The ability to sew and quilt is considered a hobby to most Americans, but in Corinto, Nicaragua learning how to sew can change a woman’s life and bring her out of bondage.
Cheyenne and Arellys Bodie, missionaries for Light and Life Missions and residents of Santa Rosa County, said last year their ministry began Honor House, a humanitarian outreach, teaching sewing skills to women rescued out of human trafficking, prostitution and drug addiction.
“Honor House was built to empower these women to be able to support themselves and their families,” said Cheyenne Bodie.
He said Corinto, the largest port city in Nicaragua, is a major port in which trafficking victims come through as a gateway into Latin America and North America.
“If the girls kidnapped in Nigeria were to be sent into Latin America and North America there is a significant chance they would come through Corinto,” said Cheyenne Bodie.
The Bodies are non-resident missionaries, meaning they spend half of their year in their home country and half in their field of service. “This is to keep money donated to the mission going directly to the mission instead of providing for the family,” he said. They began their service with International Gospel Outreach in 2002. Cheyenne said his first trip to Nicaragua was in 1999 where the mission group built a church. “From that point on I was committed to the people of Nicaragua,” he said. It was this trip he met his wife Arellys.
The vocational ministry, he said, opens a doorway from a life of bondage. Currently, Honor House is working with 9 women and during the upcoming summer months they expect to expand the ministry, rescuing more women. He said 3 percent of girls between the ages of 10 through 14 become pregnant; 92 percent of prostitutes are between the ages of 12 and 18; 3 percent of girls are trafficked in Nicaragua.
“Nicaragua is becoming a country of origin for human trafficking. More and more they are taking their own people into it. It is no longer just a doorway,” said Cheyenne.
“Nicaragua is a beautiful country with giving people. It is one of the poorest countries in Latin America if not the poorest. It is often considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Most are culturally Catholic. The largest evangelical denomination is Assembly of God,” he said.
Cheyenne said the challenge in ministering to the people of Nicaragua is not a spiritual challenge but a physical challenge. He said ministering to their physical needs empowers them to overcoming their circumstances. They are hungry, said Cheyenne. They are broken and ready for salvation.
“Once they’ve received Christ, the challenge is sustaining their conversion because of their circumstances. 40 percent suffer from malnutrition. 1.6 million children are in poverty,” he said.
“Poor people in the United States have cell phones, microwaves, and can buy cigarettes,” he said, “This is not the case in Nicaragua. They have nothing.”
For more information about Light and Life Missions call 791-4978 or visit the website at www.lightandlifemissions.org.