Heat and Humility

Hello Everyone! The June visit to Ometepe Island, Nicaragua was filled with lots of heat (not from hot flashes) and humility. There is much to share in terms of our core pillars of Mind, Body & Spirit that we decided to split this e-newsletter into two parts. Part two will arrive in July.

Current travel to/from Nicaragua is confusing and frustrating due to the country’s rules on Covid-19 testing. We welcomed visitors, Jim & Cady G., from Maryland, but they departed Ometepe early due to these travel restrictions. Their visit was still a success, as their presence & gifts blessed two communities on the island. Meanwhile, we are thankful there is no current Covid-19 outbreak in Ometepe. The same is not true on the mainland, especially near Stacy & Cory’s community of Diriamba (see their e-news).

The physical drain from June’s heat on my middle-aged body & mind (and ability to speak Spanish) was exhausting despite electrolytes. God reminded me that feeling sorry for myself was not an option as my struggle is nothing compared to the reality of the families in Ometepe. Most families here continue small crop farming for basic survival. However weather patterns caused more than a 40% decrease in yield, while at the same time, the wholesalers are paying significantly less for crops like plantains. It’s so unfair. Some of these hardworking families have children who are malnourished and coming to OBGM for temporary food assistance.

Erlin & I revisited the remaining Cosecha Ometepe budget (raised in late-2020) and came up with a plan to invest the remaining balance to help qualified family farmers diversify their business (and skills) through a microlending program. We identified three projects (pigs, chickens & a brick oven for a bread baker) all of which will yield a good “return” especially as tourism returns to Ometepe. See below for specifics. We are seeking support to help fully fund the first three families.

Each and every family we encountered during this visit met us with an outpouring of gratitude, prayer and love for YOUR support. We opened our new personal home in Santa Cruz and I am now 5-lbs “gordita” from all the blessings of avocados, eggs, mangos, lime, gallo pinto (rice & beans), bread, jewelry, cultural dancing and LIVE music from our local community. I am still welled up with tears just thinking about the abundance they shared in thanksgiving to God, despite having so little. I am also humbled by our local staff and volunteers who continually seek out and focus on the interests of others and walk the path of Christ on a daily basis (Philippians 2:3-5).

Prayer Requests:
Please pray for OBGM’s staff (Erlin, Hilder & Leydi), their families, Stacy & Cory Martin & family, Francisco Valverde (late-stage cancer), families in our food, medicine & milk programs, peace for the November elections in Nicaragua and continued protection from the pandemic. We hope to see some of you in July. Thanks for your continued prayers and faith in God’s vision for Ometepe.
Love,
Rochelle & TJ

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. 

Philippians 2:3-5

BODY & SPIRIT: OMETEPE MICROLOANS

You can help improve the living conditions of a family in Ometepe by becoming a microlender. All loans are tailored to small farmers or microbusinesses which will expand a family’s earnings. Each family and business opportunity is vetted through an application process and receives mentoring by OBGM during their business cycle until the loan is repaid. You can help supply a healthy piglet for as little as $50, or to start a basic farm of four (structure, 4 piglets, food, vitamins & vet care) for $1,500, however any amount helps. Families will repay their 0%-interest loan over a 1-3 year time period. When the loan is repaid, you can choose another new business to reinvest in here in Nicaragua. See below profiles.

VICENTE, CHICKENS

Meet Vicente, Alyeris & family. Vicente already has 2 years’ experience successfully running a small chicken farm (100 chickens) until he was forced to sell during the political crisis of 2018. Will you help Vicente re-launch his chicken business with a microloan? Click here.

RICARDO, BREAD BAKER

Ricardo bakes bread in the community. He lives with his wife and elderly mother. His brick oven recently collapsed and therefore is earning no income. Will you help Ricardo re-launch his baking business with a microloan? Click here.
4 LITTLE PIGS

Two “machos” (male) and two “embras” (female) piglets need a new chiquero (pig house) and young family to raise the best pigs in Ometepe.  Will you help a family farmer launch a pig business with a microloan? Click here.

MINDS: Earlier this year OBGM installed fiberoptic internet & wifi to a community school to enhance learning for the 130+ students, grades pre-K to 6. This also enables OBGM supporters to volunteer in our children’s English program providing pronunciation support to Hilder, our amazing English teacher, who is native to Ometepe. The kids are on BREAK early July and we’ll advise when sign-ups for online class instruction resumes.

BODY:  Welcome. Take a tour of Marta’s new home! Thank you to all who made this possible to keep her family safe during rainy season. A special thanks to Tom Fritz of Island Breeze Ministries who provided a lot of hard work, donated supplies and construction oversight. Thank you also to Maderas Artisans Mission Collective (Cory & Stacy Martin) for extra support and love. We are united as One Body in Christ.

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

OBGM Oct-Nov ’20 Update

Hello Everyone. We are so grateful to God and to all of YOU who participated in our recent campaigns to expand our outreach in Ometepe through the end of 2020. Thanks to you we met our goals and the impact is incredible (see adjacent infographic)

Each act of giving is an example of how together we can do something beautiful for God.

Speaking of TOGETHER, the Martin Family in Masatepe, Nicaragua (known as Maderas Artisans Mission Collective) fully onboarded to the OBGM family effective October 1. In future posts, we will be sharing more on their hearts for Christ and impressive talents (see video below). Click here for a copy of their most recent e-news.

We pray you all remain safe, patient & grateful during this challenging season.
Love, Rochelle & TJ

Hurricane Eta

We urgently ask for immediate prayers for our friends & family in Nicaragua. A Category 3/4 hurricane, named Eta, is expected to hit landfall in the coming hours. Heavy rainfall is expected to last for days inland and across Central America. It will likely cause landslides and crop damage.

Future Visit to Nicaragua . . .

We are praying about a brief visit to Nicaragua in early December. Will you pray with us that doors will open when God’s timing is right?

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Romans 12:2 NRSV

Can You Spare a Laptop or Unlocked Smartphone?

Our college scholarship recipients are either sharing or borrowing laptops to continue online learning during the pandemic. This is really challenging given that most of these young adults have tremendous responsibilities in addition to their studies.

WE ARE SEEKING WORKING LAPTOPS and UNLOCKED SMARTPHONES.
If you have an item to donate, please email us.

We’ve reached 50+ sales at the Etsy Shop

Shop small & shop early for the Holidays.

Proceeds from past sales have been a huge blessing to Rosita, Gladys and their families. Please share their Facebook or Instagram feeds with friends and family.

Fall / October Update

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)

JUST LIKE US

Just Like Us …

Photo of beach day with OBGM kids' English students

It’s been a few weeks since Rochelle and our son, Andrew, returned from their extended visit in Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. We are grateful to have our family reunited and ready to enter a new season as stronger disciples of Christ.

Reflecting on what we experienced in June and July on Ometepe, the biggest surprise was the severity of the desperate economic situation that many of our neighbors, volunteers and friends are adjusting to on Ometepe Island (Scroll down to Micro Loan section below for reasons). The impact of this includes a large amount of families being unable to provide basic needs such as medicine, food, shoes, reading glasses and/or hygiene items. As a result, we are encouraging more teams to serve with us and to bring these items. At the current time, we can NOT ship to Nicaragua. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN SERVING IN NICARAGUA CONTACT US

Not a day passed without God showing us His heart while helping families & children on Ometepe. For example, people in the community would show up at our house with eggs, limes, nacatamales (a local dish), cookies, mangoes, avocados, and even a Nicaraguan dress! The extended visit also enabled us more opportunities to share in authentic family moments such as after-school homework time, a day at the beach, or preparing a meal together. These are a people JUST LIKE US seeking unity in family and nation. Unfortunately, they have much less in terms of choice, opportunity or advocacy.
  We remain committed to God’s plans for His people as the living Body of Christ: plans for hope and a prosperous future (Jeremiah 29:11). We thank you for your continued prayers & support. We thank our amazing on-site staff, volunteers & fellow missionaries in Nicaragua who fill in the gaps when we can’t. See below for more details on what’s happening NOW in the field.

add us your charity: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/83-0840019

HOUSING PROJECT UPDATE

As mentioned in last month’s e-news, one of this summer’s visiting mission teams had to reschedule their visit to Ometepe to a future date. However, catalysts for their decision to serve were the stories of two very poor, single-parent families in desperate need of structural housing improvements. In July, this mission team sent $1,600 to OBGM, and we immediately secured budgets. Supplies were delivered and construction is underway. This is a double blessing as the projects will employ people in their local community as well. Each project also requires volunteer hours which both the homeowners and OBGM’s local mission team are contributing.

See below photos for progress. There are NO WORDS to express the gratitude from these local families and OBGM to: Kula Yoga Merritt Island, Kula Yoga Port Orange, Kula Yoga New Smynra Beach and Bula Kava Cocoa Beach for their fundraising efforts and generous hearts. We look forward to hosting them in the future!

MICRO LOAN PILOT PROGRAM

Our extended stay in Ometepe this summer revealed that the economic climate in Nicaragua continues to worsen, due a steep decline in tourism and tax reform imposed by the current government. The tourism industry will likely take years to recover, and tax reform has out-priced most family farmers from getting the needed supplies for their crops. These hard-working men and women are very poor, and therefore have no access to credit. Sometimes the credit needed is a modest $100, $250 or $500 that could be repaid at harvest time.

This is just one example of a very complicated issue that we can NOT solve. However, we can expand peoples choices so that they may have the ability to do what’s best to provide for themselves. See the above video as an example.

Therefore, we will pilot a micro loan program to three to five families in Ometepe. Our goal is to provide & administer a pool of no-interest loans that continually sustain the program for poor on Ometepe. . If you have a heart to help someone help themselves,  Click here to securely donate. We are seeking five $250 Sponsors.

Knowing English provides better long-term job opportunities for rural Nicaraguans. We are honored to announce the official start date of a young-adult English program in the community of Santa Cruz commencing September 18.  

The program will be held in the classroom space of Iglesia Nueva Jerusalen church on Wed & Thurs evenings led by Hilder Barrios and assisted by Leydi Rios Alverez, both whom are young adults and faithful disciples of Christ.

June Update

Dear Family & Friends:

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.IMG_3325

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: onebodyglobalministries@gmail.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 UrIMG_E3217baite. 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!!!!

 

 

May Update

Dear Family & Friends:
Rochelle is safely back from Nicaragua and already making plans for our return in July,  Despite recent civil unrest in the country, reports are that is safe to travel, and most importantly, there has been consistent peace on Ometepe Island.  Your prayers for a long-term resolution and peace area greatly appreciated. We have too many stories from Rochelle’s 2-week visit in April to share in this e-newsletter. Please subscribe to our blog or on Facebook to experience her joy and FUN as a child of Jesus in Nicaragua.
Love, T.J. and Rochelle
English Class Project Expands Capacity
Our childrens classes have grown so rapidly, classes will be divided into an AM & PM session each Saturday.  The second term begins later this month (already) serving students ranging from ages 9 through 39.  Click the video to see how these classes are conducted with such limited resources. We are still seeking a projector and will be hosting mission teams in the future. Email us if you have any questions.

Special Requests

Much of Rochelle’s visit in April was about building relationship and community with local residents and other full-time missionaries.  We have three (3) requests – some may be as easy as looking in your junk drawer at home.

  1. Old iPhones – The phones would need to be erased & “reset” to factory.
  2. Prescription eye glasses/reading glasses – This is a continuation of our “Eyes for Hope” drive we featured in our March newsletter
  3. Child Sponsor – We identified two (2) children on Ometepe who are in great need:
    1. Gabriel, 8 yrs old whose mother left him on the island to find work in Managua (capital). Unfortunately it’s not uncommon for extended family & villagers to care for children left behind. Unfortunately, he’s hungry all the time. Gabriel attends school during the day but has no money for food. A small donation will go a long way. If you are interested in donating to Gabriel, please write Rochelle Scott – Gabriel in the message line of the donation form. 100% will be designated to Gabriel. 

      Ivan, 14 yrs old who was living on the streets of Matagalpa in April and addicted to sniffing glue. Our friend, Nate, was called to foster him & show him God’s unfailing love. His community supported this decision, despite not having provisions/supplies to host a child on their site. They brought him to Ometepe and he’s been clean ever since. In fact, he is now one of our English class students. If you have a heart for for helping Ivan, any amount will help. Donations can be sent paypal to: nathanjamesdickerson@gmail.com.

When Saturday School is a Good Thing

On a day when most kids enjoy a break from school, there are poor children in Sintiope Ometepe Island in Nicaragua who flock to a classroom for three hours every Saturday to learn English.

What started out as seven children in the Saturday morning class has now grown to 21 students. As Jesus taught us, let the little children come…, we plan to split the class into two Saturday sessions (AM/PM).  Let’s see how many more come!  For some of these kids, this may be their only opportunity to hear about Jesus and His unconditional love for them.

We continue to seek your prayers and support for this amazing project through http://www.onebodyglobalministries.org.  Enjoy the video!

Matthew 19:14 Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.