Jennifer’s friend was dying of cancer and her friend was pregnant. Jennifer stayed by her side through the pregnancy. Her friend died shortly after giving birth. Jennifer and her husband stepped in to raise Jonathan like their own. When they looked into adopting Jonathan they were told they had to have a home. We shared the story and the home was built. They told her she had to have a door. We fitted the door. When it was finally done and accepted she needed $500 to complete the adoption. One of our board members donate the money. The privilege of being the smallest part of God bringing a family together. That’s crazy love! Here Jonathan is on the left with his family.
In 2010 when we began to lead the Ignite student street ministry, one of the key moments of our work occurred in the make shift community of ‘tent city.’ Sick Elderly people living together in community suing a large fruit producing company for using illegal or unhealthy chemicals that led to mass and terminal illnesses. This photo depicts Ricky. Ricky was living on this mattress in the center of this community, forgotten and over looked by family and those living right next to him. He was very ill. We raised awareness and funds to hire one of the lady’s in the community to feed him soup and regular meals. Ricky was soon able to walk around on his own. Finally the wonder of God’s provision,, he soon was able to return to his family in Chinandega where we hope he lives out his days with love and dignity. It was fun to see the students love of him and get to observe his healing and God’ provision for his life. We have continued to return to ‘tent city’ through the years to love on our friends and meet needs when God leads us to.
Meet Armando Jose Mejia. Our Nicaraguan ‘son’. He is THE MAN and the reason why we can do what we do in Nicaragua. In 2007 when we first moved to Nicaragua, Armando was working for the construction crew that was remodeling our home. He was the night time security guard. His heart is to serve and every night he would hang around the house and ‘help’ us do whatever we were doing. He won our hearts. When his construction job was done we snatched him up and hired him as our first employee and guard (living in Nicaragua you have to have 24 hour security). We fell love with him and his family. Through the years Greg was able to mentor him in business, in life, in family, and being a man of God in his community. Now Armando works for Hope Road and Helping Hands Latin American. He does an amazing job of organizing and managing construction crews of all kinds. We have seen God touch his heart and raise him up as a leader in his community. He lives in Los Cedros with his wife Karla, daughter Sandra, and son, Jose Carlos Mejia. Helping Hands is funding the education of Sandra at the Nicaraguan Christian Academy.He works side by side with Pastor Fernando getting the various churches planted in the surrounding communities.
Maria De Los Angeles is one of our favorite people! She lives in ‘tent city.’ We visit her every time we get the chance. She will greet you with the biggest smile, squeal, and hug you can ever imagine! Here she is holding a silk rose that we gave her for her birthday. We have often filled her home with adults and students alike, to pray, laugh, and just have fun!
When we first moved to Nicaragua, Armando worked for us. My heart just wanted to know him and his family and anyone else. Once Sunday after church we went to Armondo’s. It took only a few minutes to get awkward as we didn’t know a link of Spanish. However, communicate as we may, Vilma finding out we had a farm and no chickens. She immediately jumped up and led me to her make-shift chicken coop and handed me these two chickens. We nicked name them Armondo and Jinette. They would, in time, become the patriarchs of a brood of over 130 chickens on the farm!
A few days before Christmas in 2010, ‘Sister’ Reina’s home burned to the ground. Her home was in one of the communities where we often served. We arrived at her home while it was still smoldering. As is typical, the Elam’s rarely have the funds to respond, but we are the voice, the conduit if you will for the desperate needs of those in our sphere of influence. It took a few months, but we ultimately raised funds to rebuild her home. Then when it was done, we took Ignite, our student street ministry to her home to paint it and love on her. We prayed over it and watch God touch her heart. What a joy, to be the smallest piece of what God is doing in lives.
This beautiful lady and her son are standing in front of their home in Chinendega. When they first visited her community, her husband was dying. Helping Hands began to support her monthly with nutritious food. When Helping Hands visited her in October 2015, her husband was well, working again, and supporting his family! God is good!
There have been many times, as funds would permit, that we were able to bless families with much needed provisions or special blessings at Christmas!