We have built the first of what we hope to be dozens of homes working towards rebuilding the Miskito Indigenous communities devastated by Hurricanes ETA and IOTA last year. It was an amazing trip and so beautiful to be a part of God’s people coming to the aid of those in need. “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” ~ Romans 12:13
Out of the ashes hope will rise! This was the scene as we approached the construction site. It was quite the contradiction to see something new and beautiful rising from so much destruction. It was a huge blessing to give Alberto’s family a new home! More on this story below…but first, would you consider donating to build another home? Little by little we can make a huge difference in rebuilding these communities!
The cost to build a home is $8000
The picture above is of Alberto, his wife Fatima and part of their family after we dedicated their new home to them with a time of prayer and blessing. On our first trip to Wawa Bar after Hurricane ETA and as Hurricane IOTA was arriving our friend Todd Ohran found Alberto sitting on the front porch of what was left of his home. He was crying. We spent the rest of our time with Alberto gathered around him and listening to the story of the beautiful house he had, the little store they had built on the front of the house, how this store was what allowed him to provide for his family which included his children and grandchildren. They all lived together there. The entire front of his house where the store was had been torn off. Alberto was sitting on the slumped over remains of the back portion of his house. It was sooooo hard to see. I remember having Mason with us that trip, that was the only time I saw tears come into his eyes. We had seen lots of destruction. But, to sit with a grown man who couldn’t hold back the emotions was a hard moment. We prayed together as we left and I remember Todd telling Alberto that we won’t forget about him. As we left, the evacuations were starting because Hurricane Iota was approaching. This was the hardest part about remembering that day. Hurricane Iota took what was left of Alberto’s house…it was devastating!
Todd didn’t forget Alberto. Todd led the team of chain saw crews to return to Wawa Bar after Iota to help clear large trees, he went and found Alberto. His house was completely gone and he was huddled under temporary shelter with seven other families…..SEVEN! This was when the ball started rolling to get something done! Pastor Earl from Verbo Church was able to develop a cost estimate and design for rebuilding houses. I remember talking with Todd when he returned and asking about Alberto. It felt like God was going to move and make something happen! As 2021 turned we were heading over to Puerto Cabezas together to build three houses…the first one for Alberto in Wawa Bar!
The trip was pretty awesome! There is something very special doing things on the micro scale….the overall devestation is still so evident on the ground in WawaBar. Verbo Church was delivering water to the community as we worked on the house because clean water is still not available. The landscape is still scattered with debri as people have built temporary shelters out of the scraps they have found. It is hard hard hard when you look at things from the macro level. It is overwhelming. So, for God to give us this special time building a home that will last for decades and be a shelter for several generations in this one family was really really really awesome!
It was very special to spend more time with Alberto and hear his heart for his neighbors and for his community. He told us how his little church next door has started meeting in the open air (the church had been completely destroyed). He told us he was a musician and they asked him to lead times of worship but he was ashamed because his dental bridge had been damaged. But they told him not to worry we don’t have electricity and nobody can see you anyway! We talked with other church members that visited about permanent water solutions. His wife even cooked lunch for us one day…imagine that, a family that has lost everything is cooking you a meal in the midst of all that had happened. You can bet we ate every single bite, and it was really good!
The most memorable moment for me was listening to Alberto talk about the day he realized his house was going to get rebuilt. Communication is difficult in Wawa Bar, so there was no real way to let him know the decision that had been made. He said he was in his house praying one morning. He had his Bible open and was taking the morning to spend time with God and set all of his heavy burdens before the Lord when he heard someone calling his name outside. “Alberto Medina, Alberto Medina”. He walked out to see who it was and said “I am Alberto Medina”. The men arriving said “we are from Verbo Church and we are here to start building your house, can you help us carry the wood up from the shore?” How awesome is that?
God is so very good and it was such a great work to be a part of! There is still so much to be done, but we are happy to go little by little and make a great impact for God’s Kingdom.
Please consider donating or passing our information on to organizations who may be able to donate. (email is best… firstname.lastname@example.org) These houses really are pretty amazing for the cost it takes to build them. Todd and I even joked about how we were working with shiplap out in the middle of nowhere! We stopped short of our idea to start our own reality tv show LOL!
Love and blessings from Nicaragua,
Chris & Krista
This week we are preparing for the 2021 school year which starts NEXT WEEK! We serve over 300 families every day at Club Esperanza with our feeding program, Ileana’s School, early childhood education, Lacrosse The Nations, High School Scholarship Program, Juntos Para Inclusión (Special Needs Program) and our newly formed Emmanuel College Scholarship Fund…..sooooo we need your prayers!!
We hope to get some posts up next week as things kick off but just wanted to put up a quick blog as we are preparing!
We are decorating walls, distributing school supplies, installing dry erase boards, painting walls, and we already opened the feeding program…amen amen amen…thank you for your prayers and support as we prep for next week!!!
With all of the COVID issues, the two Hurricanes hitting Nicaragua, and our travel home being cancelled…TWICE! We didn’t get ourselves together this year for a year end Newsletter or Christmas card….but Aliyah is savvy on the iPad and got a little video together really quickly…
…MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!!!
We do hope and pray that the peaceful presence of God blesses you this Christmas season! It has been such a difficult year, and knowing everyone is probably not as close to loved ones as they may like to be is really sad. But Praise God….He knows how we feel and feels what we feel. Because on Christmas, God came down to earth. Jesus’ birth is amazing and we celebrate it!
We are blessed to live in a time in history that God is not distant, not far off, but wants to be in a relationship with us. Jesus promised before his resurrection that His Holy Presence would be with us until the end of the ages. God is with us. So, our prayer and our hope is that in this difficult year God would meet with you, that you would feel His presense in mighty ways, and that he would bless you as a friend would bless their friends, a parent would bless their children, as a spouse would bless their love….that this Christmas season you would personally feel God with you…and that that would make all the difference!
We love and miss you! Merry Christmas!!!
Chris & Krista Farrington
Thank you all for your generous support of Nicaragua during this difficult time. Within a two week period, Puerto Cabezas on the Northern Carribean side of Nicaragua was hit by two massive storms, Hurricane Eta (Cat 4) and then Hurricane Iota (Cat 5). In the weeks since we have mobilized to support our local church Verbo in Puerto Cabezas and the churches along the Rio Coco. We put out a call for support and your alls response has been amazing!
Below we share some stories…but there is still so much to do!
HERE IS WHAT WE HAVE DONE TOGETHER SO FAR! We’ve sent over 100,000 pounds of food for immediate food relief in the areas directly hit by the Hurricanes. There are tens of thousands of people affected by these storms. We have delivered food packs to families in shelters and to their homes as they are returning to their devastated villages.
We purchased eight chainsaws and delivered them to Puerto Cabezas to begin the massive clean up effort. The team worked for the week in Port as well as in two Miskito villages. Since that first trip, members of Verbo church have been going to each remote Miskito village, staying for several days working with the local community to clean up their properties of fallen trees and destroyed homes.
We purchased a boat motor to make it possible for Verbo Church to deliver food packs and relief to the most remote Miskito Villages along the coast that took a direct hit from the Hurricanes. Hallover is a village of 105 homes on the coast. This village was the landing point for BOTH storms and it was split in two by the storms. All of the homes were destroyed except for one, and now the Carribean connects to the Bay right through Hallover. It was very very sad to witness such massive destruction.
We have also purchased 1,100 pieces of roofing tin to help people rebuild their homes as they return to their villages from the shelters in Puerto Cabezas. On our trip last week to deliver food to the villages of Layasiksa and KukaLaya we were given some advice by the village elders on how to help rebuild there. The people said they need tin for roofs, but if we get them gas and chainsaws they will go out into their land and work for a week to get the wood they need to be able to rebuild their own homes. We will get to work on that immediately but also know in other villages people will need help to build homes from scratch.
On our trip last week we also had friends from Hydrologica, a well digging company based here in Nicaragua. Brandon and Dave have knowledge from years of experience working with wells and came to assess the water situation as people return to their villages. We tested wells for salt content to make judgements on immediate fresh water relief. Of equal importance, Brandon is going to put together a report on long term water solutions, including installation of sustainable wells in these remote villages.
Along with all of this material support we know more than anything that the people need our love and care in this difficult time. We prayed for many many people and asked the Lord to heal them and help them during our trips. We also just sat and listened to their stories. Amazingly and as an answer to many prayers, there were no deaths in any of these villages! I sat with Doña Rosa in Layasiksa and listened to stories of men using rope to tie themselves together to wade through flood waters to get to safety in the middle of the storm. Stories of the elderly being rescued by being carried in sheets just above the storm surge as the flooding started. It was harrowing to hear…but absolutely incredible to NOT hear of many many deaths!
This morning at church Pastor Earl (who is coordinating Verbo’s relief work in Puerto Cabezas) shared about his first trip back to Hallover after the second Hurricane. He gave a woman from the shelter a ride on their boat to return home. As they got closer to land, tears started streaming down her face and she was weeping. Her family was large and had thirty homes between all of their relatives. Every home was gone and she wept. The devastation is real and it is overwhelming. But, we are able to help. We can do a lot together, and honor the Lord as we do it!
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Krista will be in Puerto Cabeza’s this week with her brother Brinson and a group of four others. This will be our fourth relief trip. They will be visiting the shelters, spending time with people and praying for them. They will also deliver 500 more food packs to remote Miskito villages. These packs will be provide food for 3-4 weeks for a family of 5-7 people. We also know they will be getting a vision for the long term work of helping people rebuild their homes. Please keep them in your prayers for safe travel and much success in helping people.
God bless you all…and again thank you for supporting this relief work in such a hard time for Nicaragua!
We hope all of our friends and family back home are having a wonderful Thanksgiving this year! It has indeed been quite the year, with what would seem much more tragedy than good. But we LOVE this Holiday because even when times are tough, it is so important to be Thankful for all the blessings we have in our life. We hope you are enjoying those blessings this weekend too!!!
Happy Thanksgiving 2020! Love, The Farringtons
We were pretty sad that our flights home for Thanksgiving were cancelled because of Covid by American Airlines. It is our first time missing Thanksgiving at Mema’s Cabin since Aliyah was just a baby. Our internet was out all day yesterday too and we didn’t even get to do our zoom call with family! But we do trust the Lord in this time and realize there are reasons to still be here in Nicaragua serving in this difficult time of Hurricanes hitting. So we are trusting God and being thankful and ready to serve!
Krista finished up school with the kids in anticipation of traveling home. So another “silver lining” is that they are able to head down to Club Esperanza and serve more and just visit with everyone. In the middle of this pandemic we opened our feeding program up to people who are showing up hungry at the school gates. It has grown and we still have had to keep Covid protocols but are feeding almost a 100 additional people a day, mostly the elderly and children. Praise God for that! Our kiddos were down there this week helping their Aunt Hazel serve lunch. We are very thankful that our children see with their own eyes how much we all have to be thankful for…and at the same time they are able to help serve others. We praise God for that too!
We enjoyed our time together with family and friends yesterday here in Nicaragua. We had a great Thanksgiving meal together at the Buzbees. It was so nice with lots of food and drinks and little kids running everywhere…full of life and love! Then, today we took a hike with some great friends up a dormant volcano and hiked around the crater in the rain forest. Nicaragua has so many beautiful places to visit and we hope we can have friends visiting and serving with us again soon! Amen.
Prayer Request: Chris will be heading out on Monday for another trip to Puerto Cabezas to provide Hurricane Relief. He will be traveling with three others and will deliver 18,000 pounds of food, 400 sheets of roofing tin, and donations collected at Club Esperanza and elsewhere here in Managua. They will also be doing research and assessment on the water situation with our friends at Hydrologica, a well drilling company here in Managua which has also been our staging area for collecting and shipping food. As people return to their devastated communities clean water is going to be of great importance!
Among all the things we will be “doing” to bring relief, we also know that there is deep loss and devastation in this time. So, we will be ministering to people as we go, praying for them and sharing the eternal hope we all have in Jesus Christ. We want to glorify God in all that we do! Thank you for your continued prayers for these Hurricane Relief Efforts!
Hello family and friends, we are getting hit by another Hurricane. Hurricane Iota made landfall last night in nearly the exact same spot that Hurricane Eta hit only two weeks ago. Please pray for Nicaragua and our friends in Puerto Cabezas and along the Rio Coco.
We were able to make our trip to Puerto Cabezas on Friday and delivered a first round of aid we wrote about in our previous blog post. But, as we were assessing damage in the Miskito villages of Karata and WawaBar the evacuations were beginning for Iota. We were able to safely evacuate on Sunday and made it back to Managua. We do plan to write a full blog post about that trip and future plans to aid and assist the areas affected by ETA.
But right now we ask for your prayers. Iota hit as a Category 5 storm. This morning I know the people in Puerto Cabezas and the surrounding areas are waking up to severe destruction. We have not heard yet from Pastor Earl. So, we pray and ask the Lord to have spared life and that the only losses are material losses. Amen. We can all work together to rebuild and help…but protection of life is the focus of our prayers right now!
We are safe in Managua with our family. We are currently under Tropical Storm conditions. Also, please pray that this storm moves on so that flooding and landslides do not become a major issue.
We love you and so appreciate all of your prayers and support!
Chris & Krista
We were able to make contact with Pastor Earl over the weekend. Hurricane Eta has left severe devastation in Puerto Cabezas. The church is now a refuge for 600 people left homeless and Earl estimates that at least 3000 homes have been destroyed by the storm. Earl reported that on the same small road as his church there are another 700 refugees in a shelter. It is an incredibly difficult time as people are only now able to survey the damage and assess what has been lost. Waters were still rising in some villages along the coast and many houses are still completely submerged. People have lost everything!
We are going to do whatever we can to provide immediate relief and this is the time that you can donate to help make a difference. These initial donations will go towards providing shelter and food for thousands of refugees in the immediate aftermath of the Hurricane. Pastor Earl is working tirelessly to provide for everyone in Puerto Cabezas and we are also sending aid down the Rio Coco to Pastor Victor in Walakitang.
We sent $2,500 on faith on Friday and that is being used already to distribute food relief in Puerto Cabezas and to seven villages along the Rio Coco as far as Walakitang!
Our goal is to raise $10,000 for immediate aid!
You can click here to donate by check or use the donation buttons below…Please Help!!!
As donations come in we are coordinating here in Managua to load up large trucks with Food, Medicine and clothing. We will fill the trucks and then make the 14 hour drive over to Puerto Cabezas to deliver the relief. We will spend time in Puerto Cabezas to help in any way we can but also pray with those that have lost so much, minister to them and do everything we can to bring some joy in a time of sorrow. So, please donate now so we can get supplies loaded up and ready to ship ASAP. We will start loading tomorrow some donations that a local business has already given. We will leave as soon as the river ferry opens back up when the flood waters recede. Thank you for joining us in the effort! Pray for everyone affected by this storm!
“God is our shelter and our strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” -Psalms 46:1
UPDATE Nov5: We have been able to speak with Pastor Victor in Walakitang over the last two days and there has been no loss of life or serious injuries in Walakitang. Praise the Lord. As they expected the main concern now is the river rising, and the damage that will do. As of this morning the river is 10 yards away from the first houses of the village. So, please keep praying that the river rises no more!!!
Victor and his family have their house in that first line of houses so they are very concerned. They have moved all of their belongings out of their house over the last two days and moved their family to higher ground with other church members. They have not been able to cook over fire for the last few days so they are surviving on crackers and mixed juices and that sort of thing. It is harder on the kids than it is on the adults, is what Victor told me. We should also be praying the storm passes quicker so that the sun comes back out!
Victor has been making trips on the river with the church’s motor and church’s boat. Yesterday he went up river to help retrieve a harvest of rice and rescue the people stranded there with it. Everyone and the forty five sacks of rice made it safely. Walakitang has already been in a bit of a rice famine and this was to save what they had left. It was successful. Today he will go out again to rescue a brother from the church who is stranded in a dangerous spot further up the river. The military sent calls down river today that they are expecting it to rise. So again, please pray for Victor as he leads these trips with other men from the village, that the Lord would guide them and keep them safe. And again lets pray that the river rises no more!!!
We told him take whatever is needed on loan from village store and we will make sure to pay it all back once the storm passes, food, gasoline, tools etc…whatever is needed. We don’t want them to not save someone or not do something needed just because of lack of funds…our God is bigger than that and His people need to move when there is need…amen!!!
Our family is fine today in Managua and all of our friends and ministry workers are fine. We are having heavier rain today and last night, so we would ask the Lord for that to stop so that no major damage is done. We are concerned for our friends in Puerta Cabezas, which is the town at the point of major impact from the storm. We have not been able to communicate with Pastor Earl yet, but know that things are probably much more difficult there because that is where Eta hit at full force. Please pray for Earl and the people in Puerta Cabezas.
This is a video from another town in the path of the storm. It was sent by a friend here in Managua, but I just want to share it so that you have a view of what the houses are like along the Rio Coco and in Walakitang. They are not Hurricane proof.
Thank you for your continued prayers!
This is the image of Eta as it apprached Nicaragua two days ago as a Category 4 Hurricanes….
We have never posted two blog posts in one day but it appears that the Hurricane threatening Nicaragua has strengthened over night when we made the previous post. Hurricane Eta is expected to hit land in Puerta Cabezas as a Category 4 storm tomorrow. This is really really bad. Here is a report from the weather channel….watch the video on the story for really good info.
We have many good friends in Puerta Cabezas. That is where the main Verbo church in that region is. Verbo is the local denomination we work with to support Walakitang and the church planting movement along the Rio Coco led by Pastor Victor. There is basically no safe structure along the Rio Coco that can handle the impact of a Hurricane of this force. Most homes are thatch roof and wooden stilt houses. All of the churches we work with along the Rio Coco are going to be affected. The Rio Coco and Walakitang are in the direct path of the Hurricane.
Additionally to the initial impact of the Hurricane, the flooding and land slides could be catastrophic. Google search “Hurricane Mitch” which happened in 1998 to get a perspective. 11,000 people died in the days that Mitch hovered over Central America and caused so much destruction.
WE ARE ASKING YOU TO PLEASE PRAY! Specifically we ask God to dissipate the storm miraculously, to guide everyone in the region to a safe place to weather the storm, and that the it would move past quickly without hovering over Nicaragua and Central America for many days!
As for our family we are expecting heavy rains and will hunker down safely in our home and keep an eye on friends and ministry co-workers here in Managua. Should any of them need help, we will be available. We do appreciate your prayers for all of us as well.
We will be sure to give updates on any needs that may arrive in the aftermath.
Thank you for your prayers!
Here are some pictures from Walakitang trips over the years to give you an idea of the region. Pastor Victor and his wife Damaris are in one of the pictures…
Hello family and friends. I hope your week is starting well!
God put a short devotional message on my heart a few weeks ago and I wanted to take some time to share it here on our blog. The topic is in Matthew 27 when Jesus is dying on the cross and cries out, “My God my God why have you forsaken me?” Especially in times like we are living through right now, a verse like this may come to mind. Well, you can rest assured that Jesus was not crying out as one abandoned. In fact, He was doing something else and pointing everyones minds to something incredible when he said those words on the cross right before he died.
I hope you are encouraged by this, and I hope the Lord blesses you this week!