In 2009 we were given the opportunity to be part of a short term mission trip to Nagarote, Nicaragua. At first, we felt reluctant, but God quickly changed our hearts and minds. We discovered some statistics about Nicaragua, and knew it was the right place for us to go.
Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America after Haiti. Poverty is largely a rural problem in Nicaragua, although there are pockets of poverty in the capital, Managua, and in other urban areas. Close to half (43 percent) of the people in Nicaragua live in rural areas. Two out of three of them (68 percent) struggle to survive on little more than US$1 per day. We quickly learned how friendly the people of Nicaragua are, and how content they seem to be with life in general. To Americans, they seem to have so little, but to us they seem to have so much more. This drew us in even further.
After returning from our first trip, we felt an intense call to return. We became the new mission trip leaders for our church and started planning more trips to Nicaragua. We fell in love with the town and its people, and knew that it was the place God wanted us to make a difference. Over the next few years we continued planning trips with various church groups.
While on mission, our groups conducted back-yard Bible camps and Vacation Bible Schools. We held several revivals and pastor training conferences. Some groups chose to tackle construction that included building a new home for a family in need and a stem wall for a local church that had access issues. Every trip included tract distribution along with some basic necessities like clothing, beans, rice, and toiletry items. Providing Spanish Bibles was also high on each groups' list.
Making connections with the local churches and its members has really helped us find out the greatest needs in the area. Even though we were serving by organizing and participating in these trips, we wanted to do more. The next step was to purchase some land. We sold our dream house in the US and bought a farm in the town of Nagarote. We are currently building a home and common area where groups can stay when they come on mission. This is a work in progress and we know God will lead us on the right path. We will continue to share the love of Jesus as the people of Nagarote share their lives with us.