Since the start of the House of Refuge? I found that my position as ALMI International Mission Director of the House of Refuge included, not one hat, but many hats. Each hat comes with a new task and a completely different responsibility, which all call to be filled. With the wearing of these many hats there are many components needed. One main key component can not be forgotten and that is balance… knowing when to set down one hat down, pick up another, weighing how long to keep it on, and to then set it down to pick up another. Prioritization also has played into the juggling of the many hats. Some need to be worn RIGHT NOW! They can not be passed off or tossed to the side for another day.

In order to balance and prioritize the many hats, one needs wisdom. Wisdom as, “the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment.” I cry, I pray, I plead for wisdom! There are many decisions made on a daily basis. Whether it be the content of daily conversation, a sensitive child/ family case, or a workers lack of performance, I pray I may be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove. Wisdom, Proverbs 4:6-7 “Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

The chauffer hat… What have some of my many hats been? One small basic one, chauffer. I am learning to drive here in Nicaragua, in manual. For those that have been to Nicaragua, or any other developing country, you are aware that there are limited traffic signs, stop lights, etc. and the drivers show it in the methodology of driving. Also, forget the GPS… unless you have a native with you from the town you’re in… finding your way does not come easily with no marked street signs. Another thing is, there are very few automatic vehicles. I did not know how to drive manual until I came here to Nicaragua, where I learned. However, driving is a must because of the amount of business we conduct in running a center with 6 employees, and the food, among the other needs of 13 children.

I recently had to make a trip to Managua, (where they drive the craziest in all of Nicaragua, since it’s the capital.) Here I had my car maintained, and as soon as I was going down the road…” BOOM.” A commercial truck, filled with commercial sized cooking tanks, hits me from the rear. One of my worst fears, had came to pass, an accident in Nicaragua. A taxi driver changed lanes very suddenly, leaving myself and the car in front of me little time to stop. Since we were coming down a slight decline of a hill, the loaded down, commercial truck had no time to stop, and I was the one who received the impact. The taxi driver and the car in front of me drove on, without recollection. However, I found that God made provision and blessings from the accident. Thankfully, the driver did not leave and run away leaving me with a damaged vehicle (which is is not rare.) One, the police officer at the scene wanted to fine me for moving from the scene, where there was on coming traffic. Later, the police officer for some reason changed his mind (nothing back sure grace and mercy of God.)

Secondly, the friend with me, during the accident, knew someone in high ranks from their church, who introduced me to the head chief of police of District 1 of Managua. I met the chief two days after the accident. The friend of the church with me told me this was like meeting Ortega the president of Nicaragua. I told the chief my story of what happened, he asked me some questions about my work I do in Nicaragua, and the matter was settled. I was found not at fault; they gave me back my license (which they had taken at the sight of the accident.) With the paper stating I was not at fault, I was able to go the the guilty party’s insurance an d they paid for all my damages. A little over a week later, I had my car back to looking brand new and better than ever. They actually fixed other little dents and scratches I had before the accident. Who but God?

The hat of advocate. This hat is more complex, but it’s end result is unmeasurable. Here I am functioning most in my calling, with which God has given me a passion. In working with highly at risk and vulnerable children, in a developing country, the hat of the advocate is a huge priority, and one I take seriously. I find myself having to work on the behalf of children and their families, working and fighting for their protection even when they don’t like it. It can be the most exhausting hat to put on… because children, being children, do not always want what is the best for them, nor their families. Recently, we have worked with the families of the children in telling them that they must take more responsibility for their children by taking them back and forth to school and from our Children’s home. Mother’s who most do not make their children priority and do not see education important.

One mother, in particular, had left her child here at our center twice and also at school. Her son, who doesn’t show much emotion, was sobbing in the corner, because his mom forgot him. We had a very serious talk with the mother two times, in a very serious fashion, and now she comes in a manner more consistent and prompt.