Cindi Roger’s father was a life-long supporter of Outreach International. She was 13 years old when he made his first “Outreach change jar” to save for donations. It was an object so sentimental that her stepmom still keeps it to this day.
“He believed strongly in the mission of OI, and in the goal to eradicate poverty,” Cindi said.
And when her father died, his legacy lived on through his family. Last fall, Cindi and her husband, Jeff, went on a life-changing trip to Nicaragua with Outreach International.
Cindi was excited to learn about her “brothers and sisters in another land.” She was anticipating hearing stories from local families and learning about how she could help.
“I had already seen videos and pictures of the work,” Cindi said. “Now I was looking forward to getting outside of my tiny world and becoming part of something that was much bigger than myself.”
The second day into the trip, they traveled high into the mountain tops of Santa Lucia. Cindi heard stories from a community that had been scraping and saving all their money for a year just to have their own clean water source.
One young mother told them that she had to use money from her daughter’s piggy bank—money that was going to be used on Christmas presents—just so they could contribute to the water source.
But her little girl wasn’t sad. She was willing. She knew they all had to make sacrifices for the good of the community. And in the following few months, they were successful. From then on, they would all have clean water to drink, cook with and bathe in.
One thing Cindi wasn’t prepared for was the level of skill and compassion the Nicaragua staff had for the communities they worked with. “They really cared about the families,” she said. “They were great leaders.” And they help families find their own ways out of poverty for generations.
It made Cindi look at charity in a new light. “I look to see if the charity is trying to put a bandage on the problem or if it is looking for a life-long change.”
“This visit made me a stronger supporter. I want everyone to know about OI,” Cindi continued. “And I know my dad would be thrilled. He played a big part in my trip.”
“My dad hated to fly, so chances are he might not have made a trip when he was living and in good health. In many ways, I felt I was taking the trip for him. I’ve talked to my stepmom about going on a trip and I hope she will, too, some day.”