The Beautiful Hues of Relationship

PC(USA) Mission Co-Worker, Justin Sundberg, serving with CEPAD, reflects on the word that he feels best summarizes the work of the organization and asks you to reflect as well.

by Justin Sundberg

In Jinotepe, to the south of Managua, CEPAD has worked for 8 months in the community of, “Los Encuentros” (the Meeting Crossroads).  When I visited there last month, I left nearly ecstatic considering its future after meetings its CEPAD-trained leaders.

During my encounter in Los Encuentros, leaders described what they had been learning.  One woman, Glorieta, rushed in late to our meeting. She had not personally been to any of our trainings, but a friend of Glorieta, trained by CEPAD, had trained her.  Glorieta was beaming as she pulled necklaces, bracelets and earrings from her pockets. In Spanish, she burst, “He ideado unos!”  In English, her statement could be rendered, “I’ve created some of my own unique designs,” shared modestly, but proudly.

What a truly amazing organization CEPAD is.  I share about it often.  But what if I had to describe it in a single word, which would I choose?  What word would you choose?

CEPAD heavily invests in a small number of community leaders in each of the 42 communities in which it works.  Then we ask these leaders to train or disciple others.  They are encouraged to find their sweet spot of entrepreneurship, to experiment and to create an income stream.  Glorieta is one such disciple and bourgeons with jewelry making ideas.

So what single word, then, sums up CEPAD?  Perhaps ‘’enthusiasm,’’ or “hope.”

Some could say, ‘relationship,’ in all its beautiful hues, best describes CEPAD:

The friendship that you, our North American partners, have with Nicaraguans

Rural farmers and their families working as a team, straining to create new horizons

CEPAD technical staff and villagers, locked hand in hand, as they commit to a 5-year schedule of trainings, experimentation, and countless new achievements and gains for the community

People like Glorieta, and her friend who passed on the blessing of her own training so that Glorieta could secure income-generating skills

In relationship we recognize more clearly what it is to be created in God’s image.  CEPAD weaves together its commitment to Christ, to people and to development in webs of relationships that create hope and possibility. . . . and concrete outcomes that benefit families!

Thank you for helping so many Nicaraguans benefit from relationships with CEPAD. Join us in giving God thanks for the ways that relationships infuse the work of CEPAD.  And stay tuned, in future newsletters, for stories about how your commitment and relationship with CEPAD is changing lives of ordinary Nicaraguans.

CEPAD Partners Create A Great Cloud Of Witnesses

This month, welcomed 56 partners from Nicaragua, the U.S. and Canada to Managua for the International Encounter. This event, which we host every two to three years, is a chance for those partnerships with longterm commitments between individual international churches/organizations and individual Nicaraguan communities/associations to reconnect, share with other partners and learn more about CEPAD. Together, we created a declaration of our experience, and you can read it in English and Spanish below! Thank you to these awesome partners, whose longterm commitment to CEPAD and Nicaragua teaches us so much about sustainable development and accompaniment.

A Cloud Of Witnesses: Reflections From The 2015 CEPAD International Encounter

To address poverty, we have to talk about it. The stakes are so high for the millions of Nicaraguan people who cannot meet their basic needs. And we remember the ways that we experience poverty of spirit and in relationships. For a few days in Managua, 75 partners from rural Nicaraguan communities, the U.S./ England, and CEPAD’s staff talked honestly about poverty, its consequences, and the role of personal relationships in development work. We represented 14 international relationships, some as young as three-years-old and others with more than 20 years of experience.

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