With 68 people heading to Nicaragua to work with The Fuller Center for Housing’s Global Builders program, a team from Countryside Mennonite Fellowship near Waterloo, Ontario, already is breaking new ground as the Global Builders’ largest-ever work team.
As if that were not enough, the team also will include the Global Builders program’s 2,000th volunteer.
“That’s really cool!” said Meghan Jantzi, a member of the Countryside Mennonite committee planning the trip for the youth group of people mostly in the 15 to 25 age range. “I’m glad we can do that.”
She also is glad that she was able to find an organization willing to help such a large group put their faith into action in an exciting and transformational way.
“We had such a big group, and we knew that we wanted to go to a foreign country,” said Jantzi, whose team will be working Feb. 17-24. “There are missions that our church supports that we would have liked to go to, but we were just too big of a group for them to handle. So we started talking about finding an organization that takes big groups, and it’ll be a lot less chaotic. I just went on Google, and I came across The Fuller Center website and was like, ‘Wow! This looks really awesome!’ That’s kind of how we got in contact with you guys.
“I can’t imagine if we’d have had to try to arrange everything that you guys have been doing for us,” she added. “It would be crazy. We are so grateful and thankful for everything that you guys have been doing for us.”
Fuller Center President David Snell was in Nicaragua this week and reports that the building efforts in the country are thriving. Part of the reason is the outstanding leadership on the ground but also the flow of Global Builders teams that just began working in Nicaragua a year ago. The Countryside trip is the second of seven already planned for 2014. (Three trips have openings for volunteers — click here to join.)
As for Jantzi, she hopes the trip will be both a house-building and a team-building experience — as is the case with every Fuller Center Global Builders trip.
“We’re hoping it’ll really open people’s eyes to another culture and to poverty and the way we have so much here while other people have so little,” she said. “Also, we hope it’ll help us get closer as a group and work together as a team and get to know each other better in ways that we never have before.”