I arrived in Nicaragua late Thursday evening and was greeted at the airport by Tim, who took me (and another visiting friend) to his home in Managua, the capital city. Yesterday, we did some sightseeing in the colonial city of Granada, about an hour south of Managua.
On the way there, Tim told me more about his work with some of the church communities in rural areas of the country. I was fascinated to learn about the biodigesters he has helped to build for a number of homes: a biodigester is piece of technology used to turn cow manure into methane gas, which is used as fuel for cooking. Most families in rural areas have been using firewood to fuel their cooking, but firewood is expensive and hard to come by (thanks in large part to deforestation), so biodigesters offer an alternative that uses a readily available resource (no shortage of manure in most communities!) that is ecologically sound and saves families money. Tim does a much better job of describing this work, with pictures, in a blogpost he wrote here.
Last night, we had dinner with a friend of Tim and Laura Jean’s, Magyolene. She’s from Chile, and is here in Nicaragua for a two-year volunteer assignment with La Mision Christiana (the church that Tim and Laura Jean work with). Magyolene is here to implement an environmental education curriculum in the after-school programs the church runs for children in the neighborhoods of Managua. She told me that she wants to teach the kids that the earth is God’s creation, and give them tools to take good care of it. She hopes that if the kids learn this important lesson, they’ll in turn educate their parents. The after-school programs serve hundreds of children each week, so when this project gets off the ground, Magyolene has the potential to touch and change a lot of lives.
As always, I’m fascinated by and grateful for the various ways that the church works and serves.