Updated: Aug 1, 2019
On Saturday, I returned from a week where I witnessed some of the most difficult situations imaginable and my mind and spirit have been trying to reconcile it all. A team of five guys (we called ourselves “4 Middle Age Guys and Chris”) from my church, Velocity Christian Church (www.velocitychurch.com), went to visit my good friend Scott and support his ministry REAP Granada (www.reapgranada.com website development in progress) in Granada, Nicaragua. Not to be confused with Grenada, the country in the Caribbean, Granada is a city in Nicaragua about as far from the capital city of Managua as the Courthouse District is to downtown Richmond. Scott was moved to leave an executive position with Davita Healthcare and relocate his family, including his wife and two teenage daughters, to spread the gospel and help restore the people of Granada. What he has been able to do there is amazing.
This was my seventh trip in six years. I love going and it’s something I look forward to every year. Not just because we get to help an amazing ministry, but selfishly, for what I get out of it…PERSPECTIVE. The ease with which I find myself narrowing my view to see only what is immediately in front of me and to assign that as of paramount importance, is profound. When noise ordinances, density numbers and conditional use permit applications dominate my thoughts it’s understandable how one could forget how blessed beyond compare we are that these are the issues we are facing in our county. Now, before you think I am minimalizing those issues I am not. I’m just saying that as I think about issues I need to address for my campaign for Supervisor I realize how fortunate we are.
One of the reasons I continue to go back to Granada is that the people are amazing. First, they are a very striking people group. Handsome features and they have a pride and joy that is inspirational to me. They know their situation is not even close to optimal and most likely never will be but they don't focus on what they don't have, they focus on what they do have.
They are generous. We are often invited in to homes and while most don’t have much, they are willing to share whatever they have. Lastly, they are a proud people that want to work. In the seven years I’ve been there I have never been asked for a dime. They estimate the unemployment rate to be roughly 70%. That’s not a typo SEVEN-ZERO. I would venture to say where we work in Granada, outside of the city, it’s closer to 85%. So, while they want to work, there simply is no opportunity. Yet, they don’t ask for money.
On every trip I come back to the same questions:
Why not me?
Why was I not born into that situation?
That is a hard thing for me to reconcile and to be honest I’m at a 99% conclusion I will never be able to reconcile it. The most difficult take-away I carry from Granada, is that there is little hope of future opportunity. When I compare that to here, I get frustrated. We are blessed with so much and have tremendous opportunity, if you want to work towards something, most of the time, you can make it a reality.
So, what does this mean for me?
It means that I was forcefully reminded that I am blessed with opportunities and my not maximizing those opportunities is cosmically unfair. If I am blessed with the ability to do something and I squander that, then to me that’s a travesty of justice (and I’m a big justice guy).
After almost every county meeting someone looks at me and asks if I “really want to do this.” Another reaction that I get is to be thanked for my willingness to serve. That always intrigues me because I don’t see it that way. I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to serve. While I’m not rich, I have a company that can afford me the time to serve and that my wife is willing to share me is a huge blessing.
So, I’m coming back with an amazing resolve to fight harder than I’ve ever fought. To give this race 110%. To not take for granted our many and abundant blessings. And most importantly for me…to maintain a healthy perspective
If you would like to see footage of the trip please check out this video at https://youtu.be/9Y66wFmClRQ .
Thanks a bunch for taking the time to read this! If you like what you see and would like to get involved please reach out via the contact form or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly if you'd like to learn more and donate to REAP Granada click on the pic below.