Projects done in Nicaragua by congregations that received Mission Match® funds
Congregation in Indiana provides help in building a home for a pastor and his family, visit homes near the site to distribute food, Bibles and pray with those in need. (click to open/close)
A Southern Baptist Church congregation in Indiana received its first Mission Match Matching Contribution for a team trip to Nicaragua. They planned to build a house for a local pastor, and reach out into the community.
Some years ago, the mission agency coordinating the trip asked this same pastor if he wanted a new home, since rain poured in his roof. At that time, the pastor said he would prefer Sunday school classrooms so the children could gather. The agency built the classrooms back then.
Now, the mission agency wanted help building the pastor in Nicaragua a home. That’s where the Indiana congregation came in. The mission team spent one week building the new home, as well as, going door-to-door distributing food, Bibles and praying with those in need. They also invited the local people to attend a nearby church.
Congregation in Illinois sends mission team to work in communities in mountainous areas of Nicaragua (click to open/close)
According to the application cover letter, the congregation went on their first international mission trip in partnership with an organization that has been working in villages in Nicaragua, “in the spring of 2011 … It is there we met the amazing people who live in [these two communities] … As a college community, we desired to grow these relationships more deeply …” According to the Mission Match application materials from the congregation, “Our primary activity will be growing our partnership with these global neighbors in the mountain communities of [two villages] in Nicaragua. We’ll learn about their culture; experience daily life with them; hear their struggles, hopes, and dreams, and worship and pray with them. … We will help build latrines for several families living in critical poverty. We will work in partnership with the local people in this project, supplying the money for materials and shared labor. … The funds will be used to purchase supplies, gather donations for school supplies and medical supplies for the village nurse, and assist in the cost of airfare. Most of the participants for this trip are college students paying their own way.”
“Each student [who went on the mission trip] was asked to write about his/her experience of the trip. The written reflections demonstrate the impact this trip had for the students who participated in the activities described in our goal. Each student also shared this reflections with the congregation as well as in the [Spring 2014] newsletter.”
Some comments from the student reflections follow: One student wrote, “One thing that really stuck with me was that the people work together as a community for the good of the community. They depend upon one another.” Another student wrote, “You are the salt of the Earth. In Nicaragua, we sweated. We carried bricks and sand and cement up and down mountains under a hot, hot sun. The proof was on our t-shirts. We were pouring our sweat into our work. Our [organization] leader insisted that we needed to pour extra salt on our food to make up for what we had lost. … We were also pouring our salt into the work we did … As we were doing God’s work in Nicaragua, we were sharing our salt with the people we met. For me, that experience was at times challenging and taxing. We extended our bodies physically, emotionally, and spiritually in ways that we hadn’t experienced before. But just as [the leader] replenished our bodies with a sprinkle of table salt, God replenished us through the people we met and the beauty that we saw. We are the salt of the earth, but so are the people of Nicaragua. The week was an exchange of love and lessons between the groups, and just as we poured our energies into them, they replenished us with their generosity, hospitality, and hope. While I may have lost a little of my salt … what I received back in return replenished me tenfold.”
Still other student comments stated, “It was inspiring. I was immediately immersed in cultural differences upon our arrival. … One amazing idea I found from the people … is incessant, abundant hope and love.”