I went to Nicaragua to help make life a little safer and easier for these very poor people and to let them know that there are people who care about them. I left with a lot more than I went with.
I learned about dignity, love, respect, faith, resilience, hope and I'm sure more. We worked hard and had fun. We repaired seven wells, visited both a hospital and an addiction treatment centre to distribute hygiene kits, poured a concrete floor in a church "Central American style", and played soccer with little kids. It was a wonderful experience.
I returned home to the incredible luxury that we enjoy here in Canada - clean water, hot showers, flush toilets, electricity and refrigerators full of food … and a lot of reasons to reflect on how I can better serve my faith and help people in need.
We are both retired teachers. After our first well drilling trip in 2003 we sat in the Houston airport and tried to come to terms with the previous week. We had drilled a well in the poor community of Lupita, Guatemala. It was a bit of a stretch for both of us. It was hot and muddy and our Spanish was limited. Despite all of this we were completely taken by the people and the project. We were feeling a combination of gratitude, humility, joy and enthusiasm. We phoned everybody we knew from Houston to try and tell them what we had just experienced. What a way to serve!
Heather and Barry Hart, Haliburton ON
I remember seeing the kids pulling together to bring a cart laden with water jugs up a hill to the village school. After the new well was installed, those same kids were in class an hour earlier, with all the water they'd ever need.
Terry from Ottawa
In April I leave for my 4th drill trip to Central America. Each trip gets better as I learn to relax and soak in everything. I think the biggest part for me is the fact that we make a lifelong difference in these peoples lives. We not only give them clean, fresh water but we restore their faith in people and in Jesus. The other big part is these villages have very little yet they give of their hearts. They feed us and give us drinks; making sure we are comfortable. But best of all they love us as if we have been friends for years.
I went to Honduras to drill a well and to provide a community with clean water, but I had no idea how much more they would impact my life. They welcomed us into their community and demonstrated what it looked like to love complete strangers. The beautiful smiles, affection and energy of the children instantly grabbed my heart, wanting to play and just be with us. I think I got a glimpse into Jesus heart for those children as my heart overflowed with love for them (and broke when I left), and it made me realize he offers that same love for us, too. I can't wait to go back to Honduras and be reunited with such amazing and beautiful people!
Drill trips are such an incredible way to tangibly meet the needs of others. They are hard work, but there is also time for play too. In between shifts at the drill, I would take time to play with the children in the village and chat with their mothers. This was a highlight for me. While we were meeting the physical needs of others, we were being changed in the process. To see people with so little (materially) exude so much joy and generosity of spirit is truly a blessing. It made me acutely aware of the depth of spiritual poverty that exists in North America.
Liz from Toronto
Through grace and provision, God allowed 11 people from our church, Richview Baptist, to travel down and help build a well in Nicaragua. Five of them were kids who had attended our youth group. We truly saw God working through the unity of our group, provision in finding water and also changing the lives of our team members. God enabled us to refocus on him upon our return to Canada.
This has been one of the best experiences in my life!
Shannan from Alberta