May 2010 - The Harvest Center in Nicaragua
The Harvest Center Base Site
The land we purchased late last year has had its first mission: distribution center for a shipment of donated food, medical supplies and school furniture. Having a secure staging area allows us to distribute these goods in an orderly fashion and get them to those that need them the most. The ability to send the food out as the projects need it is vital. Most of the schools and churches do not have storage that would be secure from rats, insects and rain. Also our leaders and volunteers would be criticized heavily if people saw large amounts of food stacked up, they would be expected to give it out immediately to whomever asked for it, regardless of need. With our base we can send it out as the projects are able to prepare it and feed it to those that need it most.
The shipment is done with the help of the Nice Foundation. Food donated and packed by many volunteers from Harvester Christian Church and others. The food is distributed to seven ministries run by local churches to be prepared by volunteers and served to needy children. Most of the children are enrolled in schools or tutoring programs we oversee. The meals fit in well with the relationship we already have with the children and their families.
The Base site is still pretty rough although we are working to improve it. During my May visit I installed a new pump on the well there. We also started on some housing for the guards and other improvements. A little at a time!
The Church in Ciudad Sandino
The new church in Ciudad Sandino is doing well. They just finished redoing the roof on their church and painting it. They continue to evangelize and train leaders. The preacher, Carlos Tercero, a long time close friend earns a living producing cleaning products and selling them wholesale. The church also hosts a children’s outreach preschool and feeding program. We pray for continued growth and stability.
Women’s outreach under the direction of Valeria Lopez held one of their training seminars with the women of Rodeo Grande and surrounding communities. The workshop included Bible Study, training in Sunday school teaching methods and some craft activities. Some of the ladies are organized in groups to receive sewing machines and a supply of materials. The women can earn a living by sewing for their neighbors and family. These activities are a great encouragement for these women who live in isolated villages and work with small churches.
Unfortunately Valeria and her volunteers have really hit a snag with the outreach to young prostitutes in Granada. There has been a change in directors of the government agency that controls family affairs in Granada, similar to a Division of Family Services in the USA. The new director is not as open to outside groups as the previous and so we have had difficulty gaining access to these girls and their families. Because most of these girls are classified as “at risk” minors under Nicaraguan law they essentially wards of the state legally although they continue to live with their families. This means that we have to be very careful to coordinate with the agencies charged with oversight. The frustrating thing is that these officials do nothing due to lack of resources and resolve. Worse yet, they also prevent anyone else from doing anything out of sheer “cussedness” as my Grandpa would say. Folks, please pray for Valeria and her ministry to these girls, that the Lord would open doors for her to minister.