We have come to Light & Salt Ministries in month 10 of our World Race!
Month 10 proved to be challenging for my team and I in that we have to fight harder
to be present because our transition home has begun and not by our choice. It
happened naturally for us. For anyone else who finds themselves in our shoes, I
would encourage you to choose to stay present. Remind yourself that God has you
here in this specific place surrounded by these specific people at this specific time
for a reason. No matter when you have found yourself working alongside Light &
Salt Ministries, it’s a great place to be! One of my favorite parts has been Tara and
Alex’s daughter, Molly. Her joy and energy has been a breath of fresh air for me and I
know each morning and evening I’ll be greeted with an enthusiastic hug and
glowing smile. Molly’s zeal for life inspires my own.
I appreciate what this ministry does for young boys. They are teaching boys
to be kind and thoughtful, raised up in the Lord, when they likely never would’ve
had that opportunity without this ministry. It’s great that they incorporate good
education, including sports and art! All of the boys are polite and typically eager to
learn. It’s nice to see them in a setting where they learn good morals and further
their education, while having a good time and interacting with adults that are great
role models! It’s been so cool to hear the boys use some of the English we’ve been
teaching them outside of English class. I appreciate that Light & Salt Ministries is
doing whatever they can to see these boys grow into men with integrity who live for
the Lord! There is much joy here and it’ll bless you to work with this ministry.
My favorite thing about this month with Luz y Sal had to be my time with the
kiddos. They were just so sweet and they really wanted to learn. I had the honor of
teaching them English. Their willingness and desire to learn English inspired me to
take more seriously my learning in Spanish. Those kids won’t stop surprising you!
Another thing I really enjoyed was my time with Tara. She’s pretty cool. She’s
funny and, for me, she made Nicaragua feel more like home. Definitely don’t take
this place for granted!
This past month we have spent working with Light and Salt ministries and
Tara’s family has been a blessing. My ministry this month has been all kinds of
different things. It has been full of yard work, math tutoring, and many other odd
jobs around the center. I have loved how diverse all of it has been and getting to
really see all the different sides of ministry. It has also been such a blessing getting
to be apart of Tara’s family and serve them as they serve the sweet boys of Ciudad
My favorite part about this month has been being involved in sports class with
the boys. It has been so fun to take part in this and there is something about sports
that breaks all language barriers that I just love. These boys have been so fun to
play with and I’ve even enjoyed trying to interpret the innocent trash talking that
always seems to spice the games up.
Ahhhh, month 10. You know, I don’t think I could’ve picked a better place for
the second to last month. Being able to have the privilege to help out at Light and
Salt Ministries Nicaragua this past month has been an incredible experience. Tara
and Alex have showed our entire team what it means to be humble servants always
listening to what God has for them next and anxious to share how God has came into
their lives and radically changed it for the better. Their testimony of how they came
together and created this amazing center all by just simply listening to where they
felt God call them and doing whatever he asks of them shows the magnitude of how
much God is working in and through this awesome place. Another way Tara and
Alex has blessed us is just how genuine and transparent they’ve been with us,
communicating and making sure we’re okay this entire month. I know they have
both been a huge blessing in my life this month and just as much as I’ve tried to
bless them and make their lives easier they’ve always managed to bless and
encourage me right back knowingly or not.
This center God has brought to this power couple is a giant blessing to this area in
more ways than one. My favorite way by far, and their main focus, is inviting boys
here during the day. These boys come from varying backgrounds and walks, each
boy is a unique individual and comes from an even more unique situation. These
boys come here during the day to get a few free meals, some great Bible and English
classes and my personal favorite, some healthy competition with a game of baseball,
soccer, basketball or some other sport. The idea is that these boys would learn what
it means to be a man of God at a young age and take this knowledge out into the
community changing lives and positively affecting the community and everyone in
it!! Another way they’re making a difference is having a woman’s sewing class
here every week and talking with them and showing them helpful practical skills
that will help them make a living.
This place is dope and ya’ll will definitely enjoy your time here!! Make the most
of every day!!
At the start of the month here in Nicaragua, our squad participated in an awakening.
This is a retreat put on by ministry contacts and racers, to bring everyone together for a
time of worship, prayer, and fellowship. The Lord refreshed our spirits, and prepared the
ground for the coming month here at Light & Salt Ministries. I have really enjoyed
interacting with Tara and her family along with the boys here at the school.
My favorite memory of this month is when we had the opportunity to share with
Molly (Alex and Tara’s daughter) in her birthday celebration at the center. To see her
dressed up in typical Nicaraguan dress warmed my heart. She looked so beautiful and
regardless of how nice her outfit was, she still wanted to get down and dirty, and play all the
games with every ounce of strength she had. She didn’t care that she was pouring sweat in a
dress, or that the dirt could be staining her birthday dress. The smile she was wearing
could cover any amount of mess, and it brightened my day. We played pin the tail on
the donkey, musical chairs, and ate chocolate cake with grapes on it. We danced with her,
shared words of encouragement, and bonded with one another. To our surprise, Molly had
prepared encouraging words of her own, and blessed us as much as we blessed her. My
favorite thing that she said was to our team leader Becky. Molly hugged her and said,
“Becky, I like you just the way you are.” If Becky wasn’t teared up, I definitely was. It’s
amazing that the Lord can have his messages sent to us through the mouth of a child.
What I enjoyed most with the boys is the English classes. I enjoy them because it
forced me to think outside the box with how I teach. I have to constantly try and communicate in Spanish,
and a large number of odd noises and movements. It’s a time where I can see the personality of the boys, and get to
encourage them. It’s amazing that even though we can’t speak to one another continuously,
the tone I take with them is understood. No matter what I say, they can still know that it is
said with enthusiasm, excitement, kindness and love. They know when they’ve done a good
job, and I love seeing their excitement when they understand the lesson and want to learn
more. It has been a blessing to see them excel in something that will truly help them go so
far in their future if they keep up with it. All the boys here are so warm and treat us with
respect as their teachers. They welcome us with their big smiles and high fives as we start
each day. Hearing their giggles and seeing every tooth in their mouth makes me think the
Father himself is giving us a wink. It’s been amazing to partner with a ministry that has a
desire to impact their lives so young because they know it can set them up for so many
successes in their future. They can be the lights in whatever community they lay their roots
in. LASM is investing in the generations that will one day be the young men who lead
nations, and it’s been amazing to be apart of what the Lord has been doing here.
What Light and Salt Ministries showed me was the supernatural joy and light
that young people have the power to bring to the world.
The boys genuinely want to learn! It amazes me how excited they get when
they learn new words in English. The boys also love to build relationships. They
taught us handshakes, would constantly try to speak with us outside of class even
when they knew zero English, and they don’t even care how bad you are at sports.
They genuinely just want to be around you and with you no matter the
I have also enjoyed my time with Molly. She is wild and free and sometimes
requires a lot of patience, but she has an amazing heart and loves people very
deeply. On her birthday she went around the table and said what she loved about
each of us individually.
One of the most impactful aspects of my time at Light and Salt ministries was
spending time with the amazing staff. They all have such a passion for God and drive
to better these kid’s lives. All of them show an immense amount of work ethic,
which helped me continue to press into serving, even when the race had taken its
toll on me and I was running out of energy. This ministry isn’t just a job for these
people, but a calling on their lives. It inspired me to see Godly value in not only
teaching classes, but in cooking meals and cleaning bathrooms. I came into this
month on the race tired and beat down. I was looking toward home, and having
trouble getting my mind in the present. Seeing the way Anyelo passionately teaches
a class, the way Reyna is ALWAYS working, or the way Cristobal worships, helped
me remain focused and stay invested in what God is doing here.
So my advice for anyone on the world race that is struggling, stay kingdom
minded. Wifi is wonderful! So are snacks! But they can also be a coping mechanism
and a distraction from the valuable lessons that God is trying to teach you. The kid’s
here are wonderful and have a kind-hearted demeanor. What you do, good or
otherwise, is seen by them. Do what you can to invest in them, because their stories
are impactful and often tragic. Yet, out of the tragedy, with the love of this staff, they
are striving to make something of themselves and impact their homes and
This month I have been encouraged to see the work that is being done here at LASM.
The boys clearly love being here and are benefitting from it a lot, and I really like seeing
their development into real men that will impact the world around them for the better. The
development of these boys is facilitated by all of the great staff here, and we have enjoyed
getting to know them. We have enjoyed the culinary excellence of Reyna all month long, and
greatly appreciate the job she does and the person she is. Alex and Tara have really invested
everything they have in the ministry here, and what they do is a valuable contribution to the
local society and the world at large. Their daughter Molly is an energetic joy to be around
and we enjoyed helping out with her birthday parties.