Casa Materna AMNLAE provides housing and medical attention for rural pregnant women with potential risks in their third trimester. The house in Jinotega is part of a national network of 53 refuges which provide services free of charge. Mayflower Medical Outreach has worked with Casa Materna since our first mission trip in 1998 and we maintain a strong partnership which benefits a wide range of people in the Jinotega area. In fact, the Albergue Mayflower for Deaf Children is owned by Casa Materna and was made available to us when a new location became available in 2008.
While the new home is larger and is located on a larger lot, it had been abandoned for many years and had suffered severe decay. A series of God-sent acquaintances and opportunities over the last twelve months have opened the door for a completely new re-birth of Casa Materna.
Dr Stephen Fransen and his wife Cindy accompanied MMO on a mission trip in March of 2011. Stephen is an opthamologist and eye surgeon with OU Health Sciences and with the Dean A. McGee Eye Institute. Cindy is a registered nurse at Joyful Beginnings, the new born maternity department at St. Anthony Hospital. Stephen and Cindy joined Mayflower Congregational Church in 2010.
After their first visit to Jinotega, Cindy and Stephen took a personal responsibility to work with MMO and Casa Materna to rebuild the new home. Cindy sold T-shirts to support the funding of a new roof and refurbish bathrooms in the house. MMO provided funds for a new director for Casa Materna and to build a new web site.
In November 2012, work began on rebuilding the roof. That same month, Angela Jarqui began her job as operations director at Casa Materna. Since then, the Canadian government has allocated significant funds and additional private donations through Mayflower Medical Outreach have allowed Casa Materna to completely renovate their home and to build much needed space for medical services and offices.
The Mayflower Medical Outreach began at Mayflower Church, though it now represents many faith traditions and altruistic interests. For those of us who have come into MMO through Mayflower Church we see the opportunity to express our personal commitment to our faith and understanding of God as we experience God in the wonders and complexities of life. When we go to Jinotega, we are confronted with the challenge of understanding our role in a world of inequity and chaos. We are reminded of a commandment to build our courage and to “cast our nets into the deep water”. It is hard for us to believe that we have the means and the authority to effect change in the world. The real power, and fear, of this work in Jinotega is the recognition that we have simultaneously been given the responsibility and the capacity to create the Beloved Community. Simply by giving our word to walk in the commitment that we express through God, we have the power to create: to create a world that did not exist before we spoke it into being. When we hear “In the beginning was the word”, we have faith that we are empowered by God to create something new through our commitment to our word.
The rebirth of Casa Materna in Jinotega and the future for countless mothers and children grew from a promise and commitment to our word. And our faith in God’s promise to us gives us the focus and trust that we are working to bring love and support to those in need.