Empty Nesters In Nicaragua
We are early-50s empty-nesters who for some time had wanted to find ways to serve the poor in a more consistent and hands-on manner. We sought the "pure and faultless" religion of James 1:27. When in 2011 Steve lost his job and we were notified that our house sat atop a sinkhole, it seemed God was nudging us out of our comfort zone. In August 2012 we moved to Nicaragua, the 2nd-poorest country in our hemisphere (after Haiti). We are part of the Managua church and are so far self-supporting, so thankfully Nicaragua is not an expensive place to live! Prior to our move, we became trained and certified to teach English to adults. Learning English is one of the best things a Nicaraguan can do improve his or her income potential.
We also volunteer 3-4 mornings per week at an excellent, totally free private hospital for burned children. In Nicaragua, most help is welcomed and there is little red tape. We visit kids, playing games, reading children's books in Spanish, "distracting" them during burn therapy - whatever might bring some relief and laughter. Comforting the parents is a huge part as well. And through additional support there seem to be significant opportunities to enable more kids to access the hospital's services.
We know that many other couples feel as we did, and are happy to share more with anyone who wants to explore the possibilities. This is doable. Our contact info and more about our work (we also tutor in math and reading) are available on our website, sheepnotgoats.org (read Matthew 25 if the meaning isn't already obvious).
Interview with Steve and Sandy from Sheep not Goats on Relate4ever Publishing - http://relate4ever.com/sheep-not-goats