Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America and is one of the poorest countries in all of Latin America. Years of instability and corrupt governments have left the country with neither industrial-based support, and little large scale agriculture productivity. Unemployment is around 25% and 65% of households are headed by single mothers with more than one child. These numbers translate into a vast number of poor people with inadequate housing, malnutrition, and very little real hope. The children always suffer the most. It is estimated that 20% of the population exists on income of one dollar a day.
We have been in Nicaragua full time since 1995 working to catalyze community development projects. Three Christian schools have been founded with the help of committed Nicaraguan co-workers. A big part of our job is helping the Nicaraguan leaders equip the churches to reach out as Christ reached out to a people tangled in vices and ground down by poverty and hopelessness. So far we have helped the new churches establish ministries such as , an agricultural loan program, and a technical vocational shop, small business incubator and water projects. Each church has unique open doors of opportunity and we want to help each new church equip itself to meet these challenges. We try to help them balance caring ministries for hurting people with the proclamation of the Gospel. Both were important parts of Jesus’ earthly ministry and an emphasis of the Apostles’ (Gal 2:10). As time goes on we see that one part of the ministry reinforces the other in many ways. For example, when a congregation needs a church building, the apprentices in the vocational training shop are able to weld trusses and work with us on site to do necessary steelwork. Over the years we have seen the Lord use us and those that work with us to meet needs and advance the Kingdom.
Harvest Initiative is a 501c3 non profit organization based in Missouri, USA. In Nicaragua we have a local counterpart Asociacion Centro Cosecha de Nicaragua