Newsletters - Jan 2007
Alongside Ministries en Nicaragua
Evangelism Through Relationships
Halle and Kathy August, Missionaries
(See Pictures attached)
Happy New Year! We pray God’s blessings for you in 2007. May you get to know Him more deeply, experience Him more intimately, and love Him more completely. It is our personal goal to do the same. Be ready for a radical response if your efforts are truly from the heart because He will respond and if you think you know what to expect you may be in for a surprise. We know from the Bible that God works in a myriad of ways from a soft, quiet voice to the parting of the sea. How will He speak to you this year? And maybe the more important question is, how will you respond to Him?
This Month at El Farito Ministry Center
We are using these next four weeks to prepare for the beginning of the school year (February). It always feels good to do some deep cleaning and organizing between one school year and another and this also gives us an opportunity to make some facility improvements. We are planning to install a small water tank inside the facility so we will be able to cook, wash hands and wash dishes all the time. With this new constant water source we will be able to use a washing machine that was donated to us by a missionary family that headed back to the states. We’ll be able to wash our own towels right on site and are planning to make it available to the women of the community to do some of their own personal washing as well.
We are also planning to install tile on all our plywood counters around the sink and in the kitchen. This will be such a great improvement and will allow us to prepare food and clean up in a much more sanitary manner. It will just look nicer, too!
Along with some of the structural improvements we’re also planning to take a few days to really do a soap, water and elbow grease kind of cleaning. The walls need to be washed, the steel fencing needs repainting and the floors need a new coat of paint as well. We loved our newly painted floors last year but they are in sad need of new paint and we are still trying to decide if it’s a worthwhile investment of our time and money. We’ll see how much time and money we have before school starts. That may be the deciding factor.
This Month with the El Farito Scholarship Program
This is when the rubber meets the road as far as providing scholarships for our graduating preschoolers for Kindergarten and continuing our scholarships for last year’s students for 1st grade. It is time to register the students and begin the preparations for school. We’ve crunched the numbers and have decided that we can offer scholarships to 7 students this year. Three will be continuing on to 1st grade and 4 more will start in Kindergarten. We are very impressed with the program that the children were involved in last year and are pleased to pass on the blessing of your support to them in the form of a scholarship. We have a lot to do before the doors open for the first day of class including purchasing uniforms, obtaining photos, copies of birth certificates and health certificates, buying textbooks and supplies and rounding up a bunch of miscellaneous items to get them started on the right foot.
Please pray for Eduardo – 1st grade and sister Christian – Kindergarten and their parents Elena and Eduardo Sr.
Please pray for these children and especially for their families. Sometimes it seems like it is easier to just settle for the norm, around here that would be the public school system, because it’s easier and more comfortable. The private school is more demanding and requires that parents become more involved in the schooling of their children. They are being asked to make an investment that doesn’t come out of their pocketbook and that is new and different for them. Please pray that they are able to understand that the return on their investment of time and interest could be the difference in the future of their child’s life. Please pray that they would allow it to make a difference in their own life as well.
This Month at El Salero Community/Sports Center
Things just keep popping up around the community center. When we returned to Managua after being away for 3 weeks we discovered that the new library/classroom had grown a good 4 feet or so! After many trials and frustrations Halle was able to purchase and have delivered the bricks that were needed to build the library and our incredible workers got it started while we were away. We are so thankful for Roger and Jairo, 2 Nicaraguan men that have worked for us on several projects. It is highly unusual to be able to leave a project in the hands of local workers and come back to find it done and done well. They are a huge blessing to us. They have proved themselves to be men of integrity. Rare jewels around here! (Roger’s daughter is one of our scholarship program participants!)
We are still several months from completion of the library facility but already have visions for its use. Thanks to our friends and supporters from the Congregational Community Church in Naples, Florida we are planning to make this library one of the only lending libraries in the area. We will be following the model of an existing lending library in San Juan del Sur, a community about a 2 ½ hour drive away, and will be employing a local gal or guy to help set up and run the library on a daily basis.
Also in the vision is the possibility of using this facility to offer another preschool program to the families of this community. It seems that God is leading us in that direction and we would appreciate your prayers as we come to a point of decision.
This month will also see us resuming some of our programs that we initiated last year. Our computer lab/library will be open to the public again on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and we’ll resume our Friday youth group meetings. We are looking forward to seeing the youth of the community again and continuing to build a relationship with them as we fellowship together.
First annual Youth Night Christmas Banquet, December 1, 2006
Later this month we will be welcoming a team from the St. Paul United Methodist Church from Western Pennsylvania. A group from this church came last year so we are looking forward to seeing a few repeat visitors and getting to know some new ones. They are planning to host a sports camp for the neighborhood youth as well as tackle some work projects around the sports center.
A Backward Glance at December
We were blessed to be able to travel to the states last month to celebrate Christmas with our family and friends. One thing that made our trip possible was the provision of a team of young adults from the Wenatchee, Washington area to house-sit for us while we were gone. This group from Foundations Ministries, under the leadership of Mike Rumley-Wells (www.foundationsministries.net), culminated their 4 month discipleship training program with an opportunity to be stretched in service to God here in Nicaragua. Besides keeping an eye on our house and belongings they worked, played, studied, learned and experienced a little more of what it means to live in relationship with Jesus Christ.
Our quick 3 week visit to the states was highlighted by a visit with Brandon, Misty and Jeorgia in San Franscisco where they are acclimating to a new home, new school, new jobs and a new life together as a family. They are all doing well. It took us a little time to get used to hearing, “Grandma! Grandpa!” Yikes!!
Grandpa, Grandma and Jeorgia at the Golden Gate Bridge.
Our arrival in Washington state was marked by one of the biggest wind storms on record that left well over a million customers without power. Halle’s parent’s home was in one of those little pockets that didn’t get their power back for a week. Brrrrr… I don’t think we’ll complain too much about losing power for several hours here in Nicaragua any more. At least here it’s warm and we can cook over gas. The temperatures up in Washington were below freezing several nights during the outage and it seemed like everything was cold… except the coffee at Starbucks which was just a few blocks down the street! Despite the dark and cold we still were able to have warm visits with our families and friends. We held our Nica Nite fiesta by candlelight and were thankful for the handful of friends and supporters that came and shopped at our candlelight market. It was a great opportunity to see and visit with many of you even if only for a short time.
Now we’re back and ready to jump back into life down here. We keep busy, but never to busy to remember and appreciate you and your prayers and support. Thank you so much for keeping us before the Lord. We desire to live for Him and to honor Him in all that we say and do.
- …for Friday night youth group.
- …for the preparations involved in starting a new school year (preschool).
- …for the scholarship program and the children and families involved.
- …for the teams and visitors making plans to come to Nicaragua.
Halle and Kathy August
Alongside Ministries en Nicaragua
Thank you for supporting our ministry in Nicaragua.
Your gifts, sent to Eastside Development (formally The NEO Foundation),
will be used for our general ministry activities or wherever you designate.
PO Box 301471
Portland, OR 97294