Sunday, August 28, 2011

Give a little love

I am coming to all of you, friends, families, and people I have never even met to ask you to take some time and look at two very important things we have going on for the school right now. 
Please take a moment to read this and SHARE it with your people who might be interested in participating. 
Nicaragua Christian School exists to provide the opportunity for the poorest in the communities of Leon, Nicaragua, to receive a Christian Education. It is vitally important to the employees and supporters of NCS that these students learn how to read and write in a God-centered environment. 
The teachers and staff are constantly pursuing new and improved learning techniques and strategies, and they do the best they can to implement these in the classroom. The goal of NCS is to educate and to provide a support system for its students and their families. When students leave NCS, it is hopeful that they will carry their knowledge and love for Christ into their homes and their communities. Due to the monetary support and prayer for these specific things, the Nicaragua Christian School is thriving.

This year we are starting a new tradition. We have been brainstorming about how we could raise money for the school and we feel like this is a great opportunity for us to do so. Leon, Nicaragua has been such a blessing on so many lives and we want to keep giving back to the God's precious children in Nicaragua. 

On MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2011 we are our having our first Annual Golf tournament for Nicaragua Christian School at the Jackson Country Club. 
Format: Texas Scramble. We have openings for Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsorships, team sponsorships, and hole sponsorships. If you are interested in sponsoring teams but are not able to play we can find someone to fill your spot! Prizes will be included in goodie bags... Winning teams, closest to the pin, longest drive, and putting contest awards following the tournament. Take some time to get to know us and learn more about the school at Nicaraguachristian.org.. we would love for you to be a part of our mission, starting with playing in our first Golf Tournament!!!

Also, with Christmas around the corner we are hoping to give each child at Nicaragua Christian School a Christmas gift this year and we need your help.  
Three easy steps: 
1.Fill a shoebox with items from the list below. 
2. Wrap the box and lid separately in holiday wrapping paper. 
3. Indicate whether the gift is for a boy or girl and place $5.00 on top of the box to cover the cost of shipping.  
Each box should contain: School supplies (pencils, pens, crayons, paper, pencil sharpener)  Personal items (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, shampoo, soap, washcloth)  Clothing (socks, underwear, shorts, t-shirt, sandals, ball cap, sunglasses)  Toys (yo-yos, small cars, dolls, stickers, jump rope, bubbles, harmonicas)  Filler (candy, mints, gum.  No chocolate or other candy that might melt).  
All boxes need to be at Campbell Street Church of Christ no later than SEPTEMBER 19th.  For more information, contact Christy Lovelace at 731-427-9511.

Please consider being a part of the work being done in Nicaragua. Lives are being changed and they are the precious children of God. Help put a smile on these faces!
Gracias y Dios te bendiga!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why am I here?

Though having the opportunity to live in Nicaragua has been one of the greatest blessings in my life, I still get home sick from time to time. This is one of those times and times like these are when I have to remind myself why it is that I am here. There are so many reasons but here are a few that I feel need mentioning. 

I love living in Leon, Nicaragua because.. 

I get to see things like this.. 
and this..
I love new friends.
 I love the way a little tan hand fits in mine.
 I love kisses
I love hugs
 I love seeing what God can do for children in need.
 I love seeing this face.. 
 Turn in to this one.
 I love their eagerness to learn and know more about the God who loves them so.
 I love my girls class. 
 I love teaching english to little ones who want to learn.
I love cheeks.
I love moments like these. 
I love this family.. and so many more.
I love playing dress up.
 I love that joy joy joy joy down in their hearts.
because I learn how to be grateful for what I have.
and I even like getting lice.. If it means I get love like this. 

Thank you God for the children that will forever impact my life. They are such a blessing and I have learned so much just from watching them. Please help me humble myself like a child. Help me be a positive example to them each day. And when I need a reminder of why I am here, let it come from looking in to the eyes of a child. Thank you for their hearts, thank you for their joy, and thank you for what you plan to do in their lives. Help me to love unconditionally. I want to be clay in your hands. Use me. Amen.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oh the adventures we'll have..

If I had of signed a contract with the Country of Nicaragua that would be the title, "Oh, the adventures we'll have".

What an amazing, crazy, blessed two months I have had.

My trip home in June was wonderful. I got to be a part of the marriage between two of my favorite people (Anna and Seth Doyle) and I got to spend time with family and friends. God has perfect timing; I mean really, it is perfect. It was wonderful to get re-energized and to receive spiritual encouragement. It can be very difficult down here because we can only worship in Spanish. I miss singing and fellowshipping and I am glad that I was given the opportunity to do so. Thank you Jesus for the amazing people that you have put in my life. I learn every day how blessed and unworthy I am of all that you have given to me.

One Sunday while I was home we had a Nicaragua Christian School update for all the adults during class in the auditorium. Mr. Tim gave a presentation, I read my blog post “A Tribute to a Vision”, and then we played a video made of some pictures we have taken. Before the class we still had over 30 children who did not have sponsors but after class we had every child in the school with a sponsor! It was an incredible day. God is so good (We add a grade every year so if you would like to sponsor a child, we will have one for you in February). 

On July 6th I came back to Nicaragua along with Ryan Bush (mi novio). Ryan got to come for 18 days and it was awesome being able to show him what I do every day and all the places I love. The first two days we were back we helped at school with the normal routine and visited in the villages.
Ryan as a Jungle Gym
The next two weeks the children were out of school so we had lots of free time. On Sunday we went and picked up our friend Glenn in Managua and he stayed with us for 9 days. We toured Leon and volcano surfed down Cerro Negro.
Thursday- Sunday we spent visiting our friend Grace Pinkston who was doing mission work in San Marcos, Honduras at Mission Lazarus. God is doing great things there. It was an adventure to get there. We had to do endure some crazy bus rides and taxis but God was looking out for us and cleared the path with no bumps in the road (well it is Nicaragua, of course there are bumps in the road, but you know what I mean :) ). 
Ryan with some of the Honduran children.
Ryan and I at Mission Lazarus
After that Ryan and I came back to Leon for a night and then ventured off to visit other parts of Nicaragua.
We went to San Juan del Sur and it was BEAUTIFUL.
And then I got stung by a stingray.. Hopefully the worst pain I will ever have to endure.
We chased sea turtles
And then I met a blowfish!!!And I made a great face like one too.
To sum it up.. I had a wonderful time showing Ryan why I love this country. (photo of us w kids)
After he left that next Sunday on the 24th I will not lie and tell you I was not really sad…
 For some therapy I went and bought some pretty white shirts and went over to one of my favorite families houses and we made tie-dye shirts!
Ibis with her beautiful heart
Minor and William with their beautiful creations
Afterward we had a water balloon fight with all of our friends.
We had a great time together (notice the feet in the front of the picture. Minor has his head in the water balloon bucket).

God is doing great things at Nicaragua Christian school. Today we started our Soccer Ministry. The boys of 3rd and 4th grade came for practice and a devo. 
(Thanks to Kim Bracken for a lot of these beautiful photos!)

Of course, this isn’t fair for the girls to be left out :) so I decided I wanted to have a learning and growing time with the ladies. Twice a week during boy’s soccer I am having the 3rd and 4th grade girls over to study the bible and learn about being a Christian young lady and afterward we will do a craft. Here are some pictures of how our first day went. 
 Cannot say it enough.. GOD is so good.

Between being stung by an “African killer bee”, getting a horrid case of lice, going with out air conditioning, water and electricity for many hours at a time, almost having to swim home during a flood, being in an earth quake, being in a “tsunami”(it was miniscule), getting a parasite, holding a blowfish, flipping 5 times down the side of a volcano, and being stung by a sting ray… 
What will happen next? I do not know. One thing I do know,
I think it is fair to say.. YO SOY NICARAGUENSE!

Beautiful things are happening in Nicaragua. God is at work. We are settling back in to the routine and I am looking forward to what is ahead. God was not joking when he said he had a plan for me. He has a plan and a future for us. I see that more every day and I am thankful that I am not in control of my life. God has shown me so much pain, sorrow, adventure, love, joy, and peace that has made and placed me exactly where I am today. It is a beautiful life.

Thank you so much for all your support. These children are growing and learning about God’s love thanks to your help. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be here. Their smiles and their eagerness to learn is exciting and overwhelming. A lifetime would not be enough.

I am thankful we have a father that loves all the little children.

While we are in the world, we are the light of the world.” John 9:5

Check out our new video at Nicaragua Christian School. All thanks to the talented Bryson Leach.