As part of Cross Cultures ministry, St. Lukes sent thirteen members and friends to the Chinandega region of Nicaragua July 29 through August 7, 2016. This mission effort was part of a continuing mission with BASIC Nicaragua. BASIC (Brothers And Sisters In Christ) Nicaragua reaches into the community with a Vision Clinic and Housing Construction. Our volunteers helped with construction, and assisted clinic workers providing much needed vision services. Learn more at: www.basicnicaragua.org
The Chinandega region was an emergency relocation area for victims of the flooding and mudslides caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Very little infrastructure existed for the relocation of thousands of people displaced by the natural disaster. Mitch dropped so much rain that it even changed the course of at least one river in Central America.
St. Lukes has a connection to this area in a few ways. Pastor Josh went on one mission trip to the area with BASIC a few years ago. The year Pastor John arrived at St. Lukes, 1998, his wife Martha's family was living in Nicaragua and was affected by the disaster. Martha's mother made an appeal to St. Lukes for help, and St. Lukes responded immediately. John made an appeal to the congregation one Sunday during services, and that day received $1,500.00 to send for relief and relocation. Martha has family in Chinandega today; one cousin returned after medical school and is a doctor in the region.
St. Lukes generously stepped up to provide budgeted funds to make this mission trip possible. We are sent thirteen individuals, among whom were experienced construction managers, an optometry student, one doctor, several Spanish speakers, willing young workers, and older workers as well! Our team ranged from sixteen years to seventy-four years of age.
St. Lukes goals were to make a difference for families in need of basic services, as well as build relationships with people in the region, and make disciples for Jesus. The group from St. Lukes envisions returning to the mission field on a yearly basis, if possible. Cross Cultures ministry at St. Lukes focuses on building strong Christian relationships with local to global efforts, reaching the lost, and building disciples for Christ among our members and friends.