for us to be so far apart, I am thankful for these unique and incredible chapters God wrote in the beginning of our love story. God allowed Ryan and I to get to know each other in such a special way. Ryan was my constant encouragement and support system, as well as my reminder that God's plan is the only plan that I want to be a part of. Not only did God send Ryan to help me through this past year, but God gave me a man who shares the same passions and dreams as I do.

In July of 2012, Ryan was able to spend a month with me in Nicaragua. After his trip we couldn't stop talking about it which led us to discuss doing mission work together some day. My heart was so full. I was in a country I love, surrounded by children I love and whom I learned from daily. I also had so much love and support back home that my two worlds (or countries) couldn't have felt more perfect.

In October I came home (and at a perfect time I might add, just another sign of God's faithfulness) to work a golf tournament my father and I were doing for the school in Nicaragua. It was awesome to see all the people involved in the tournament and the money raised for the school. I also really enjoyed visiting with my loved ones.. Especially with Ryan..

On November 2, 2011 Ryan asked me to marry him. We decided that since we both wanted to be doing work in Nicaragua, we should get married and then I could complete my last year and (Lord willing) many more after, working together, with Ryan.

And now, here I am, one year later, healed, preparing to take on a new journey, as a wife, and starting a new adventure where God is calling US, in Leon, Nicaragua. I look forward to being back in my new country with the ones I love, sharing a desire to serve the people of Nicaragua with the man I love.
I could never have dreamed how perfect my love story was going to turn out. I am thankful that God is the author, and that he had a plan for us that was greater than we could have ever imagined. It has been the best year of my life and I can not wait to see what God has in store for the future, Mr. and Mrs. Bush.

I have found the one whom my soul loves. Song of Solomon 3:4

Thank you for always thinking of me. Thank for forgiving me daily even though I do not deserve it. Thank you for Ryan and for the blessing he is in my life. Thank you for the best family and friends anyone could ask for. Thank you for the children in Nicaragua. And thank you for the opportunity to see your love and beauty in every day life. You are the creator and the sustainer. Thank you for being the bread of life to those that are hungry. Thank you for blessing a sinner like me. I love you.