Peace and greetings to all!
Today I helped and 83 and 84 year couple put a new Tin Roof on their ¨house¨. You would have to say shack to translate it correctly. Some of the roofing sheets were made of asbestos and have been there for years, surving a War, an earth quake and a hurricane. It gives new meaning to ¨having a roof over your head being a blessing¨. You would have to add, even if it be a Tin Roof.
This little project is costing us around $700.00. For a hard working family in Nicaragua seven hundred bucks is allot of smackers. Damarys and I are fronting these funds for now from our own savings. In the future we plan to create a fund for this sort of project on a small micro level scale, sort of one new Tin Roof at a time.
This family lost their son during the Contra War back in the late 80´s. His tortured body was delivered to the door, for respect I will leave out the details. The Mother told me that she has forgiven the death and torture of her son and those responsible. She holds no resentments, as she is a devout Catholic, who has been serving her Church community for over 45 years in a poor marginal Managua neighborhood, visiting the sick, the shut-ins and organizing prayer - reflection groups. She is a tireless follower of Jesus, and for me, a true inspiration. This woman like so many others are some of the reasons I find the motivation to keep on with the Mission.
The 84 year old man was once the best mechanic in the neighborhood and at 84 he still gets up and goes to work every day. He puts in a full 8 hour day, Monday thru Saturday, but due to the prolonged social - economic - political crisis here he brings almost nothing home for the family. Years ago, he lost all of his built up capital, his retirement fund and a nice track of land to overdue taxes that he was not able to pay during the wars year.
Today this old couple live on pure faith and the generousity of those who help them out. The mother receives a small stipend from the Governemt because her son was killed in the War.
In December, during the most important religious festival, called the La Purrissima, she as well as thousands of other poor families give out hundreds of pounds of small packages of gifts: made up of candies, rice and beans and other treats. They pass these small packets out groups of women, youth and kids, who come to sing before a Marian Altar set up in the homes.
Back in December she told me that "even though she did not have enough to give out, as in years past, the important thing was to maintain the ¨devotion¨ and a living faith in a God of Life.
Not soon after that, a hundred pound sacks of rice and beans arrived to her house for her to re-distribute to the singers of the Popular Purrissma religious festival. Her generousity to others was rewarded.
I believe that sort of generosity, of over 40 years of giving from what one does not have deserves a new Tin Roof.
Thanks for helping and keep on being generous!