My obsession with bad, bumpy roads is wearing thin, I’ll admit, but I have one more story, and I promise, that will be it. Actually, I can’t promise that since I am heading to Kenya in July, but for now, let’s say that this is the last one for the spring. I actually think there is a good book in me somewhere that talks about the people I find at the ends of these bumpy roads I’ve traveled on.
This post is about Chacraseca, Nicaragua. Chacraseca is at the end of a very bad road, probably the worst road I experienced in all my travels, not just in Central America. The roads are carved out of old lava fields. The lava is sharp, jagged, and very hard. It is hard to get them very smooth, so the roads weave in and out of the lumps of lava that were deposited millenia before. When our truck finally pulled off this road, we found ourselves in front of the Church of Christ in Chacraseca. CRF donors sponsor about 14 kids in this community, and I was about to meet many of them. School was out and the word went out that a CRF person from the U.S. would be at their church building to meet people.
Most people in Chacraseca are “campesinos”, or farmers, including the minister of the church, Algenor. That is him standing in front of the church building. He was telling us that the rainfall in that region has been almost non-existent in the last 3 years. The farmers there rely on nature to water the plants because they cannot afford irrigation. They have lost crop after crop because after planting a field, the needed rains didn’t come. They are unsure about when to plant because of the spotty weather. Many are blaming global warming. The changes to their climate have confused them. When there is no farming, there are no jobs in Chacraseca, none. The community tries to band together to help each other out. The group had just gleaned a commercial peanut farm behind the mechanical harvesters. They all share in what is gleaned. They also recently shared in one farmer’s successful squash harvest. Hard-working, honest, faithful, but poor. This describes many of the people I find at the ends of these hard roads I travel.
The fourteen children we sponsor have huge hearts. One of the things that makes CRF child sponsorship different is that our sponsors are actually assigned a child. That child receives monthly support individually, and we encourage our sponsors to build a relationship with them. In this community, our children have decided that they will share with the church all they receive. After we provide the 14 packages of rations, they have chosen to help their entire community. After hearing about their generosity, I wanted to make sure our children had enough to eat, and were attending school. I got a “yes” answer to both those questions. Not only the children, but family after family came to thank CRF, to shake my hand, hug me, and take my picture after our devotional and prayer time. They asked if we would find sponsors for more of their children. I couldn’t promise them we would get more children sponsored in Chacraseca, but I am sending our Nicaragua guys there today to take more pictures of unsponsored kids like the ones in this picture and record their information. I have faith that our sponsors will understand and respond in the way they always do…with generosity, faith, and most importantly, love. I think God will be able to provide CRF with sponsors for another 15 children in Chacraseca. If you want to help in any way, please contact us and let us know how you want to help. At the very least, please pray for rain in that entire region, they could use it.