Bible Donation in Nicaragua
[This article, submitted by Becky Warner, describes a mission trip she took with her husband Daryl in January, 2016. This article is part 1. Read Part 2 here (Clothing Distribution). Read Part 3 here (Meals, Care and Training for Children). Read Part 4 here (Conclusion).]
With our niece and nephew, Edith (pronounced Edit’) and Craig, Daryl and I traveled to Matagalpa, Nicaragua, where Edith grew up. She emigrated to Miami, FL, when she was 15 years old with her family due to the revolution going on in Nicaragua. Craig and Edith met at University of Miami in FL while attending its business school. They married shortly after graduating and now have 3 children all in high school. Edith has only returned to Nicaragua a handful of times since leaving, but each time she has further developed a relationship between the church there, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and her church in Petoskey, MI, St. Francis Xavier, helping where possible.
For this trip, Social Action and Benevolence of East Church generously gave us money to spend as we saw need. We met and visited many programs actively benefiting the needy within the large parish of Matagalpa. One particular young man named Alam has been leading a growing youth group in a poor community on the outskirts of the city. Unlike the US, in Nicaragua there are no wealthy suburbs. All social classes are interspersed throughout the city with many outlying poor communities. Alam told us of his desire to get the Word into the hands of his youth. Teaching Bibles with hard covers would be best for selfteaching and hard use. Where other needs we had heard about included large sums, and the idea of young people being able to study and repeatedly access the Word seemed very worthwhile, we decided to help Alam. Although our schedule was tight, we didn't know how, but we knew we would get the Bibles.
Daryl and Craig began hatching a plan to get the Bibles to Alam. They discussed how to purchase the Bibles, and then how to get them to him. Alam, they found out, would be in Matagalpa that day, but needed to meet them at 4 PM after his meetings, but before the last bus back to his community where he had moved to be close to the youth. So far so good. Tamara and Janvin, the housekeepers, scouted the best place to purchase the Bibles and to exchange dollars for local currency, cardoba, on the street where the best exchange rate could be obtained.
Now it was time for Daryl and Craig to walk with backpacks to purchase the Bibles. After a successful shopping excursion at St. Peter’s Cathedral book store, they walked with the Bibles in their packs to meet Alam at Our Lady of Guadalupe. Although Alam had to catch the bus to get back to the community, he was humble and very appreciative of the gift. He posed for pictures by the display of Bibles Daryl had arranged. Then all three tried to pack all the Bibles into his ONE backpack. It was not working. Craig ended up giving him his backpack which had been his son's school pack with his name, Austin, prominently embroidered on the back. Gratefully, Alam marched off carrying both packs making it to the bus just in time.
We are proud to think we as representatives of East Church have been part in giving 20 young people such a wonderful gift.