Visit to Nicaragua
May 24, 2011
This year, to celebrate “Mission Month” I visited our SND missionaries in Jinotega, Nicaragua. These are some of my impressions.
Picture Sisters Charlotte, Roseanna, and Dolores in their very small home where neighboring children frequently spill through the open door: coming for youth ministry, catechetical sessions, or English lessons; seeking a listening ear, or sharing the fruits of their gardens (which our sisters then share with others in need). It is very evident how much the “Nica” children and adults love our sisters. As one commented, “Never before have sisters lived among us and walked with us.” Our sisters’ presence is, indeed, a sign of God’s goodness and provident care to a people whose country has been ravaged by wars, foreign interventions, natural disasters, and poverty.
Next, in your imagination, travel the rough roads of Nicaragua with our sisters, to the twenty-five missions of Sangre de Cristo Parish. Wherever they visit people in humble homes of mud, zinc, or concrete blocks, the sisters are warmly welcomed with hugs and kisses, offered a chair and simple refreshments. Often there are animals wandering in or around the home. One of my most memorable visits was to a home where two little girls proudly introduced me to their pet pig.
Accompany our sisters to the Telares Nicaragua women’s cooperative, where four women earn about $4 each per day, weaving beautiful purses. Nearby, stop to visit Luz, who makes exquisite jewelry from seeds, in order to support her children and pay for needed medications. Our sisters support these women by directing to them visitors who purchase and help market their products. In the near future, Sister Charlotte hopes to begin offering sewing and needlework classes for women and girls.
Finally, our sisters also dream of a larger home, where they can welcome volunteers to work in our mission, and of a Sisters of Notre Dame Faith Formation/Educational Center, which can house various ministries.
Please remember this new endeavor in your prayers with the Lord and in conversation with others.
Sister Marie Manning, SND, Coordinator, Notre Dame Global Missions