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,
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.