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.
Jul 2, 2014

Maryland Team Holds 1st Women's Outreach in Sebaco

Crafts cross all language barriers!
Crafts cross all language barriers!

A team of six American women from Crossroads Community Church recently held the first women's outreach event at the Training Center in Sebaco. In-country project leader Ana Julia Orozco welcomed the team who spoke and spent the afternoon with more than 30 women from 4 of the 12 villages being served by the training center. The women came from Albellanas, Mojon, Bacacan, and Cerro Grande.

One of the highlights of the day was hearing from Lilliam Orozco who teaches at one-room school in the village of Albellanas. She gave her testimony about how hard she has worked to complete school and become a teacher and how hard her mother has always worked to support her (her mother was there too which was so sweet!). She was very emotional. She also spoke very seriously to the mothers that it was important for them to make sure their kids came to school EVERY day and that they needed to help them with their homework EVERY day. A great Mom from Albellanas - a single Mom with four kids who is only 22 herself - said that even though she can't read or write she sits with her kids every day to make sure they are doing their work. And Lilliam confirmed that this Mom is doing it and she held her up as an example for making such a sacrifice for her kids.

The Maryland gals enjoyed helping serve lunch to the women and their kids - what a feast! Afterward the team set out supplies for them to make posters with their children's names and a note that they loved being their Mothers to put up in their homes so their children would always know that their mothers loved them. The team shared encouragement about how even though Jesus' mother Mary was a poor, young, girl in a small village she gave Jesus the greatest gifts anyone could give a child - the gifts of love, acceptance, and schooling. The women had a blast making posters and glitter was everywhere!

Before the women left to board buses for the 1.5 hour drive and then 2+ hour walk home, Ana Julia called each woman up to give her a bag of "canasta basica" items - a bar of soap, 5 pounds of rice, 5 pounds of beans, a liter of oil, and several pounds of tomatoes, onions, peppers, and some other vegetables. As soon as the women left the skies opened and we experienced a torrential downpour - which was very welcome as the rainy season had been late in coming!

We look forward to another team coming to serve at the Training Center in August. A group of men and women from Cedar Run Community Church in Oak Hill, Virginia will be doing some construction work on the center and working with men, women and children coming in from the 12 remote villages we are targeting. Look for another update after that!

Each participant received food to take home.
Each participant received food to take home.
Playing with the moms
Playing with the moms' kids during the event!
Moms from 5 villages came for the outreach event.
Moms from 5 villages came for the outreach event.

Links:

Mar 3, 2014

A New School Year and a New Challenge!

Lunch is served at Club Esperanza!
Lunch is served at Club Esperanza!

The Nicaraguan school year runs from February - November so Club Cristiano La Esperanza is up and running! On the Monday of registration, parents were lined up at 5:00 a.m. to get their children signed up for our programs. When Sheyla (the Director) arrived, there was a crowd and she spent the entire day signing children up! It is a testimony to both the need in the community, as well as the quality of our staff and reputation we have earned in the neighborhood.

We have 341 students signed up this year!  We tried not to turn anyone away, but there is a waiting list for the preschool since we already have 98 preschoolers signed up.  Here is the list of the different programs that happen at Club Esperanza:

  • Community pre-school & kindergarden
  • Elementary school tutoring program
  • High school scholarship program
  • Feeding & nutrition program
  • "Lacrosse the Nations" sports program
  • Music & art classes

At Club Esperanza children have opportunities their parents could only dream of. Because of their parents' severe poverty these children would otherwise not get improved nutrition, one-on-one tutoring, early elementary developmental opportunities, and safe, supervised play!

Our new location has been the amazing key to our ability to do ministry in the neighborhood. When we signed the lease last year we needed $75,000 by January 2014 to completely pay off the balance. Although we weren't able to raise the entire amount, the seller has been gracious and granted us an extension on that deadline with only a small penalty. We currently have until the end of this month to raise the remaining $26,400.

The gifts you make here all go to ensuring that we can continue serving the 341 students whose families know that a faith-based education is the key to a hopeful future in this country. To learn more about the Club and its history please watch our video at: http://vimeo.com/68180873.

Siblings caring for each other at Club Esperanza!
Siblings caring for each other at Club Esperanza!
Kids don
Kids don't mind waiting for a good lunch
Now THIS is hope made real
Now THIS is hope made real

Links:

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!

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