Great Hope in the Midst of Brokenness
Good morning from Westminster, MD!
In the past two articles I have discussed how our perception of someone impacts how we treat them, and the need to expand our view of poverty and how to effectively address it. I recently had the opportunity to spend time in Nicaragua with some of our NicaWorks! team members, which only reinforced these two realities. It was also a great reminder that in the midst of brokenness there is great hope.
During my time in Nicaragua, I had the chance to visit many NicaWorks! projects, as well as program with which NicaWorks! partners, focused on bringing practical and spiritual hope through real opportunities and reframed identities. As I visited the Frutivera sweet corn project in Veracruz, now successfully in constant production and harvest due to improvements to the water system and a lot of hard work, I became even more excited about the impact it could have in Nicaragua as it continues to grow. With 17 people already on the team, Frutivera is in a great position to continue to create opportunities for people and their families to experience practical hope. With a focus on also helping them see that they were created on purpose and for a purpose by a God who loves them, Frutivera is a picture of the power of all-in hope to create change.
The small team and I had the chance to visit Club Esperanza, a school operated by Open Hearts and located in one of the more impoverished neighborhoods in Managua. While there are many signs of poverty and hopelessness in the neighborhood as you drive around, you wouldn’t know it when you enter the school. With kids laughing and smiling as they run around the schoolyard, play on the playground, and participate in class you can see the impact the Club Esperanza staff is having on the kids and their families. Through the sowing vocational program, NicaWorks! has had the opportunity to partner with Club Esperanza to provide school uniforms for kids who can’t afford them. Club Esperanza is a beacon of real hope, providing children both the opportunity of a education and the perspective that the were created for something more.
I was able to spend time with Oscar and Febe in Nueva Guinea, where they continue to transform the property into a beautiful farm. We went to Bluefields for a couple of days, where Ed, Ligia, and their team continue to provide hope to the community through their project and church. We visited the NicaBike Shop, the used bike shop launched by NicaWorks! in 2014, and discussed the possibility of expanding to another location. While I could go on, the underlying theme is the same: there is hope in Nicaragua.
Where this was most evident was the faces and words of the people I spent time with in Nicaragua. Projects are great, but it is the impact on people that truly tells the story. Talking to Josh, Field Director for NicaWorks, and his wife and fellow NicaWorks! team member, Flavia, and many others, I found myself encouraged by their hope for the future. While they are not blind to the brokenness in Nicaragua, they do not believe it is the end of the story. Through the practical and spiritual hope provided by real opportunities and a reframed identity, real change is possible through the power of all-in hope.
The same is true for you and me. Brokenness is a reality but it does not have to stop there. There is real hope and I believe in its power to create change more than ever. That is why I wrote Hope Realized and why I continue to write about it today.
I find one of the best ways to remain hopeful is to live with purpose. I was reminded of this as well in Nicaragua and will share more about it next time.