For eight years, Discovery sent teams to Nicaragua to serve with partners and people who would become dear friends. Yearly visits to Managua's poor and impoverished communities were a staple on the Discovery team schedule, until political unrest in the area in 2017 made traveling to Nicaragua an impossibility. Of course, a world pandemic compounded the difficulties. Years passed, and before long Valor's absence from Managua totaled six years. It was an absence felt by leaders who'd taken teams there in the past - and it was an absence felt in Nicaragua as well.
The waiting came to an end in the summer of 2023, when more than 20 Valor students and leaders revived the Discovery Managua team. The team returned to the places and people that Valor had served in the past, and the reunion was a sweet one. By the end of June, the team had returned to Denver having left their mark at Ruby Ranch. The ministry reflected on the experience soon after.
Valor Christian High School from Colorado came to serve alongside us, and it truly felt like we were being reunited with family!! We were so happy to have them back in Nicaragua! This entire team was such a blessing to the children from Club Esperanza who joined us at Ruby Ranch for a weekend of camp.
Stories about Jesus during Vacation Bible School time, all of the fun games and crafts, dance parties and new friendships made between the team and the campers… it was all so beautiful. The heart and vision of Ruby Ranch that was shared so many years ago with Team Valor leaders, has come full circle and now their team has had the opportunity to experience the impact and beauty of that vision.
Our prayer time over the kids was so powerful! We love what our friend, Tim (Welch, Discovery Managua leader), shared about that morning of prayer.
"Our VBS culminated with a prayer time, as the ministry partner and the Valor students and leaders prayed over these little children. Wow, wow, wow. The Valor students prayed over these kids for an hour, at least, in English (to our Spanish speaking campers). But what came from this prayer time was transformational for both us and them. The best way I can describe what I experienced is that Holy Spirit showed up in a big way. We witnessed one of the most beautiful connections between the Valor students and these Nicaraguan children, when after praying the Valor students would open their eyes only to see tears streaming down the faces of the child they were praying over. The Holy Spirit doesn’t know language barriers. God was doing something supernatural in them and through them. One of those moments in life that you know, that you know, that you know that God just showed up."
"It’s nearly impossibly to put into words how truly incredible and life transforming this experience was," agreed co-leader Jennifer Gribble. "We will all be unpacking it for years to come. I am floored by the honesty, resiliency and vulnerability of this team and the way God pursues and lavishes his love on us. This was a joy-fest and left me struck with awe and wonder. It was literally the best thing I have ever done. What a gift!"
Team Valor, we are at a loss for words ourselves. You outdid yourselves with how you loved, how you served, and how much you impacted the children from Club Esperanza in Nicaragua. It truly was a joy-fest!! We love you all.
The Ruby Ranch Team