I recently had the chance to visit Nicaragua. In addition to spending time with people and catching up on the work happening in Nicaragua, I learn something every time I go. One lesson in particular comes to mind from this last trip: there is hope in the midst of the challenges and brokenness if we do not give up.
I could see this at the NicaBike Shop, which will celebrate it’s 10th anniversary this year. As a retail business, there have been many ups and downs over the past few years. Focused on providing employment and opportunity for others, Josh, Flavia, Andrew, and the team have continued to believe in the NicaBike Shop and its vision to improve the lives of everyone connected to it. Recently, they welcomed Gabriel and Melina to the team. Originally a part of the Frutivera team, Gabriel and Melina have grabbed onto this vision and are helping to lead the NicaBike Shop forward. With one of their best months ever in December, the future is bright and hope is alive at the NicaBike Shop.
Growing out of the NicaBike Shop, the Ciclo Sport bike shop in Bluefields on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua is a beautiful picture of hope. Entering a market in which cycling is more functional than fun, Andrew, Karen, and Kinslee, with support from the NicaBike Shop team, have faced many challenges as they work to expand the way people in Bluefields see bikes. Despite a few lean months, they did not give up hope. Their resiliency was rewarded in December, having their best month ever. While there is still a lot of work ahead, the Ciclo Sport team is beginning to realize their vision for a hope-producing bike shop in Bluefields.
Frutivera is a beautiful picture of hope breaking through the challenges and brokenness. When sweet corn production came to an abrupt stop in May of 2023 due to factors outside of our control, we thought we would be back up and running in a few months. As time continued to march on and the path forward continued to be unclear, it would have been easy to give up. However, the Frutivera team, including Josh, Flavia, Jacinto, and Darwing, believed this wasn’t the end of the story. Seeing a glimpse of what could be prior to the shut down, they believed the Frutivera could be a source of hope for many people.
Fast forward to January of 2024 and what once seemed to be a distant dream is well on its way to becoming a reality. The property now secure and the well drilled, the Frutivera team expects to start sweet corn production soon. With a plan to continue to expand production over the coming months, the Frutivera team will continue to grow. This is true not only in the field but in the corn processing center–the “corn house” as we call it–and on the sales team as well. Frutivera has the potential to be a great source of practical hope in Nicaragua.
This is just a snapshot of the impact our NicaWorks! team is having in Nicaragua. They are bringing practical hope through the creation of real opportunities. However, this is only half of the hope picture. Whether it is the team from the NicaBike Shop, Ciclo Sport, Frutivera, or the other projects in which the NicaWorks! team is engaged, it is the opportunity to share the spiritual hope they have found that keeps them moving forward. They believe they were created on purpose for a purpose by a God who loves them enough to send Jesus on their behalf, and they want others to discover this as well.
While not a new lesson, my trip to Nicaragua reminded me that there is incredible power in all-in hope. When real opportunities and a reframed identity are present, anything is possible. My friends in Nicaragua are a testament to this and a great reminder that the same can be true in my life.
I hope the same is true for you. Wherever you are on the hope scale today, may these stories be a reminder that all hope is not lost. We face many challenges and live in a broken world, but there is hope in the midst of it all if we do not give up.