After Tropical Storm Nate pummeled a safe house for girls in Nicaragua, a HEART (Humanitarian Emergency Aid for Rebuilding Tomorrow) Fund grant is helping it get back on its feet — and helping it offer crisis care to its neighbors. The $2500 gift couldn’t have come at a better time, said Landa Carnes, a missionary serving at Emmanuel Home of Protection, a ministry run by Baptist Medical and Dental Mission International. Missionaries at the safe house in Diriamba, Nicaragua, are still working to repair damage from the October 2017 storm and recoup their finances after stretching resources thin to help storm victims around them in dire need. The HEART Fund grant will help cover these compassion ministries plus help to replace roofs, windows, walls, and doors at Emmanuel Home of Protection, which serves victims of sexual abuse or trafficking. The needs in the Diriamba area are “almost insurmountable,” said Cindy Walker, a board member for WMU Foundation, which stewards the HEART Fund. “Poverty is rampant. Hopelessness is evident everywhere you look,” she said. But Walker also noted that she had heard story after story of people in the area who had been won to Christ because someone from the safe house reached out to them and met their physical needs. The home “is a beacon of hope and light in a dark area of our hemisphere,” she said.
The HEART Fund was created in response to Sept. 11, 2001. Since that time, the Birmingham based WMU Foundation has granted more than $473,000 from the HEART Fund to disaster victims in the United States and around the world.