Compassion creates change in Nicaragua
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Pasadena, California
The rural villages in Nicaragua outside of Tipitapa share a lot in common.

Several thousand families reside in make-shift houses in the aftermath of a civil war, severe drought, and Hurricane Mitch in the late 1990s. For several decades, refugees displaced by these historic events have found community with one another near a garbage landfill while they wait for promised land-deeds. An entire generation has grown up as a displaced people while waiting with hope on unfulfilled promises, and now their children do, too.

In March 2011, Nazarene Missions Partnerships introduced Compassionate Ministries of Pasadena, California, First Church of the Nazarene (PazNaz) to Maria Antonia Ponce, the superintendent of the Nicaragua Central District. Ponce has an impressive track record of compassionate outreach and innovative methods of community evangelism in and among some of the most impoverished rural regions surrounding Managua. Ponce was drawn to some of the effective community development methods utilized under PazNaz's partnership in Guatemala and invited PazNaz to share similar strategies of compassionate outreach and community development in Tipitapa, in a new partnership: Compassion Creates Change Nicaragua.

During Phase I, nearly 50 team members from PazNaz constructed a multi-purpose church and school, offered child development programming, and hosted a medical clinic with nutritional screening for children in two villages. Research from this trip documented that nearly 40 percent of children in these villages suffer from moderate acute to chronic stages of malnutrition.

This year Compassion Creates Change Nicaragua will launch a nutritional program and hire a national doctor to manage the capacity development of 150 children.

They will return to Nicaragua for Phase 2 in July. Plans are to construct parks to foster the muscular development of children and host medical clinics in targeted rural areas. They will concentrate on child-development, offer children’s programming, and pour cement floors and finish rooftops for a few simple-construction churches.

But, to create change the church needs volunteers. For more information, please contact Selena Holston at 626-251-2417 or email sholston@paznaz.org
--PazNaz Compassionate Ministries
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