Grace Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas, were part of a mission team in Nicaragua, partnering with the the Presbyterian Hunger Program and Equal Exchange, getting a first-hand look at the coffee farming business in Nicaragua. The trip will provide Presbyterians who are involved or interested in fair trade to see how it works and meet face-to-face with those who grow the coffee.
Grace in Nicaragua ... "Learning and Worshiping"
The next morning, Sunday, we were fed and oriented as to what the acronyms were associated with this trip: We were staying at the NGH (Nehemiah Guesthouse), our trip was organized by CEPAD (Nicaraguan Association of Protestant Churches/Consejo de Iglesias Pro-Alianza Denominacional), and it is the PHP (Presbyterian Hunger Program) that offered us this opportunity to learn about fair trade coffee farming in Nicaragua, through their Enough for Everyone ministry. Clear? Almost—and incredible that this blessing of an experience was being bestowed upon us.
A Bible study/worship service followed, with a pancake serving as our communion bread…and our week had begun.
We were given a tour of the Tiscapa Lagoon and Revolution Plaza, learning some history of the country along the way. I must add: CEPAD provided two young men to accompany us for the week, teaching us and interpreting for us, at all times, David and Louis. They were professional--and great at what they do.
That evening, we had a devotional and got ready for the next day’s adventure---and probably the most meaningful part of our trip. Our homestays in a small coffee-farming village were about to take place, after months of wondering how they would go. How would the people receive us? What would their homes be like? The biggest question: What are their lives like, day by day? We hear of “small coffee farmers” and “fair trade”; what will this really look like? And how would we handle what was to come?