As part of their mission, Woodridge Christian Church in Wichita has adopted the small village of La Flor, Nicaragua, through Just Hope, an organization based in Tulsa. Fourteen members will visit in February to help build a home, to learn more about the benefits of their previous projects, a microbank and bridge repairs, and to develop relationships with the people of the village.
Already the church has come together to help the people of La Flor in many different ways.
“We have sent them money for a bridge repair and $3,000 for a micro credit bank program that has been up and running for about eight months now,” Gleason said. “We are collecting medicine, school supplies and other items to take to the village in February.”
Members have also raised $4,500 to help a family get a new home. Those traveling to La Flor will have the opportunity to work on the home and meet the family as well as spend time in their schools and meet the ladies who are benefiting from the micro credit banking program.
Microcredit is the extension of very small loans (microloans) to impoverished borrowers who typically lack collateral, steady employment and a verifiable credit history. It is designed not only to support entrepreneurship and alleviate poverty, but also in many cases to empower women and uplift entire communities by extension. In many communities, women lack the highly stable employment histories that traditional lenders tend to require.
“We also joined the local group, ‘Dress a Child,’ and have been sewing clothing for the kids of the village and will plan on taking about 75 new outfits with us in February,” Gleason said.
Other projects the church is involved with are:
- Playing bingo with the Veterans at the VA Hospital
- Ronald McDonald House charities
- Regional camping program at Towakoni
- Krusing for Kids Toys for Tots program
- Kansas Food Bank