My first encounter in Central America over 12 years ago centered around a brand new ministry, the likes of which I had never seen before, called Casa De Mana, (House of Bread), in Somoto, Nicaragua. It was unique in that I had not heard of missions organizations that specifically care for the elderly with daily meals. Nikki Paz started the Casa after seeing the neglect and hopelessness of the forgotten poor, the elderly. Her heart was touched and the vision was planted to bring health, nourishment and renewed hope for those nearing the end of their lives. Many were unsure of salvation and wasting away, tossed aside, considered unworthy to invest resources in because their lives were perceived as being over, with no real value left. Niki saw the beautiful worth in these elderly and purchased an old abandoned bar/brothel and renovated it inside and out, top to bottom, body, soul and spirit to transform it over the following years into the lovely daily oasis it is for the elderly who are blessed enough to be a part of the program. The Casa also has several bedrooms that can house small missions groups that come into the area for short term work. This was my experience, staying at the Casa as part of several different teams throughout the years, usually lead by Nikki or my husband Jay. While the first encounter was of a culture shock kind, the place began to grow on Jay and me. Especially the elderly and staff that came daily began to burrow their way into our hearts. Nikki noticed the connection beginning to grow and as she and her husband Leo, crept into their 70’s, she recognized God was raising up another couple to continue this ministry, unbeknownst to us. In fact, 2 years ago, she asked us to take the ministry. Totally oblivious to what God was doing, and in complete denial I might add, we said “No way!” We wanted nothing to do with caring for a ministry in another country. We knew the sweat and blood involved in handling our own local ministry, much less mixing in cultural, language and long distance complications. Definitely no.
Let me tell you, our Father God is One who is able to take hearts of stone and make them soft clay in His hand for shaping into what looks like His. This is the transformation that happened in Jay and me over the last 2 years, as we grew to love the people and God’s heart for the region more and more. Then one day in May of 2016, God turned to us directly pointing to us saying through the voice of a man, “You need a house in Central America!”, and the immediate response in our hearts was, “Yes, we have one!” We knew immediately that God had prepared us for Casa De Mana- the elderly ministry, the property, and the work in Central America.
As a result, we are stepping out to venture into one of the most ambitious projects of our lives, to raise $50,000 to purchase the property, continue to provide operational costs and food for the growing numbers of elderly, and provide a home base for missions work of all kinds in the area. We are currently looking for donors or sponsors, grants, or simply one time gifts to help us reach the $50,000 goal. We are also open to fundraising ideas/sponsors to help us accomplish our goal. Interested? Please contact us via facebook or send us a request from the website.
While the goal feels way out there to us, we know that God is One of opportunity and provision. We sense such a burden for the Casa De Mana elderly, and such a drive to return frequently in the future that we are willing to step out into this great big faith challenge in order to step into His calling and destiny for us!