Love made Visible
By Bill Kammann
On Saturday, April 14, the Community Church of San Miguel joined the Community of Las Clavellinas to dedicate their new Learning Center and Portico which was built with materials donated by church members and labor provided by the Las Clavellinas community.
As we gathered, the day was bright and sunny; the Portico filled with laughter and chatter between young and old. Approximately 340 of us came together to celebrate the accomplishment. Ezequiel Mojíca Galvan, Executive Director of Apoyo a Gente Emprendedores, opened the ceremonies with remarks highlighting the level of cooperation involved in making this project possible. He said, “We are making history here today. This is the first time that I know of, that the people from the big city have come out and actually worked together with the community to build something to brighten the future of the young people here.” He went on “Do we have a doctor from this community or an engineer?” A young boy answered, “No.” “But today we have the hope that one will come from here.” Women nodded their heads. Ezequiel thanked the men and women of the village for building the center and creating a positive vision for Las Clavellinas. He especially thanked all of the women for the generous comida, which would feed all in attendance.
Next, Carol Weicker, Co-chair of the Outreach Committee, acknowledged the donations of Beverly Gandy and the Estate of a friend of Diane Maycotte, without which the Center could not have been built. She also cited Bill and Patty Turney, Fred York, and Ron Stephens, Marybeth and Bob Bates, and Jeannie and John Schnakenberg, whose donations made possible the Portico joining the Learning Center with the Feed the Hungry kitchen. She introduced honored guests Howard Gleason, President of Feed the Hungry, and his wife Lynn, as well as John Doherty from Rotary International.
Next, Consuelo Pérez, the young mother of four boys who headed the construction committee for the Center, thanked John Schnakenberg for designing the center and the rainwater collection system and Mike Carrasco and John for the months they spent working with the construction crew on project oversight. Finally, Sonia Granados rose and spoke a word of welcome on behalf of the entire village and a word of thanks to all who made this project possible. With that, Beverly and Diana cut the bright red ribbon and the Learning Center was officially opened. The excitement was tangible; the applause loud and generous, and the meal delicious.
The Community Church Outreach Programs are making a difference in the life of Las Clavellinas and the futures of the families living there. Community is a big word. It’s not simply a group of English-speaking expats who worship on Sunday mornings. No, the community in “Community Church” reflects the mandate of Jesus himself: “Love one another.”