From the beginning of the ministry, we knew God had given us a vision to have a cabinet shop along with the carpentry vocational training.
We tried to start the shop in the village of El Paraiso which was located 30 miles from Leon. Jobs are scarce in that area. We spoke with another ministry who is very involved in the village and they felt it would be a perfect opportunity for the men in the area who were mostly jobless. There was one young man who in the beginning showed himself to be more ambitious than all the others. After two years of working with him, it was decided that he would not continue to pursue learning the concept of business management.
We continued training others in a small space close to our home. At the end of a year, our lease was not going to be renewed. Where to put the shop was a dilemma. Space that is affordable and sufficient in size for our needs generally don't go together.
The pastor of our local church loves carpentry. He also has a heart for the youth of the community and cares very much about the work that we do in Nica. For several years he lived in the States thus he is familiar with American ways. His experience in both cultures is an asset to our friendship and working relationship. He came to us one day and offered a portion of his church for us to use for the carpentry training. God always has our backside.
The business concept associated with the vocational training is of interest to Pastor Pedro. Together we have formed a Nicaragua corporation for the purpose of manufacturing and sales of cabinets. The cabinet shop would have a dual purpose, create jobs for the community and help provide additional funding for our ministry and his church.
Currently we are training the guys that are in the Restoration program along with local young men from the community. They are learning how to build various types of wall and base cabinets along with wardrobes and vanities. We have no plans now to expand into any type of furniture making. For now it will be all about building "boxes". It's easy and it's new in the this marketplace.
Nicaragua is growing and the economy is thriving. In the last 3 years, it consistently is rated as one of the top 10 retirement destinations in the world. There is need for better housing and that will require cabinets and wardrobes.
We have our first commercial client and the guys are excited. A local hostel with a coffee shop needed a new bar counter for their coffee and drink preparations. The guys received a small wage for the construction and installation of the project.
The church and our ministry will each receive a portion of the profits. Our first payment to ourselves was $27 each for the month. Not too bad for our first job.