Spreading the blessing

WAXHAW – When you sit down in front of the television Aug. 27, there’s a chance you’ll see something familiar.

Waxhaw’s Naomi Heidorn traveled to Nicaragua earlier this year through a partnership with Bless Back Worldwide, a Matthews-based organization that works with volunteers to make the most out of their talents when serving impoverished areas.  HGTV’s House Hunters International heard about the work Heidorn and her volunteers were doing and wanted to see what it was all about.

“They just follow a family that is moving oversees and tell your story about why you are going,” she said.

Before following Heidorn oversees, HGTV filmed her in her hometown. “They filmed in downtown Waxhaw; I just think it would be interesting for local people to see it,” she added.

The show also gave Heidorn a chance to talk about the group’s efforts in Nicaragua and a little about what the two volunteer groups who have already traveled to the country have been up to.

The first group of volunteers, who were in Nicaragua from January to March, was a community ministry team.  During the three months they were there, the volunteers held many events and activities for local people, as well as Love Week.

“The team did a sports project, they did a women’s program where they had a day of beauty for women who have never been able to go to a salon, and they also planted over 200 fruit trees,” Heidorn said. Volunteers then hosted a festival to wrap up the week for everyone who participated.

A medical team of volunteers left in mid-May and recently returned from Nicaragua. They hosted free clinics, gave medicine to those in need and more.  The team consisted of 15 medical personnel and 10 members of a supporting staff who treated more than 1,500 people from six different communities during their time in Nicaragua.

“They served in over six different communities and provided free consultations and check ups and did outpatient procedures and provided medicine,” Heidorn said.

The group also hosted health and hygiene workshops.

Before her partnership with Bless Back, Heidorn had been traveling to Nicaragua since 2000 to volunteer and help local communities. It’s something more gratifying than anyone could imagine, she said.

“(The local people) are extremely appreciative,” Heidorn said. “They love having the teams come, and they are very hospitable. They invite us into their homes and offer us a chair if they have chairs. It’s very rewarding.”
And Heidorn doesn’t plan on stopping now.  She has three more volunteer teams planned for October, November and December, and some groups still have openings for more volunteers to get involved.  The goal of each mission trip is to use the individual talents of each volunteer to help those in need in Nicaragua – a mission Bless Back Worldwide prides itself in. For more information about Bless Back Worldwide’s mission in Nicaragua or to get involved, go to www.blessbackworldwide.org or contact Heidorn by emailing n.heidorn@blessbackworldwide.org.

The group’s HGTV House Hunters International debut will air Aug. 27 at 10:30 p.m. and Aug. 28 at 1:30 a.m.

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