How to be a good neighbor

At the remote village of Mina de Agua, I came across a dilapidated house that looked as if it might collapse into a pile of sticks before my eyes. Beside the house, an old woman lay on a mat in the sweltering midday heat, weak and struggling to speak coherently.

The villagers explained to me that Lidia is 100 years old and has cataracts in both eyes. Abandoned by seven of her eight children, she is being cared for by her 50-year-old son Mario, who suffers from liver and bone disease and is too sick to work. But they are not on their own. I was touched by the compassion of the villagers, who are all very poor but have gone out of their way to give Lidia the help she needs, providing meals so she won’t go hungry, and intentionally leading me to her home because her needs are greater than theirs. What a great example of a community living out Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14)!

Lidia is 100 years old and has cataracts in both eyes

Lidia is 100 years old and has cataracts in both eyes

As I left for the next village, I did so knowing that Lidia and Mario are in good hands. Not just the hands of their neighbors, but also the hands of Cross Catholic partner Amigos for Christ, an ecumenical Christian charity.

Amigos is going into remote Nicaraguan villages like Mina de Aqua and radically transforming them through a development process that begins with clean water and sanitation and goes on to provide health care, education, nutrition, housing, economic development, and spiritual support. It’s an honor to be working with such a dynamic, Christ-centered ministry, and I’m looking forward to seeing lives changed this year as Cross Catholic provides funds for water and sanitation systems in some of the most desperately poor communities.

-Tony M.