A Local Retired General Has a New Mission, Building Villages
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (April 11, 2016) The determination of retired Maj. Gen. Bernard “Burn” Loeffke and Food For The Poor has forever transformed the lives of 25 families living on a hilltop community in the region of Somoto, Nicaragua.
“My house is so beautiful! I have to give thanks to my God and to you,” said Marcelia Rodriguez, a new home recipient. “I love everything about it.”
During a recent dedication of Peacemakers Village of Hope-Nicaragua, new homeowner Marcelia was so moved with emotion she embraced the donor who made the dream of living in a safe and secure home a reality for her and two dozen destitute families. They now have a redeveloped community with sturdy new houses and proper sanitation.
“For us, it’s a great honor to be able to do the Lord’s work and to bring shelter to those who need it. It’s exciting to be here because we have the opportunity to visit with a family that’s getting a new home,” said Loeffke. “Food For The Poor is truly a blessing for Nicaragua. The old houses they used to live in are the definition of poverty, which means it doesn’t sustain real life.”
Loeffke and his daughter Kristina, along with donors Doris and Dr. James Reid, traveled to the Central American country with Food For The Poor for the inauguration of Peacemakers Village of Hope-Nicaragua. This is the second village the general has helped build within two years.
The Reids also contributed toward the completion of Peacemakers Village of Hope-Nicaragua. Their loving support, along with the general’s, helped to bring a sense of stability to these families.
“The general is a very impressive person who’s also a man of his word. When he makes up his mind to get something done he does it,” said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor. “Maj. Gen. Loeffke has been a supporter of this organization for six years, but it was three years ago when he got the vision for building villages. Last year, we dedicated the first Peacemakers Community of Hope in the town of Spring Pass, St. Thomas, Jamaica, and now we’re in Nicaragua. We’re extremely thankful for his generosity and his compassion for the poor.”
Loeffke said his passion for making a difference began decades after U.S. Army Sgt. Larry Morford lost his life in Vietnam, but saved Loeffke’s. He also credits China’s Cpl. Lei Feng for making an impact in his life. Peacemakers Village of Hope-Nicaragua is dedicated to the memory of these two soldiers. Both Morford and Lei Feng died at the age of 22. Loeffke called them agents of peace in the midst of war.
The village also is a tribute to the White House Fellows, which was founded in 1964 by Lyndon B. Johnson, and is one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service.
“All this is made possible by the man we’re honoring, John W. Garner. He said ‘that the role of a leader is to keep hope alive.’ I see Food For The Poor as being that leader in this Central American region that’s keeping hope alive,” said Loeffke.
Loeffke, who now calls South Florida home, has a long military career that spans more than three decades. Fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, French and proficient in Mandarin Chinese, Loeffke was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds in combat, as well as Silver and Bronze Stars for Valor. He also has authored several inspirational books and is planning to build a village in Honduras.
To experience the mission of the Peacemakers Village of Hope-Nicaragua, please click www.foodforthepoor.org/peacemakersnicaragua.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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