Today is such a terrible day to remember for so many people. It is interesting to be at a particular age where my children do not know what we are talking about on this day, unless we tell them the story. That is why we remember right? So that we don’t forget, and so we all remain vigilant against all the evil that is in our world. I am thankful to know Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I claim His promises of eternal life after death…that makes tragedies and hardship easier to bare. But they are hard all the same.
This year I feel like this short clip of the 911 operator who took Todd Beamer’s phone call is a perfect way to remember the anniversary of September 11th, 2001. Heroism and sacrifice…we should aspire towards both those things and be willing to live a life in the way the men and women on Flight 93 lived their lives. Jesus said, “Greater love has not one than this, that a man would lay down his life for his friends.”
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
I know we will never forget September 11th, 2001
Chris & Krista Farrington
Good morning family and friends. I hope this short devotional encourages you today! Last week, I was moved to tears as I read the story of the blind man in John chapter 9. I was surprised because it wasn’t the healing, or the man testifying before the Pharisees that struck me. It was what Jesus did afterwards.
This isn’t the norm for me to record a message…but I felt the Lord moving since last week to share this. Hopefully you are encouraged and the Lord meets with you this week. (PS. Ignore the crazy haired person talking, it actually is me LOL!)
“May the Lord bless you and encourage you today.
May He find you and meet with you today.
And may He reveal to you, the prayers he has answered for you.
May He give you joy and peace in this troubled time.”
9 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was.
Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”
But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”
10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.
11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.
“I don’t know,” he said.
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”
But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.
17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”
The man replied, “He is a prophet.”
18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”
20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”
25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”
30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
39 Jesus said,a]”>[a] “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
We really love our teachers and staff at Club Esperanza. They are an incredible group of women and men who love Jesus and love people…with all they have! It has been a very hard time during this COVID pandemic. About one third of our staff actually had the virus and many of the families in the neighborhood we serve were infected. Teacher Roberto was the worse affected, but Praise Jesus he is well again! On top of the risk of catching the virus we had to close things down which was incredibly hard. Getting phone calls from families in need, missing the daily meals, the quality education, seeing teachers and friends that love them. It has been hard on everyone. This is a calling for our teachers and it has been so hard for them to be sitting at home waiting. But, we will be opening again soon! Praise the Lord!
Please be in prayer for Club Esperanza in this time!
…and if you want to support Club Esperanza financially that would be a huge help too! Specifically, we need laptop computers to help facilitate education during the pandemic! We found a local distributor that can get us HP laptops for $390.
As we prepare for the children to return to class, our teachers prepared this excellent video to share with our parents on social media. (click here to view if video does not load). The park near our school has free wifi, and EVERYONE has facebook in Nicaragua. So our innovative teachers pulled this together….social distance, masks, and more! 🙂
Our teachers also went through a seminar on preparations to return to class. They covered all the topics of safety with the virus. But also, and almost more importantly, they addressed the psychological state that some of the children may be in. We have our hearts ready and willing to help. We are asking the Lord to really be present and meet the emotional and spiritual needs of the families we serve.
Lastly, we want to share this beautiful little picture! Our feeding program is up and running and that is a huge amen! Most of the phone calls in need of help over the past few months have been about hunger. So, we say amen to this awesome way we are able to serve! We do need your prayers though. Our main partner in country that financially supports our “comedor” is dealing with a government audit and has paused funding. Please pray for a fast resolution to this! We have two more weeks supply of food and if it is not resolved we will have to find another source of funding in the mean time. So please please pray! We serve over 280 children every day.
God is in control and God is Good!
Thank you for your love and care for Club Esperanza,
Chris & Krista
We had a really fun time together as a family on Father’s Day. Krista and the kiddos took me to a fancy restaurant here in Managua (we were happy to discover was open!). I am a very blessed man to be married to someone who I love and admire and respect and is actually my favorite person on earth AND to have four children that are so awesome, each in their particular and special way! Even though COVID is trying to keep us down we pushed out and had a great time together for Father’s Day! And as the next picture shows you….we didn’t have to eat with the masks on!
Earlier this week I did an interview with our home church in Miami, Christ Journey Church. I will put the link down at the end. There were a couple of reflections I made that I didn’t expect when we started the interview…
“What is the best part of COVID?” is what our missions pastor John asked as we waited for people to join the live chat. At first I was like whoa that is a tough one…but quickly I realized it is that picture right there up above. If nothing else, I think this virus is pushing our families closer and closer together. We already home schooled our kids, but grew to appreciate this time with them even more. Life is going to pass us all bye and eternity with Jesus is going to be a wholly different experience I am sure. No more suffering and no more pain. So when life throws a curve ball like COVID, how blessed we can all be to grow deeper with our nuclear family and closest friends. In these days, this is such a blessing! And I know some have really struggled with the isolation in this time…so we also make sure to visit and call our family and friends who are in different places around the world with less family close by.
The second question Pastor John asked was “Can you describe 2020 in three words?” The best I could come up with was “Not Over Yet.” And when I said that my heart and my spirit was 100% exclaiming that IT IS GOING TO GET BETTER! That is what I am praying and asking the Lord to do. I am asking the Lord to make the second half of 2020 so much better than the first half of the year. So much better that the joys of this second half of the year will make us forget the sorrows of the first half!
Lean into Jesus in this time, expect him to be your Savior now more than ever. Read the Gospel of John in the Bible. Ask the Lord specifically for every one of your burdens to be lifted. Thank God for each day you have. Bless the people you are walking through life with! Life is Beautiful! (it is a great movie too…watch it in quarantine if you haven’t already seen it, “La Vita é Bella” in Italian)
We love and appreciate each of you that pray for us and support our family financially!
God Bless from Nicaragua,
First off, we want to share a fun report about Happy Meals coming to Club Esperanza! Mama Angelica (who is the house mom at Casa Robles) called a couple months ago to let us know she had a friend who worked with McDonalds. They had heard about Club Esperanza and wanted to do something fun for our kids. We were scheduled to receive the donation on June 1st but that was the week we suspended onsite operations at the Club because of Covid sicknesses. We thought we lost the opportunity…
…But that was not the case! This Monday, McDonalds here in Nicaragua donated 280 Happy Meals to all of the children we serve every day!!!
Isn’t that awesome?!? Our staff came together out of quarantine to make this happen for all of our kiddos! It was really such a fun day and such a blessing to be able to do something fun for the families we serve in the middle of this difficult time. Corona Virus has been at its peak this month. There is a lot of fear, sickness and death. It has been a tough time, and we appreciate your continued prayers. We went live on Facebook during the fun, here is the link if you would like to watch the video…
We also wanted to share a little bit about how we have had to adjust to the Corona Virus in recent weeks as it has gotten heavy here in Nicaragua…
Feeding Program: We suspended our feeding program two weeks ago because we started to have members of our staff get sick from the virus. Praise Jesus, they have all recovered, even our one staff member who had to be hospitalized. We were actually prepared to re-open the operation of our feeding program this week. But, in consult with our local partners, we had to make the decision this weekend to suspend activities for two more weeks. The infection numbers in Managua are still heavy, so for the safety of our families and staff this was the right decision to make.
It was difficult to make this decision because so many families depend on our feeding program for their children’s daily nutrition and health. That is why the McDonalds donation timing was so perfect. It was an exciting thing to all come together for, but it also allowed us the opportunity to give each family a two-week supply of rice and soy bean packages. This food supply will not replace the full nutritional meals we serve everyday at the Club, but it will be a huge help to provide the base for families to be able to prepare meals for their children at home. The timing was perfect, thank you Jesus.
Education: As happened worldwide, we have had to go to remote learning with all of our school levels. But unlike most parts of the world, we do not have access to computers in every home. So, our teachers have been stretched to the limits making sure that each of their students is getting the education they need so that they don’t fall behind. Through text messages with parents, strategic planning and lots of photo copies they are making it happen! This will be the situation for at least the next two weeks.
It may sound funny, but this Happy Meal day also helped our teachers with their students. One teacher told me, “Chachi, this was a huge help. Every parent came today for the Happy Meal, but we were able to tell them, ‘If you don’t turn in your child’s school work, you might miss out on our next fun activity!'” She was joking of course, sort of!
Spiritual Well Being: There are so many spiritual and emotional needs in the lives of the children we serve everyday, and in their families’ lives too. We have been able to stay connected with phone calls, and we are always available to any family with a major need. But, not being able to be together every single day and care for them has been the hardest part. So we will keep on praying against this horrible virus and ask the Lord to allow us to be back together as soon as possible!
Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
We keep pressing on and trusting the Lord! Below are some more fun photos from McDonalds Happy Meal day at Club Esperanza!
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 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. 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