“FEED THE FAMILIES”
In the wee hours of the morning of July 11, 2008, a small but mighty contingent of the Knox-Elora Care Team (Kn.E.C.T.) met a Knox Church to begin our journey to Managua. Of course, the preparations for the trip had started much earlier. Local ministries, fundraising, team building and much planning had begun a few years prior.
Our travelling team consisted of 12 members. They ranged from teens to retirees. Our support team was much larger, consisting of many members of our congregation in Elora, as well as family, friends and members of the community. Without these people supporting us, the trip would not have been possible. Some of the team members had been to Nicaragua on one or more trips, but for half of our team, it was their first time.
Our main goal at Kn.E.C.T. is to make connections. We made many new friends and reconnected with some old friends. Our main project in Nicaragua was to help with the construction of a Church addition at the Templo Hermosa in Masaya. We were able to build three block walls with the help of our foreman, Mauricio, our interpreter and construction worker, Samuel, and many others from the community. Much clothing was handed out to the families of the Church and community. While the building was going on, there were lots of crafts and games and sports and singing for the kids in the area. Francie, another interpreter and a leader with PAN’s (Presbyterians Aiding Nicaraguans) sport ministries, helped us with the children.
As with all mission trips, we had many side excursions. These included; a day trip to El Viejo to paint part of a medical clinic; a rousing soccer game at the Remar orphanage, a visit to a school and feeding centre at Tipi Tapa, as well as some shopping and sight-seeing trips.
Some of the highlights of our trip were;
- a visit to the Women’s Hospital in Managua where a donation was made in honour of Brenda, sister of Lawrie, one of our team members.
- A visit to Genesis Church in the Waspan Barrio was another great opportunity to reconnect with a family some of us had met during our first build in 2003.
- We all attended a Church service at Apostolica Principe de Paz, Xiloa, the site of our second build.
It was great getting reacquainted with our friends at Xiloa, but the most exciting thing was when we heard about, and saw, the feeding centre attached to the Church. Francesca, who ran the children’s ministry at the Church, now lives in a building attached to the Church. She feeds about 150 children five times a week. We were able to provide her with a propane stove to make the job a bit easier. Our team decided to bless the community at Templo Hermosa with food. We made up approximately 60 bags of food containing rice, beans, corn and sugar. Each family received about two weeks worth of food.
As usual, the meals and accommodations at Jenny’s Angels Inn were excellent. Victor, Alfredo and Chepe made sure we got to our many different locations safe and sound. Many thanks to PAN director, Annette, for her exceptional administrative skills and her ability to adapt and be flexible to our team’s needs. Thanks also to our team administrator, Doug. Overall, it was a great experience for all of us. We have already stared planning for our next trip.
Our team consisted of: Adam, Andrew B, Paul, Nichole, Aileen, Melissa, Jim, Jennifer, Lawrie, Cindy, Joan and JoAnne.