Crossroads Invasion Part Two

Good morning from Managua, Nicaragua!

Over the past week, two teams from Crossroads Community Church invaded Nicaragua and were able to do assist the community of El Canyon (and Monte Tabor, for that matter) in some really neat ways.  When the agriculture team first arrived we told them they were on the cutting edge of our outreach to the community in this way.  In other words, they were the first group to take on this new challenge.  By the end of their time in Nicaragua, however, you would not have known it.  With the help of Pastor Josue, Yamileth and Victor, three families in El Canyon were set up to build family gardens with the team.  Monday morning the team and the families arrived and received some basic agriculture instruction from Jay Belt and Job, our agronomist at the Veracruz Farm.  After learning a little about gardening and practicing some of the techniques, the families, the team and some of the young people from Puente de Amistad went to each house to create a family garden plan.  The first site was a little tricky as the primary growing locations were on a hill.  To solve this problem, the team worked with the homeowner to create “tire terraces” that would avoid erosion and allow for better production.  Additionally, the team built a trellis for granadilla production, a popular fruit that grows on a vine.  After completing the garden, the team was even able to build a chicken coup for egg production.  With the new garden and chicken coup, the homeowner will be able to provide her family with better food as well as earn income from selling the produce and eggs.

When the team arrived at the second location, they found out that two of the families were going to work together to create a community garden, which they would use to earn income and improve their living conditions.  This was exciting news as one of VNDF’s long term visions is to assist in the creation of community gardens in El Canyon.  Through the assistance of Job and his agricultural knowledge, the team was able to design two gardens for vegetable production as well as a large trellis to grow granadilla.  Arriving early on Tuesday morning, many of the team members had their first experience using a machete to clear space for a garden.  After clearing the spaces, the team worked with the families to plant vegetables and set up the site for the granadilla production.  After completing each garden, the team and homeowner prayed together and thanked God for the opportunity to work together.  We are very excited to see how God uses the team, homeowner and young people from Puente de Amistad’s efforts.

In addition to the agriculture team, Crossroads sent an education team aimed at coming alongside the teachers at two of the local schools.  Over the course of their time here, the team was able to do lunch-and-learns with teachers from both the Martin Luther King School in El Canyon and the Bethel School in Monte Tabor.  Additionally, they did crafts with the students and facilitated a couple of activities the teachers can use to teach basic skills such as counting and saving money.  The team also brought small gifts for each teacher.  In a country in desperate need of quality educators, the team’s visit was a blessing to the teachers and the students.  In fact, the new relationship they formed with the Bethel School has led to our upcoming medical team scheduling a one day clinic in the community.

Beginning today a team focused on medical and women’s issues will begin their work.  We are excited to see what God will do in and through this team just as he did in and through the agriculture and education teams.  Stay tuned for more on the Crossroads Invasion in next week’s post!

– James Belt

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