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Delivering food, shelter, and hope to the poorest of the poor
We have 2,177 reasons to celebrate the support from friends like you.
Each of those 2,177 reasons is a man, woman or child who has a safe place to sleep tonight thanks to services provided during our 2020 fiscal year.
These 2,177 individuals in 12 countries around the world are people who, until our Cross Catholic Outreach donors intervened, lived in unsafe, unsanitary, even horrific conditions. Unable to afford even the most basic house for shelter, many were living in crude patchwork shacks fashioned from mud, sticks, tarp and various scraps. These flimsy shanties typically have dirt floors — which quickly turn into mud during rainstorms. Insects, rodents and disease infested every nook of these dark abodes, while the smoke from open fires made the air barely breathable. Now, thanks to you, this heartbreaking way of life is finally becoming a thing of the past!
Let’s zero in on one corner of the world — the community of El Guayabel, Nicaragua — to illustrate the transformation that has taken place. We want you to see that your gifts really do make an impact and that there is hope for the many families still in need of adequate shelter.
Our local ministry partner in Nicaragua, Rainbow Network, had identified 21 families in this rural community as being in need of special attention. The goal was to answer these families’ prayers for safe homes by supplying them with new houses designed to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes. To meet that goal, we rallied our donors and provided the needed funds — and now, these families’ dreams have come true! Each of the 21 homes features a concrete floor, a metal roof and lockable doors. They also include access to electricity, a sanitary latrine and an outdoor cooking stove, and each home has a yard large enough to grow fruit trees and a small vegetable garden.
Related: Causes of Poverty in Nicaragua and the Ways You Can Help
Ana Roa Aguilera never imagined she would be blessed with a cement house or that her family would be gifted with clean water and a proper latrine. Having a new home provides more than just comfort and security for this family. It’s also the first step toward building a better future for her young daughter, Charlene.
“I can give testimony that God is amazing,” Ana gushed. “When you ask God with faith and love, anything is possible!”
Ana has big dreams for her little girl. She prays Charlene will finish school, work hard and have even more opportunities than she does now. As Catholics, we join Ana in her prayers for her daughter and ask for an outpouring of blessings in their lives!
As a housekeeper, Rebeca Maradiaga Torrez spends her days cleaning the well-kept houses of strangers. In the past, she would return home to a wood and scrap-metal shack she shared with her mother and two children, wondering if they would ever escape their poverty. Life remains extremely hard, but Rebeca is now praising God for the new home that promises a brighter future.
Thanks to this project, Rebeca is now raising her daughter, Estefany, and son, Andy, in a sturdy home that offers basic sanitation and protection from storms. Rebeca no longer has to worry about her children getting diarrhea and other illnesses from unhealthy living conditions, and she now knows her family can weather any storm.
Marisela Odalis Rugama was struggling to raise her sons, Gaison and Yeral, in a shack barely suitable for livestock, let alone people. The flimsy shelter, which she shared with her mother, was a jumble of plastic, wood and corrugated metal, which could have easily become a death trap in a severe storm.
Today, Marisela and her sons live in a safe home, and for the first time in her life, Marisela doesn’t have to walk to a distant community well to fetch drinking water. Marisela wants to help lift up her community, so in addition to working as a washerwoman, she cooks at Rainbow Network’s nutrition center in the afternoon to feed hungry children.
Related: Deeper Than a Water Shortage: The True Cost of Nicaragua’s Water Crisis
No more fear. No more sleepless nights. No more muddy floors or crumbling walls.
Isn’t it wonderful to learn how lives can be changed by the provision of safe, secure housing! We are so grateful for the prayers and gifts that make these success stories possible. We are also eager to discover and to be a part of the chapters yet to be written as friends like you continue to step into this drama of God’s love-in-action and bring the Gospel to life.
Together, united by Christ, we are loving our neighbor, embracing the marginalized, and building strong foundations for a brighter tomorrow.
Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2023, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.