Volunteer: Jose Lopez
Participating in a mission trip with Prints of Hope International (POHI) volunteers is an exciting experience. That being said, I will tell you briefly my experience on the trip to Waslala, Nicaragua. On July 2014 the leaders of the group decided to respond to a petition from Pastor Elias, district minister serving in Waslala area who requested help for building a school for the church to serve the community.
We arrived in Managua, Nicaragua, the day of celebration of the Sandinist revolution. In that occasion, all buses in the country are used by the government to transport the population to a big meeting in Managua so all the streets in the city where overcrowded by public and private vehicles. It took us more than two hours coming out of the city. The first group of volunteers had arrived the day before; Steve my son in law, Danette my daughter, Ariel one of the coordinators and I where the last group arriving to Managua Airport. The pastor’s son took us from there to Matagalpa. The vehicle was one the smallest Nissan cars. We travelled around 3.5 hours with our heavy lugagges on our laps. From Matagalpa one of the elders of the church took us in a four-hour trip traveling by mountainous dirty roads to his house in Waslala where the Pathfinder Club and other church members where waiting to welcome us. It was past midnight when we arrived there. The next day after breakfast and devotional service we started working, some on the three classroom school building, other packing medicine and clothing for the Dressing A Child activity that Prints of Hope does in every area visited. The group had four US based medical practitioners, one dentist and two practitioners from Nicaragua. The rest of the group was composed of professionals in different areas such as nurses, teachers, accountants, business people, engineers and students. Every day that we were there we visited a different rural area seeing and diagnosing sick people and providing them the appropriate medication. The teachers provided Bible school for the kids. The dentist took care of dental problems. A very important area was the pharmacy in which people received their medications. The pastor, elders and church members provided support in every place. Two elders provided daily transportation for the group to the working areas free of charge. The city mayor also lended us a pickup truck.
As a result of the POHI mission trip to Waslala, a three classrooms school with a basketball court was inaugurated. Two churches that where under construction for many years but lacked the funding to finish building received a direct donation from the volunteers to complete the project. Hundreds of patients received health and/or dental care. Many children had new clothing and shoes. Each Prints of Hope volunteer paid his lodging and traveling expenses and donated certain amount of US dollars for the project. Personally I felt blessed by participating on the mission trips and by helping other human beings.