A partnership between First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Madisonville, Kentucky and Community of Faith Presbyterian Church, Covington, Kentucky, with the Pastors’ Committee of Can Carlos, Nicaragua. This committee is a group of pastors who minister to about 14 churches in the Rio San Juan Region, an area in the sounthern part of the country.
Our mission is to build relationships, more than to build things. We believe that it is more important to be in relationships with people than it is to build buildings. We accomplish this work through the third member of this partnership, CEPAD (The Council of Protestant Churches in Nicaragua). Or visit are designed to grow our partnership by strengthening our friendship and spiritual ties. At CEPAD’s office in Managua we meet with political and/or economic leaders, to get up to speed on current events in the country. In, and around San Carlos, we visit successful, ongoing projects that are being carried out by CEPAD and the Pastors’Committee.
Some of these projects are: The Theological Study Program, and the sewing/school uniform project. Both these programs meet many of the needs of the people. The Theological Study Program is an adult, bible based program, that deals with everyday problems that many of them deal with on a daily basis. The sewing/school uniform project was initially set up to teach ladies in the area to sew. It still meets that need. In addition, we discovered a lot of children were not attending school, because their parents could not afford to purchase them a school uniform. In a true partnership effort, we purchase material and the supplies, the ladies at the sewing project make the uniforms.
During our visit in 2012, we were made aware of water problems in several of the villages in the area. In 2013 we complete our first project in the Las Azcenas community. This delivered safe, clean water to 155 homes. In 2014 we helped La Vanada expend their existing system to 122 homes. Both these were true partnership efforts. We bought the supples needed, they furnished the labor.
We also support two organizations that are not connected with our partnership. Los Quinchois, a group that deals with homeless, abused and neglected children in Managua. And Comunidad Connect, a group in San Juan del Sur (on the Pacific coast). They do many community projects, have a neat scholarship program. As well as in home water treatment systems.
The United States takes a lot more from Nicaragua than it gives. You may not realize that some of the inexpensive rice, coffee, and fruits we consume, and the clothes we wear, may have come from Nicaragua. Nicaraguans often see North Americans who come to their country to take advantage of their labor and natural resources. In contrast we go to try and give them attention and respect, not to exploit them. In our broken Spanish, or through a translator, we say that we care about them and their struggles. Our very presence in their villages and homes sends a message of Christian love and peace. They, in turn, show us love by sharing their food and welcoming us into their homes, and by showing us the things that they are proud of doing for God and God’s children. Their faith in God and their testimony of survival in a harsh economic, social, and physical environment is nothing short of amazing….and we are blessed to share the experience with them.
For more information….or if you would like to support this ministry, or if you would like to join us on our next trip, contact…Ed Ramsey at 270-322-8758 or by email at – firstname.lastname@example.org
To see photos of our previous trips, click the links below. To read the report on this year’s trip click here.