Mary Nelson, one of the founders of Cascabel Collective, tells the story of Edguar, a little boy she met on a trip to Nicaragua. Pastor Carlos provides support for Edguar through the Mercy Children program.
It's easy for me to hurt for the children with disabilities that we work with.
Since their suffering is physical, it's always present so it's easy to see. Their needs are urgent. They need food, medication, and physical therapy.
But after the weeks I’ve spent there, my heart has been moved for the mothers of these children. Unlike their children, these women have needs that are quiet and aren’t always manifested physically. It’s easy for their perseverance and dedication to their children to go unnoticed.
Through our ministry, we hope to not only provide care for these children with disabilities but also to empower and comfort their mothers. We hope to show them that we see their faithfulness and that they are not alone.
In most cases, the mothers of the Mercy Children are single. Some have been widowed but most were abandoned by their husbands at least in part because of the stigmas surrounding disability in the area. These women are often the sole provider for their families, a role made nearly impossible because their children require so much care
One of these single mothers makes baskets out of pine needles to sell in markets. Her process begins when she hikes up the side of the mountain she lives near. She then gathers fallen needles from the forest floor and washes them in a nearby creek. It takes roughly a week to gather the needles then another three days to weave the basket, a basket she then sells for about $40.
It was so special seeing her reaction when we went to collect the baskets. Pride and dignity shone across her face. It is our dream to facilitate the sale of her work and provide a safe place for her to make her baskets where she doesn’t have to worry about her child.
Another one of the mothers we met last time we traveled through Nicaragua last had two boys who were born deaf. Miraculously, she had found these two boys after their biological mother had abandoned them on the side of a road. For almost 20 years, this woman has cared for them by herself. Her devotion to the boys is inspiring and, just recently, a donation was made for the two to go to a school for deaf people so they can finally communicate with the world around.
These two young men have no idea that this woman isn’t their biological mother but rather someone stirred to kindness by God. She made these boys her own in the same way that we have been grafted into the family of God through Jesus.
Through the Mercy Children program, we hope to share the hope of salvation to these families in addition to providing support for their mothers and care for their children. Please join us in praying for the 200 mothers we love in northern Nicaragua!