Relief work complete, new projects start

By July 22, 2009

Nicaragua (MNN) — It's been two years since Hurricane Felix trampled Nicaragua. Now thatthe  clean-up is done, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee is digging deeper to help even
more. 

Felix destroyed 30,000 homes and leveled more than 1,100 square miles of rainforest within just four hours. To make matters worse, rains flooded even more homes and destroyed 90 per-cent of the harvest just a week later. 

CRWRC's partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank allowed them to distribute 258 metric tons of rice, beans and cooking oil. They gave 2,840 100-point sacks of seed to 3,100 families and hammers, nails and roofing materials to repair 1,450 homes. All these materials had to be carried over 750 kilometers of gravel road, put onto boats, and then distributed to 50 isolated villages.

20,000 fruit trees were also planted with the help of CRWRC. They started community seed banks and are working on improving seasonal planting methods. "I am in awe of how God
was able to use us!" said CRWRC staff member Mark VanderWees.

Staff will continue to work with local farmers to encourage them to use natural and locally-available resources for their crops. Training will be offered for 60 farmers at
each location. Trials will be conducted at the centers where they can test new plant varieties and growing methods.  From there, the farmers will be able to test what they've learned on their own land. 

"In a sense, the centers are the missing link between the traditional research institution and the farmer," explained VanderWees.

CRWRC believes that by empowering people to help themselves, the chains of poverty can be stripped away. Their ministry is motivated by the call in Micah 6:8b: "What does the LORD require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."

Pray that the compassion and dedication shown by CRWRC workers after helping people live though such a disaster will be a powerful testimony to help them share the Gospel. 

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