The Life of Liz

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Trip to Condega

On Condega:

Last week I traveled north to Condega to visit the church there. While I was there, I found the real Nicaragua. Living in Managua, it’s occasionally possible to forget that this is the third poorest country in the world. This is not to suggest that there isn’t staggering poverty here as well, but much of it is papered over with a thin veneer of, relatively speaking, middle class life. There are nice neighborhoods where people have pools; there are movie theaters, department stores, car dealerships, restaurants. Here in Managua, people get up in the morning, eat breakfast, get on the bus (or motorcycle or car, if they have one) and go to work.

But that isn’t the real Nicaragua.

The real face of Nicaragua is a woman in Condega. She lives alone with her six young kids in a one room house. She doesn’t get up, eat breakfast and go to work because there isn’t any breakfast and there isn’t any work. In that part of the country, if you don’t work in the tobacco fields, it is awfully difficult to find a job of any kind. Most days, the family goes hungry until dinner time when they walk over to the Methodist church and receive a plate of nutritionally balanced, vitamin enriched rice with soy and vegetables. The story is similar for most of the approximately eighty people the church feeds every day - there‘s no work, there‘s no money, we can‘t buy enough food.

The church in Condega is really amazing. The Spirit of God is there. They understand the needs of the community and are working toward meeting those needs. When Rigoberto (the VIM Coordinator for the Methodist Church of Nicaragua) and I arrived, the front yard of the church was full of neighborhood boys playing soccer. While the ladies of the church were preparing the food for the feeding program, pastor Edgar told me of his hopes to build a primary school on the church property as the closest one is nearly two miles away (quite a trip for a three year old!). They really get it; being a Christian isn’t just about having a festive service or listening to a sermon (although those things happen too), it’s about the kind of love that reaches out and changes lives.


Also whilst in Condega, I noticed my Spanish has drastically improved. Rigoberto almost never needed to translate for me (unlike our previous trip in February to Matagalpa and Jinotega). It was a little difficult to understand perfectly as the accent is different in the mountains and everyone speaks rather fast. But I was surprised at how much I did understand. It’s a miracle! I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to ElĂ­, who was never bothered by my utter lack of language skills and simply talked to me, slowly and patiently, until I learned Spanish.

2 comments:

Kath May 23, 2011 at 11:19:00 AM MDT  

Being the hands and feet....it makes the difference.

Clay Grubbs October 22, 2012 at 10:31:00 AM MDT  

Stumbled upon this post by searching for Nicaragua Methodist Rigoberto. So yes, we know the same Rigo. I hope to be visiting Edgar in December to help continue construction of the kitchen/classrooms. I was just pleasantly surprised to find this post. God Bless!

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A brand new mom trying to navigate the crazy world of mixed families, babies, and working full time. Phew! Just writing that makes me want to lie down.

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