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Christmas Greetings from Nicaragua

Highland Presbyterian Church received Christmas greetings from the Sundberg family. Justin and Renee Sundberg are Presbyterian Church (USA) Mission Co-Workers who serve in Nicaragua with CEPAD (The Council of Protestant Church’s in Nicaragua). Our Nicaragua Mission team works with them for communication, support, and mission trips to visit with our partner community in Mirazul del Llano, Nicaragua. 

Much of the wonder of the holiday season is juxtaposition.  A warm thermos of cocoa savored in the frosty chill of a winter night.  The brilliance of tiny twinkling lights against a midnight sky.  A crying child on the lap of a jovial Santa.

During our first Christmas in Nicaragua we were struck by the contrast of the Christmas Eve we were used to and our new southern experience.  In the past we would go to a candlelight service at our church, climaxing in the singing of Silent Night.  In Nicaragua there is no hushed entrance of Christmas morning.  At midnight you hear a solid stream of fireworks that would rival the loudest July 4 in the states.  It is quite a contrast.  And yet the birth of Jesus was not only a quiet and humble event, witnessed by some livestock, but it was celebrated by a raucous and majestic chorus of angels filling a night sky.  Beautiful juxtaposition.

We see beautiful contrasts around us all the time.  A woman sweeping her dirt floor with care.  Torrential rain hitting ground that has been parched for months.  The hands of those who have little in material wealth linked in friendship with those who are almost always able to get not only what they need, but what they want.

We want to offer our deep gratitude for you as we bear witness to and participate in what is happening here.  For your friendship, your prayers, your financial support and all you do that allows us to be in a land of riches and poverty, hope and despair, joy and pain.  Know that you play a key role in bearing light to this part of the world. 

With our love,

Justin, Renée, Autumn, Jack, Cassie and Ethan

Christmas 2015

 

In Emergencies, CEPAD Supports

This article comes from “The CEPAD Report,” a quarterly newsletter highlighting the work in communities supported by CEPAD (Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua). CEPAD is a mission partner supported with funds by the Church in the World committee and through a partnership facilitated by Highland Presbyterian Church’s Nicaragua Mission Team

 

Drought struck Nicaragua in 2014 like never before. Every month saw 20 to 50 percent less rainfall than normal, and the effects were dev- astating. In the driest parts of Nicaragua, which includes most of CEPAD’s partner communities, the lack of rainfall contributed to a drop in crop production of up to 75 percent.

CEPAD water tank

Hermelinda Urbina shows off her new water tank in Nacoscolo, San Jose, Nicaragua.

 

We can’t change the weather, but we can respond! In partnership with ACT Alliance and Episcopal Relief and Development, CEPAD pro- vided irrigation and water collection tools, food and seeds to more than 600 families.

 

Hermelinda Urbina in the community Naco- scolo was among the first to receive an emergen- cy food packet and a new water tank to collect water and irrigate her farm.

 

“We haven’t had a good harvest in two years, and we couldn’t have survived without CEPAD,” she said. “Thanks to CEPAD we have food to eat until it starts to rain in May.”

 

Thank you for your prayers and donations for Nicaraguans fighting drought. With your help, we’ll be with them every step of the way.

 

Learn more by downloading the Spring edition of The CEPAD Report.

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