Missionaries head to Nicaragua

Carter is an American citizen who lives in Nicaragua and operates Children of Destiny. She maintains two orphanages, which feed more than 25,000 people per month. Her goal is to break the poverty cycle by helping to educate adults and empower them to lift out of poverty. Some are illiterate. Some are prostitutes. Carter also sets up missionaries such as this one to visit remote sites.

Health concerns of these poverty-stricken people include diabetes, muscle aches and pains, upper respiratory problems due to lack of environmental standards and cooking over open flames inside homes without chimneys. Parasites, to which residents are exposed through fractures in the water lines, also are a big problem. These microscopic organisms cause malnourishment in their victims by preventing the body from properly absorbing nutrients.

Interpreters are paid for by the mission and used during medical treatment. Most of the people treated speak Spanish and labels on the medicine given are in Spanish; however, Wright said the quantity of medicine given is carefully monitored, due to the fact that some cannot read.

The mission pays for medications and some drug representatives donate samples. Also purchased are supplements, toothbrushes, diapers and many other everyday needs.

Wright took about 200 pounds of supplies on his last trip.

Sue Hood LaBarre and her son James are team members. She understands that this trip probably will change her life. From talking with Wright, she has gained insight as to how bad the conditions are where they will be visiting.

"We are spoiled," LaBarre said.

She will be allowed two 50-pound bags that will contain medical supplies, vitamins in baggies to save space and other necessities to take on the plane. Each person can take more bags, but they cost extra. Other preparations for the trip include being vaccinated for typhoid, malaria, and hepatitis A. E-mails from Wright have tried to prepare the team for the emotional shock that they may experience coming back from the mission.

"My goal is eventually to have my own team from Central New York," Wright said.

He would like to visit on an annual basis. The team, which also includes Wright's 17-year-old daughter Margaret, leaves Jan. 19.

A dedication service will be held the Sunday before at the United Church of Canastota. People can bring supplies and meet the missionaries at that service. Monetary contributions can be sent to United Church of Canastota, Attention: Nicaragua Mission, 144 Center St., Canastota, N.Y. 13032.

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