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!
Our friends at Love Light and Melody had a wonderful idea of integrating art into the lives of our students at Ileana’s School here at Club Esperanza. To read the full story of Ileana and the school that is named after her in a spirit of Hope for the future click here.
We asked all of our elementary students if they wanted to participate in an art contest during their free time…Almost half of them said yes!
To get each student to think in the abstract and transition their thoughts to art, we asked them the simple question, “What does Ileana’s School mean to you?” As they reflected on that question, we encouraged them to take that thought and paint it! Look at all the sweet results…
We are going to award prizes in the coming week…who do you think had the best painting? Let us know in the comments or on social media. We love them all and love to see what God has impressed on each of our students hearts when they think about their school.
We hope these pictures made you smile today!
Please keep us all in your daily prayers, we really appreciate all of your support for Club Esperanza and all the awesome God glorifying things that happen here on a daily basis!
We hope you have some time today to check out our newest newsletter…
If you would like to give a donation to one of the projects we share about, remember your donation is doubled by the anonymous matching donation! You can use the buttons below or click here for information to donate by check.
Thank you and God Bless the end of 2020!!!
Chris & Krista Farrington
A BONUS “PRAISE JESUS” REPORT: As we were working on this newsletter and sent it out for print, we got some awesome news from Doña Uvaldina. She has been cooking meals for over a decade at our school. Last year she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Her treatment was very difficult. She always tried to come to work in the middle of it, but it got to a point that we had to tell her to stay home and rest. We told her not to worry that we were with her. She loves cooking for everyone so much she just wanted to keep fighting through it! We were in constant prayer for her.
She returned to work last month because she was getting her energy back after treatment. This Monday she stopped me at Club Esperanza. She had great news to share…her doctors told her she is cancer free! Amen and praise the Lord!!! How awesome is that?!?
Cancer is a devastating heartbreaker. So many of us have gone through the loss of loved ones because of it. So, today we wanted to celebrate these victories! Please keep praying for Angelica (pictured in our newsletter) and Uvaldina (pictured in the center below) as they live their lives as cancer survivors. Amen.
For those of you we know and love who are battling cancer and have suffered loss, please know that we pray for you as often as we think of you.
As I remember a friend we recently lost to cancer and I know many others have lost loved ones too, we hope you might visit The American Cancer Society at cancer.org to read about the ways the medical community is fighting cancer and to donate to the efforts being made to find cures.
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,