Verbo Nicaragua Development Fund

VNDF seeks to help impoverished Nicaraguans break out of the cycle of intergenerational poverty into which they were born by providing access to education, employment, health care, and affordable credit. VNDF is an international advocate for Verbo Nicaragua ministries which is based in Managua, Nicaragua, has been in existence since 1976 and operates nationwide. Nicaragua is the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Dec 2, 2013

Alabama Partners Help our Scholarshipped Teens; Celebrating Dia del Patria!; A Scary Night

Heritage Baptist Church group members teaching!
Heritage Baptist Church group members teaching!

 

This fall we had some friends down from Heritage Baptist Church in Alabama and spent most of our time ministering to the students at Club Esperanza. They brought down Bible studies for children accompanied with a felt story board that allowed the stories to be communicated clearly in a fun way.  They also worked the grounds a good bit fixing some of the areas around the wash basins and drinking fountains.

At Club Esperanza we have a group of teenagers that we help scholarship into local High Schools. Our scholarship funds - made possible with your donations - makes it possible for these teens to stay in school. Without these funds they would drop out because their families can’t afford the basics -- uniforms, supplies, fees, etc.  When the group from Alabama was down we took 15 of the scholarshipped teens out to a national site in Managua and Scott, a member of HBC, shared with them about the importance of sexual purity. It was awesome to have a Bible study with them on a topic that is very relevant to teenagers, especially here in a country where too many impoverished teenagers are having babies of their own and perpetuating the cycle of poverty into which they were born. These students need to know there is hope for them and a better way.

In early September we enjoyed all of our beautiful Club Esperanza preschoolers dressing up to celebrate Dia del Patria. Schoolchildren all over Nicaragua dressed for events at their school including traditional singing, plays, and dancing...it was a great to see children and their families celebrate their national pride.

On a personal note - as some of you may have heard, we had an attempted armed robberty at our home. We were not injured but it was a very harrowing event involving exchanges of gunfire. We are thankful to all of you who have been praying for us and whom we know will not be praying for us, if this is the first you have heard. The Lord has comforted us but as you can imagine there have been difficult emotional moments...however in the midst of dark, fearful times we are able to say God is good, we know He is with us. We are now trying to make security upgrades, please be praying for these things as they do cost money. We need to hire a guard for our house, install field lighting, put bars on our children's windows, and build a high perimeter fence that cannot be cut through. Our family is our priority...please keep praying for all of us.

  

Our great group of scholarshipped high schoolers!
Our great group of scholarshipped high schoolers!
A great treat for our Club teens - field trip!
A great treat for our Club teens - field trip!
Dia de Patria with our preschoolers!
Dia de Patria with our preschoolers!
Celebrating Dia del Patria - what joy!
Celebrating Dia del Patria - what joy!
What a hopeful face for Nicaragua
What a hopeful face for Nicaragua's future!
Sep 19, 2013

Serving the Community with a Medical Clinic

Setting up the pharmacy
Setting up the pharmacy

One of the most exciting things about the work we've been able to do with Colegio Verbo in Veracruz is their desire to reach more deeply into the community to care not only for the children who come to the school but also for their families and for families who can't afford for their children to attend the school. The average Nicaraguan family in Veracruz earns on average $2/day. For most families their meager earnings means having to make difficult choices - like choosing between food or clothing, electricity or medicine. The Verbo staff invited a joint medical team from Crossroads Community Church (in Maryland), Cedar Run Community Church and Crossroads Restoration (both in Virginia) to hold a one-day clinic for the teachers and students at Colegio Verbo, the children living at Verbo's Casa Bernabe orphanage, and some of the poorest families in Veracruz. Colegio Verbo Directora Nolvia Morales was thrilled to be able to use the school as a site to serve so many families.

All total the medical team cared for 183 patients in one day! In addition to free clinical care the patients:

  • attended a workshop on handwashing (which, if not done properly, causes a large percentage of the parasitic infection cases we see at clinics),
  • had their teeth cleaned by a fabulous dental hygenist and learned about proper dental hygiene
  • received free prescription and over-the-counter medication
  • were able to select from a large supply of donated clothing for their families

We are so grateful for all of the Verbo's staff's leadership and assistance and to the 20+ North American volunteers who made the clinic day possible!

Nadeeda Morris - dental hygienist extraordinaire!
Nadeeda Morris - dental hygienist extraordinaire!
Families lined the walkway waiting for care
Families lined the walkway waiting for care
Serving with Nicaraguan physician Dr. Don Corea!
Serving with Nicaraguan physician Dr. Don Corea!
Aug 19, 2013

Starting New, Seeing Growth

Washing up for lunch!
Washing up for lunch!

It's been a whirlwind starting Club Esperanza and we're excited to see all that God's been doing since opening our doors just a few short months ago! The Club serves children whose families previously lived and worked at La Chureca, Managua's enormous city dump. It is such a privilege to work with children like Maricella. She has dwarfism which has stunted her growth and affects her life in obvious ways but it is remarkable to know her and the excitement she has in life. The club provides lunch daily for her and she is in the tutoring/afterschool program. It is a great joy to share the gospel of Christ and live it out when you get to affect lives of children like Maricella. A great joy!

Roxanna Auxiliadora is in preschool and her sister Tiffany is part of the tutoring program. For their mother, Doña Maria, the Club is a huge blessing. Her husband left her with her girls and she survives by finding domestic work, but the pay is far from enough. She has expressed great appreciation for Club Esperanza to us. She also comes and helps when she can, even in her very tough personal circumstances. What a blessing to work along with parents!

We recently had a medical team from Christ Journey Church in Miami visit and they brought a huge gift.  The church's youth group had visited Club Esperanza during their spring break and after hearing about the demolition of our former school in La Chureca and our new Club Esperanza location they went home with a purpose.  A member of that team was with the medical team and he brought a gift of $13,800 to give to the purchase of the new location!!!  Praise Jesus!  Can you believe that?  We were floored! So now we are almost there.  Out of the $75,000 we have to raise, we only have $23,900 left to raise!  Absolutely amazing!  We know the Lord will do it!

Our most immediate pressing need is to hire tutors for the 180 students we have in our tutoring program.  We have been blessed to have volunteers fill those roles but we've exhausted those resources and need to raise $1,100 a month to hire 6 full-time tutors. Each full-time tutor earns $240/month and the children who come to our program really need the academic help and encouragement. Thank you in advance for partnering with us to bless these kids!

Lunch is served!
Lunch is served!
Sweet Maricela
Sweet Maricela
Roxana and her mother Maria Auxiliadora
Roxana and her mother Maria Auxiliadora
Learning how to avoid malaria & dengue by coloring
Learning how to avoid malaria & dengue by coloring
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