The Shades are hoping to depart for Nicaragua in March of 2016. Their first and main task will be to complete language school. This traditionally takes approximately one year. The Shades will be participating in a new trial for language school - living with a host family. By living with a Nicaraguan family, in the home with them, the Shades hope to experience complete language immersion. This method has shown to expedite the learning of language, as the students are in a learning mode nearly 100% of the time.
Often new language students rent their own apartment or house during language school. There are many pluses to this arrangement, but one main downside is that after completing the language class each day the students revert to English when they get home. But, by living with a native family, speaking primarily the native language (Spanish in Nicaragua), the students don't stop learning when they get home. Instead, they continue to learn and practice their new language nearly all of the time.
The Shades will have several initial small ministries while they are in language school. One of these is a service to the short term teams that come. The members of the short term teams take pictures during their trip. But, some members take more pictures than others and some aren't able to take any. When the team returns to the mission house, the Shades will compile all of the photos and videos from the whole team onto a single picture dvd. Additionally, the Shades will make a short video for each team, with that team's own pictures. The video is a short summary of the team's trip - where they went, pictures of the services they gave, information about how many were served in each area and other important information. Then, the Shades provide a dvd-movie for each member of the team as well.
There may be other special ministries for the Shades as they grow into their service in Nicaragua. Only time will tell what else God will call the Shades to do!