Life has been fun and exciting as of late and we wanted to share about some of the things that have been going on at the Club. After the miracle of raising $26,000 in less than a month to finish paying for the new location we’ve been working to finish the second building that was left unfinished by the previous owner. It is a big shell of a building that we hope turn into our Tutoring Center/Dining Hall. A multipurpose building…remember “Cafetoriums”???
We had a group of High School Students from Atlanta come down with a friend and they took the first crack at working on the building. Clearing the trees that had grown inside, leveling the floor and laying a concrete floor inside - these kids were troopers, working in the blaring sun in the hottest time of year here in Nicaragua.
The team also had lots of fun with the kids at the Club. A father and daughter combo took care of lunch one of the days. He works as a distributor for McDonalds back home so we made the contact in Managua and gave the kids a really fun treat….MickeyDzzzz at lunch time!
Following up on the Atlanta team was a group from Austin Samaritans in Texas. They busted some concrete work too and “threw mud” at all the unfinished walls for the final layer - lots of hard work and another step towards finishing the building.
The Austin Samaritans group also brought the drama…in the form of the story of the “Good Samaritan.” Costumes and all, they taught the children one of the great parables that Jesus taught. A very important lesson for children to learn at a young age, do not just pass by those who are in trouble. Stop what you are doing, help the ones in trouble, and go beyond what you think you are able to do! It was hard not to smile at all the cute little robbers though!
A blessing from the US Embassy Auction…we were able to get two giant tents for 1/4 of the cost at auction. We put one up inside the building we are working to finish since there is no roof yet. This way we could use the space since we have the floor poured now. We used the other tent for shade by the kitchen so the kids don’t have to stand in the sun when they wait in line for lunch…shelter from the Sun. They will provide shelter from rain too, which will be great during the rainy season. These tents will also give great shelter for the students in our tutoring program that used to meet outside under a tree. The tree wouldn’t have worked for the rains hahaha!
Thank you for your continued prayers for Club Esperanza - with your help the lives of young people are changed! If you know of people who want to support the Club please let them know that all NEW recurring monthly donations pledged on July 16 will be MATCHED 30% by an anonymous donor to Global Giving. That means if you commit to giving $100 per month it will be raised to $130. If you have any questions please contact our ministry partner Katie Adams at email@example.com.
We are excited to see all that God is doing at Club Esperanza and are grateful for your continued partnership!
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:
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.
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.
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!
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