Cristo Rey is a barrio in Tipitapa Nicaragua. Many of the people who were moved out to Cristo Rey were from the city dump in Managua. The lake area in the dump became too contaminated with feces and it was thought best that the people moved out of the dump. For many people, the were promised a “land of luxury”. To their surprise, it was a vacant, yucca field. There was no running water, no electricity, no food, no shelter, no transportation, no HOPE.
In 2010, after some of Nicaragua’s worst flooding to date, many people lost their homes in the flooding and were moved to Cristo Rey also.
When we first visited Cristo Rey back in 2010, we were not at all prepared for what our eyes saw. We saw homes made of anything that people could get their hands on. We saw starving children and adults. We saw no laughter. We saw no hope. We saw sadness. We saw children waiting at a gate to get something to eat that day. We saw children being turned away because there was not enough food. We saw so much mud. We saw children with no clothes and shoes. To say the least, this place impacted us. We knew there was something special about Cristo Rey. When we left Cristo Rey that day, my eyes flooded with tears. I could hardly catch my breathe, I was crying so hard. No child or human should ever have to live in the conditions these people face every day of their lives.
When we went back to Cristo Rey in December of 2010, we saw improvement. They now had water, but the person who owned the well was making people pay for it. For some, they had a daily decision to use their money for food or water. We also saw children being fed. We also saw a lot more children who were still starving. It was at that time we began to pray how God would use us in this barrio called Cristo Rey.
When we lived in Nicaragua this past year, 2012, we went and worked in Cristo Rey almost daily. As we continued to work with a different church, we began praying over the decision to start a feeding program up in Sector 1. We spent a couple months praying about it and truly felt that God was calling us to step out in faith and start our own ministry.
In October, 2012, that simple prayer request became a reality. We started humbly at a local person’s house and our first day we fed over 100 children. As of date, we currently feed about 400 children on a daily basis.
In 2013, we started our Student Enrichment Program with 6 students. Today we have 92 students going to elementary, high school and university.