Doña Liliam has spent the better part of her life in the small community of Las Torres. Located about 2 hours north of Chinandega, 51 families call the rural farming community home. She’s raised her children, her grandchildren, and is now watching her great-grandchildren grow up in the community and gathering water from a river just like she did. In 2017, all of that changed when Las Torres turned on their clean water system and each home in the community had running water 24/7 for the first time ever.
The journey to clean water, as Doña Liliam puts it, wasn’t easy. What did lighten the load of digging ditches to carry the water pipes, she says, “We had some help.” Hundreds of volunteers from the States came to help Las Torres and encourage them during the huge water project. That’s why she was so eager to help another community, El Pedregal, when they were building their clean water system in 2018.
Paying it Forward
“I traveled to El Pedregal twice this year to help them build their clean water system,” she recalls. “It was emotional, they greeted us and hugged us when we got off the bus, and when we left they said, ‘Don’t forget us.” Not only did Doña Liliam travel to El Pedregal to help them dig ditches for their clean water line, she, and 25 other people from her community, came to the Amigos complex for a full-blown mission trip experience.
Their overnight mission trip started when a bus picked them up in Las Torres for a 2 hour drive to the Amigos Complex. “What was so striking to me is that everyone had just one little bag with them, and they were dressed in their Sunday best,” CEO John Bland said. “Our team greeted them with applause, and they shuffled them into the comedor for a huge meal.” After dinner, they gathered in the rancho and had devotional, focusing on being bright spots for El Pedregal the next day. They were able to have the same experience that we try to provide for all of our visiting groups from the States. They were loved, and in turn, they went and loved and served the community of El Pedregal. Las Torres was one of 10 communities that participated in an overnight mission trip experience in 2018.
Let Your Light Shine
“We went in the name of God,” Doña Liliam recalls. “When the groups from the States couldn’t come this year, we went for them because they came for us.” It’s the model that Jesus left for us – shine your light so that people see it and glorify the Father in heaven. This year, El Pedregal knew the love of their heavenly Father well because it was modeled for them in the simplest way – a shovel, a pick axe, sharing water bottles, stories, and laughter, ending each work day with hugs and promises to stay in touch and words of encouragement.