Sunday, March 21, 2010

More on Chirripo - Candice

3Note: If you're more of a video than a words person, scroll down to the bottom of this novel post and enjoy!

I have so many thoughts and things to say about Chirripo, our time there, and the impact of LEC-CR on the region I just don't know where to start!So I'll start with THANK YOU! Lakeshore, I'm not sure you will ever know the impact you, as a small community in Canada, have made on a small community in the Chirripo mountains. My word! When Laura and Liz arrived in Costa Rica on March 1st they brought the first load of supplies donated from our church to the indigenous community in Chirripo. Prior to Liz and Laura's visit, a congregation member asked us if there were any material goods that could be sent along with them as tangible blessings to the Chirripo people. We asked for shoes, boots, undergarments, and calculators... And, boy howdy, did they deliver!! Along with the actual solar panels, there was a huge suitcase full of the cutest rubber boots I've ever seen! Plus a mound of shoes, socks, etc. And when Ben came, he brought more!

Oh Lakeshore, there is just no way to express to you the joy from the shining faces of those that received them!! We were able to provide shoes to those who didn't have any, replace broken boots, provide changes of undergarments... Amazing. Just amazing. Images that won't leave my mind for a long time to come.

Oh, and the Solar Panel Project! My word, what a touching experience. When we arrived at Sinoli village, Tom went straight to work. The men joined him nd before you knew it, they strung up all the lights and tested the system and... We were able to experience the FIRST EVER WELL LIT CHURCH SERVICE that night!! The word of the lite-church had already spread to outreaching communities too, so we had a full house that night for the inauguration service.

The 'before' and 'after'
the lighting of the church!

Both the Latin and the Cabecar pastors preached on being the responsibility of Christians to be shining lights in the world. The situation was so tangible, the difference the system made to those that lived in this community so obvious, the experience so moving. Again, an experience that I won't forget. When we were asked to introduce ourselves Tom gave an moving impromptu speech to the congregation about their brothers and sisters in Christ that don't know them, and will probably never meet them, but love them and wanted to bless them.

The men spent the next day hooking in the solar part of the system (the first night was running off of pre-charged power) and had the battery charging and lights running of captured solar energy for the church service on the second night.

As for the chickens... Although the plan was far from perfect (and everyone knew it) the potential benefit to the families was huge and the excitement it instilled in those back home was priceless!! To make a long story short, in the end we took 11 chickens to the Sinoli community. The chickens, along with cages specifically designed and constructed for this project, were all donated from Tuis community members! People really believed in this project, and what a blessing and encouragement these donations were! Plus, because Ben Baldwin was so valiant and willing to take one for the team (literally), we didn't have to carry them to Sinoli ourselves. Instead, Ben carried his own (huge and heavy!) bag in order to free up a porter to carry the cage of chickens. How cool is he? Honestly! Thank you Ben, again, for saving us all from (additional) blisters and backaches!

Because 10 of the 11 donated chickens were slightly smaller than anticipated, we were not able to take the project to completion during our visit, but instead were able to provide one of the families with undernourished children with a full-grown-egg-laying nutrition machine, and the other 10 chicks will be cared for my the chief's family and distributed once fully grown.

Three nurses and myself (a nutritionist) undertook an anti-parasitic campaign, providing education sessions on infections and methods of prevention, as well as offered free anti-parasitic (de-worming) medication (donated by another church). At the clinic we also provided clinical nutrition assessments, and medical assessments. The anti-parasitic campaign was a huge success (thanks to the amazing education board Liz put together for me and 2 patient and interested community-leaders to translate from Spanish to Cabecar). We held education/de-wroming sessions at the health clinic and at the school (classroom to classroom), and then at church! This campaign was an amazing experience. It was just so obvious that some of these beautiful, little, under-nourished children had big-time infections (that are robbing them of the few nutrients they actually get in a day!) and I knew that this medication will help rid them and the education portion reached a considerable portion of the community.Thank each and every one of you for your support in prayers, encouraging words, and donations. The work that was done was amazing and we feel so blessed to have been the hands and feet of this Lakeshore project. Check out this video (3 mins and 45 seconds!) summarizing the trip. I hope it gives you a glimpse into the adventure we had.


JAT said...

Gorgeous video!! It's great to see the impact you guys have made (and that have been made onto you as well!)

Tiffany said...

That's amazing! The things we take for granted here.

Q&L said...

very good job guys!