Empower to the People — Part 2

Did you enjoy doing your taxes this year? What was the DMV line like the last time you renewed your driver’s license? Ever done a home improvement project that required a permit or some other approval from your local Planning Commission?

Yes, bureaucracy can be frustrating. And that’s just as true in Nicaragua as it is here in the US.

Our SuNica team had been jumping through hoops since March, trying to get the final permit necessary from ANA — the Autoridad Nacional del Agua, Nicaragua’s water department — to begin construction on the San Carlos sustainable water project. We made over 20 trips to ANA’s local municipal offices and their headquarters in Managua trying to secure this last approval with no success. Despite our careful system design, hydrogeological study to determine where to drill the well, and the massive community benefit the project will bring, ANA kept putting off reviewing our application. We’d hit a wall.  

And that’s when the people of San Carlos stepped up.

Thirteen community members squeezed onto a bus bound for Managua. It’s a 4-hour one-way trip from their village to Nicaragua’s capital city. Plenty of time for these rural farmers, mothers, and children to second guess themselves and back down from the intimidating bureaucracy. But SuNica has been in San Carlos for almost two years, showing them Jesus’s love and teaching the citizens that they are valuable children in God’s kingdom.

‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.’ - Joshua 1:9 NIV

The thirteen San Carlos citizens calmly entered the ANA office and made a simple statement: “We want our water.” No more delays, no more runaround. They weren’t leaving that office until the application was reviewed. 

It’s hard to imagine how empowered they must have felt that afternoon, boarding the bus for the long ride home. They’d done it. The San Carlos water project had been reviewed, and ANA assured them the permit would be issued in 2-3 weeks.

This is only the beginning of the San Carlos story. We received that permit as promised, construction starts in the next few weeks, and it’s impossible to guess what God will do in these people’s and our team’s lives as we Turn On The Water in San Carlos!


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