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    We are Dr. Rick and Mary Ervin, a transplanted large animal veterinarian and registered nurse from Mississippi.  I (Mary) had been on a few short term trips and felt some calling for more mission work than I was able to do with a full time job. Rick had felt the call to be closer to home to work and take care of his cattle despite my asking many times for him to accompany me. Around the time of our 10 year wedding anniversary we had an opportunity to go on a trip to China. I had been saving money for an Alaskan cruise to celebrate but God seemed to have different plans for that savings. Someone mentioned to Rick that they thought God wanted him in China and he didn’t feel he could tell Him no as easily as he could me!

    We went to China, I was working with a medical team that left our base location early each morning and returned in time for night time devotion and bed time. Rick worked with the animals on the farm where we stayed and also got to visit a few neighboring farms. We saw each other for devotion and again in the morning for coffee if he got up early enough to see me then.

    God was clearly at work during our time there. When it was time to leave we each wondered how to tell the other that we felt our calling was right there and not back in comfortable Mississippi. But God didn’t want us in China. We had already committed to Him that we would begin full time mission service so this was the time to wait and pray for further instructions. I think we learned much about patience during that time.

    In August 2005 Rick went to the CVM Short Course and met Dr. Brad Frye among others from the Seattle office. Brad mentioned to Rick a need for someone to travel to Nicaragua, visit Rancho Ebenezer, and assess the program for short term mission teams.  We agreed that we could do that and in July 2006 we visited the place where God wanted us to serve Him full time.

    We went through the application and interview process, started raising our deputation while giving away or selling most of our possessions including our house, left our jobs and moved to Nicaragua in October of 2007. This has been a most rewarding journey and one we are so happy that God called us on and that we were both at a place to say “Yes, God, I will go where you want me and I will tell others of your love and greatness.” We hope to live out our lives as residents of beautiful Nicaragua.