In late February 2017, the Owen Sound First Christian Reformed Church sent, for the 5th time, a short term mission trip team to Nicaragua to assist World Renew and the San Lucas Society. This was the third time helping with an initiative to bring sustainable potable water to various communities. For 2016 and 2017 the community we served with was Ochomogo, in the Carazo region of Nicaragua, south west of Managua. What a joy to be in the same community and renew friendships made the previous year.
The ultimate goal will be to supply potable water, via individual water hydrants, to more than 50 families. In 2016 we started the project with preparing a concrete base to hold the water holding tank and constructing some of the water meter boxes, threading pipe for the water hydrants etc. Throughout the course of 2016 we joined with community members through prayer and dedication to the Lord and accomplished an amazing amount of work. Upon our return in 2017 we were thrilled to see how far the project had proceeded. The holding tank was in place, the well drilled, solar panels in place and a good portion of the main trunk line trenching had been dug. It was an exceptionally hot year and community members would get up well before dawn to dig. Our team would arrive around 8:00 – 8:30 to find the community swinging pics and shovels, assembling the oxen to pull out a rock, etc.
What is such a blessing and inspiring to us was the unity of the community as they worked together, telling stories, sharing of the labour, lots of sweat, lots of laughter, no complaining! Simply joy and enjoyment in all they did. It could be they actually dug the trenches faster than we could in North America, even with our excavating equipment. Truly impressive!!
By the end of the week, more than a dozen homes had potable water to their doorstep! God is Great! What an inspiration to the community to finally see years of prayer, preparation, fundraising and hard work come to fruition. What an inspiration to us as outsiders looking in. If we had started with pride in “helping the community” we were now humbled by this community and the faith they showed towards God and the blessings they received. Faith CAN move mountains!! What an honour to be part of this process, all to the Glory of God.
Another blessing was to see the respect that the community and the San Lucas Society was receiving from other NGO’s, local and regional governments and other communities in Nicaragua. Hats off to the staff at San Lucas! Their thought and organization of each step of the process from conception to completion is like no other. Their understanding and respect of the culture, infused with a complete dedication to the Lord, has been evident each and every year that we attend.
Finally, without World Renew, Mark Vanderwees and David Rios we wouldn’t be able to witness the Lord at work in these communities. When there is unity in Christ as there is in the partnerships established with World Renew and San Lucas Society, feeding off of each other’s strengths while unified as the universal church of God there is nothing that cannot be accomplished!