Happy Meals & Corona Update…

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…

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…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!

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Can you 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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Corona Virus adjustments…

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The Principal’s Office 🙂

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.  We have taken 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 area 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.IMG_8929

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!

 



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Our School Year 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 mcca.nicaragua@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!!!

 

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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New Desks for the New School Year…help sponsor a desk!!!

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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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We need help with Christmas…

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It is the end of the school year and we are about to have our annual Christmas party down at Club Esperanza!  The kids put together different dances and music performances, we invite all the parents, and we have a big meal together…it is always a great time and an awesome end to the school year!  Celebrating Jesus’ birthday is the best party we have all year!!! (These are some pictures from last year’s fun.)

We want to make sure every student has a present, but when there are nearly 300 kids that bill can get really big really fast.  So we are going to ask for help…your help 🙂

We would love to buy each child a $10 gift. 

Maybe you can donate one, or two or ten?  We have 287 students to shop for.

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And we don’t want to leave out our incredible teachers and staff.  They dedicate themselves to serving our kids all year long and many of them make big personal sacrifices to serve at Club Esperanza.  It is a great group of people and we would like to do something special for each of them.  So once we are able to raise enough funds for all of the kids, we want to raise funds for our teachers and staff’s Christmas gift.

We would love to buy a $30 gift certificate for each teacher and staff member.

There are 29 total faculty, staff and volunteers we would like to bless.

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We hope you can help this year….and please keep our end of the year festivities in your prayers.  It really is a special time that God uses to pour out blessings and joy on the children and families we serve at Club Esperanza!

  Click here for info to donate by check OR use one of the buttons below.



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Thanks and God Bless!!!  We’re pretty sure this is the best #BlackFriday #CyberMonday deal there is out there LOL! 

Sincerely though, thank you so very much!

And hopefully we are the first to say…..Merry Christmas from Nicaragua!  

Major Septic and Water Issues…please help!

This will have to be a post with very minimal pictures, or maybe I will add some of our awesome students and teachers at the end.  But we are having some incredibly bad problems with our septic system and our city water bill at the School!  We need to resolve this soon, maybe you can help?!?

SEPTIC:  We have a major problem that when the city sewage system on the road backs up, all of the sewage backfills into Club Esperanza because we are lower than then everyone else.  Well that has been happening frequently this past month and it is unbearable.  We arrived for school and our check valves on the sewage line that prevents back flow had malfunctioned and the “agua negra” back filled into all the bathrooms, spilling out into the classrooms and office.  We had to cancel classes two days because the city takes that long to respond.  It is incredibly unsanitary and honestly disgusting.  But our teachers are incredible and go into action cleaning to keep things from being worse.  Photos – First is our school flooded and the massive two day sanitization and clean up.  The second is our sewage registry box that is overflowing, raising that metal lid and seeking a solution was definitely something where I felt like I was on that show “Dirty Jobs”, only worse because on TV you can’t smell anything!  The third photo below is our teachers and staff working out in front of the club where the manhole was backed up…this is work the city should be doing, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do!  Many of the parents of our students came to help as well…they are equally frustrated with the city!

SOLUTION:  We need to install and independent septic tank and leech system so that we can be off of the city sewage lines.  It will have to be a huge tank because we have 300 people a day and a full kitchen serving two meals a day.

COST:  $2,500

WATER ISSUE:  These photos below may look like normal toilets.  But what if I told you that these were causing our water bill to spike to $500 a month!  That is what has happened.  The water company sent us a bill that was INSANE, so for the past two months we have been fighting with them.  We thought we might have a major leak under the foundation that was not visible or that someone was stealing water from us.  It turns out that our toilets are so old that the kits went bad and they were leaking two gallons a minute.  It was hard to narrow it down because of the city water being high pressure at night and low during the day.  Worse yet the internal kits for the toilets are no longer available in Nicaragua.  We need to get this resolved as well.

SOLUTION:  It is pretty simple.  We need to buy new toilets to replace the old ones.  It will be an entire overhaul to the toilets of all of our bathrooms.

COST:  $1,150

Please pray for us as we seek temporary solutions for these major problems!  

If you can donate in any way towards this please do so here or use the buttons below…thank you for your support of Club Esperanza!

 

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Hearts Hands & Smiles at the Club…

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A very big thank you to our friends from Pennsylvania who came to the club to put together a dental clinic!  There were huge efforts made to get the team into the country and not just be present but also be ready to do the best job they could.  Dental care is an extra for most people in Nicaragua.  It costs extra money that most don’t have, and it often loses priority to other health needs.

This team was an incredible blessing the neighborhood we serve at Club Esperanza!  They came with excellence…it is often an easier solution to just pull a tooth.  But this team didn’t want to pull teeth if they were able to save them.  So, they made the extra efforts to have all the supplies and equipment to do fillings.  That made this clinic top notch!  It was a fun weekend too!

The relief brought by a dentist to someone’s life that is dealing with a bad tooth is probably worth a million bucks for that person.  If you have ever had a tooth ache you know exactly what that is like.  There was lots of relief this weekend!

I do want to add some funny comic relief here though.  The end of the day is relief.  But the moment you first sit in the dental chair….well that is not full of many smiles LOL!  Pictures tell the story a little better….look at those faces!!!

We can’t wait to have you all back again at the club!  Thank you again to the entire team from Hearts, Hands and Smiles!

If this post get your mind thinking about a way that you could help here in Nicaragua, we would love your help!  Shoot us an email… mcca.nicaragua@gmail.com

Club Esperanza operates entirely on donations.  If you would like to donate you can find that information here.  (Please Note:  Club Esperanza on your donation.)

 

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“Juntos Para Inclusion”…Our “Together for Inclusion” program

Thank you to everyone who helped us to purchase the wheelchair for Don Julio.  He was very blessed to receive it.  We have some photos down below but wanted to share another story about one of our student’s needs.  Together we can keep making a difference in people’s lives in Nicaragua, here are some words from Sheyla about a little girl named Kathia (posted on our Facebook Page).

“Loving each other is what the Lord asks us to do. This is Kathia from our fifth grade school tutoring program. She is in recovery because she had surgery on her disabled arm to correct a birth defect. Now she needs a specialized splint for her arm to recover well, the cost is $ 140 dollars. You can be part of her and her family’s rehabilitation. Thank you for supporting and praying for Kathia!”

If you would like to help here is some info or click a familiar button below.



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Your continued prayers are very much appreciated for Don Julio.  We will continue to help him with his needs of Depends and Ensure.  He recently had another bout with illness and had to be hospitalized.  But his wheelchair continues to be a huge blessing towards his dignity and mobility…so thank you for that!  And please keep praying for Don Julio!!!