Last week the entire community became infected with pink eye. We wish we were exaggerating. There was not a house that was unaffected. Many people wore sunglasses because they thought you could get it by looking at an infected person. We discussed with our neighbors how this was passed through touch and that washing hands thoroughly could prevent infection. This solution might help if clean water was available. Instead, people are putting dirty hands into a water barrel and the germs continue to travel. Interestingly few people on the ocean road had it because they wash in the salt water. Sometimes we feel like we are hitting our heads into a wall with the water situation here. We believe that access to clean water all the time is a basic right. Our family continues to research the best way to create a water system that is functional for everyone and involves the community. The step we are currently taking is visiting other similar communities to learn how they improved their water system with the limited resources available Nicaragua. We continue to meet amazing people who have navigated the water problem in rural areas and understand the importance of clean water.
The longer we live in Nicaragua the more the Lord is allowing us to realize that he is about restoring all people to him. It looks different than we thought. He is bringing us to our knees to realize our own poverty of heart, our sense of superiority, in the world. We want to be about real sustainable changes, which for us means understanding our brokenness and beginning the process of restoring both poor people and ourselves to live in right relationship with God and others. Many times our North American need for speed undermines the slow process needed for lasting and sustainable development in our community. We believe we are called to do work that will continue long after we are gone and that the impact will be dependent on the extent to which we develop relationships that affirm the gifts and abilities of our neighbors. We are also reminded that the Lord has been actively working in this community since the creation of the world and has drawn us to help Salinas Grandes discover and further God’s gifts to them. This could be why the echo of our hearts for the past two years has returned over and over again to the scripture, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We want to declare that in one of the most challenging places to live in the Western Hemisphere.