We have built the first of what we hope to be dozens of homes working towards rebuilding the Miskito Indigenous communities devastated by Hurricanes ETA and IOTA last year. It was an amazing trip and so beautiful to be a part of God’s people coming to the aid of those in need. “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” ~ Romans 12:13
Out of the ashes hope will rise! This was the scene as we approached the construction site. It was quite the contradiction to see something new and beautiful rising from so much destruction. It was a huge blessing to give Alberto’s family a new home! More on this story below…but first, would you consider donating to build another home? Little by little we can make a huge difference in rebuilding these communities!
The cost to build a home is $8000
The picture above is of Alberto, his wife Fatima and part of their family after we dedicated their new home to them with a time of prayer and blessing. On our first trip to Wawa Bar after Hurricane ETA and as Hurricane IOTA was arriving our friend Todd Ohran found Alberto sitting on the front porch of what was left of his home. He was crying. We spent the rest of our time with Alberto gathered around him and listening to the story of the beautiful house he had, the little store they had built on the front of the house, how this store was what allowed him to provide for his family which included his children and grandchildren. They all lived together there. The entire front of his house where the store was had been torn off. Alberto was sitting on the slumped over remains of the back portion of his house. It was sooooo hard to see. I remember having Mason with us that trip, that was the only time I saw tears come into his eyes. We had seen lots of destruction. But, to sit with a grown man who couldn’t hold back the emotions was a hard moment. We prayed together as we left and I remember Todd telling Alberto that we won’t forget about him. As we left, the evacuations were starting because Hurricane Iota was approaching. This was the hardest part about remembering that day. Hurricane Iota took what was left of Alberto’s house…it was devastating!
Todd didn’t forget Alberto. Todd led the team of chain saw crews to return to Wawa Bar after Iota to help clear large trees, he went and found Alberto. His house was completely gone and he was huddled under temporary shelter with seven other families…..SEVEN! This was when the ball started rolling to get something done! Pastor Earl from Verbo Church was able to develop a cost estimate and design for rebuilding houses. I remember talking with Todd when he returned and asking about Alberto. It felt like God was going to move and make something happen! As 2021 turned we were heading over to Puerto Cabezas together to build three houses…the first one for Alberto in Wawa Bar!
The trip was pretty awesome! There is something very special doing things on the micro scale….the overall devestation is still so evident on the ground in WawaBar. Verbo Church was delivering water to the community as we worked on the house because clean water is still not available. The landscape is still scattered with debri as people have built temporary shelters out of the scraps they have found. It is hard hard hard when you look at things from the macro level. It is overwhelming. So, for God to give us this special time building a home that will last for decades and be a shelter for several generations in this one family was really really really awesome!
It was very special to spend more time with Alberto and hear his heart for his neighbors and for his community. He told us how his little church next door has started meeting in the open air (the church had been completely destroyed). He told us he was a musician and they asked him to lead times of worship but he was ashamed because his dental bridge had been damaged. But they told him not to worry we don’t have electricity and nobody can see you anyway! We talked with other church members that visited about permanent water solutions. His wife even cooked lunch for us one day…imagine that, a family that has lost everything is cooking you a meal in the midst of all that had happened. You can bet we ate every single bite, and it was really good!
The most memorable moment for me was listening to Alberto talk about the day he realized his house was going to get rebuilt. Communication is difficult in Wawa Bar, so there was no real way to let him know the decision that had been made. He said he was in his house praying one morning. He had his Bible open and was taking the morning to spend time with God and set all of his heavy burdens before the Lord when he heard someone calling his name outside. “Alberto Medina, Alberto Medina”. He walked out to see who it was and said “I am Alberto Medina”. The men arriving said “we are from Verbo Church and we are here to start building your house, can you help us carry the wood up from the shore?” How awesome is that?
God is so very good and it was such a great work to be a part of! There is still so much to be done, but we are happy to go little by little and make a great impact for God’s Kingdom.
Please consider donating or passing our information on to organizations who may be able to donate. (email is best… firstname.lastname@example.org) These houses really are pretty amazing for the cost it takes to build them. Todd and I even joked about how we were working with shiplap out in the middle of nowhere! We stopped short of our idea to start our own reality tv show LOL!
Love and blessings from Nicaragua,
Chris & Krista