April – May 2021 Update

Christ has no body but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world,

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours
. – Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)


Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support during a difficult month for our family. As April comes to a close, we’re grateful to share God’s progress and future plans for Ometepe and beyond (see below). In case you missed it, here is a link to the early April newsletter on the Miskito Coast. At the timing of this writing, the village of Boom Sirpi just received seed and they are distributing them now for planting. In the coming weeks, we look forward to the delivery of chickens to help feed the kids (below). How amazing it is when we unify with Christ’s compassion to be His hands, feet, eyes and body. Also, this was only possible because of the countless hours of multi-ministry coordination by our colleagues, Stacy & Cory Martin. Their selfless servitude and faith are an inspiration.

Prayer Requests 
We’re requesting continued prayers of comfort & peace for our immediate and extended families. We also ask for continued prayers for the people of Nicaragua who are dealing with a resurgence of the Covid-19 virus as well as those suffering on the Miskito Coast.

Lastly, we are finishing construction of our personal residence in Ometepe. It’s a small living quarters with lots of outside space for hosting future ministry activities with the children and families in OBGM’s programs. We hope to share photos soon. Pray the remaining construction goes smooth, as Rochelle will be in Nicaragua June 1 – June 27, 2021 and hopes to stay at the house. Of course, travel protection prayers are also appreciated.

Love & Peace,
T.J. and Rochelle Scott


BODY: Home for Marta Update
“Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world “ – Teresa of Avila

Thank you – we reached the fundraising goal for a new home for Marta! Construction is still in progress of the new bedroom attached to her mother’s house. As you recall, Marta’s home was falling down and would not survive the upcoming rainy season (click for video). Thank you to Tom Fritz of Island Breeze Ministries for his major contributions and overseeing this entire project during THE HOTTEST season in Nicaragua. We look forward to sharing more photos of the house and Marta when Rochelle returns in June.

Not Your Ordinary Mother’s Day Gifts …
If you want to honor a Mom this Mother’s Day with something unique that supports sustainability and other deserving moms, we have two great idea
Shop new items in the Ometepe Artisans Etsy Shop.
The Spring Collection is here! Many one-of-a-kind creations represent Ometepe Island life and culture. Many items are proudly modeled by some of our college scholars and family,
If you can’t purchase anything, will you help these artisans by SHARING the Etsy link with your friends & family on social media?
Sponsor a Hen in Boom Sirpi

Sponsor and gift a hen in honor of your mother, mother-in-law, or grandma this Mother’s Day and name it after her. It’s $20 to sponsor one fertile egg-laying hen. We promise to send you reports as to your hen’s productivity in her new coop.
MIND: English Program
In April, we launched our ESL remote pronunciation lessons via Google Meet with the Level 3 children in Sintiope, Ometepe Island. It was a huge success! Volunteers of ALL ages participated, and no previous teaching or Spanish experience is required. See a brief video example below. Will you volunteer with us? Your participation is a huge blessing to these students. 
HOW?
Please email Rochelle for an assigned date & instructions. A Google email account is required to participate. If you have a smart device, we recommend you download the Google Meet app
WHEN? 
Wednesdays from 11:30 AM –12:30 PM ET or Fridays from 8:00 PM ET – 9:00 PM ET Christ has no body now on earth but yours – Teresa of Avila
Amazon Smile & Facebook Donations
We are grateful for every penny donated to OBGM. We promise that 100% of all donations OBGM receives go to programming in Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. Two anonymous streams are from Amazon Smile and Facebook donations. Thank you to those who participate! This quarter we received $46.61 from Amazon Smile and $155 from Facebook Fundraisers. If you do not have OBGM as your designated charity on AmazonSmile, will you add us as your charity of choice to help increase our quarterly donations?Now Amazon Smile is available in the app. How it works:
1. Open the Amazon app on your phone
2. Select the main menu (=) & tap on “AmazonSmile” within Programs & Features
3. Select “One Body Global Ministries Inc” as your charity
4. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate AmazonSmile in the mobile app

A Miskito Coast Story

An account of the real people, places, and events that took place after two Category-5 hurricanes hit the east coast of Nicaragua in November 2020. Some of the individual names have been changed, but God’s truth & light continue to shine in the darkness as a collaboration of the following:

Iglesia El Amor de Dios
One Body Global Ministries, Inc.
Maderas Artisans Mission Collective
Island Breeze Ministries
Baptist Medical Dental Mission International

“The lights are back on, Josefina!” The children tell me the news as they dance along the dirt road in our village of Boom Sirpi, Nicaragua. I don’t know why this matters so much. We don’t have a lightbulb in our home. The only one broke during the first hurricane and then the power went out for three long months. The darkness just means that people feel invisible, invisible enough to steal the little that their neighbors have in the pitch blackness. No one wants to steal anything I have left anyway. All I have are hungry little mouths to feed, like Baby Jimena howling at my feet again.

Those two black rolling beasts blew in from the sea one right after the other in November. I’ve never seen anything like it. Abuelita Melva told me stories of storms like them, but I always thought those stories much exaggerated. It was beyond terrifying the way the sky changed colors and swirled in on itself. We all stumbled into the church, dragging our little ones and grabbing what we could on the way. Then we waited, huddled on the floor for hours and hours, listening to the wind howl and wondering if we would survive. It was unimaginable when we had to repeat the whole thing again two weeks later.

The winds peeled back more than half of the roofs and carried them off to who knows where. The winds even blew away the poor chickens as they flapped and squawked their protests. And now there are no eggs, which were the one thing we used to always count on. But it’s not like there is anything to feed a chicken anyway. The cows and pigs that remained after the storms were eaten quickly before they starved as well.

The hurricane-force winds blew away the entire harvest. If only we had known and had brought it all in a few weeks earlier-that crop of plantains, rice, and yucca. Now we have nothing to eat. The farmers walked 2 hours to get to their fields during the planting season and stayed for days at a time. The men would take turns tending the crops until harvest. Now all of that hard work was in vain. There weren’t even any seeds saved to replant for the next year. How will we ever survive?

A few trucks pulled in the week after the storm. They came with emergency supplies to mend the injured. They gave a small piece of metal roofing to each house so there could be a sheltered corner to hide from the rain. They gave a small food bag to each family to help sustain them for a few weeks. But that was 3 months ago when the hurricanes were big news.  No one remembers us now.

Abuelita Melva says that we should all be thankful to God. God sent the missionaries from Pennsylvania to build the big church and some stone houses more than 5 years ago. If it weren’t for them, the people would have had nowhere to take shelter during the hurricanes. They all would have been blown away. Yet it’s hard to feel thankful when everyone is so miserable. The missionaries built things and then left. Now it feels as though God left too.

t’s been 3 long months and everyone is sick because the flooding contaminated the wells. We must boil the water if we don’t want to become more sick from parasites. But boiling the water means that we have to collect wood to make a fire, which means we need to walk several kilometers and then carry the wood home. That is hard to do when we haven’t eaten and feel weak from sickness. It’s easier to just lay in a hammock and give up.

Pastor Diego and Esperanza live in the village with us even though they don’t have to stay. They could leave and go back to their home near the city where there is power, clean water, and food. They tell us that God loves us and to trust in him. My children go to their house to beg for a little rice each day and they give them a small handful. I know they don’t have much to eat themselves and still they share. I know there are dozens of children begging at their door. Maybe there is some truth to what they teach about God loving others. This is the name of their church after all “El Amor de Dios”. I boil a pot of grass for my babies so they won’t bother the pastor and his wife anymore today.

Then there is a bit of hope. There is news of another group of visitors coming. They say they are friends of the pastor and his wife. They are working on a plan to help Boom Sirpi, but I am trying not to expect too much. Then a truck arrives with over 2 tons of food in the middle of the night. I have never seen so much food in my life! It also has medication that my babies desperately need for their hurting stomachs. There is even clothing, shoes, and blankets on this truck. All of ours is mildewed and stinking.

I accept my food bag when my name is called and try to maintain my look of irritation. A small smile sneaks out anyway when I’m surprised by its weight. That’s a lot of grain!  In fact, I can hardly carry it back to my home. I have to balance it on my head or it will slip out of my arms. The little ones will be so happy tonight. Baby Jimena will sleep well with a full stomach. Abuelita Melva was right, God hasn’t forgotten us. Maybe there is hope coming.

In the coming weeks, there is news of more yet to come. A foundation from the city is donating water filters to each family in the village and the first shipment has already arrived. An agriculture and farming specialist is coming later this year to teach us how to grow better grain and raise healthier cattle. The planting season begins in May when the rains return. Of course, we have no seed, but our visitors said they will try to send us some. I think I believe them. They talked about sending us chickens too, but that’s a lot to hope for.

And then there is the best news of all. Compassion International is coming to the Miskito Coast next year. They want to speak with Pastor Diego and Esperanza about opening a project in Boom Sirpi. My babies may actually get an education one day and a chance to see a real doctor! There is a light in this darkness after all.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:5

Next Steps: Community Self-Sufficiency

We would like to bring back the chicken population of Boom Sirpi, Nicaragua after they tragically blew away during the last storm.  This focused, community-centric plan, includes a centralized hen house next to the village church. Our hope is that one day soon, the children could come to the church to eat eggs daily. In the developing world, eggs are the most efficient method to consistently deliver animal protein, which is so important to developing brains. Maderas Artisans Mission Collective will commit to purchasing the chicken feed for the current year until future community harvests can replenish their own supply.

It’s Miskito not Mosquito … March Update 🌷

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For it they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9 NRSV

It’s been a few weeks since Rochelle returned from Nicaragua on March 10. We are grateful to have amazing staff (Erlin and Hilder) on the island who continue to oversee OBGM’s outreach and English programs. See below for an update on some specifics and exciting news on how YOU can participate in the mission field from the comfort of your home.

If we had to summarize this past visit in one word, it would be “community.” Life in the field is so much better when we do it with others in the unity of Christ. In addition to many locals and staff, we spent time with the Martin Family, who joined OBGM’s canopy in October 2020. We were eager to learn more about each other and visit our respective communities since we serve different geographic areas. What happened was incredible! From co-teaching each other’s English classes to planning a hurricane relief trip to the Miskito Coast (see below). With God’s help & community, we accomplish more, we share our burdens, and we share the celebrations. We are so encouraged to see the Mission of OBGM come together so seamlessly with them and old friends, Tom & Esther Fritz, of Island Breeze Ministries, on two special projects (below).

A Prayer Request

At the time of this writing, Rochelle’s father, Blase Cinque, went home to Jesus. He was 88 years old and surrounded by family at his death. Please pray for Roe’s mom, Patricia, and her siblings. We also ask for continued prayers for the people of Nicaragua, especially on the Miskito Coast, for a resolution to the hunger, clean water and shelter crisis.

MIND: English Program
On March 7, we enjoyed a fun beach picnic with our Sintiope English students and their families at San Juan beach in Ometepe. In addition to swimming and games, the kids received their hard-earned Level I and Level II certificates. We are so proud of the hard work these kids put in 2x/week to attend English class and study in between.

What’s next? YOU are invited to participate in the mission field from the comfort of your home! No teaching or Spanish experience is necessary!
WHEN & HOW?  On Wednesdays from 11:30 AM ET – 12:30 PM ET we’re hosting pronunciation lessons with our Level 3 English students via Google Meet. You will work in a small group, or 1 on 1, over your computer, smartphone or tablet. The session will be facilitated by our local teacher, Hilder and Rochelle who will be there to assist. A Google email account is required to participate. If you have a smart device, we recommend you download the Google Meet app. Please email Rochelle for an assigned date & instructions to take part. The first available date is April 7.  It is so fun for us, and very valuable to the students.

A Home for Marta

Marta is our next-door neighbor in Santa Cruz, Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. Her home is falling down and will not survive the next rainy season (click video). With the help of Island Breeze Ministries, OBGM would like to finish the construction of a new bedroom onto her mother’s adjacent brick home which is only 30 yards away. Our budget of $1,200 includes labor, cement, bricks and roof. Will you help build a Home for Marta?

BODY, MIND & SPIRIT:  Miskito Coast Hurricane Relief

As you recall, the east coast of Nicaragua was hit by two major hurricanes in November 2020. This geographic area is called “The Miskito Coast” not because of the insects, but because it remains home to the pre-colonial, indigenous Miskito Indians who originally inhabited, and continue to populate, this region. It is a remote area with little institutional presence. However, the Martin Family’s ministry has ties with a Nicaraguan-based mission church and family in the village of Boom Sirpi (population ~ 300) near Puerto Cabeza, Nicaragua, and they’ve been sending aid since December.

Since that time, we’ve received several more donations. In a March 7 meeting, we learned that hunger and lack of clean water remain an urgent problem in Boom Sirpi. The Martins and Tom Fritz, of Island Breeze Ministries, will travel to Puerto Cabeza (March 28 – April 3) to visit and minister to those impacted by the hurricanes. On March 25, a large truck with the food aid and other supplies donated by other churches and BMDMI (Baptist Medical Dental Mission International) made the 20-hour drive to the Miskito coast. (INSERT VIDEO)

Please keep all of the above in your continued prayers, especially those indigenous to the Miskito Coast.

Ometepe Artisans (“OA”) Project

The Spring handcrafted jewelry collection is coming to the Ometepe Artisans’ Etsy shop in mid-April. The rollout will include a new indigenous artisan who blends native seeds, stones, metal work and macramé to his jewelry. 100% of the sale profits are passed along to each artisan, with a small percentage reinvested back into raw supplies, business cards or small tools for the artisans. Follow the OA Instagram or Facebook page for more frequent updates and a sneak peek at the Spring collection!

Introducing Maderas Microloans …

Post by Cory & Stacy Martin, Maderas Artisans Mission Collective in Masatepe, Nicaragua

It’s time to dream big. We want to help families break out of the poverty cycle and find sustainable ways to support themselves for the future. We are introducing our Microloan Program for new small businesses. There are never enough jobs in Nicaragua and people have to get creative in order to earn a living. It’s smart to start up a small business, especially when people don’t want to travel to the big city where Covid is more prevalent. However, the banks charge enormous interest rates on new loans, if one could get approved in the first place.

How It Works

We are beginning small with two (2) women-owned businesses, with hardworking & trusted members in our community (see below). We plan to add more small businesses in the future as we are currently evaluating business plans from other trusted Nicaraguan friends/students. We will loan money, interest-free so that a new business can have a decent chance for success. We are also teaching young people about how to properly run a business.

Will you help us? When you make a donation to this campaign you choose a borrower to receive your funds. That borrower pays monthly for 1-3 years on their loan. Once that loan is repaid, we will contact you and you will choose a new small business with your original gift amount. Your money will be recycled to help many new businesses get started over the next few years. You can loan as little or as much as you want towards the business of your choice until they reach their maximum request.

WendyMart was the idea of our college scholar, Wendy, and her mama, Maria. Wendy’s mama had just returned from Costa Rica where she’s been working for the past few years as a maid. She was only allowed one week off a year to visit the family. Her father is currently working as a janitor at the factory making only $10 a day. They were afraid mama would need to go back to Costa Rica again so they could eat, but then Wendy had an idea.

There was a storefront space available to rent only a block away. Their vision is a little store that will sell groceries, school supplies, and clothes. They also make fresh tortillas, hot coffee, and homemade coconut ice cream. Wendy’s brother helps at the store when she is at the university. Maderas Artisans has already helped them rent and paint the space, purchase a freezer, coffee pot, and griddle. They are asking for up to 2,000 total to buy inventory for the store and add a sandwich shop. Would you consider loaning money to WendyMart?

Mary’s Cafe is the idea of Mary, another college scholar in our program. She wants to start a small business in her home with her mama, Ana. (They don’t live near Wendy and wouldn’t be in competition.) Ana has been working in the city as a live-in maid and only gets one weekend a month off to visit her husband and children. This would allow the family to stay together all of the time. They need a propane griddle to make tortillas and a small freezer to make homemade ice cream. The total for these two items would be $250, but they would be interested in borrowing up to $500 in order to expand their menu to include plantain chips and local cheese. Would you consider loaning to Mary’s Cafe?

Unexpected: Feb 2021 Update

The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps” 

Proverbs 16:9 NRSV. 

UNEXPECTED

Greetings from Nicaragua, everyone. This visit has been all about the unexpected. It has included many challenging including losing expected days to truck repairs or minor illnesses. We remain grateful, as these experiences are shaping our hearts to God’s path for OBGM. 

The best part of the “unexpected” are stories like this one about our friend, Marlon (see below video). Marlon is the husband of a good friend who was hosting the mission house when Rochelle arrived in January. He’s also a pastor and bean farmer in his village, which is near the Costa Rican border. The entire village goes to sleep around 7pm because it has no electricity. Prior to leaving the US, TJ sent a message to some local church friends asking if anyone had an extra men’s wristwatch (a gift for Marlon) that would be of great use to him. When no watches emerged, TJ went to the Goodwill but found only ladies’ wrist watches there. As TJ was leaving the store, a church member texted TJ saying he had a watch. It was a diving watch that, when new, cost $500. WOW! We were so honored to deliver this unexpected treasure to Marlon.

At the time of this newsletter, TJ returned to the USA while Rochelle stayed in Nicaragua until March 10, to meet personally with all the families in our programs. Scroll below for an update on the steps we’re taking to deliver on our core pillars of Mind & Body and HOW you can help. There is LOTS more to share about what’s happening here – we suggest you subscribe to and follow our Instagram/Facebook feeds for more stories, videos & updates. On this trip, we were also happy to have some in-person time for planning with our colleagues, Cory & Stacy Martin, who are currently serving in Masatepe, Nicaragua. They’re already an essential part of the OBGM team on Ometepe (see Stacy below) and hope to be on the island one weekend a month to help out. Click here for their latest newsletter. We’re also grateful to Tom & Esther Fritz of Island Breeze Nicaragua for opening their home to us in this phase of OBGM’s ministry.

Thank you for your ongoing prayers for OBGM. Please continue to pray for provision and wellness for our communities in Ometepe. THEY are praying for YOU! We hear it from their lips during our visits. Their unshakable faith touches our hearts.

We hope it moves your heart like God moves the wind.
Love, Rochelle & TJ

Ometepe school children started the new school year on February 1. In three days, we managed to get the majority of the 53 kids, who were enrolled in our primary & secondary scholarship program, “ready” with the required uniforms, shoes backpacks and supplies. It was a whirlwind, but the kids had a blast riding in the truck & shopping with their parents! During our interview process, we’re able to determine if certain children have specific needs. For example, one student will receive 1:1 tutoring for reading & writing to help ensure his long-term success. We still have some students who are not yet sponsored, click here for more info on this program.

MINDS – ENGLISH PROGRAM & VILLAGE SCHOOL

Our kids’ English classes resumed on February 15, and the adult evening classes in Santa Cruz will follow soon. For a taste of a typical class, join our Facebook Live Stream on Wednesday, February 24, from approximately 9:30-10:00 AM ET. During the stream, we’re seeking donations to help pay for the fiberoptic internet for the school which serves 130 children and four teachers. This will HUGELY impact learning in the Primary School. The wifi connection will also bless the secondary school students & college kids in the entire village by providing a place to conduct online research. OBGM will use the wifi in future English classes to enhance learning AND engage volunteers abroad. Our Facebook Address is: https://www.facebook.com/onebodyglobalministries

Level Two Kids’ English Class: Lesson on can and can not / can’t

MINDS: COLLEGE SCHOLARS

Our 5 college scholars & staff met the other day to discuss challenges during this pandemdic. Online learning is not natural for most Americans, but add the challenge of having to navigate computer programs like Word, Excel or online conferencing with ZERO computer experience. All of the students had to find, borrow & share computers while learning on the fly. They DID it, and we are proud of their endurance. In addition, these dedicated young adults work all week & currently attend in-person classes on Saturdays (4am-7pm incl. travel). They are all disciples of Christ through their humble service to their families & church community. Each student is required to achieve good grades, set goals & volunteer.

OBGM is still seeking monthly sponsors for one existing student & one wait-listed student.- See below – It’s a $50/mo commitment to cover tuition, travel, supplies & food. There is also a $250 upfront cost for the Chromebook laptop which is a necessity and not a luxury. If you can only sponsor a Chromebook, you can direct purchase it from our Amazon Charity List

Cynthia is 19 years old living in Santa Cruz and is starting her second year majoring in Accounting. Click here for a video update as Cynthia shares her dreams to use her education as a professional to further Ometepe Island. She attends college on Saturdays, starting her day at 4:30 am to catch the bus & ferry to Rivas (mainland) attending day-long classes returning home by 7/8pm.
Heydi is 23 years old and has already finished two years of college. She is studying Tourism and hopes to help manage hotels in Ometepe one day. Tourism is the #1 source of employment on the island. She had to stop her studies in 2018 when she had her daughter, Alison. If Heydi is able to attend college from 4:30 AM -7PM on Saturdays, her mother has agreed to babysit Alison. In addition to caring for her daughter, Heydi also helps her family in the fields with farming.

BODIES: FOOD PACKAGE PROGRAM

Many of our friends on Ometepe Island have returned to farming since the onset of the pandemic. We’re seeing lots of small crops of rice, wheat, beans, plantain and even veggies to help meet their most basic needs. Despite this, we continue to see malnutrition amongst the very young, sick and elderly. These are the people our 2021 food & baby milk distribution program will continue to reach. We are always seeking monthly support for this program. A donation of $20 provides a family of 4 food package of rice, beans, oil, sugar, salt & coffee for 7-10 days. 

January 2021 Update ✈ Visit

Happy New Year everyone. 2020 was a tough year, yet we saw the Body of Christ come together in creative and new ways to share Hope & Light with our brothers & sisters in Nicaragua. Your generosity impacted so many lives (see this update) and it’s still happening!!! Thank you for your faithfulness.

We welcome 2021 with a renewed commitment of walking in faith and thanksgiving and will visit Nicaragua soon. Rochelle left January 17 and TJ will follow in February. February 1 marks the beginning of a new school year for the 50+ children and college scholarship recipients in Ometepe Island participating with OBGM. Follow our Instagram and Facebook feeds for more frequent updates on our visit. For those of you who wish to write to your sponsored child, send it by email to rochelle@obgm.org

For those of you who donated in 2020, your Tax Summaries were emailed last week. If you would like your 2020 Tax Summary now, login to our system (using your email address) to request a printable copy.

We continue to pray for you and your family’s health as well as for peace in both the USA and Nicaragua.
Love, Rochelle & TJ

“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called – his holy people who are his rich & glorious inheritance.” - Ephesians 1:18 NLT

HURRICANE RELIEF UPDATE

We were just as shocked as the rest of the world when two Category 5 storms slammed Nicaragua in November. Thank you for your generous support in late 2020. After Hurricane #1, $2,500 was raised for the Cosecha Ometepe Campaign. So far, 13 family bean farmers are receiving sow-to-harvest farm aid. Meeting this URGENT need now will help avoid future hunger on the island.

After Hurricane #2, you responded with $2,700 in 2020 for relief supplies to the Boom Sirpi community which is near Puerto Cabeza, Nicaragua. There are ~ 800 residents in this community and to our knowledge the village has received NO other outside aid. We’re coordinating our efforts with our US-missionary family who joined OBGM in October, Cory & Stacy Martin. They have a long-term relationship with pastors Diego & Esperanza Perez from Amor de Dios Church which serves ~200 residents. We hope to share photos in the future via enews and social media. It’s not too late to help by selecting “Nicaragua Hurricane Relief” campaign at https://obgm.kindful.com/

OMETEPE ARTISANS UPDATE

In 2020, we launched a microbusiness called Ometepe Artisans. Ometepe Artisans fights poverty by offering an ongoing means for well-established, indigenous artisans to connect to the global market and earn a fair income via an Etsy Shop and onsite events
From April to December, our two women artisans earned $1,330 when they otherwise would have earned $0 due to the pandemic! The project has also enabled reinvestment in more raw supplies for their craft and business cards for each artist to share when tourists return to Ometepe Island.

We look forward to fine-tuning this outreach in 2021 with our end goal focused on long-term sustainability. Follow them on Instagram or Facebook for more frequent updates. If you are interested in volunteering with this project in the USA, email us.

September Update

“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. 

July Update – Campaign 33

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.

AmazonSmile can now support One Body Global Ministries Inc in the Amazon shopping app on iOS and Android mobile phones! Click here for instructions.

May & June Update

Hello Everyone. We hope you and your family are well. The recent weeks have been surreal with OBGM’s current outreach efforts (see below) and plans for a future return to Ometepe. As of today, we are sad to hear from many of our friends and extended family that the Covid-19 virus is rapidly spreading throughout Nicaragua with the contagion curve still on the rise. Their government continues to do nothing to help prevent the spread. In fact, there is an effort to cover up the deaths and some health care workers describe it as, “Nicaragua seems like a horror movie, only it is real life.”* Of course, many in Ometepe are jobless because tourism stopped. As a result, we will increase the scope our food assistance program starting in June. If you would like to provide a food packet, donate below. $20 covers a family of four with enough of the basic staples: rice, beans, oil, sugar, coffee & salt for 7-10 days. 100% of your donation is tax deductible and directly benefits the most impoverished in Ometepe Island, Nicaragua.

Thank you always for your continued prayers for Nicaragua and all of the nations during these unprecedented times. As Christians, we are called to unite by choosing to love our neighbors and our enemies. We are called to stop for the one, whether they be in our own family, community or across the globe without barriers. We are ONE BODY in Christ. Are you with us?
Rochelle & TJ
*Source: (https://trib.al/PbxynjY)https://app.moonclerk.com/pay/3fj3mgy0grs0

GREAT NEWS & NEW ITEMS for GUYS & GALS
 We are delighted to share that Ometepe Artisans Etsy Shop & project is off to a strong start with orders from friends and strangers throughout the USA. New inventory is being added to the shop each week!

Profits from all sales go directly to Rosa and Gladys. This project provided them nearly $400 of income since April when they would have otherwise earned $0due to crisis. The amount may seem modest, but it is enough provide for their sustenance. This project is not only empowering these women, it is providing much-needed hope in the community.

Help us continue this success. Please share the online Etsy Shop with your friends and family. Purchase a small treasure that will empower these deserving women. Items range from $8 – $55. Also, you can follow new posts and updates on their Instagram or Facebook page.

If you have any questions email or IM us on social media.
Does Your Employer Have a Match Program?
OBGM has been vetted and approved as a charity in good standing for many corporate employee-match programs through Benevity.  If you work for one of the following companies, your employer may have a matching program through Benevity. 
logos for ADP, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Cargill, Ameriprise Financial, CocaCola, Honda, CP, Purdential, Samsung, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson
For example, if your employer’s policy is to match 2:1 and you defer $25 each month to OBGM, we will receive $75 each month. The extra $50/month would sponsor a young adult for a college education! 

If you have any questions, email us or contact your HR Dept even if your employer is not listed below.
COVID-19 & Community Outreach
During May we invited our college scholarship recipients to assist OBGM continue to help with community outreach and education. Our first attempt at DIY disinfectant wipes failed, however the the second attempt was a success.
Thank you to Erlin, Hilder, Leydis, Prisila, Cinthia, Escarleth, Joshua and Andres doing all the hard work to pack, organize and distribute the following all while social distancing with masks in the brutal heat:
36 high-risk families 52 disinfectant wipes, soap & COVID-19 prevention handouts
13 family food packets of rice, coffee, oil, salt and sugar
10 dog food packets under our Donations for Dogs program
College Scholarship Recipients
We currently have 13 enrolled on AmazonSmile that generated $42.00 in the first quarter of the year. We we would love to double that number by the end of 2020 Can you help us?  Use this linkhttps://smile.amazon.com/ch/83-084001.

Also, AmazonSmile customers can now support One Body Global Ministries Inc in the Amazon shopping app on iOS and Android mobile phones! Simply follow these instructions to turn on AmazonSmile and start generating donations.
Open the Amazon Shopping app on your device
Go into the main menu of the Amazon Shopping app and tap into ‘Settings’
Tap ‘AmazonSmile’ and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process
If you do not have the latest version of the Amazon Shopping app, update your app. Click here for instructions.

April’s Update (published May)

We’re Starting with some Good News! Introducing an outreach project partially facilitated by students enrolled in the University of Central Florida’s Program in Women’s and Gender Studies. Thank you UCF!
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Ometepe Artisans fights poverty by offering an ongoing means for well-established and indigenous artisans to connect to the global market and earn a fair income via Etsy. All of the net proceeds from each sale goes directly to the artisan(s). The first two Ometepe residents are female jewelry artists, Gladys & Rosa, who hand craft one-of-kind pendants, bracelets and earrings from organic materials found on the Maderas volcano of Ometepe (items range from $8 – $35). Gladys and Rosa also received a small micro-loan to get started! Go to the online Etsy Shop to view all the items/purchase a small treasure that will empower these deserving women for weeks to come. Also, you can follow new posts and updates on their Instagram page.


CHILD SPONSOR MATCHES MAILED
If you participated in our year-end Education for Ometepe Fundraiser, you should have received a letter including information about your child match and his/her family as well as a photo(s) of your child  If you did not receive the packet, please email us.  For info on the program, click here.

No Pandemic in Nicaragua?
Hello Everyone. So much has happened in the world since our last update of March 11. Some days have been overwhelming with adjusting to work, school and “life” during a global pandemic. The best we can do is offer prayers of thanksgiving for our daily blessings and keep fixing our eyes on Jesus, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18 NRSV

The most diffiult news to share is, that unlike most countries imposing social restrtictions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus, Nicaragua has chosen the opposite approach. In fact, the country is promoting large-scale sporting events, large public gatherings and school is in session. At this time, Nicaragua has only “reported” a handful of COVID-19 cases and only two deaths. Like most developing countries, Nicaragua’s public healthcare system falls well below developed standards, with some reports indicating the entire country has only 10 ventilators.

We expect the impact of COVID-19 in Nica to be severe in the upcoming weeks. How you can help is to PRAY WITH US. Also, we expect the demand for medical and nutrituional support to increase the coming months. Consider sponsoring a family of four ($20) for a 2-week supply of food, or providing a tax-deductible gift of $50 to help with preventative/medical expenses. 100% of your donation directly benefits the improverished in Nicaragua. Donate

Thank you always for your continued support. May you keep your eyes fixed on Him and stay safe during this difficult season.
Rochelle & TJ


SEEKING COLLEGE SPONSOR
We are currently seeking a College Sponsor for our Hilder Barrios! The commitment is $50/mo for a period of five years. Hilder is enrolled in Rivas college pursing law. In addition to teaching English for OBGM, Hilder is always the first to volunteer in the community. Hilder’s faith in Jesus is unwavering. Despite being 24, he’s the sole provider of his family of 8.  Will you help change this man’s life?Our COVID-19 ResponseOur English Program is suspended until further notice. The majority of our students lack the technology to move to an online format. We are praying on an alternate solution so that we may offer continued learning during COVID.

Both Hilder & Leydi transitioned to our “COVID-19” team focused on education and ditribution of santitation supplies in several communities. We acquired 126 bars of soap and 4 gallons of bleach and started visiting immunocompromised families. In addition, the local mission team from Bethel Iglesia Nueva Jeruselen is also distributing these materials to reinforce the urgency of thorough handwashing to prevent the spread of the virus.
 
A friend of mine recently recommended a crowdfunded TV series called, The Chosen. It’s available FREE via YouTube or App. After the first episode, I was hooked. The series is unlike no other show about Jesus and the disciples. At times you find yourself chuckling and at other times teared up. The show’s creators made the character’s issues real and relatable to today. Whether you are Christian or not, you may find yourself binging on this show. We hope you are blessed by it.  #BingJesus #Getusedtodifferent