A small group from Guardian Angels Catholic Church is ready to get its hands dirty.
A “painting delegation” will be traveling to Nicaragua April 13-21 to help repair and restore a house that hosts several organizations and churches throughout the year, including Guardian Angels.
Patch caught up with Bill DeVahl, the delegation’s leader, to learn more about the upcoming trip.
Oakdale Patch: Tell us about your trip. Is this the first time you’ll be doing this?
Bill DeVahl: This is kind of a unique trip. Guardian Angels Church has a sister parish relationship with a church called St. Rita’s in the town of Teustepe in Nicaragua. There is an organization there called Kairos and they are the facilitators of our relationship with St. Rita’s. They provide transportation; they provide translation services; they provide cultural experiences for us while we are there. They are more than a tour guide. They are part of the three-legged stool of our relationship. So they operate out of a large house in Kairos and our church and other churches and other organizations that might be traveling there for whatever reasons will use that house. … That particular house needs a little tender loving care. And so people from Guardian Angels and people from St. Rita’s in Teuestepe, will be in Nicaragua to assist as we can.
Patch: Have you had this relationship for some time?
DeVahl: Our relationship has been going since the mid-80s.
Patch: Do you visit every year?
DeVahl: They cycle the trips so that Guardian Angels will go to Nicaragua two years and then we will host a delegation every third year to come up here. The purpose of the delegations is that we are communities of faith and our purpose is to build and strengthen the kingdom of God on earth. So when we are at Teustepe, we live in their homes, watch them and be with them as they go through their day, meet them, talk with them, just whatever people do when they meet one anther.
Patch: It does sound different.
DeVahl: People will say, ‘What are you building?’ And we say we’re building the kingdom on earth instead of a school or hospital or community center. But this time we are going to get our hands dirty a bit.
Patch: So what’s going to happen with this particular project?
DeVahl: They use a house to host a lot of different organizations and well any house needs to be kept up to date. So we are going to provide whatever simple carpentry, electrical and plumbing that we may be able to do. There are other organizations who are also helping out at different times.
Patch: How many are going in your group?
DeVahl: As of this minute, we have five and we hope that there will be a similar number from Teuestepe who will come help and maybe a staff or two in Managua (capital of Nicaragua).