Nicaragua Mission Team (NUTS)
In January, Highland Presbyterian Church sent a delegation to visit our partner community in Mirazul, Nicaragua through our international mission team Nicaragua Under the Skin (lovingly known as the NUTS). In 2007, Highland Presbyterian Church established a formal relationship with a partner community in Mirazul Nicaragua. The relationship was established through the Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua (CEPAD). Last year, in October 2013, we invited and provided travel and hospitality for a delegation of three Mirazul leaders to come to Louisville from Nicaragua. It was exciting to return to Nicaragua a year later.
While in Managua, our delegation were the guests of CEPAD at the Nehemiah Guest House in Managua where they received an orientation. While in Mirazul, members the team were guests of families in the community, staying in homes. While there, the team had a handful of objectives. The delegation renewed our covenant, which expired in 2014 (per Session approval in December 2014), they worked sided-by-side with the community doing handicrafts and building tables for the community’s sewing co-op. A significant part of the experience involves sharing our lives and faith together, learning about our Nicaraguan partners lives with the challenges and hopes they have spiritually, socially, economically, and politically, and sharing our own. It was an experience connecting as we reflect on our shared faith that transcended cultures.
The organization that facilitates our connection to the community in Mirazul, CEPAD, has been working to facilitate relationships and experiences like this one since 1979. Using a model of accompaniment and empowerment, CEPAD helps communities and individuals use their own gifts and abilities to be the principal actors in their own development. CEPAD has been a partner with Highland Presbyterian Church and Mirazul as we have developed our relationship since 2007. During this time the NUTS have listened to Mirazul as they identified their development needs. So far the NUTS witnessed and supported their efforts to create a cemetery, construct a community center, offer a nursing station for basic needs, and develops a sewing co-op that provides skills as well as school uniforms (that provides greater access to education). Together, the community in Mirazul and many NUTS have shared music, worship, prayer, art, stories, as well as our deep and abiding friendship in Christ. Keep this delegation in prayer as they continue this relationship on behalf of the congregation.
At 13 people, the 2015 delegation was the largest delegation in the history of our partnership. The delegation includes these church members and friends: Martin Schindler, Martha Makela, Laura Devlin, Tim Kute, Mary Ellen Harned, Rick Harned, Molly Prince, Anne Prince, Stacy Croft, Lloyd Croft, Clair Schultis, Sue Latta, and Rev. Matt Nickel.