One Month and Still Going

It’s just over one month since we arrived in Nicaragua on June 6th and it’s been a roller-coaster adventure in this #summerofglory.

First, we would like to thank our June short-term mission volunteers, Matt & Margareth Hoey from Wilmington, DE and Mike Palmer from First United Methodist Church, Cocoa Beach.  Their presence and donations continue to bless Ometepe Island today. Scroll down for detail & photos on each visit.

Next, continue to pray with us and for us. This journey has been filled with challenges, but in all the situations, we remain grateful to God’s faithfulness in providing exactly what is needed.The JOY far outweighs the challenges and we would not change a thing.

Matt & Margareth present one of the new students with his own dictionary.
The most profound moments have been serving in relationship with the local mission team when we distribute food, donations, visit and pray with families in need. Some of the stories are heart wrenching. Last year’s sociopolitical crisis continues to hit families hard today. People who previously worked in tourism-related jobs are still un- or under-employed. There is no room in a family’s budget for “extras” like shoes, medicines, clothes, etc.

The people of Ometepe and throughout Nicaragua are teaching me so much about keeping a heart of trust and grace. In outreach, we encounter aging, sickand/or single-mother families — some who have to choose between receiving assistance for food or medicine from us. OBGM does not yet receive enough financial donations to provide both at this time. 

We had our own personal emergency a few weeks ago, when our youngest son, Jake, had a severe allergic reaction. He is 100% recovered now, but we were officially baptized in the Nica emergency medical “system” where the conditions (and smells) were deplorable by US-standards. However, the clinic supplied the ample IV-medications and care. Also, accompanying us was our amazing local friends who helped us manage the language barrier. We had to put our trust in the hands and feet helping us, even though it did not look or feel normal to us.

Recently, one young father came to visit seeking only 200 Cords (~U$6.00) for asthma medication for his 12-month old baby.  I could see the panic in his eyes and body – just like ME during my son’s recent allergic episode.  The dad was so grateful for the medical assistance and promised to visit us when his son was well!

In each example, it is apparent that the physical presence, support, prayers and donations coming through OBGM (down to the last penny or donated pencil) is a blessing to our deserving brothers, sisters &children here in Ometepe. We are so grateful forGod’s faithfulness for bringing us to this place and opening our eyes. Last, please join us in prayer for: OBGM ministry & staff
mission team & remaining stay this summer
Continued peace for Nicaragua
Remaining 2019 funding for: Payroll for ongoing English program & new Santa Cruz English Class program commencing in the weeks to come ($350/mo)
Food Distribution Program ($350/mo)
Medical Assistance ($100/mo)
Funding for structural housing upgrades for two young families (See below previous e-news). 
Love, Peace & Joy
T.J. and Rochelle

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JUNE VISIT
Matt and Margareth Hoey came to Ometepe with such servant hearts and a ton of fun-filled surprises for our kids in the Saturday English program. They brought the remaining supplies for making our “You are So Loved” personal photos, dictionaries, loads of field toys and a full tray of Ferror Roche chocolates. Matt & Margareth took charge of both English class lessons with such confidence and fun. The kids’ LOVED it (see photos below). It was also a joy to watch the kids decorate their photos & taste fine chocolate for the first time! Thank you so much Matt & Margareth. We hope you were as blessed as the people on Ometepe Island.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN SERVING WITH US IN NICARAGUA? CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO.

SOS – The rainy season is here — Marisol & Christian’ Families (see previous enews) are struggling to stay safe & dry during the rough downpours. Below is a 26-second video clip showing Marisol’s family (with their permission). We are seeking only $1,600 for both families to ensure structural repairs to keep these families safe & dry.
Click here to securely donate.

Mike & First United Methodist Church Cocoa Beach

Mike Palmer of First United Methodist Church in Cocoa Beach (FUMCCB) enjoyed meeting his primary education scholarship recipients, teaching multiple English classes and serving with our local mission team. So many families were blessed by the food packages that were sponsored this month by FUMCCB. It was an honor to have Mike there to help secure the bulk food supplies, assemble the packages as well as distribute the food and pray with families in three (3) different communities. 

A huge thanks to Mike for his generosity, time and sharing his testimony at our home church.  Mike hopes to return to Ometepe one day on a future short-term mission trip.

MINDS:  FIRST MALE COLLEGE SCHOLAR

Congratulations to Jeysin Alvarez Gonzalez who is our first male college scholar program recipient. OBGM now has a total of four (4) young adults participating in this program. Jeysin attends the Universidad Hispanoamerica Recinto in Rivas. He is grateful to God, foremost, for the opportunity to stay enrolled in college. He promises to work hard and volunteer with OBGM when available. Please pray for Jeysin and his family.

It’s simple. Education reduces poverty. Consider becoming a Sponsor to a native Ometepe Island college student. It’s typically a 5-year commitment of $50/month.  Contact us with any questions, or set up your online recurring monthly donation today.

Jeysin receives his first scholarship payment. He has since volunteered many hours and hard work helping others on Ometepe.

Not The Forgotten Ones

One of the goals of our late-Fall visit to Nicaragua was to strengthen our relationships local pastors/ministries in the communities we serve in Ometepe. Of our three guiding pillars, Spirit, we recently committed to walk alongside one local mission team who minister to “the forgotten ones” (that is their term) into the outlying communities from their base church.

This week, I received an update from the field that we had enough in our local budget to purchase & prepare 20 more food kits (rice, beans,oil, sugar, coffee, salt).  Each kit feeds an entire family for 7-10 days. This amazing team not only spent countless hours securing, measuring & packaging each meal kit, they spent 20+ hours going to four separate communities (3 in Mérida, 2 in La Palma, 12 en Madroñal and Santa cruz and 5 kits in Sintiope). Each visit was less about the food and more about relationship, prayer and loving on the sick & elderly.

It is truly an honor to witness how our trusted team & friends in Nicaragua work together to honor the greatest commandment to “love thy neighbor”. Since June, One Body Global Ministries made it possible to supply at least 220 food kits to the most poor and sick families in Ometepe. To put it in perspective, if each kit feeds 4-6 people for a week, that is approximately 1,100 mouths!

In the words of our project administrator, Erlin, he shared today, “I see God moving in our ministry… I spoke with each one of the beneficiaries and I see the real needed not only of food, they need love. They need God.”

I just had to share this good news and ask you to pray for these amazing (and probably exhausted) people who help us love on those who would otherwise feel alone, unloved, or forgotten.  We are One Body in Christ!

Sonya, Nahum, Julio, Francisca, Cynthia, Pricila, Alvaro, Yaneris,
Diega, Francis, Olivia, Erlin  and Yovelsi

Heaps of Joy

My first few days in Nicaragua were spent with our friends from the Beauty for Ashes Project. This ministry shares the love of Jesus with children and families in the heaps of trash in the capital city of Managua. On the day we arrived, the group had plans to visit a family in a community called Nueva Vida to celebrate birthdays of three (3) children. I was honored to be invited to attend with the group.

IMG_4577On our drive into the community, I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the trash heaps alongside the unpaved roads. They were like mini-mountains of garbage, plastic and rubbish ranging approximately 8ft. to 15 ft. high. Each pile cascaded down to become part of the dirt road beneath the wheels of our truck. It was not your typical Main Street welcome.

However, the real welcome came when we arrived at the home of Salva & Henri, their 11 children and 6 grandchildren.  Salva, in particular, was filled with so much joy to see me. I briefly met Salva in April at an event in another town and I had forgotten about our encounter. The interaction in April, however, had meant so much to Salva. She almost squeezed the breath out of my lungs as she hugged me in Nueva Vida. It was such a surprise, and yet her Joy was so pure it brought me to tears! As we continued our greetings, Salva sIMG_4548hared her testimony of accepting Jesus fully into her heart and living in relationship with Him. The fruit of that intimacy was obvious in the joyful nature within her family as we spent the afternoon celebrating the birthdays and Jesus’ love.

It did not matter where we were, how many flies swarmed the birthday cake or what smells occasionally floated by with a strong breeze. Nothing compares with Heaps of Joy, Love & Peace I found in Nueva Vida that first day!

May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit – Romans 15:13

 

 

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

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.

I Belong to You

My husband, TJ, is a devoted husband, father, family member, employee and friend to everyone he knows.  He’s spent the past four years in a “commuting triangle” between Chicago, IL – Cocoa Beach, FL and Cherry Hill, NJ.  While we’re grateful for this job that provides for our family… let’s face it … it’s not the ideal situation.  When he accepted the role in Chicago, our intentions didn’t start out that our family would be separated in three different states spanning 2,300 miles. However, circumstances were beyond our control.  We had to make tough decisions. Some people may have thought we were crazy, or worse, getting a divorce!

mothertheresaquoteDuring this time, there were days we felt like we could barely ‘keep our heads above water.’  Loneliness and doubt sunk in.  Our relationship with God suffered.  However, there were also good days – cherishing the windows of time we had together, either as a couple or a family. This kept us hopeful that there was a larger plan in all of the craziness.

Slowly, God planted people in our lives who awakened our senses to His greater plan:

  • Julia Maria from Ometepe who contacted us in January 2017, to humbly ask for help to attend University (Matthew 21:22).
  • A young family with five kids here in Florida showed us what it’s like to truly walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). They abandoned their comfortable life in another state far way to follow a calling into the mission field serving the poor in Florida.
  • Madelyn.  She is a full-time 23-yr old missionary in Nicaragua, whose love for Jesus and to gather His sheep is so contagious. (Isaiah 40:11).
  • Hilder.  A young 21-yr. old man supporting & carrying his family in Ometepe. Hilder’s gift is teaching English language and love for Jesus (Romans 12: 6-7)– All are great needs in Nicaragua.

With each encounter, we became more finely tuned to: Ask, Walk, Tend, Gather, Carry, Teach and Lead – all to advance His Kingdom, not ours!

IMG_1785We put ourselves at God’s disposal, and He put more people (too long to mention all the names here) in our paths. What happened in our family and with the ministry have been miraculous.  On January 10, 2018, One Body Global Ministries hired Hilder to start teaching English classes on Ometepe for young adults and children.  The same day, T.J. received a written job offer from his employer to work in Florida! Now what remains for us on His mission seem more clear.

As Christians, I believe God wants us to know, first and foremost, that we are at His disposal – from our most simple acts as the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians: 27).  Sometimes it comes to us through the written word, sometimes through the people or unexpected events in our daily lives.  How will you respond when God needs you to be at His disposal?

Unfailing Love

cropped-img_9381Meet sisters, Arelis and Julia Maria.  Both of these young ladies are shining examples of complete faith in Christ’s unconditional love. Through their journies, they inspire us to remain strong in our faith and to traverse through whatever obstacles come our way. Our lights shine brighter because of them.  We are steadfast in our commitment to our calling.  We trust in His unfailing love.

Psalm 13:5 – But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation..