Earlier this month, Daphne Nordone, a MSC Nicaragua Board Member, her husband, Al, and their son, Angelo, took an exploratory trip to Nicaragua where they spent time with Mustard Seed residents and staff. Mission trips to MSC Nicaragua were canceled in May 2018 due to civil unrest and the residents have missed interacting with visitors.
Michelle Shines, Mustard Seed’s Director of International Programs, visited Hogar Belen Managua and Diriamba in August, and determined that the Nordones could make the four-day visit. The family has close ties to MSC Nicaragua. They have visited every year since 2002 and their son, Angelo, was adopted from MSC Nicaragua.
When Al found out that mission trips were canceled last year, he was very worried. “Not being able to go to MSC was quite an upsetting emotion for us,” Al said. “The thought that it was uncertain about when we could go back, if we would ever go back.”
Fortunately, the children, adults, and staff at Mustard Seed's homes in Managua and Diriamba are resilient and have remained safe.
The Nordones arrived in Nicaragua without any disruptions. Al said, “Getting to Diriamba, it really felt like coming home. The welcome we received was just amazing, and the fact that [the residents] remembered us, and talked about things we had done with them in the past, that was just terrific.”
The family spent time at both apostolates. “Everything seemed hustle, bustle just the same as always,” Al said. “It felt good seeing old friends and our Mustard Seed family.”
Without mission volunteers visiting for more than a year, the home has not received donations that volunteers typically bring, especially basics for the residents. “[The staff] said that’s their biggest worry, they’re struggling to keep up with new clothes and underwear,” Al said. Without the donations, part of the budget has been spent on buying new items.
The Nordones cherished their time coming back to Nicaragua and look forward to returning soon. “We always say that it’s our second home,” Al said.
Mustard Seed is currently evaluating when mission trips will fully return to Nicaragua. Please stay tuned for more information about mission trips.
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