“The harmful effects of this pandemic will not be distributed equally. They are expected to be most damaging for children in the poorest countries…” – Unicef
Hello Everyone. Thanks to God and those of you who have participated in July’s Campaign 33 to expand our food distribution program through the end of 2020. We reached our initial goal and want to expand the program.
Food and medical assistance have become increasingly urgent in developing nations due to the pandemic’s impact on food systems and livelihoods. We have seen this first hand in Ometepe, with the borders closed around Nicaragua until recently. Families who relied on farming crops for income had little or NO market to sell their August harvests. Also, crop prices plummeted, while the cost of living in Ometepe for other food items and necessities have increased.
Photos from August Outreach
During August’s outreach, it became obvious that more of our families are in need of baby formula/milk or medicine. We’ve seen children in the village of Sintiope, specifically, under- or malnourished. Eight (8) families have been identified and we can help as the Body of Christ.
What Can You Do? Will you join us to pray for provision for these hardworking families? If you are in season to give financially, consider participating in our Milk & Medicine Campaign.
We’re already half way to our financial goal! This is only $20 per family from August – December 2020. 100% of your support is directly sent to Ometepe and is tax deductible.
In August, our kids’ English Program resumed in Sintiope with some modifications due to the pandemic. On the first day, 14 kids showed up eager to learn. The young adult evening program resumes next week.
We’re excited to share that 4th Quarter classroom instruction will be partly conducted online with volunteers providing pronunciation help to the students in Nicaragua from here in the USA. If YOU are interested in volunteering with us (from your own home), contact us for details.
No experience is necessary. Just a heart to a serve Jesus and a laptop computer or smartphone
Do you have a spare Chromebook or Laptop?
Our college scholarship recipients are either sharing or borrowing laptops in order to meet the new requirements of online learning during the pandemic. This is really challenging given that most of these young adults have tremendous responsibilities in addition to their studies. If you have an item to donate or you’re a College Scholar Sponsor who wishes to help, please email us.
Thank you First United Methodist Church of Cocoa Beach
On September 20th, FUMCCB will launch it’s Fall Engage Project to help Sponsor the 4th Quarter of our English program. See video for details. You don’t have to be a member to participate.
New inventory for the Ometepe Artisans Etsy Shop is on the way!. All of the proceeds from past sales have been a huge blessing to Rosita, Glady and their families during the pandemic.
If you have not already visited, check out the Etsy Shop or help us further empower these artisans by sharing their Facebook or Instagram feeds.
Hello Everyone. We hope this newsletter finds you safe & strong. We are filled with gratitude as our family and friends remain healthy, despite reports from other communities in Ometepe that COVID-19 is rapidly spreading and families are losing loves ones. We are also grateful we live in an age where technology allows for the OBGM team to work and pray together on where we can maximize our gifts to those most in need. We invite you to pray with us for this discernment and the continued strength for those in Ometepe and throughout Nicaragua.
During July, our amazing team of staff and college scholarship recipients coordinated a food package distribution to each child from our Primary Education Sponsorship program (see photos below). This was made possible from the support we received from some of their sponsors. THANK YOU. All the kids are doing well and are continuing with their studies as school remains open in Ometepe.
Unfortunately the need and urgency for food assistance is on the rise in our communities due to mass unemployment and skyrocketing food prices. It’s obvious that the
expanded food program needs to continue beyond August. Our budget to cover 30 families is $333. This amount provides a family of four with enough rice, beans, oil, sugar, coffee & salt for 7-10 days. One way you can help is by by participating in our Campaign 33. If ten people donate $33, or one person gives $333, it would cover the month of September. If 20 people donated $33, then September & October will be covered, and so on .We will continue this campaign until we can ensure a consistent distribution through the end of 2020 with God’s help.
100% of your donation is tax deductible and directly benefits the most impoverished in Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. If you can not financially give at this time, please pray for Nicaragua. “Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not fail you nor forsake you.: Deuteronomy 31:6
July’s distribution covered families in our Primary Education Sponsor Program. We have 53 kids in the program.
God VS Everything Sometimes we don’t know how & when God is working through us to impact others. We were honored when TJ’s high school friend sent us these (and other) T-shirts in gratitude for helping him during a difficult season. We love these comfy God-centered T-shirts and the inspiration behind them: He is greater than any battle in this world. There is no easier way to spread that message, and hopefully impact, than wearing it on your shirt. Check out GOD VS EVERYTHING.
OMETEPE ARTISANS “ON LOCATION” & ETSY
We continue to be amazed with how God is moving in the Ometepe Artisans project despite this challenging season. Both Rosa & Gladys have earned a consistent income since April, empowering each woman to support their families by selling their handmade jewelry. In addition to the online Etsy shop, there are now two (2) Space Coast, FL businesses carrying these handmade treasures! (see below). We hope you visit these “local” small businesses in the near future. No matter where you shop,100% of all profits go our deserving artists. If you have any questions email or message us on social media @Ometepeartisans.
We hope you are having a good Fall season filled with gratitude and good health. We remain in continual contact with our team in the field on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua and have lots to share. Scroll down for all the updates on each of our core mission pillars of MIND, BODY & SPIRIT.
Our next visit is scheduled for November 6 – 20, 2019. We are also planning for 2020. Some of our goals will be bold, but we have witnessed miracles in the past, especially when the needs were the greatest and met with unconditional love. In the meantime, please continue to pray with us for:
Continued peace for Nicaragua
Recovery of those hospitalized
OBGM ministry, staff & local volunteers
Remaining 2019 funding for:
December Food Distribution Program ($350)
Five (5) Sponsors for Micro Loan Project ($250)
Structural housing projects finish (See below).
Discernment for our 2020 Plan
Love, Peace & Joy T.J. and Rochelle For more frequent updates from the field, follow us on Instagram or Facebook.
MINDS: ENGLISH PROGRAM EXPANDS & NEW ASST. TEACHER
A new evening English program commenced late-September in the classroom space of Iglesia Nueva Jerusalen church led by Hilder Barrios and assisted by Leydi Rios Alverez of Ometepe. This is an exciting milestone for OBGM investing in young adults in the community of Santa Cruz. Leydi Rios Alverez’s new role is a paid student-teaching job. She’s an incredible young mother who works full-time at her church’s program with Compassion International while finishing her college degree in English on Saturdays. We are excited to watch Leydi grow in her new role and our hope is that in the future, Leydi will assume full responsibilities for our Santa Cruz English program. Click here for her full bio.
BODIES & SPIRITS: SEPT & OCT OUTREACH
22 Food Packets (20 lbs. rice, 10 lbs. of beans, 5 lbs sugar, 1 lb coffee, 2 ltrs. oil) were prepared and distributed at the end of September – early October to six communities by our amazing team from Iglesia Nueva Jerusalen church. Earlier this week “Gloria” provided transport for the local mission team to visit & pray with the sick at hospitals – some suffering from dengue fever. In fact, the two hospitals on the island were full. The mission team provided their own donations of food and supplies to the sick as these items are NOT provided in Nicaraguan medical system (not even toilet paper).
BODIES: WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD We’re delighted to share last month’s construction for Christian and Marisol’s homes are almost complete thanks to generous donations. Unfortunately, both homes had to be 100% demolished and most existing materials could not be reused. Each family now has a firm foundation, posts and a roof that no longer leaks. Our local mission team and the homeowners labored hard with the materials preparation and construction to keep costs down.
Despite this, Marisol needs more help with brick walls, windows and a floor. We believe that anything is possible when “we know all things work together for good, for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 NRSV).
The current budget to complete: Walls $720 Windows $315 Floor $225 Total: $1,260
If you feel implored to help Marisol’s family, consider gifting all, or part, of the above budget with your tax-deductible donation direct to OBGM or through a future Facebook fundraiser (contact us for more info)
Wow Ometepe is all we can say since our return from Nicaragua on February 12. We were greatly encouraged by the continued stability of the nation since 2018’s civil & economic unrest – the biggest surprise was a strong return of tourism to Ometepe.
There is still room for caution, but the situation has brought increased cooperation and partnership among the Nicaraguan people, churches and other ministries, including OBGM. This IS the body of Christ in action and it’s so good! Just as Paul, shares in Romans 12:5 SO IN CHRIST, WE WHO ARE MANY ARE ONE BODY, AND EACH MEMBER BELONGS TO ONE ANOTHER.
Scroll down for more details of our recent visit and program updates. We are currently praying for for the following needs:
Sustainable support to 2019’s nutrition program
Pre-owned 4-wheel drive truck for transportation of bulk nutrition supplies, materials, outreach team members, visiting team members and general needs. The vehicle must be purchased in Nicaragua.
Walking Shoes & Ponchos for Outreach Team
Start of a 2nd English Class program in Santa Cruz
Also pray for travel safety as Rochelle returns to Nicaragua March 21 – April 4. Her travel is possible thanks to frequent flyer miles TJ receives via American Airlines. We will do our best to keep you updated (including shenanigans) via our Facebook Page, Instagram orblog.Love, Peace & Joy T.J. and Rochelle
Thank You Tom Davis
Thank you to Tom Davis of Grand Junction, CO for joining us in Nicaragua from February 2 – 12, 2019. The people of Ometepe were so blessed with his presence and contributions throughout his visit on the island.
We especially appreciate Tom’s input with our children’s English school program, including lesson planning and materials given to our English teacher, Hilder. With 30+ years as a professional educator, his experience was invaluable and timely since the new school year in Nicaragua commenced February 4.
Tom managed to have some fun, too! We squeezed in a waterfall hike and a fishing on two afternoons. Best, of all, he plans to return to Ometepe in the future with two his grown daughters and son-in-law! We look forward to his return and how each of his family members bless the beautiful people of Ometepe.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN SERVING WITH US THIS SUMMER IN NICARAGUA? CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO.
MINDS: College Scholar Receives Laptop
Thank you Cocoa Beach Daybreak Rotary Club for the Toshiba laptop awarded to Lisbeth Issamar Bravo Garcia, age 19. Lisbeth is a deserving student attending her 3rd year at the University of Managua (UNAN) majoring in architecture. She was both humbled and thrilled with receipt of this assistance as she had NO computer to complete her upcoming coursework! She plans to graduate in 2021.
Fully-functioning laptops and unlocked smartphones are in great need. If you would like to donate one of your own items, please contact us.
MINDS: 21 Kids Start English Classes!
Words can not describe the sight of 21 kids crammed into a classroom on a hot Saturday morning eager to learn English! The below video is from February 9th’s first day of school and celebration. We hope you can see the value and love this program brings to the children in Sintiope. Please consider helping us expand this program which helps the community seek better employment.
BODIES: Your generosity helps to nourish ~ 80 bodies/month – many in some of the hard-to-reach communities and with family members who are very sick.
BODIES & SPIRITS: Nutrition Program & Outreach Team Needs
One of the most humbling & educational moments during our visit was the time we spent with the local mission/outreach team from God’s Assembly church in Santa Cruz, Ometepe. This team of 10 dedicated volunteers go out into the “mission field” 2x/week from 5am – 6pm, seeking residents in under-served communities as far as 10km away from their homes. Many of those reached include the extremely sick and/or poor farmers who have no access to a church, bible study, healing prayer or simply in sharing in God’s word.
In addition to a small travel stipend they receive from OBGM, the team hosts their own fundraisers to support their program. We are honored to have this dedicated team help us sort, weigh, pack and deliver food kits to those most in need. Each kit feeds a family of four (4) for 1.5 weeks, and on average 20 families receive the aid per month according to our current budget.
But it’s not about the food. This is really about working together as the Body of Christ to share God’s relentless love…providing comfort, peace, healing, joy…all of the gifts available to us by His sheer grace.
NEEDS – We need help outfitting each team member with appropriate walking shoes and rain ponchos during our next visit. To accomplish this, we’ve set up an Amazon Wish Listwith specific shoe sizes for each team member as well a link for the rain ponchos. If you chose to donate, please order before March 15 to ensure timely delivery to us, prior to our visit. Prices range from $15.99 – $41.
MINDS: 7 primary school students were fully sponsored last month to supply school uniforms, backpacks, shoes & supplies for the 2019 school year.
MINDS: College Scholarship Awarded
Meet Prisila Rios from Santa Cruz, Ometepe Island. Prisila will assume a full course load of classes in Rivas, Nicaragua commencing this month. She will commute from Ometepe & attend classes on Saturdays.
In addition to her other responsibilities, Prisila is a dedicated volunteer in her community in Santa Cruz, including serving on her church’s mission team twice per month.
If you would like to sponsor a college student like Prisila, we are seeking financial support of $50 per month,or $500 per year per scholarship. When donating, please specify “college scholar” on the designation line.
SPIRIT: Youth In Training Graduates Congratulations to Denis and Hilder of Ometepe who completed Youth With a Mission’s (YWAM) two-week training program in Managua on January 31, 2019. The program, Save to Serve and Transform (SST), is specifically for young people who want to make God known with their lifestyle, families, community, nation and the world. This is accomplished through not only study and reflection, but also through outreach.
Rochelle had the privilege of serving along side these two young men in an outreach day in the trash dumps near Managua. We are delighted to watch them transform and grow in their relationship with Jesus. We look forward to helping each of them continue in their journey and we ask for your prayers.
“SO IN CHRIST, WE WHO ARE MANY ARE ONE BODY, AND EACH MEMBER BELONGS TO ONE ANOTHER” – ROMANS 12:5.
One of the goals of our late-Fall visit to Nicaragua was to strengthen our relationships local pastors/ministries in the communities we serve in Ometepe. Of our three guiding pillars, Spirit, we recently committed to walk alongside one local mission team who minister to “the forgotten ones” (that is their term) into the outlying communities from their base church.
This week, I received an update from the field that we had enough in our local budget to purchase & prepare 20 more food kits (rice, beans,oil, sugar, coffee, salt). Each kit feeds an entire family for 7-10 days. This amazing team not only spent countless hours securing, measuring & packaging each meal kit, they spent 20+ hours going to four separate communities (3 in Mérida, 2 in La Palma, 12 en Madroñal and Santa cruz and 5 kits in Sintiope). Each visit was less about the food and more about relationship, prayer and loving on the sick & elderly.
It is truly an honor to witness how our trusted team & friends in Nicaragua work together to honor the greatest commandment to “love thy neighbor”. Since June, One Body Global Ministries made it possible to supply at least 220 food kits to the most poor and sick families in Ometepe. To put it in perspective, if each kit feeds 4-6 people for a week, that is approximately 1,100 mouths!
In the words of our project administrator, Erlin, he shared today, “I see God moving in our ministry… I spoke with each one of the beneficiaries and I see the real needed not only of food, they need love. They need God.”
I just had to share this good news and ask you to pray for these amazing (and probably exhausted) people who help us love on those who would otherwise feel alone, unloved, or forgotten. We are One Body in Christ!
In between – It’s a phrase that best describes how we feel this month. It’s frustrating NOT to be in the field this summer with our friends on Ometepe Island. However, our inconvenience doesn’t compare to the reality of the socioeconomic crisis & daily struggle that Nicaraguans currently endure.
Despite all of this, the will of God is prospering on Ometepe and throughout Nicaragua. A prime example is illustrated in the below video. It demonstrates how we CAN be in one place, or situation, but still have the ability to connect and share the Love of Jesus in another. Here’s what’s happened since our July update:
Formalized our 501(c)(3) nonprofit structure which enables more transparency and partnership opportunities for long-term sustainability
English Classes continue to THRIVE (see below)
Food Project (see video) – 63 Families in 4 towns
This stunning video depicts God’s Hope and Love delivered to 63 familiies through our Feeding Project earlier this month. The local community and churches have really stepped up to reach those most in need: the sick, blind and poor.
An Update from Hilder …
English classes with the kids are running very well as we enjoy the peace that Lord Jesús gives us, no matter the current political and national situation. We are confident under the Love of the Almighty. It is very visible how the classes are of invaluable importance for the kids, along with their parents, who express their gratitude to the ministry.
The adult group continues strong attendance as we discover the love of Jesus and ask for your prayers in these young adults’ spiritual life. I trust the Lord that they will discover a new, different way of life. It is through Jesús and your love that make it all possible. – Hilder
You can set up your secure, encrypted donation online as a one-time gift or a monthly-recurring gift that you may cancel at any time.
Your gift can be designated to a specific project or set up as a Tribute in honor, or memory of a special individual/entity. If you prefer to donate by check, please make payable and mail to:
One Body Global Ministries Inc.
179 Jamaica Drive
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 USA
THANK YOU for your continued prayers and support. Please subscribe to our blog or our like page on Facebook for more frequent updates, photos & videos.
For the second month, One Body Global Ministries Inc. along with local friends and pastors feed 60+ families in the barrios of Sintiope, Urbaite, Santa Cruz and Madroñal in Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. A special thank you to the churches of Nueva Jerusalen (Santa Cruz) and Bethel (Sintiope). Photos: magdielalvarezjimenez
July is a time when most of us Americans celebrate freedom and family at a summer barbecue or vacation. It’s hard to imagine there are other places in the world that don’t enjoy the same. This is especially true in Nicaragua. The sociopolitical situation has continued to decline and many innocent lives have been affected by this urgent crisis. According to human rights officials, the death toll now exceeds 300. Many people are now jobless and finding it difficult to buy basic food & supplies for their families.
Not much is being reported in the U.S., but YOU can help by joining us in prayer and by spreading awareness (please share this) of the crisis. Scroll down for more details on how One Body Global Ministries has been helping in the field. We ask for your continued prayers for this ministry and the beautiful people of Nicaragua.
Rochelle & TJ
Feeding the Hungry
Thanks to your generosity and the hard work of over a dozen of OBGM’s local friends, families, pastors and church members on Ometepe Island, 60 families received a package from our Food Assistance Project in June. Each family received: 20 pounds of rice, 5 pounds of beans, 5 pounds of sugar, 2 liters of oil and 1 pound of coffee. The package is estimated to last each family 7-10 days. Our in-depth blog & photo gallery best illustrates the scope of this initiative. It is an inspiring demonstration of Jesus in action.
Our goal is to continue this program for as long as the need exists. Please consider a tax-deductible gift towards this project.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. – 1 John 3:17-18
Eyes for Hope Project
Thank you everyone – especially our friends at Rockledge United Methodist Church for your donations to our Eyes for Hope project and unlocked smartphones. We’re making arrangements for some of these items to get down to Nicaragua soon. We’re still collecting them, so if you have these items, please email us.
We are now a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charity!
When we started this journey last year, we never imagined that God would align the exact people, resources, circumstances, and protection that currently operate under One Body Global Ministries. Although we are grateful for our affiliation with CMN to get started, we are now an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit charity. We felt this next step was essential to optimize efficiency, transparency, and of course continue to provide you with a tax deduction(s) for your financial support.
The children’s English classes in Sintiope continue to THRIVE. While regular school enjoys a mini-vacation in July, these amazing kids choose to learn about Jesus & the English language under the leadership of our local teacher, Hilder. So far, access to the classroom has not be an issue since the sociopolitical crisis began in April. Please pray that safety continues & thank you for your support to this project!
60 is the number of families who received a package from One Body Global Ministries’ Food Assistance Project this week. When we started on this journey, we never imagined the need for basic food would be so HUGE. Why? Due to the sociopolitical crisis that started on April 18, many hardworking Nicaraguans now find themselves jobless. The number of people living at the poverty level (defined as living on $2/day) has exploded and continues to grow.
I have to admit that some days, it seems overwhelming and almost impossible. For example, how can we be here in the U.S. and feed all these hungry people? It’s not just about buying food, it’s about getting the money there when the banks are not open, and other considerations including sorting, weighing, bagging, distribution and transportation around road blocks.
Every time we have our doubts, God shows us that with Him all things are possible. In early June, we received unexpectedly generous donations, and we knew exactly where He wanted us to use them. We immediately contacted our trusted local friends, Erlin & Yovelsi Alvarez, whom we have known since 2009. Both are shining examples of professionalism and have dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ.
Thanks to Erlin, Yovelsi and over a dozen of local friends, families, pastors and church members on Ometepe Island, His great plan unfolded. Many of the recipients were the poorest and sickest in the three “barrios” of Santa Cruz, Madroñal and Sintiope. Erlin shared, “We have seen much need, some women have cried when we delivered the food.” The pictures tell most of the story.
Each of the 60 families received: 20 pounds of rice, 5 pounds of beans, 5 pounds of sugar, 2 liters of oil and 1 pound of coffee.
We plan to continue to provide food each month and are praying for more unexpectedly generous donations. You can donate online as outlined below or mail your gift to One Body Global Ministries Inc., 179 Jamaica Drive, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931:
1: One-time or recurring gift:
2. PayPal to: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Venmo to: @Rochelle-Scott-4
And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Since our last update, there have been a lot of changes (most good and some very challenging) in Nicaragua. As you may be aware, the political climate in Nicaragua is rapidly changing. Students were peacefully demonstrating for a democratic government, but Ortega and the Sandinistas responded with force. Sadly, there have been 100+ deaths and 1,000+ injured. As of this date, one American is confirmed dead. This is adversely affecting many of the faithful and poor throughout Nicaragua. It has also impacted our ability to physically go to Ometepe Island in July.
However, our commitment and ability to help our impoverished brothers & sisters on Ometepe continues here from the USA! We are in daily contact with trusted locals (some whom we have known since 2009) who are stepping up to help meet growing and urgent needs (see below – we need your help).
We are honored and grateful that God has called us into this ministry. We ask for your continued prayers for the beautiful people of Nicaragua and our ministry as a we continue to answer God’s call.
Food Assistance Project
Many people on Ometepe are now unemployed due to the stoppage in tourism and economic decline. Food prices are on the rise. We are working to set up a food distribution/feeding program in the two “barrios” of Santa Cruz and Sintiope with the help of local friends and church pastors.
We need YOUR help. For example, $25 could provide a family of four (4) with enough rice & beans for ~ month. You can donate online in one of three ways:
1: Our secure, encrypted online portal.
2. PayPal to: email@example.com 3. Venmo to: @Rochelle-Scott-4
English Classes Approach 50 Students
35 children are now attending one of two sessions offered each Saturday in Sintiope. Ten (10) students, ages 15-39, learn English at our evening young adult classes offered twice a week in Urbaite. These classes are core to the education pillar of our mission. The classes have continued to run uninterrupted thanks to the dedication of our local teacher, Hilder, and your support to this project.
It takes many parts of the Body of Christ to minister to these brothers, sisters & children. Thank you God!!!!