in Masatepe, Nicaragua
One Collective | June 10, 2018
Masatepe is a charming community of 45,000 people. Half the population lives in the city center on paved stone roads and in colonial style homes, stacked one on top of the other. The people are constantly bustling around and traveling by foot, bicycles, motorcycles, or the occasional horse-drawn carts. On every block, you’ll find three things: a church, a pharmacy, and a convenient store. At the break of dawn, the open-air market is being set up and then closes in the afternoon, just as the soap operas start airing. Then a sea of white and blue uniforms forms.
When the paved stones turn to dirt, you’ll find the other half of the population.
The homes suddenly become scarce and more challenging to spot through the vibrant vegetation. The pace is slower, the honking fades, and friendly faces are greeting you as you walk by.
As dusk begins to fall, many men gather on the street corners beckoning the darkness as they grab a bottle or two, ensnared by their vice. These are husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons with abandoned and forgotten purposes.
Regularly, one of these men would pass by the gate of Luke’s Inn (our chicken farm), not coming from or going anywhere. He had hair like a lion’s mane and wore clothes and shoes that were 3 times his size. There was a distant, yet wild look in his eyes and the bottle was his only companion. After seeing him wander aimlessly day after day, Geovanny, the farm supervisor, had compassion on him and invited him in.
Geovanny’s eyes recently opened to the lost and hurting in his community when he accepted the role with One Collective as the farm supervisor to lead the One Egg program. Prior to working for One Collective, he never thought his work could directly benefit the well-being of others. Now, he regularly thanks Jesus and One Collective for discovering his life’s work and the opportunity to love his neighbors.
Geovanny began offering this man food every day along with a little work on the farm. He’d pay him out of his own salary and allow him a few sips of alcohol to calm the anxiety of his addiction. After eating consistent meals and taking regular baths, the man behind the addiction began to resurface.
His name was Hugo. Geovanny encouraged him to move away from drinking alcohol altogether in exchange for more work and more pay. As Hugo’s hands strengthened and his legs became steady, he had the willpower to stop drinking.
Hugo greatly admired Geovanny and began calling him father; for no other man had shown him such affection and encouragement or given him the protection and support he needed. He encountered the love of Christ through Geovanny.
On November 17th of 2017, Hugo celebrated his one-year anniversary of sobriety. He was in his 50’s, and he regained his dignity. Hugo continues working on the Nicaraguan farm, which will become a rehabilitation center for the drug and alcohol addicts this year.
Hugo is a walking testimony of a life transformed by the power of God. It is our dream to see Luke's Inn become a place where many others, like Hugo, will find restoration and purpose.