We are off and running! I hope everyone has had a great start to 2017. I can’t believe how fast it’s going already. It’s been a whirlwind down here in Nicaragua. With the start of February also comes the start of the Nicaraguan school year and another year of our project. I am excited this year more than ever. But with that excitement comes some struggles and sadness. As I was getting Backpacks and school supplies ready for all of the kids, I was praying a lot. I was praying for the children. I pray for the ones we have HAD. I pray for the ones we HAVE. I pray for the ones we WILL HAVE this year. Every new year brings change. It is sad, but it always happens. As the kids get older, they start valuing education less and less. We always lose some wonderful older middle school and high school kids each year. Some we lose to the idea that playing is the street is a lot more fun than studying. Some we lose to the idea of having a boyfriend or girlfriend at 13 years old and hanging out instead of the project is more enticing. Some we lose to parents who take their child out of school or our project and want them washing windows at the intersection for extra money to support the family. It’s hard. This year we didn’t lose as many, but some of them were children that have been a part of our project since the beginning. It’s hard. I ask that you pray for these youth and that God will continue to water that seed of the Gospel that has been planted in their hearts. I ask you to pray for their safety and protecting from the alcohol, drugs, and criminal life that is so present outside the walls of our project. Please send us some prayers as we transition.
As that is happening, we have children pouring into the project. New faces that have been trying to join us for a while but we have been full. Kids that are excited to be a part of something that loves them. To feel like they are loved and that they are safe…. that’s my goal. Please pray for the new faces. To our youngest 4 year old nephew to our only senior in high school….. we have such a gap we are reaching. I hope and pray that God can use us to touch all ages.
So I provided backpacks and a lot of school supplies/books/uniforms for school this year. It was a very expensive and once a year cost. If you have been blessed and would like to help cover that cost, we would be grateful. The kids are excited to be starting another year. They are embracing change. I love seeing what God does each and every day!
Speaking of change. Our cook/cleaning/everything/most importantly brother in law, Julio, has left us. He has been wanting to find a full-time job that obviously pays more than our half-day job. So we hope for the best for him as he looks for a job. Margarita’s mother has taken over as she would like the extra income with her youngest son helping run some errands here and there. So far so good. After all, she did teach Julio how to cook so I’m not too worried about her. I just pray for her health as she often has back issues.
With all of these changes, we have changes to our sponsorship program. I have been waiting to see which children would be leaving. Now with a week in the books, I will be emailing a handful of sponsors and letting them know the bad news about their child leaving. At the same time….. we have not only new kids, but probably half of our project that needs sponsors. The sponsorships are what pay for the workers, the food we provide, our school supplies for the year, activities, and any other resources we need. Please pray about sponsoring a child. We had a pretty hard year financially last year. Donations were down, so we are needing any help you could spare. We have battled with debating on continuing the feeding program or not. I keep trusting in God though. He will provide. It’s hard sometimes, because I have had to dip into personal savings and money to cover project cost many times.
I am really proud of one student in particular. Natalia is our only Senior and was a part of our project from day 1. She is starting her last year and I have always promised the kids that if they graduate high school while in the project, I’ll pay for their college and give them a scholarship. I am excited about this opportunity for her. She reminded me about it the other day. She asked if I was serious about paying for her college and i said Heck yeah I am!!! You go girl!!!
Margarita is Rockin it!
Margarita has pretty much taken over as director of the project as I deal with the finances and administration stuff. She is really enjoying it. I can see she loves having a “purpose” and feels like she is making a difference. When we first started it, she felt like she was an outsider looking in. Now this is her baby and I’m here to support her. I am very proud of her!
Nicaragua Christian Academy!
My job at NCA is such a blessing. This year I am even more involved than before. I teach 11th and 12th grade British Literature, 8th grade Bible New Testament class, 9th grade faith and discipleship class, a drama class, and a youth worship class. I am also a college adviser. The youth band leads and plays once a month at a Friday night youth worship service. It is not only fun, but it has gotten me back into my passion of worship. Here is a picture of our youth band Christmas party!
I am also the Worship Chair at International Christian Fellowship. That’s just a fancy word that means I’m in charge of Worship. It is an English speaking church that has mostly foreigners and missionaries. I love it there. I am also doing a student mock UN debate team program called Hacia Democracy. It is run by Harvard and we are taking our kids to a competition in Panama in a few weeks.
I Love my job at NCA. I get to not only work with the older youth which is my passion, but I get to build relationships that lead youth to Christ. I know I have said before, but it’s a school for the missionary children and also for Nicaraguans and others that want a Christian education. I just received my certification the other day too!
I love what Xalted ministries is doing in Nicaragua. It is so much more than I ever imagined. We are reaching and serving the less fortunate with our project, and we are serving, growing, and discipling our leaders of tomorrow at NCA.
So I’m normally at NCA from 5:30am-3pm. Some nights here and there. So in my free time I’m either at the project in the afternoon or at home with my girls. Mia is growing so fast. Although, I think she is going to be tiny like her mom. She has a very big vocabulary, but she is behind in speech because she is learning 2 languages at the same time. She is sharp as a tack though. I am amazed when i watch her problem solving and her motor skills. I think she is advanced in that area. She LOVES singing and dancing to music. She is going to be like papa and love the arts.
Margarita is wonderful and we just celebrated our 4th anniversary. Praise God she hasn’t got tired of me yet!!! I have been blessed!!!
I am also happy to say I’ve lost 50 lbs in the last 4 months. So I feel great and had to buy some new clothes because I was swimming in my old pants! So I am loving life.
Finally a big thank you for all of your prayers and support. This was a hard last year. I hope you pray and consider supporting us this year. Some amazing stuff is happening here. I wish you would even consider visiting and seeing what God is doing. It can be life changing. Please continue to pray for us here in Nicaragua. We praise God that we can be His hands and feet on the ground in this 3rd world country. Your donations keep us here and let that happen. Thank you. We love you!