On our way through Nicaragua, we dropped by Villa Catalina to see how things have been going at the Cross Catholic homes from our recent Amigos for Christ house-construction campaign.
When we last visited the village in February for the dedication ceremony, the fields were a sea of dust under the punishing midday sun that felt like it could cook a person alive. But despite the heat of the dry season, the poor families from the Chinandega garbage dump were excited to receive their new homes – distributed to everyone at random by drawing names from a hat.
Now it is the wet season, and the fields are green. And thanks to the new water system that is bringing a daily supply of clean, drinkable water to every household, the families have a chance to maintain green, fertile gardens year-round.
Amigos for Christ founder John Bland talks with Cross Catholic housing beneficiaries at Villa Catalina.
The father and daughter you see in the photo are from the family that waited the longest to receive their home. Though they were the last to have their names drawn after a very long day, it was worth the wait to get the house with the most beautiful scenic view of the countryside. The father is a God-fearing man who works long hours, takes his wife and children to Mass every day, and is doing the best he can to support them and keep the family together.
It’s always great to see the tangible results of our donors’ compassion. Without their support, these houses might not exist, and the families might still be scavenging in the dump. Villa Catalina is proof positive that God’s people can make a difference when they follow Jesus’ footsteps to “the least of these.”