Denis is a HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE!!! Denis has been a part of our family at Casa Robles for most of his life. He has accomplished something so amazing in graduating from high school. He is breaking generational chains, he is doing something no one in his family has done, he is doing something none of our boys at Casa Robles has ever done…Denis we are so so proud of you!!!
He graduated from Colegio Bautista de Managua. This is a prestigious school that has been operating in Nicaragua for over 100 years. As you can see in his pictures, his promotion ceremony was held in the Ruben Dario National Performing Arts Center…it was beautiful, and none of us complained that it was air conditioned. It was an invite only event and the graduates were all very excited…watching them throw their caps was soooooo awesome! (But I forgot to take a picture…dang!)
Mama Angelica and Papa Yuri escorted Denis across the stage, and honestly it was pretty emotional for us as they walked together. There was the beautiful moment where Mama Angelica followed the tradition of putting Denis’ graduation ring on his finger. It was beautiful to watch Papa Yuri standing there proudly looking at his son in his cap a gown as a graduate. And of course we brought some levity to the event but jumping up and down and shouting Denis’ name! We are just so very proud of Denis. Jesus has been so amazing in rescuing him and changing his life, and in these last two years Denis has made decisions in his own life to draw closer to God and really embrace the future he has walking with the Lord.
Some great adventures await. Denis is actually just now turning 17 years old. This coming year he will enroll at the Nicaraguan Technical University and pursue a degree in Engineering…following in his Papa Yuri’s footsteps. The University is located in Managua so he will keep living with our Casa Robles family and learning that new life rhythm of being a university student. Please pray for Denis as these vacations days come to an end and he starts this next adventure in his life. Papa Yuri and Mama Angelica will be there with him every step of the way…and we will too!
THANK YOU FOR CELEBRATING DENIS WITH US!!!
WE ARE SO SO SO VERY PROUD OF HIM…PRAISE JESUS FOR THESE GREAT MOMENTS IN LIFE!
If you would like to read more about Casa Robles you can click here, or use the search feature of our blog to find stories about “Casa Robles”…you can find the oldest posts and see pictures of Denis as a weeeee little guy…I found one below! So fun! If you would like to financially support Casa Robles you can do so with the buttons above or click the Donate tab for information on donating via check. We will need all the help we can get heading into 2022…we have a kid in College, LOL! Praise the Lord for that!
We have had a wonderful time closing out this year with all of the year end activities and family coming in to town to visit. Krista and I want to take a moment today to wish you a very Happy New Year! Even though this year has been very difficult and we have experience some heart breaking loss, our hearts still bless the name of the Lord!
Our perspectives on life have changed and at the same time our resolve to live a life that has eternal impact has been strengthened. We take time to count every blessing and know that we have been blessed beyond all measure! We hope and pray that as you ring in the New Year, that God will give you great hope for tomorrow and visions of great things for year to come. God’s promises are beautiful throughout all of scripture, but Jesus’ words in the Gospel of John have become some of my favorite verses of Scripture….
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) I love these words because it encourages my heart about eternity and the glorious future we have with Jesus. He is victorious, and we are His!
If you need encouragement as we start this new year, grab a Bible and read the Gospel of John. So much good and so much encouragement can be found there. We love you and are blessed greatly to have you in our lives! Feliz Año Nuevo! (P.S. Happy Birthday to my wonderful sister Kim Rahal…love you Tia!)
All of our ministry in Nicaragua and support for our family comes through donations. So, if you are looking for an opportunity for year end giving, we would be blessed by that! You can click here or click a button below….God Bless you and again HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Chris & Krista, Aliyah, Mason, Isabella & Juliette
We want to send you and your family the blessings of a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! Being with family and friends over the holidays is so special and we know that this year hasn’t been the easiest for getting together, but we hope you found encouragement in the moments you did find together with people you love. Christmas is such a beautiful time of happiness, hope, joy and love…it really is such a special time of year. All the things that Jesus brings into our lives when we have that personal relationship with God are celebrated…I love that! In the hardest times like the ones we are living in, we can be encouraged that God is with us! How amazing is that?!? Merry Christmas friends!!!
We had a great time together with our extended families at Casa Havilah and Casa Robles earlier this month. (click the house name for more info on the homes) We had so many wonderful things happened throughout the year. Alejandra graduated into High School and Denis graduated from High School. All of the kiddos are doing well, and Maryel is still the funniest little kid you will ever meet! Also two new little faces arrived at Havilah this year…Abu and Diego, two sweet little dogs that are a great comfort for the girls. Our girls are having the best time baby sitting them while everyone is visiting family for the Holidays! Merry Christmas from our bigger family! Also, thank you for all of the financial support and prayers throughout the year!!!
Christmas happened at Club Esperanza too and it was an awesome time! Check out our facebook page to see the live videos we did. We pray for each and every one of our students as they celebrate the holidays with their families. We look forward to seeing them back again in January for the start of a new school year in Nicaragua! Thank you for your prayers and support of Club Esperanza and the 300 children we serve every day….Merry Christmas!!!
And finally, we hope that everyone has wonderful New Years Eve Celebrations!!! We pray that 2022 is a great year of new beginnings and a year that the Lord does great things in your lives! Happy new Year!!!
God Bless from Nicaragua,
Chris & Krista Farrington
This past week we got to participate in one of the best Christmas gift givings you could ever dream of. We made the trip back over to Port to visit fifteen homes that were being completed this week in Wawa Bar and in Hallover. Hurricanes Eta and Iota completely destroyed these two communities last year. Helping to rebuild has been one of the ways we have joined with Verbo Church and Pastor Earl in Hurricane relief. So, it was such a huge blessing to be able to be there when each of these homes were dedicated! What an amazing amazing Christmas gift…getting to move in to a new home this December!
In every house we visited with the team from Verbo Church we got to join in celebrating with each of the families. We spent time with three sisters who grew up as orphans and had lost everything. We spent time with Jackson who was filled with so much joy in receiving this new home. His joy made each and every one of us on the trip lift up our heads and PRAISE THE LORD! There was a young widow with her four children, a home with four generations moving in as the grandmother was taking care of her ailing mother, a family of five moving from a temporary shelter of plastic and drift wood, and many others.
We dedicated each of the homes with a time of prayer and gave thanks to the Lord. The prayers were so sweet and the words of thanks were so deep. Person after person saying in Miskito, “thank you thank you thank you, never in my life did I think I would have a home like this!” And so we pass on that thanks to all of you! The Lord used a might army of His people to get these homes built, thank you. That last picture is incredibly sweet. As Todd prayed for one of the sisters receiving their home, their eldest sister was unable to get out of bed but she joined us in prayer silently from the other room. It wasn’t until after we finished the dedication that she was introduced to us…we definitely spent more time with her and praying for her afterwards, we gave thanks again and prayed for healing and new life…in Jesus name, amen!
These are the faces that make everything worth it!!! Thank you all for all of the prayers and support for this work. This is Christmas week and we celebrate the greatest gift of all, the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. This is a time of year filled with such joy! We know the Lord coordinated something beautiful in Wawa Bar and in Hallover this Christmas….Amen, Amen and Amen!
If you would like to still support the rebuilding of Hallover and Wawa Bar, there is still need. We plan to stick this out even if it takes years. It just might, Amen.
As we left Port we left a donation to help with Pastor Earl’s planned Christmas Feast in Hallover. Last year the church went out together and prepared a huge traditional soup with everyone in the community. It will be another hope filled Christmas in Hallover as they feast together and worship God, things are getting better!
Merry Christmas Everyone!
SIDENOTE: It was a really special time for Mason and I to be back out there together. When we first visited after Hurricane Eta we were together in the group. It was Mason’s first time being on an official mission trip and it impacted both of us deeply. To get to see the amazing things God does when He moves in big ways was so awesome! Even awesome-er, is that this time we took Denis from Casa Robles with us on HIS first missions trip!!! Denis graduated High School this year (blog post coming soon on that…we are so so proud of him!) and God put it on Krista and my heart to invite him to join us for a Senior trip of sorts. It was so fun, and crazy because Denis had never been on an airplane before…so his first experience flying was on these puddle jumpers we fly in to reach Port! It was smooth sailing and it was a very blessed time to be together!
We know Thanksgiving just ended and it may be a little early for Christmas…but maybe you can use Cyber Monday to make it special for one of our kiddos down here!
Every year we want to make it possible for every child at Club Esperanza to get a present for Christmas! Last year we couldn’t do a big party because of COVID. But the alternative was so fun! We rolled out a red carpet and as the kids came to the club in small groups throughout the day…each one got to walk the red carpet on their way to a special Christmas present just for them!
We have over 300 children at the Club and are trying to raise money to buy a $12 gift for EVERYONE! Maybe you can donate for a couple? Maybe you would like to bless ten kiddos? Or more? Maybe the Lord has blessed you and you just want to buy all of them…amen!
Anything will be a huge help, you can donate here.
We hope that we are the first to wish you A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! It is indeed the most wonderful time of year. We celebrate that Jesús, our savior was born! Amen.
We just want to tell all of you how much we love and appreciate your prayers and support for our family. The past few months have actually been very hard. We have lost very close friends and co-workers to Covid. We have never experienced so much loss of life in such a short period of time. Adding to that is the unstable situation in country here, being sick ourselves and just so many uncertainties. But God has been with us and comforted us through it all…and really we only mention those things to say thank you. We thank God for blessing us with all of you who have reached out, offered your prayers and supported us so well in this time! We feel God with us and are so thankful for that!
We wanted to take a little blog space to share pictures and updates on our little familia…to let you everyone know we are doing ok. Praise the Lord!
In September Mason turned 14 years old! We had a really fun birthday…Bacon for breakfast then a fireworks war after dinner and cake! What more could a boy ask for LOL! Mason is such a great guy and is becoming such a wonderful young man. He loves playing soccer with his club team Chiquilistagua FC, he gets his school work done on time, hunts down pests around our the Quinta with his pellet gun and is always willing to help whenever anything is needed. Anytime he sees his momma doing dishes he walks up to her and offers to take over….what a guy!!! A great example for his dad :-). We are very thankful for him and are blessed by his life!
Aliyah and Mason both have been wonderful teenagers! Krista and I know it is always possible for that to all go sideways one day, but we hope and pray it never does….amen! They have lots of fun together as the older two siblings, watching too many movies, playing too many video games hahahaha, but also getting outside and kicking the ball around. Aliyah is working into those upper levels of high school and is merging into taking online courses combined with her bookwork here at home. She joined the varsity girls soccer team at NCA, which is a high school down the street. They have been winning some and losing some, but it has been an all around excellent experience!
Old man turned 43 years old in October. Krista and the kids took me out to breakfast and gave me the best gift I could have asked for! We are limited right now because we can’t plan ahead and send things down with friends coming to visit like we used to. So when Krista handed me a box, I was thinking what on earth could they have gotten me. The box was filled with forty-three different notes from each of them telling of a way I was special to them…I am still not sure how they came up with that many hahaha! I loved it so very much and managed to hold it together and not cry too much out in public. I just loved being able to be with them all on my birthday. Krista and I both know that time is marching on and these special moments won’t last forever so we are definitely taking full advantage of them! God has been very good to me, I don’t take it for granted…every day is a reminder of the gift of life. I am thankful and I am blessed.
Just this month in November we celebrated Isabella’s 12th birthday! She reminded us last night at dinner time that since she is twelve now, she should definitely be allowed stay up a little later than Juliette. It made me laugh so hard because I always remember begging to be allowed to stay up a little later than Uncle Matt just like Tia Kim got to stay up later than me….it never happened. The trials of being a middle child! Oh but Isabella is such a sweet young lady and she is so funny and thoughtful. We all love it when she is telling stories at dinner time, especially when she find the story so funny that she starts laughing…her laughter is so contagious we all just start laughing too, even if we weren’t listening to the story! Bella is doing great with her schooling and recently signed up for cheerleading at the school just down the highway from us. Nicaraguan Christian Academy has been such a blessing to us as homeschoolers. They open up all their sports activities and other youth activities to us…it is a huge blessing. Isabella loved the dance class she got to do last semester, so we are sure cheerleading will be just as fun!
When she isn’t doing school, Bella and Juliette are lost in some game they are playing together in their room. They set up entire worlds with their horses and barns and get lost in it for hours. For Bellas birthday we spent the entire day out at Ruby Ranch. We had so much fun riding horses, playing four square and sliding down the slide…we had such a good time that we never even left the main area for a hike. We even did s’mores on a big bonfire and the girls took night time horseback rides. Ruby Ranch is such an awesome place and we really can’t wait until things return to normal and we can start doing camps out there again…but for now, we took special privileges and had Bella’s birthday party there. It was so much fun!
(Uncle Brinson and Mr. Todd are finishing up the bathrooms and the second dorm this week, so it will be ready to roll with teams and campers soon….amen!!! You can keep up with progress of Ruby Ranch on the website and on facebook…and come down as soon as you can to join the fun and bless some Nicaraguan children with the experience of their lifetime!)
Thank you all so much for praying for us and blessing our family with your support!
You can support us financially with information found here…or use one of the buttons below.
God Bless from Nicaragua and we hope to see you all down here again soon!
Love, The Farrington Family
“I have told you these things so that in me you will have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart for I have overcome the world!” -Jesus (John 16:33)
At Club Esperanza we have a fully functioning Primary Education center called Illeana’s School in partnership with our friends at Love, Light and Melody. The story of Illeana’s life, her beautiful smile and the hardships she endured leave a big impact on your heart. Our goal is not just to educate with Ileana’s School at Club Esperanza…it is bigger than that. We are a refuge of God’s love and protection for the most vulnerable. Below is a testimony about one of our students this school year…
Aracelly is 13 years old, she did not know how to read or write when she started this year in the First Grade at the Ileana school. She lives in the Villa Guadalupe neighborhood that was constructed as a refuge for families living in the dump seven years ago. She has five other siblings, her mother cares for them while her stepfather works at the recycling center that is at the entrance to the trash dump.
When she was young she missed classes very often and didn’t even attend school on some days. As a result, she did not manage to learn to read and write at the usual age. Because of this difficulty with school and the hardships of daily living she was at risk of her life becoming one of the many kids who leave school and spend their days on the streets. There are too many horrors to share about that sort of life, but Aracelly’s life did not take that turn. Praise Jesus!
She is now at Ileana’s School from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm all day. The Nicaraguan school day is only a half day but because Club Esperanza is more than just a school we are able to keep the doors open for Aracely and other’s like her for the entire day. She has teachers who love her and are taking care of her. Because of this she is already having more success with her schooling. At the beginning she came to class disheveled and she was aggressive with her classmates…adjusting to a safe school environment took a little while for her.
But, her behavior at school has improved dramatically and now she gets along and socializes well with her classmates. She is a very responsible student with her homework, she likes to attend class daily, and she even helps her younger classmates. At other schools in Nicaragua she would not be accepted into lower grades because of her age, but at Ileana’s School we are able to make exceptions to help individual students advance. Our teachers and staff are working individually with her to support her in her learning. Today Aracelly is progressing in reading and writing and she feels motivated to continue advancing, which is awesome! Her physical appearance and nutrition have improved as well….at Club Esperanza every students has a meal twice a day. The significance of that cannot be overstated. All the families we serve live paycheck to paycheck and some of them don’t even have that. God is so good to provide for his children in this awesome way!
We appreciate your help to continue supporting Aracelly to have a better future, to dream big dreams and achieve her goals. Aracelly is just one of hundreds of children coming in and out of that little white gate in front of school everyday. God is doing special things…we love to be doing it together with you all!
Thank you for your prayers! Thank you for your financial support!
Our hearts are broken to pass on this news. Santos who has been part of our lives here for over two decades died last week from Covid. We are really devastated and honestly still trying to grasp the reality of what happened so suddenly and so shockingly. Please pray for his family. This is a very very hard time, it is unimaginable. We want to take some time to memorialize Santos…
If you ever came to work with Open Hearts Ministries, you definitely saw Santos around. He was Mr. Buzbee’s main guy and oversaw pretty much everything. If you had the chance to meet Santos, you almost 100% walked away laughing whether you spoke Spanish or not. He was just that kind of character. He would stick a nick-name on you, tap you on the shoulder and walk away, toss a lime at you from across the way and blame it on a 6 year old standing next to him. Ah man, I remember in the early days here at Quinta Havilah, we used to have wars with all the fruit. Santos was left handed and could hit a guy running full speed at thirty yards with a line drive to the side of the head. I can still see the fruit exploding now. We had so much fun together back then. Santos watched all of Krista’s younger siblings grow up their entire lives and was like the always present Tio for them. He was here for the birth of all of our children.
Santos’ hand print is on every building here at Quinta Havilah. He started with Mr. Buzbee when there was nothing on this land. There are lots and lots of memories of building with friends who visited and with construction crews. Santos was a work horse, a man’s man, his hands were tools. We built over 50 homes together here in Nicaragua. I can distinctly remember him not having a trowel and just using his hand to throw mud and lay the concrete for bricks. This is gonna sound crazy but I saw him nail in a nail with his hand once, no joke! It must have been a rotten piece of wood or something, but he knocked that nail right through and my eyes got really big and he laughed at me. Many people were blessed by his hard work and his strong hands.
Santos always answered his phone and always came whenever we called. It didn’t matter if it was the middle of the night, on the weekend or the holidays. If a water pipe blew up, or the well stopped working, or the power was out again because a squirrel blew up the transformer…Santos would come. He would call the right guys and things would get fixed. That was a constant refrain around here…. “Call Santos”.
It doesn’t feel real, and tears are falling as I try to type. We will remember Santos always for the fun guy he was, for the good he did, and for the ways he helped us. Jesus’ promises of eternal life don’t alway hit home when you are going through the normal ins and outs of life. But when tragedy happens, oh our souls cling to the promises of Jesus. Santos is resting in paradise next to his Savior who invited him in just as he is. Our hearts will hurt for a long time. We will remember the good times. Rest in Peace Don Santos.
As hard as this is for our families, we know it is 1000% harder for Santos’ family. He leaves behind his wife Patricia, his sons Santito and Moises, and his grand children. His younger son is in 10th grade and as you can imagine this is incredibly hard for him. Patricia was telling me how his grandson would always wait for him because he was the one that gave them cookies and lolipops. Patricia and Santos built a life together for over 25 years. The void and loss they are feeling is so incredibly hard….Please pray for them.
Santos was the sole provider for his family. We want to honor him by helping his family. He was so proud of what a good student Moises is, so we want to help see them through without having to change schools because of finances. We want to support Patricia as she tries to settle in to a new life without Santos. We just want to be there for them. Many of you have asked for ways you can help his family…thank you!
If you would like to donate to their family we know it will be a huge help in the hardest of times. You can write a check by clicking here, use paypal button or the NCF button below.
I was in a great conversation yesterday with one of our long time teachers about where the Lord has taken us at Club Esperanza and how much history we have together all the way back to the days inside the dump. It was so encouraging reflecting on all the good things the Lord has done, but then I asked how the new neighborhood where all the families from La Chureca were moved to was doing. She does some tutoring at one of the homes about ten blocks away. Wow, there is still so much darkness. We are on the main road, we operate during the day and Club Esperanza is a place where the light of Christ shines and darkness is getting pushed further and further away, so we don’t always see the visual evidence of the darkness.
She continued to tell me how only last month a few full blocks were incredibly intense because there was a dispute among some young men that led to one being killed. There was accusations of drugs and a turf war type of thing. Apparently the wrong person was killed by whichever evil person was resorting to deadly violence. That led to family of that person seeking revenge, which led to a week of violence and gunfire and another death. Incredibly scary stuff and real darkness.
I don’t know if any of you have ever seen the movie “Lean on Me” in the late 80s. Morgan Freeman’s character Crazy Joe takes over a High School that was overrun with drugs and violence and cleans it up. That movie impacted me and little scenes from it always come to my mind…sometimes I even sing the “Fair East side” tune which was the school alma mater (watch the clip here it is awesome). I loved how the movie portrayed the darkness of drugs and violence and laziness and settling for the same old cycle of poverty and crime was being defeated by adults who cared enough about the kids to make a difference in their lives.
So, as I left Club Esperanza reflecting in prayer on the difficulties and hardship that surrounds us, the Lord gave me this picture of two of our students waiting outside for afternoon classes to start….
Right out in front of our school, on a street that has plenty of darkness…two of our elementary school students were playing chess. I watched them for a minute thinking to myself they can’t possibly know the rules. But they did and it was fun to watch her take his knight with her pawn. I asked them how they knew the game of chess and they told me Teacher Eber taught them how to play after school. How awesome is that? It is something simple, but it brings tears to my eyes because something so simple as a game of chess can certainly have the power to change entire generations.
Jesus has not just planted Club Esperanza in this neighborhood to keep children safe, to keep them healthy with a meal every day, not just to give them a good education. Jesus is growing up a generation of children who hunger for knowledge and new things that will challenge their minds, change their view of the world, and deliver them from dark places. Our third graders play chess in the streets….and I love that!
“In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.“ -The Gospel of John 1:4-5
Thank you for your continued prayers and support for Club Cristiana La Esperanza,
Wow we just had the best time traveling home for the summer! We got back to Nicaragua a couple weeks ago and have hit the ground running. But wanted to take a little bit of blog space to share pictures and some of the fun we had. When we made these plans to travel in the summer time we realized something. We have not been home during the summer since our kids were born…none of them have every experienced summer in America! Can you believe that? Time passes fast!
We are so very thankful to our friends and family and our church who support us. You all make trips like this possible for our family…we get to do things we never would have imagined because of your love and support for us. Opening your homes, taking us places, sending our kids to camp, sitting with us and letting us pour out our highs and lows…we are very very very blessed by all of you! When we make a decision to follow the Lord into this type of life living by faith, there is so much unknown. The Lord uses you to encourage us in hundreds of ways!
We won’t get every story and every picture in here…heck sometimes we didn’t even take pictures. But we did take alot of them! Thank you for an awesome recharge of our batteries…
What is so special about going home is to be able to see our family. That is the hardest part about living overseas. We are far away from people we love. So, when we are home we take as much advantage of that as we can. It started with a full week of cousin time in Miami with the McDonalds and Rahals (and we have a new nephew baby Levi…who is a beautiful miracle!). Mema’s house is the favorite place of all time! We visited Grandpa and Gramma Losi in Jersey. The Barbers and Murrays in North Caronlina was more fun Cousin time!!! We met the Rahals at Mema’s cabin, saw Aunt Grammie and Uncle Lion, stopped by to see Gramma Pat and got to see Pop Pop’s new place and his river!Read More