Our Jan-Feb visit to Ometepe Island was nothing short of amazing. The time we spent together with the locals and other missionaries, it was clear that God is weaving the most splendid & beautiful tapestry for His Kingdom through all of us. (Luke 17:20-21)
We were most encouraged by the progress of the English students enrolled in our three (3) ongoing classes. Many of the students are gaining confidence in their pronunciation and using their skills outside the classroom. Knowing English provides future employment opportunities, as tourism continues to return to the island.
The hardest aspect of our visit were the family interviews for our primary school scholarship program. This program now covers 53 children in 9 communities. Many of these families are surviving on less than $1 a day, with a handful reporting no income altogether. All of the children were not ready for the new school year and thanks to the Body of Christ, they started on Feb 3! We will continue to monitor each child’s progress, and family situation, throughout the year. We will also be in touch with you shortly about your child if you are participating in this program.
Finally, you will continue to see a shift of our activities away from strict programming into a model of community development. Instead of doing for others, our focus will continue to build on doing with others through our core pillars of MIND, BODY & SPIRIT. Like the tapestry, our end goal is sustainability weaved into the fabric of these communities yoked with Christ’s unconditional love.
Will you be a thread in this tapestry? We have some fun ways to participate including soon-to-launch online indigenous jewelry store in which the proceeds support local women. We are also seeking school & teacher supplies for Rochelle’s next visit on April 6. If you would like to come to Ometepe in the future, send us an email. Scroll down for updates on each of our core pillars of Body, Mind & Spirit.
Peace & Love of Christ be with you,
Rochelle & TJ
|MINDS: SUPPLIES NEEDED by MARCH 31|
Our Saturday children’s English classes migrated to Monday & Wednesday mornings at the Sintiope primary school (Pre-K- 6th), concurrent with the regular learning day. During the process, we discovered the school had NO supplies. We were able to secure some during our visit but the needs are so great. Consequently, we’re holding a school & classroom supply drive UNTIL MARCH 31, seeking the following items (gently used is fine). Many of these items can be purchased on our AmazonSmile Charity Wish list and dropped shipped to us:Reusable plastic cups, dishes & utensils
Wooden Puzzles & pre-school toys
Games, Baseball Bats & Gloves, Soccer Balls (size 4). legos, blocks
Pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, crayons & colored pencils
Whiteboard markers & other classroom supplies (check dollar store)
Chess Sets (plastic)
|BODIESPilot Water Filter Project with the Cocoa Beach Daybreak Rotary Club. These Sawyer bucket adapters (see above) eliminate 99.999999% of bacteria, protozoa & cysts like e.coli, cholera & typhoid. Each recipient was trained on how to maintain & clean the filters as they can last 10+ years & filter 300 gallons/day. This past visit a total of 8 kits were granted to 2 schools & 3 households giving clean water access to 300+ individuals. All the recipients were so happy to access clean water & surprised at how easy to use & maintain. We will be closely monitoring this project & keep you posted.|
Do you live near Cocoa Beach, FL? Join us on March 21 from 3:30pm – 5:30pm for casual tea, lite snacks and preview of the handmade master artisan jewerly from Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. The earrings, necklaces & bracelets are made by Rosita & Gladys, two indigenous women from the community of Santa Cruz. Both artists use natural materials found in Ometepe, including fossils, stones, seeds and amber found around the Maderas Volcano. ALL of the profits will directly benefit Rosita & Gladys, which in turn will help their families, church & community.
This is a prelude to the creation of an online Esty platform designed to provide an ongoing, sustainable income for these deserving & faithful women. Click below button for event details & more photos of the goodies!
March 21 Jewelry Event
A note from TJ: On this trip I met Maria Antonia a precious little girl who seemed very sick. Her parents were told she had hepatitis and couldn’t go back to school until she was well. And the new school year started the following week.
We had lots of questions. Was it A, B or C? How contagious was she? We took her to a private clinic to find out. The cost for the visit and blood tests was greater than the average monthly wage in the village Maria lived.
Long story short, it was Hep A – thank God. We prayed over her. Her symptoms subsided, and she was in school the next week. But now her brother had it. And I suspect nearly everyone she came in contact would eventually have it. My dilemma now is, how do you get people to frequently wash their hands with soap, when very few in that community have soap. The school didn’t even have any. We had a great response to the immediate need and were able to supply Maria’s family and the school with soap. We are moving forward with the school to ensure it has ongoing access to clean water, supplies, utensils and soap. Stay tuned…
We recently received a quarterly disbursement from the AmazonSmile Foundation for $37.67. It may not seem like a lot, but we stretch these dollars to help cover bus fares or a water filtration kit capable of filtering 300 gallons per day.
Thank you to the 13 people supporting our charity. Imagine the impact if this number was doubled or tripled? Please consider adding us to your Amazon purchases by going to: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/83-0840019.
Do you have an extra musical instrument & willing to donate it?
We’ve been approached by two different groups seeking worship instruments. Please contact us if you’re interested. You can also make a designated financial gift by clicking below. All gifts are tax-deductible.