Life and classes are moving at full speed these days. When I stop to think about how much is happening and how many students are involved, I’m blown away by how the program is growing. Normally, this amount of activity would stress me out, but there is no real anxiety about any of it this year. The programs are all running well because of the great leaders who are organizing them. The students are learning well because of their incredible attitudes. We couldn’t be more thankful.
My biggest stress is how to accurately communicate this to all of you. It’s so hard to fit it into just words and pictures. I wish you could all see it day to day for yourselves, but I will try to summarize the past month….
Our Saturday classes began to meet again in March and our enrollment for 2017 is double what it was last year. We don’t have final numbers yet because new students are still joining, but it’s around 100 students each week. We added an advanced English class, a (dental) health class as well, and we will be adding a computer class next month.
The students rotate through Arts & Crafts classes to Bible classes to English classes to a Health class throughout the course of the whole afternoon. The vocational building and the new feeding center have provided us with the space we needed to expand this program.
Ryan (the newest member of Impact Nica) is helping to teach the boys’ craft classes and introducing some woodworking projects for the first time. He has extensive experience in Boy Scouts and plans to begin a program with the class in April.
The girls’ class is learning embroidery skills. We learned a lot about jewelry last year and this year they will focus more on different sewing techniques.
The most exciting thing about all of this is not the new skills that the students are learning; it's that many of these students are staying for the youth service at the end of the day. Some are even coming back for Sunday school the next morning as well.
Project ECS-FIEMCA/GCE is off to a great start. In the month of March, Stacy taught about the importance of vaccinations while Gary taught an extensive dental health workshops. Caleb taught about how to start a small business with the talents and resources each person already has available to them.
The ECS women taught how to make gift boxes, earrings, and piñatas in various locations. The piñatas are a very profitable idea for women since the supply cost is very minimal. However, it was ironic that we taught how to make a candy holding device while our dentist asked everyone to please avoid giving sugar to children.
We are increasing our time on the Island of Ometepe this year by an extra day each month, thanks to a generous donation to fund our work there. The number of communities we work with on the island has also grown and the people are so eager to learn!
The church in El Menco celebrated their first “Santa Cena” or communion last week. It was a very special time for this new group of believers.
At Iglesia Bethania, the children in Sunday school received the first letters from their new friends at Kid Summit in North Carolina. They are working on their responses this week and we are hoping this is the beginning of some great, new friendships.
Please pray with us for…
The water situation, or lack of, in our community right now is difficult. It’s always tough during the dry season when the water can be turned off for a week or two at a time. Our local friends have to carry water long distances when their barrels run dry. The temperatures are rising from now until June and people have to conserve and limit the water they can drink. This leads to all kinds of other health problems as well.
There are several preschoolers who are very sick right now. Gustavo (pictured on the left) has had anemia for a while and recently came down with pneumonia. Five of our girls (Aurora, Kristin, Seydi, Emely, and Ariela) have asthma problems, which is so hard in this dusty season. Two of our boys (Danilo and Marlon) have serious skin rashes. Chepito (pictured on the right) has been very sick with a fever and he has had a hard time since he lost his mom.
A 90 year old member of our church, Don Philipe, is quite ill with glaucoma, among other things, and needs your prayers as well.
A young girl from our community was in a terrible car accident last week. Her husband was killed instantly and she wasn't expected to survive either, but she is in stable condition now. Pray for Julietta as she continues to recover and deals with her loss.
*We are recruiting doctors and nurses to work in Nicaragua with a medical team the third week of September. If you are interested, you can apply online at Thesummitchurch.net.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58