Monday, July 29, 2013

Nicaragua: The Houses

The houses in Nicaragua blew me away. I knew to expect things that were very different than where we live, but I wasn't really prepared to see the care and pride the people took in their homes built out of tarps and rusted tin. They were so thankful to have what they do, and it was humbling to see multiple families live in one square room and then hear people in the US complain about being cramped in small houses (with multiple rooms and way too much junk!). It was very eye opening and a very beautiful experience. I came home to my 4300 square foot home and wanted to throw up...seriously ridiculous. I CANNOT WAIT to take my kids to Nica one day and I hope it will stir their hearts towards missions, compassion, and the truth and reality of how most of the world lives. 

Outdoor bed and hammock

This little home seemed so welcoming to me!

A BIG house.

Toilet...some were out in the open like this. 

Other fancy toilets were in a building with a "door." 

This is one of my favorite stories from while I was on my trip. This little cutie is Ishmael, and he is 5 years old. His mama is Aracely, and she works for Voice of Hope ministries as a housekeeper and has been with them for years. She has been buying blocks to build her house one at a time as she could afford them. She and her husband had been trying to build their home for 4 years, and they knew that it would likely take them 8. They were waiting patiently, working hard to provide a safe place for their family, and struggling to make it all work. A new section of Voice of Hope Ministries is called Homes of Hope. While I was there, a group was able to finish buying the supplies needed and help Aracely's family finish building their beautiful home. Ishmael worked so hard every day I was there trying to get it finished, and the day before I left we were able to do a house dedication. It was amazing!

Ishmael sifting dirt (this was HARD!)

Ishmael straightening out old nails to use on the house. 

The finished product...besides the door!
This is a very nice house for the area. As you saw, most of the homes are made with tarps or cardboard. 
The home where Aracely's family was staying before had bad leaking problems, and it rains a lot during this time of year.  During the house dedication, it started pouring! We were all inside and under their beautiful new roof...Aracely's face lit up and she had tears rolling down her face as she saw how dry and "safe" everything and everyone was. It was such a special time! 

At the house dedication. Ishmael has an older brother too, but he doesn't like pictures! :) 

Last week, I was able to share about Nicaragua during VBS. I told the kids the story about Ishmael and asked them if they knew anyone who was 5....or if they ever built a house when they were 5. I think it really hit home with them, and they were able to really grasp that not everyone lives like we do. Love telling this sweet boy's story! 

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