Friday, February 24, 2017

Local woman travels to Nicaraguan orphanage by Lorraine Glowczak

Most individuals want to be of service to others in some way, especially to those whose needs are greater than our own. This is certainly a motivating force for Lily Turner, who will be leaving on March 8, 2017 to go to Nicaragua to assist with the needs of the CICRIN Children’s Orphanage and School and the nearby community, as part of a short-term mission trip with ADios Ministries, based in Portland, ME.

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Turner, who attends Faith Lutheran Church in Windham, has participated in many short-term mission trips before, but found this trip different from what she has experienced in the past.

“A friend of mine has served on numerous outreaches with ADios Ministries,” Turner said. “It sounded so unique from other outreaches I have participated in. However, other life events kept me from going with ADios ministries, until this year, when the time was available for me to participate.”
Presently, there are approximately 90 children at the CICRIN orphanage.  

“Many of the children are truly orphans,” Turner continued. “But some are abandoned children because the family just does not have enough food to feed all the children in the family. It’s very sad for all involved.”  Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Seventy-six percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day, with 45 percent living below the poverty line. 

Per the ADios Ministries website, the services provided to the orphanage in past mission trips included, but were not limited to: 1) An erosion control project to protect the laundry area from flooding, and a project to fortify and improve the aesthetics of other drainage areas by planting drought-resistant grass. 2) Construction of a large section of new concrete along ‘Main Street’ outside of CICRIN’s new office building, which was previously damaged by an earthquake. 3) Installation of fans in the boys’ dorm and replacement of damaged ceramic floor tile in the common eating area.

Members of the ADios team are encouraged to collect new or gently used clothing that will be donated to the CICRIN Store Project, where the clothes will be sold to local families at a very discounted price to intentionally preserve the dignity of local moms and dads, who want to be able to provide for their families - and do not want handouts. It also provides older children at the orphanage an opportunity to learn about the aspects of operating a business.

Additionally, small groups of volunteers go to nearby communities with a local pastor and a translator to visit families in their homes to talk, share and pray with family members; and to give out bagged hygiene items that include such things as: A washcloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, hand sanitizer, comb, and a small toy or two for the family. These items are donated by family and friends of those traveling to CICRIN and are organized, packed and transported by individual volunteers. 

“We pack the donated items in a quart or gallon bag so they are ready to give out to each family,” Turner explained. “We are allowed one 50 pound bag to carry all donations and our own clothing.”

ADios Ministries’ mission is to empower people to serve others and to help break the cycle of despair and poverty - locally as well as internationally. It is also their mission “to spread the hope and encouragement of Jesus Christ to those we serve and serve with.”

Turner has her own personal mission, too. “To serve in any way possible,” she stated. “I hope to learn, encourage and fellowship with people on the team and with the people we meet in Nicaragua.”

Stepping out of one's comfort zone to go on a mission trip is an opportunity to grow in so many ways. When we reach out to bless others, the surprise is that we are blessed many times over. We can learn a lot from people who have so little,” Turner stated.

Turner will return home on March 16 and there will be a follow up story.

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