Why would someone go to Managua, Nicaragua just to paint a building? Well – every time I go to Nicaragua I am overwhelmed by the poverty of the country, yet surprised by the joy that I see in the children I meet. These children, mostly of grade school age, just ooze enthusiasm and are full of love, like children everywhere. However, I know that one day they will grow up, become teenagers, and then adults, and realize how limited their opportunities are. This may cause them to fall into a life of despair and to begin developing destructive habits – taking drugs, engaging in prostitution, stealing.
That is why Austin Samaritans supports certain organizations in Nicaragua. The support consists of providing grants to the organizations and bringing mission trip teams to do construction, facility maintenance, or provide relational activities for the children. We work with these organizations to improve the children’s chances of having a wider range of opportunities when they grow older.
On our most recent mission trip we painted the interior of a facility that serves as a preschool and study center for children that live next to the Managua city dump. I know this isn’t that much of an accomplishment, but it is rewarding to know that even our little contribution helps keep this oasis alive in an area of abject poverty. It gives one hope that these children will have the chance of a better future.