Domingo Orozco had seen droughts before but never like this. The scorching sun cracked the earth and left trees bare in the 32 year-old’s remote Nicaraguan village. Corn stalks never sprouted, leaving his family without their sta
ple food. As the months wore on, faint worry turned into full-blown fear. Malnourished children were wasting away. Dairy cattle died. Every morning Domingo would strain to see any signs of rain clouds on the horizon. He needed hope.
Three years later, when Domingo wakes up the sun is still beating mercilessly. The rains have not returned but his hope has. It started on a Sunday when Crossroads Community Church members dropped off used bikes for NicaWorks! – the church’s Nicaraguan ministry partner. As Domingo searched the sky for rain clouds he didn’t know a container full of donated bikes was sailing from Baltimore to Nicaragua. As he wrung his hands in prayer he didn’t know young Nicaraguan men were working with their hands to repair and sell those bikes at the Nica Bike Shop in Managua that NicaWorks! started when the rains stopped. As he counted out the last of his cordobas to buy beans for his family in the market he didn’t know the Nica Bike Shop employees were counting out profits from the bike sales to donate to NicaWorks! And one morning, as he turned to see a four-wheel drive truck climbing across boulder-strewn dried river beds into his village he didn’t know NicaWorks! employees were about to turn his life around with new irrigation piping, tools and well parts.
Today Domingo’s family loves looking out at their growing field of green against the burlap brown backdrop of his village. They, along with several other village families, are growing more food than they ever have even during the worst drought the country has ever experienced, because NicaWorks! is providing training and tools for their new community garden project. He is now able to feed his family and with a small grant from NicaWorks! is able to buy his children uniforms and enroll them in school again. Domingo smiles as he gives his children breakfast before they head out each day, grateful that 2,000 miles away someone from Maryland gave Crossroads a used bike that made this day – and his smile – possible.