Building a Bridge…

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We have known Doña Irene for over 20 years now.  She has worked with us off and on over the years in different ways at Quinta Havilah (Open Hearts headquarters, where we live and host teams that come to work with us in ministry).  Last month, she asked us to help her build a bridge.  She shared how she and her family have to drop down into a dry river bed, then back up the other side every time they go to church.  I think her direct quote was “Can you build a bridge so my mother and I can get to church, our old bridge was wiped away last rainy season?”  How can you say no to that?!  Krista and I love these type of opportunities the Lord just brings to you randomly.  It was a chance to really bless Irene and her whole community.

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The problem is we have zero clue how to build a bridge, LOL!  So, I went and visited to talk with her and her husband Arturo at their house.  They showed me the place where the bridge was washed away last rainy season.  You can’t really tell from the picture but it is a good 12 foot drop into that river bed.  Irene shared a little more, explaining how it wasn’t just her and her mother that use the bridge.  All of the children pass through on their way to school to avoid having to walk an extra mile the long way.  But, in the rainy season without the bridge it would be so dangerous.  And really, even though it is on their land, she said this path is used daily by everyone in their community.

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This pile of rubble is all that was left of their old “bridge”.  They had basically used old materials to create a bridge over the ravine, but as you can see it is surprising that it didn’t fall sooner, and a miracle nobody was ever injured.  After talking with Irene and Arturo we realized they had welders and masons ready to do the work and had a plan, they just needed financial help….prayers answered!  Because, we were wanting to help financially but had zero idea how to even plan a bridge.  It was a the perfect match…a real God moment!  Here is a picture of the plans they drew up.

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So we prayed together, talked over the details of how it would all come together, and we pulled the trigger to go for it!  It was so fun because we started getting text messages from other people we know who live in her neighborhood.  They were saying how excited all their kids were, how thankful they were, offering to help in any way…it was a very encouraging experience.

It was one of those moments for us when we realize that there is ministry we run on a daily basis that God has called us too.  But, there is also the simple fact of us just being here where God wants us to be.  And that allows us opportunities to be used by him in very random ways…..like building a bridge!  Praise Jesus!

Once we got the ball rolling it only took about a week to build the bridge.  It was pretty amazing.  You can see in the picture that it isn’t the largest architectural feat in all of human kind, but it was a first for us.  It was really special to be a part of this…and if you are reading this we hope you are encouraged too.  Your prayers for our family, your prayers for God’s guidance, your financial support, and your continued encouragement and affirmation to us personally….you helped build a sweet little bridge!

We are about to enter the rainy season, so the timing could not be more perfect!  Irene and her mother will be able to walk to church with ease.  Children will able to get to school safely during the heavy rain storms.  Friends and neighbors will be able to visit each other with ease.  God is good, in so many ways.  We were so excited to help Doña Irene and Don Arturo bless their neighborhood!

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I just noticed that Doña Irene’s grandson came running across when we took this picture! It was not a planned photo shoot LOL!!!  They are all so thankful.

 
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Club Esperanza: Help during pandemic…

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We have been faithfully serving the people God has put into our care during this time of worldwide crisis caused by the Corona Virus.  It has been a blessing and a joy to be able to be a place of comfort, of prayer, of education, of nutrition, of God’s peace during this wild and crazy time.  Club Cristiana La Esperanza is a lighthouse shining and giving hope in Barrio Los Martinez where we serve…Praise God for that.

Nicaragua has lagged behind the rest of the world but has recently had a spate of cases pop up.  As schools are obligated to re-open this week, we need to take precautions for our teachers and staff.  This crisis is not what we thought 2020 would bring…

Can you help us?  These are unanticipated costs for our school year.  But they are so necessary!  Here are some of the things we could use your help with specifically related to the Corona Virus Pandemic….

Any amount that you can give will be a help!

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A Three Month Supply of Protective Materials:  This includes medical masks for our teachers, galons of hand sanitzer, galons of liquid alcohol and the dispensers to make that available for our 270 students and their families that pick them up and drop them off.  Sheyla (our director) did some due diligence to price a three month supply…

…in total the supplies will costs $1,479 

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Protective Glass for Teachers’ Desks:  Additionally Sheyla found a company that can construct plexi glass dividers for office desks.  We have a lot of interaction with parent’s in the main office as well as in the classrooms.  We would put one of these at each desk to allow for continued interaction and conversation with parent’s with a safe division.  We need to install these in eight different classrooms and offices….

…total for 8 dividers is $1,120

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We continue to serve…and we also want to be safe!  Thank you for your prayers and support of all the great things happening at Club Esperanza!  All of our teachers and staff are grateful for your help!!!

 

(Clicking on any photo will take you to our PayPal…but here are more giving options)


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Casa Havilah: Happy Birthday Naydeling!

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We had a big party at the beach on Saturday for Naydeling’s 17th birthday.  Our gathering may have been a bit larger than ten people, but we have all been in quarantine and are like one big family.  It was a fun break and the ocean is such a beautiful place to be.  You can see in the pictures that Mama Griselda from Casa Havilah did an awesome job decorating with all the girls.  They went out in the morning to set it up as a surprise for Naydeling!  It was really really special!  They invited the boys from Casa Robles too, so Mason got have some homeboys to play with!!!

As our children in the homes are getting older we really covet your prayers and love for them.  Getting through high school is a daunting challenge in Nicaragua.  Then there are all of the other added factors that each of them deal with in their home families.  It can be very trying and hard.  But the Love of God, and people who love them can allow them to make it through these teenage years and have a good life as young adults and beyond.  So thanks for being with us for each of the kiddos!  Can you specifically pray for Naydeling (17) and her brother Denis (15) this month?  Thank you!

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The party at the beach was so much fun!  The girls got some old surf boards out and gave a try at the waves.  We had soccer balls and footballs on the beach.  Really, just sitting in a chair and listening to the ocean is great!  Mama Griselda and Mama Jenny made a huge meal for us all.  I already mentioned the beautiful decorations…the rancho at Costa Azul looked awesome!  It was a very nice time to be together.  God is good and we keep walking in faith in these troubled times…celebrating the good things when we can!!!

 

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Club Esperanza: Corona Virus adjustments…

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The Principal’s office at Club Esperanza 🙂

We are doing well down here in Nicaragua and we wanted to give all of our friends and supporters an update on how things are going at Club Esperanza with COVID19 being a worldwide pandemic.  We just finished Semana Santa (Spring Break for Easter) and our schools are scheduled to re-open in Nicaragua next week.  The response to the virus has been strange by the government here.  In their effort to avoid panic it feels more like it is intentionally being ignored.  So, we have taken our own precautions at the school to protect our staff and teachers.  We expect most families to not be sending their kids to school until there is a worldwide consensus on returning to school.

Even before Easter break we saw a dramatic drop in attendance immediately after the virus made international headlines.  Most families are deciding themselves to stay home and ride it out.  Our excellent teachers have made the efforts to get a version of “homeschooling” implemented.  It is very difficult though, mostly because the community we serve is very poor and do not have access to home computers.  Please pray for our teachers and students during this time…they will do their best!  Computer access is actually a huge need for our school.

Another big are of impact we have on the community is our daily feeding program.  We have made a very intentional decision to continue serving lunch everyday.  We decided to follow the model of restaurants in the US doing “take out”.  Our cooks have been preparing meals daily during this very difficult time and serving them to out of the front gate of the school…sort of a Club Esperanza drive through :-).  Praise Jesus for this part of our ministry!   To not be hungry in a time of crisis is a HUGE blessing.

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Thank you for your prayers and support during this hard time.  Below is an excerpt from our recent newsletter to give you further insight on how we are passing this storm, No Fear!…

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

-2 Timothy 1:7

     We continue in ministry at Club Esperanza, at our rescue homes, on the Rio Coco, and in local neighborhoods as the Corona Virus pandemic is wreaking havoc on the world.  Our school has once again been a haven of hope in the middle of hard times.  We have hundreds of children from early childhood education all the way through high school scholarship students who are being cared for and our daily feeding program where we serve nearly 300 families a day!

     We are going to be responsible in the way that we continue to serve.  We will follow government guidelines and do all of those things.  But one thing we will not do is serve our community out of a spirit of fear.  God has given us Power and Love that overcomes all fear!  So we will cling to that and continue to serve.  We so much appreciate all of you who support us financially, pray for us daily and come down to serve hand in hand with us.  We hope you will keep supporting us in those ways!  At the same time, we do know adjustments will be made.  Please stay safe, keep praying and enjoy the time with your families.  Hopefully this will pass quickly and we will see some of you down here again!

God Bless and Stay Safe,

Chris & Krista Farrington

 

 

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Spring ’20 Newsletter: Corona Virus, family happenings and more…

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Below is a digital version of our Spring Newsletter.  We share some of the current activities down here, some fun family happenings, and also the ways that the Corona Virus is affecting us in Nicaragua…check it out below.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support for our family!

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If you would like to support our ministry financially you can find information here.

You can also use the buttons below.  We are very thankful to all of you who support us in this time of need…it has been a tough couple of years for Nicaragua.


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Delivering Beds in the Barrio…

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It can really be a stunning experience to enter into a home here in Nicaragua.  It is not something that I get to do very often because at Club Esperanza we have lots and lots of families who come to the Club.  We typically end up meeting there and doing different things in life together.  Earlier this month we went house to house delivering beds, and like I said it was a stunning experience.  Poverty can be overwhelming and when you are welcomed into a house that a family of five lives in and you realize most people back home wouldn’t have this house even as their tool shed…it brings out a lot of emotions.

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And you ask, what can I do?  Lord….what can I do?!?  The answer is not always the same, because God will call you and move you to act in so many different ways throughout your life.  But during this day, God said deliver beds!  Do you know why?  Because all these smiling joy-filled faces share a bed with a few other siblings…or even with mom and dad.  And to have your own bed is something awesome!

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Our friends from Georgia had an awesome burden a few years ago when they entered house after house and saw children sleeping with three four and five siblings in the same bed.  “Mission For Nicaragua” delivers bunk beds house to house wherever there is a need!  This week I got to join their team from Ohio and Georgia to deliver beds in our neighborhood near Club Esperanza.  Again…it was awesome!

We had such a wonderful time with each family.  We surprised them with the bed thanks to our teachers at Club Esperanza doing some leg work ahead of time.  We assembled the bed in their homes and let the kids jump on them and pick to be on the top or bottom.  As we said good bye, we prayed for the Lord to bless the family, to bless the children who sleep in the bed, and to be the reality in the families’ life that they can go to for all of their needs.  Ask God for everything that you need!  Amen.

It was an awesome day!  Praise Jesus.

 

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Two guys on the team, Harry and Tommy play football for Ohio State University.  We have known Harry for a number of years and he has started to bring down fellow students and teammates to serve in Nicaragua with us here.  It was so fun for Mason to introduce Denis, Elery and Maryel from Casa Robles to them on Sunday at church…because they are HUGE!  I know these guys covet your prayers over their lives, but also for the future work they have in Nicaragua…God glorifying things!

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Harry making Mason feel like he is Huge! 🙂

Club Esperanza: School Has Begun!!!

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February was our first month back at school at Club Esperanza.  The year started with great excitement.  The classrooms are FULL, the kitchen is cranking out hundreds of meals every day, Ileana’s school opened up our 4th grade classroom as the school continues to grow, the playground area is LOUD, the dining hall is bustling with lots of happy hungry little faces, GOD IS SO GOOD!

“For the needy shall not always be forgotten; and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.”  -Psalm 9:18

We love the ongoing everyday ministry that happens at Club Esperanza and we hope you are encouraged as you support and pray for all of the children and families who pass through the front gate every day….almost three hundred kids and hundreds of parents!  Our purposes are God’s purposes and our teachers and staff labor every day so that the Hope found in Jesus is made known in all their lives!  We love being a part of it!

We are able to serve so many so well because of our awesome partners…and there are a number of you…THANK YOU!  A special thanks to Orphan Network who stopped by and dropped off brand new Crocs sandals for all of our students last month.  They are an incredible organization who have walked along side us since our days inside of the Managua dump, focused on the health and nutrition of every single one of our young students.  Another special thank you to NicaWorks, who are providing school uniforms for our students this year.  The uniforms are being locally made out of a sewing shop NicaWorks started to provide vocational training to families living in poverty.

My favorite part of our school and community center is that we are able to feed all of our students twice a day.  The morning students get a small breakfast and a big lunch, then when we make the shift at noon to our older students also get a big lunch and a small afternoon snack.  I love this part because amid all that is going on educationally and spiritually at Club Esperanza, our kids feel good….because they have food in their stomachs!  Amen!!!  Thank you Orphan Network and Lacrosse The Nations for your continued faithful support towards feeding our kiddos EVERY DAY!

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WE NEED COMPUTERS!!!  We have a group of High School students in our scholarship program at Club Esperanza.  Computer access is essential and over the years we have been blessed by a big donation of mini laptops from our friends at Austin Samaritans.  They have lasted a long time, but as it is with technology they are beginning to fade and spare parts can’t seem to keep up.  So, if you or anyone you know would like to put together a campaign or donate or help in some way with computers please email us losfarringtons@gmail.com OR donate directly through this link or the links below.

 
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God Bless all of you who read our blog, get our newsletters, faithfully support, pray for and share interest in what God is doing here in Nicaragua.  Many individuals and groups and churches….all of God’s people…is what keeps everything cranking down here.  So thank you!  Another year is underway at Club Esperanza!!!

Chris & Krista Farrington

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Night to Shine! — ¡Noche de Brillar!

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A huge special thank you to The Tim Tebow Foundation who puts on Night To Shine prom all around the world in over 34 countries at over 700 churches…and a big thank you to Vida Abundante Church who made it happen in Nicaragua this year!!!  We were so thankful that a group of our kids from Club Esperanza were invited guests this year and it was an incredible evening!  Can you believe that this happened in Nicaragua???  We can’t either…well actually yes we can, because Jesus is awesome!!!

What is Night to Shine?  It is an annual prom held the weekend before Valentine’s day.  It is a special invite only event for individuals who have special needs and their companion for the night!  It is basically one big party with a red carpet, paparazzi, everyone is celebrated, there is dancing and dining and by the end of the night everyone receives a crown as King and Queen of the prom!  You may remember previous posts over the years about this awesome event coming to Nicaragua…Friday night was a continuation of that awesomeness!!!  Check out the pictures and videos…scroll all the way to end to find out how you can help our friends on a daily basis!

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Pictures tell such a great story!  We will include more down below, but I wanted to share this video of Kevin when he was being crowned King of the Prom.  His mom and dad were both there, Kevin was so excited and it was pretty awesome…what you see is Joy and Happiness…and LOVE!  It was such an awesome night!

 

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For Krista and I, crowning Dayson was one of the highlights of our night.  He wanted to walk up so we helped him to the front and he was soooooooo excited, giving high fives to everyone as we went up and as we came back to our table.  He was just having a fun night at a dance party!  He was so funny when we got back to the table…he decided to turn his crown upside down instead and declare himself a gladiator!  He had everyone at our table cracking up!!!

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This picture is Henrieth, Connie, Teresa and I the moment we all arrived.  We were getting ready to go down the red carpet!!!  Henrieth is a long time teacher at our school.  She developed a program called “Junto Para Inclusion” at Club Esperanza.  As we have served in the community for almost two decades we know a significant number of families who have family members with special needs.  The program is our effort to include these families in all of the community activities we do at the club.  In our Early Childhood education, primary school, feeding program, lacrosse, high school scholarship program and anything else we do…because of Henrieth’s effort we have made sure these families are included.  It is pretty awesome.  We also purchase and provide basic items they may not be able to afford like diapers, formula, medicines, wheel chairs, beds, etc…

If you would like to donate to “Juntos Para Inclusion” it would be a big help.  Our monthly budget is $500.  You can use the links below…thank you!


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Club Esperanza: Shopping for school…

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Last week was shopping time for the High School students in our scholarship program at Club Esperanza.  Everyone piled into two vans, then Sheyla and Roberto took them all shopping for school uniforms, backpacks, shoes, school supplies, belts, socks etc etc etc…a fun day for sure!!!  This group of High School kids is a select group students who match a desire to excel in their education with a need for some support to help them get there.

They are great kids and we would love your prayers for them during this school year!  The group is a fun ministry we offer because of the success we have had.  The students get help with their school supplies but also commit to being at Club Esperanza daily to receive tutoring and support with their school work.  They arrive after school everyday, eat lunch together and then get to work.  And when they are done with school work, they always make themselves available to help any ways that they can around Club Esperanza.  Our two tutors Roberto and Julia also give them an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on as they go through life and all the challenges teenagers face.

We are looking forward to a great school year with this crew!  Pray for them and pray that God would bless them greatly this year…a year of success!!!

School starts next Monday!

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Club Esperanza: New Year, New Desks…can you help?

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We will be starting our new school year in February at Club Esperanza!  Ileana’s School has been a huge success and we are expecting a full class of new students as we open our Fourth Grade class this year.  The demand is so high that we have families lining up at the gate before sunrise on registration day…it is so encouraging that parents want to send their kids to us.  At the same time the demand evidence of the huge need for a place that is full of God’s love and a good education.  That is what Club Esperanza is!

To open the 4th Grade classroom we are going to need to buy 35 new desks for 2020!

Each desk costs $25…click here if you can help!

In just a couple of weeks all of these little desks will be filled again with life and excitement for a new school year.  Please be praying as we prepare the school.

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As many of you probably already know, we have an amazing staff of teachers at Club Esperanza.  They dedicate their lives to all of the kids who come to the Club everyday and they have a huge impact on their lives.

This year we want to get new chairs for the teachers too!

A teacher’s chair will cost $130…click here to help buy a teacher’s chair!

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Thank you for supporting Club Esperanza with your finances and with your prayers.  You are a huge part of what keeps us going every year.  As we are gearing up to start the 2020 school year, we hope your year is having an excellent beginning as well!

God Bless from Nicaragua!

 

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