As the rest of the world is making a turn for the better with the COVID pandemic, it seems that we are smack dab in the middle of the peak in Nicaragua. More on that and the need for your prayers below, but first we want to share some news of good and awesome things that happen when God’s people move to help in a time of trouble.
Our friends at Love Light & Melody wrote and asked if they can send some food packs to help the families from the school, we said yes!!! In a country that is already unstable from the recent political violence, this pandemic has hit very hard. People are trying their hardest to keep employees and keep the economy going, but many have been laid off and many are suffering. These food packs for the families we serve at Club Esperanza were a HUGE blessing and help at the perfect time!
Love Light & Melody have been partners since our days inside the trash dump. Ileana’s School is the legacy of those many years working together and is a Light in darkness still to this day at Club Esperanza. We appreciate your prayers for the school, especially the legalization of land titles and construction of the six classroom school building we hope to have built for next school year!
These food packs made for a great way for us to use our time during these interesting and strange times. Aliyah, her Aunts Hazel, Johanna, Lola and I went out to the Nicaraguan Walmart and bought up all the 45lb food packs from the shelves to deliver to Club Esperanza. This was very special for me to be out “doing good work” with my teenage daughter. We found everything we needed, loaded them all in the ambulance, delivered them to the Club and had fun doing it….it was a great and successful trip!
And as you can see by the faces of the children in the first picture, every single family that received the food packs were incredibly grateful! Here are some more of the pictures of the families receiving….this was actually the second wave of deliveries! Thank you again to Love, Light and Melody!
REQUEST FOR PRAYER: As we battled with wanting to serve safely and the risks of the virus we tried hard to keep the Club open to at least serve the basic needs, and to be present as a light and comfort during this time. But the number of sicknesses has increased dramatically and we have had to temporarily suspend activities at Club Esperanza for at least two weeks.
In the public health system there is no testing for the virus so it is hard to get a grasp on things and make decisions. But there are more and more cases every single day that everyone assumes are COVID. Everyone seems to know someone who is affected right now. We have had a number of our staff get sick and one had to go into the hospital, which was very scary. Praise Jesus, he was released after three days in complete isolation. So, please PRAY for all of our teachers, staff, students and families down at Club Esperanza. Lots of people are getting sick and lots are scared. But let me share this prayer that Yaraseth one of our teachers prayed…
“En el nombre de Jesus, declaro que ninguna pandemia y ningun virus toque a tu familia. Ni tu papa, mama, abuelita…a nadie. Porque Dios es fiel, misericordioso, El es nuestro sanador, salvador y libertador por los siglos a los siglos. Amen.”
Use Google Translate to switch to English…but please join us in this prayer for each person we serve, their families, and our family. And we pray that for all of you too! Jesus will continue to comfort us in times of trouble. This too shall pass.
We are so thankful to those of you who have been praying, who have reached out and who have helped during this time. We are making sure that all we serve can get the best care possible and if needed we are assisting them to get medical care at private hospitals. We want to get the best care possible for all that serve alongside us.
We have known Doña Irene for over 20 years now. She has worked with us off and on over the years in different ways at Quinta Havilah (Open Hearts headquarters, where we live and host teams that come to work with us in ministry). Last month, she asked us to help her build a bridge. She shared how she and her family have to drop down into a dry river bed, then back up the other side every time they go to church. I think her direct quote was “Can you build a bridge so my mother and I can get to church, our old bridge was wiped away last rainy season?” How can you say no to that?! Krista and I love these type of opportunities the Lord just brings to you randomly. It was a chance to really bless Irene and her whole community.
The problem is we have zero clue how to build a bridge, LOL! So, I went and visited to talk with her and her husband Arturo at their house. They showed me the place where the bridge was washed away last rainy season. You can’t really tell from the picture but it is a good 12 foot drop into that river bed. Irene shared a little more, explaining how it wasn’t just her and her mother that use the bridge. All of the children pass through on their way to school to avoid having to walk an extra mile the long way. But, in the rainy season without the bridge it would be so dangerous. And really, even though it is on their land, she said this path is used daily by everyone in their community.
This pile of rubble is all that was left of their old “bridge”. They had basically used old materials to create a bridge over the ravine, but as you can see it is surprising that it didn’t fall sooner, and a miracle nobody was ever injured. After talking with Irene and Arturo we realized they had welders and masons ready to do the work and had a plan, they just needed financial help….prayers answered! Because, we were wanting to help financially but had zero idea how to even plan a bridge. It was a the perfect match…a real God moment! Here is a picture of the plans they drew up.
So we prayed together, talked over the details of how it would all come together, and we pulled the trigger to go for it! It was so fun because we started getting text messages from other people we know who live in her neighborhood. They were saying how excited all their kids were, how thankful they were, offering to help in any way…it was a very encouraging experience.
It was one of those moments for us when we realize that there is ministry we run on a daily basis that God has called us too. But, there is also the simple fact of us just being here where God wants us to be. And that allows us opportunities to be used by him in very random ways…..like building a bridge! Praise Jesus!
Once we got the ball rolling it only took about a week to build the bridge. It was pretty amazing. You can see in the picture that it isn’t the largest architectural feat in all of human kind, but it was a first for us. It was really special to be a part of this…and if you are reading this we hope you are encouraged too. Your prayers for our family, your prayers for God’s guidance, your financial support, and your continued encouragement and affirmation to us personally….you helped build a sweet little bridge!
We are about to enter the rainy season, so the timing could not be more perfect! Irene and her mother will be able to walk to church with ease. Children will able to get to school safely during the heavy rain storms. Friends and neighbors will be able to visit each other with ease. God is good, in so many ways. We were so excited to help Doña Irene and Don Arturo bless their neighborhood!
We have been faithfully serving the people God has put into our care during this time of worldwide crisis caused by the Corona Virus. It has been a blessing and a joy to be able to be a place of comfort, of prayer, of education, of nutrition, of God’s peace during this wild and crazy time. Club Cristiana La Esperanza is a lighthouse shining and giving hope in Barrio Los Martinez where we serve…Praise God for that.
Nicaragua has lagged behind the rest of the world but has recently had a spate of cases pop up and there is confusion on a national level, mostly focused on controlling information. As schools are obligated to re-open this week, we need to take precautions for our teachers and staff. This crisis is not what we thought 2020 would bring…
Can you help us? These are unanticipated costs for our school year. But they are so necessary! Here are some of the things we could use your help with specifically related to the Corona Virus Pandemic….
Any amount that you can give will be a help!
A Three Month Supply of Protective Materials: This includes medical masks for our teachers, galons of hand sanitzer, galons of liquid alcohol and the dispensers to make that available for our 270 students and their families that pick them up and drop them off. Sheyla (our director) did some due diligence to price a three month supply…
Protective Glass for Teachers’ Desks: Additionally Sheyla found a company that can construct plexi glass dividers for office desks. We have a lot of interaction with parent’s in the main office as well as in the classrooms. We would put one of these at each desk to allow for continued interaction and conversation with parent’s with a safe division. We need to install these in eight different classrooms and offices….
We continue to serve…and we also want to be safe! Thank you for your prayers and support of all the great things happening at Club Esperanza! All of our teachers and staff are grateful for your help!!!
(Clicking on any photo will take you to our PayPal…but here are more giving options)
We had a big party at the beach on Saturday for Naydeling’s 17th birthday. Our gathering may have been a bit larger than ten people, but we have all been in quarantine and are like one big family. It was a fun break and the ocean is such a beautiful place to be. You can see in the pictures that Mama Griselda from Casa Havilah did an awesome job decorating with all the girls. They went out in the morning to set it up as a surprise for Naydeling! It was really really special! They invited the boys from Casa Robles too, so Mason got have some homeboys to play with!!!
As our children in the homes are getting older we really covet your prayers and love for them. Getting through high school is a daunting challenge in Nicaragua. Then there are all of the other added factors that each of them deal with in their home families. It can be very trying and hard. But the Love of God, and people who love them can allow them to make it through these teenage years and have a good life as young adults and beyond. So thanks for being with us for each of the kiddos! Can you specifically pray for Naydeling (17) and her brother Denis (15) this month? Thank you!
The party at the beach was so much fun! The girls got some old surf boards out and gave a try at the waves. We had soccer balls and footballs on the beach. Really, just sitting in a chair and listening to the ocean is great! Mama Griselda and Mama Jenny made a huge meal for us all. I already mentioned the beautiful decorations…the rancho at Costa Azul looked awesome! It was a very nice time to be together. God is good and we keep walking in faith in these troubled times…celebrating the good things when we can!!!
We are doing well down here in Nicaragua and we wanted to give all of our friends and supporters an update on how things are going at Club Esperanza with COVID19 being a worldwide pandemic. We just finished Semana Santa (Spring Break for Easter) and our schools are scheduled to re-open in Nicaragua next week. The response to the virus has been strange by the government here. In their effort to avoid panic it feels more like it is intentionally being ignored. So, we have taken our own precautions at the school to protect our staff and teachers. We expect most families to not be sending their kids to school until there is a worldwide consensus on returning to school.
Even before Easter break we saw a dramatic drop in attendance immediately after the virus made international headlines. Most families are deciding themselves to stay home and ride it out. Our excellent teachers have made the efforts to get a version of “homeschooling” implemented. It is very difficult though, mostly because the community we serve is very poor and do not have access to home computers. Please pray for our teachers and students during this time…they will do their best! Computer access is actually a huge need for our school.
Another big are of impact we have on the community is our daily feeding program. We have made a very intentional decision to continue serving lunch everyday. We decided to follow the model of restaurants in the US doing “take out”. Our cooks have been preparing meals daily during this very difficult time and serving them to out of the front gate of the school…sort of a Club Esperanza drive through :-). Praise Jesus for this part of our ministry! To not be hungry in a time of crisis is a HUGE blessing.
Thank you for your prayers and support during this hard time. Below is an excerpt from our recent newsletter to give you further insight on how we are passing this storm, No Fear!…
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
-2 Timothy 1:7
We continue in ministry at Club Esperanza, at our rescue homes, on the Rio Coco, and in local neighborhoods as the Corona Virus pandemic is wreaking havoc on the world. Our school has once again been a haven of hope in the middle of hard times. We have hundreds of children from early childhood education all the way through high school scholarship students who are being cared for and our daily feeding program where we serve nearly 300 families a day!
We are going to be responsible in the way that we continue to serve. We will follow government guidelines and do all of those things. But one thing we will not do is serve our community out of a spirit of fear. God has given us Power and Love that overcomes all fear! So we will cling to that and continue to serve. We so much appreciate all of you who support us financially, pray for us daily and come down to serve hand in hand with us. We hope you will keep supporting us in those ways! At the same time, we do know adjustments will be made. Please stay safe, keep praying and enjoy the time with your families. Hopefully this will pass quickly and we will see some of you down here again!
God Bless and Stay Safe,
Chris & Krista Farrington
Below is a digital version of our Spring Newsletter. We share some of the current activities down here, some fun family happenings, and also the ways that the Corona Virus is affecting us in Nicaragua…check it out below.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support for our family!
If you would like to support our ministry financially you can find information here.
You can also use the buttons below. We are very thankful to all of you who support us in this time of need…it has been a tough couple of years for Nicaragua.
It can really be a stunning experience to enter into a home here in Nicaragua. It is not something that I get to do very often because at Club Esperanza we have lots and lots of families who come to the Club. We typically end up meeting there and doing different things in life together. Earlier this month we went house to house delivering beds, and like I said it was a stunning experience. Poverty can be overwhelming and when you are welcomed into a house that a family of five lives in and you realize most people back home wouldn’t have this house even as their tool shed…it brings out a lot of emotions.
And you ask, what can I do? Lord….what can I do?!? The answer is not always the same, because God will call you and move you to act in so many different ways throughout your life. But during this day, God said deliver beds! Do you know why? Because all these smiling joy-filled faces share a bed with a few other siblings…or even with mom and dad. And to have your own bed is something awesome!
Our friends from Georgia had an awesome burden a few years ago when they entered house after house and saw children sleeping with three four and five siblings in the same bed. “Mission For Nicaragua” delivers bunk beds house to house wherever there is a need! This week I got to join their team from Ohio and Georgia to deliver beds in our neighborhood near Club Esperanza. Again…it was awesome!
We had such a wonderful time with each family. We surprised them with the bed thanks to our teachers at Club Esperanza doing some leg work ahead of time. We assembled the bed in their homes and let the kids jump on them and pick to be on the top or bottom. As we said good bye, we prayed for the Lord to bless the family, to bless the children who sleep in the bed, and to be the reality in the families’ life that they can go to for all of their needs. Ask God for everything that you need! Amen.
It was an awesome day! Praise Jesus.
Two guys on the team, Harry and Tommy play football for Ohio State University. We have known Harry for a number of years and he has started to bring down fellow students and teammates to serve in Nicaragua with us here. It was so fun for Mason to introduce Denis, Elery and Maryel from Casa Robles to them on Sunday at church…because they are HUGE! I know these guys covet your prayers over their lives, but also for the future work they have in Nicaragua…God glorifying things!
Harry making Mason feel like he is Huge! 🙂