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.

Summer of Glory – May Update

In last month’s e-news, we reflected on Jesus washing the feet of his disciples as a reminder of His humble servanthood and precursor to the cross. This month, we are preparing to host a roster of four (4) short-term mission teams visiting Ometepe this summer, representing the body of Christ to “wash another’s feet.” (John 13:14 NIV). Scroll down for more info on who is joining us for a #summerofglory. We look forward to sharing many examples of His glory showering down on the poorest communities we serve on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua.

Speaking of Glory, we would like to introduce you to “Gloria,” the ministry’s pre-owned truck in Nicaragua and answer to many of your prayers. The day after Rochelle’s return from Ometepe in April, our tax service advised us that the State of Illinois owed us a sizable refund! This refund provided much-needed transportation that is already being used to help others in Ometepe.

The last tidbit of glory news is we plan to launch a young-adult English program in the barrio of Santa Cruz. Joining Hilder will be our new assistant teacher, Leydi, who is a fourth year English university student and Jesus lover. We look forward to watching Leydi grow in her new role in the Santa Cruz classroom.

T.J., Rochelle and family depart for Nicaragua on June 6. Rochelle and her oldest son, Andrew, plan to stay through July 28.  While there, we expect to share many updates on social media as internet is available. Follow us on Instagram or Facebook.
 

Last, please join us in prayer this Season for:

  • Our OBGM ministry & stay this summer
  • Continued peace for Nicaragua
  • Visiting mission teams for June & July (see below)
  • Supplies & payroll for new Santa Cruz English Class program commencing in June
  • Structural housing upgrades for two young families (See previous e-news). 
  • Safety rails for our pre-owned truck
    Love, Peace & Joy
    T.J. and Rochelle

JUNE
Matt & Margareth Hoey have been supportive of our vision for the people of Ometepe when we first helped as short-term missionaries from our NJ church over ten years ago. We are humbled by their their ongoing support and now honored they will join us to serve for one week all the way from Wilmington, Delaware.

Matt & Margareth Hoey – June Missionaries

JUNE
Welcome Mike Palmer of First United Methodist Church in Cocoa Beach. We are thrilled to have a member from our home church to serve as God’s faithful steward in Ometepe.
Mike has participated on many on short-term mission trips, including serving in Uganda, Tanzania, Mexico and the Amazon. He’s a current sponsor to five (5) of our primary education scholarship recipients. We look forward to see Mike experience Ometepe and the many blessings he will bring to those we serve on the island!

Mike Palmer – June Missionary

JUNE
Welcome Julie Isobe of @isobe salon in Indian Harbor Beach, FL While cutting hair during her stay in Ometepe, Julie will be exploring options for a permanent trade school to teach hair styling and technique, with a major emphasis on sustainable living. As part of the curriculum, she she will teach locals how to treat hair with oils derived from the natural produce found in Nicaragua.

Julie Isobe and Rochelle at Julie’s FL salon hatching plans for a Nicaragua school

JULY
A team of three young families from Kula Yoga will spend a week in Ometepe this July. Kula means “family” or “community” and we are honored by their passion to share their time and talent to help raise much-needed funds for our programming and their visit serving the poorest of the poor. We will share more info about them in future e-news. In the meantime, you can support their efforts by attending donation yoga classes (in Florida)

Kula’s Fundraiser Poster

March Update

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 PageInstagram 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 List with 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

January Update

2019 Off & Running!
We hope you all had a meaningful Christmas season and Happy New Year. Since we returned home from visiting family and friends in NJ & PA, it’s been nonstop planning for 2019. Rochelle leaves for Nicaragua on January 28th to prepare for our first visiting short-term missionary, Mr. Tom Davis, of Grand Junction, CO (see below), who arrives with T.J. from Feb 2 – 12.

Scroll down for more details since December’s update. Please continue to pray with us and for travel safety as we team up with our partner ministries, friends and staff in Nicaragua. We will do our best to keep you updated via our Facebook PageInstagram but sometimes online access is not consistently paired with our busy schedule in the field.
Love, Peace & Joy
T.J. and Rochelle

Welcome Tom Davis!We are overjoyed to have Tom Davis of Grand Junction, CO join us in Nicaragua from February 2 – 12!  Tom’s passion for youth and  30+ years in education will be a huge blessing to our ministry, especially with our English students and teaching staff. Tom currently works as an adjunct professor at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction,teaching education to prospective teachers.He also works in his church with middle school, high school and young adult age students. He holds Bachelor’s degrees in Theology and Education as well as a Master degree in Music Education. 
Tom has traveled the world and loves serving in missions. He has two adult daughters who also love serving the Lord.  We can’t wait to see the impact of Tom’s contributions on Ometepe Island in February.  

BODIES:  Your generosity helped to nourish ~1,100 bodies in 2018.
The economic crisis is slowly improving, but food assistance and outreach to the elderly & sick is still needed in 2019. Can you help us?

Minds:  Cocoa Beach Daybreak Rotary Club

Thank you Cocoa Beach Daybreak Rotary Club for the Toshiba laptop donation for our scholarship program. The recipient is a female college student from the University of Managua majoring in architecture. 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: Thanks to your support in 2018, each and every one of our English class students will have their own textbook in 2019.

Also, February is back-to-school time in Ometepe. It’s not too late to help us fill our suitcase BEFORE JAN 31, we need children’s (sizes 13 – 3) black school shoes. They can be gently USED or or purchased via our Amazon Wish List and shipped to:179 Jamaica Drive
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
Spirit: Youth In Training Jan 19 – 30, 2019 
Please pray for Denis and Hilder of Ometepe who will start Youth With a Mission’s (YWAM) two-week training program in Managua, commencing January 19. The program, Save to Serve and Transform (SST), is specifically for young people from ages 13 to 20 who want to know God and make him known with their lifestyle, families, community, nation and the world. 

We are delighted to invest in these young men and look forward to watching their relationship with Jesus grow and flourish for years to come! Stay tuned for more details as Rochelle will meet up with Denis and Hilder in Managua before the end of the month.
Santa Suitcase Update!
Below are some images from the Santa Suitcase distribution in December. The art supplies and Barbies were a huge hit! We look forward to visiting with many of these children in February and hope to share more stories with your via our blogInstagram and/or Facebook page. It is so amazing to see the Body of Christ working together to help fill & deliver Santa’s Suitcase!
Our English students received art supplies and personal letters from the Youth Group at First United Methodist Church, Cocoa Beach, FL

August Update – In Between

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 parentsHilder with English student, 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. Donate

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.
Love, T.J. and Rochelle Scott

Feeding 60 Families Seemed Impossible

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.

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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:
Donate
2. PayPal to: onebodyglobalministries@gmail.com
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

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.

The BEST Timing

Here’s a follow-up to our last post, Teaching Tool.  The below was recorded on April 6, 2018 in Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. The young man is Hilder, who teaches English for us in the under-served villages of Sintiope and Urbaite, where he lives. It was the first time he had seen and touched the computer donated to us in March.  Watch as he shares not only his gratitude but an amazing testimony about the BEST timing…

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a season for everything, and a time for every event under heaven.” Eclesiastés 3:1 (NBLH) Todo Tiene su Tiempo “Hay un tiempo señalado para todo, y hay un tiempo para cada suceso[a] bajo el cielo”