We wanted to give you a picture of what our community looks like. In showing you these pictures, we are not asking you to...
Look how poor our community is.
Look how dirty and run-down our buildings are.
Look how hopeless and dangerous our youth are.
Look how rough a place the city is.
While some of these thoughts may be true and while life here is very difficult for many, I hope that you can see that our friends and neighbors are just like us. Real people with hopes and dreams as well as fears and insecurities. I don´t want to gloss over the issues and harsh realities in my community, but I want to avoid treating people as merely the sum of their situation.
This is our street. You can see our house on the left side, it is green with the white gate (and the neighborhood deemed soccer goal). The peachy colored building on the right side of the photo is our pulperia. Here we buy our eggs, butter, tomatoes, onions, platanos, etc.
Most homes have a front gate. These gates are often made out of recycled materials.
This is a another pulperia in our neighborhood and the place where we buy our beans. They are ready to go, hot and fresh each evening.
This is how a lot of advertising is done here in Nicaragua. One of our neighbors is looking for work and is advertising his carpentry skills.
These are the two main tortilla stands in our neighborhood. When we first moved in, there was only one. Now there is some competition!
Laundry day happens when the neighborhood has access to water. Our neighbors hand wash their clothes and hang them out in the hot Managua heat to dry. For now we have decided to carry our laundry by bus to the office to use the machine and hang dry. It is quite an effort, but seems to be easier than hand washing.
The trash in our neighborhood is one of the hardest things for me. This is our water drainage system, we cross over it each day on a little bridge.
This is the front of our neighborhood. I took this picture while we were waiting for the bus on the opposite side of the road.
This is the bus stop to go arriba or east. Many people find employment by setting up little stands at the bus stops or in other pedestrian traffic areas.
Across the road from our neighborhood is a little shopping center. There is a second-hand store, an electronic store, a grocery store, lawyer’s offices as well as a few other shops. A jail is located behind the shopping center.
This is the condition of any Nicaraguan sidewalks. It makes running a bit difficult here. Sometimes I sit on the edge while we are waiting for the bus and Kevin gets annoyed with me.
Where the world sees poverty, we want it to see a different sort of richness.
Where the world sees violence, we want it to see people longing for peace.
Where the world sees crime, we want it to see neighbors looking out for each other.
Where the world sees brokenness, we want it to see stories of hope and strength.
Where the world sees destruction, we want it to see signs of God’s redemption.
Amidst the darkness, we want the world to see the Kingdom.