More and more, people want to volunteer in ways that build relationships with the people they serve.

Olivia Holt is one of those relationship-focused volunteers. She served in Nicaragua last summer with the Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua (CEPAD), an RCA mission partner focused on sustainable development in rural Nicaraguan communities. Olivia traveled the country with teams from U.S. churches, learning along with them about organic coffee farming, rural education, women’s entrepreneurship, and youth leadership.

 “While traveling, I facilitated the trip by interpreting, leading reflection time, and serving as a cultural broker. I helped Americans and Nicaraguans build relationships and learn together,” she says.

Olivia likes how one of her coworkers described what happens on these trips: “Nicaraguan hearts are filled with hope, North American hearts get patched up, and real economic change can take root in Nicaragua.”

“I am full of gratitude for all I experienced this summer and for those who believed in me and helped me get there,” she says.

CEPAD asked Olivia to continue her service in Nicaragua. She is headed back and considering becoming a full-time missionary.

Read Olivia’s blog:

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