Since the 1970s, The United Church of Canada has worked with the Moravian Church in Nicaragua to help bring about peace after a civil war. The Moravian Church carries out a variety of ministries in the multi-ethnic Atlantic coast regions and also has a development office that supports projects to improve water quality and agricultural practices. In recent years, the church has worked with a group of people living with HIV or AIDS in a program called Vidas Futuras (Future Lives).
In Nicaragua, people with HIV or AIDS now have access to medical treatment, but in places with high unemployment and low incomes, getting enough food for the medicine to work properly is a challenge. Good nutrition and a strict medication regime are essential for anti-retroviral drugs to be effective.
With United Church support, Future Lives and the Moravian development office have embarked on a three-year pilot program to provide additional food for about 70 people, including three children under age 10. The hope is that other groups and agencies will join the effort and expand the reach of the program.
Participation has made a real difference in terms of people's health and in the way participants see themselves. Says one participant, "I have been helped to maintain my body with good food and easing my mind so that I think only of good things, with respect and dignity." Another commented, "I have learned new things and can teach them to family and friends."
Working with the Moravian Church, our gifts for Mission and Service are changing people's lives in Nicaragua. Thanks be to God. Please join me and give generously.