Narrow Gate Summer Interns….2015

IMG_1860   This is the tenth year of our Narrow Gate Summer Intern/Discipleship Program down here in Nicaragua and we have a pretty stellar crew of young people with us!  Narrow Gate is an opportunity for individuals to come to Nicaragua and serve with us in our ongoing ministries and also combine our missions work with some discipleship and study.  We are into our second week but we wanted to shoot out a blog to introduce them all and ask for you continued covering of prayers for all of us down here!

Our Crew for the summer are Linsey, Franchesca & Callie from Florida, John and Crystal from California, Lindsey from Georgia, Laura from Colorado and Anna-Bel from Arkansas who came back this summer to be an awesome extra set of hands!  Click on their names to read their personal blogs…I will add them as I get the links.

IMG_1861We just finished up our time serving at Club Esperanza.  We spent a week and a half volunteering with the tutoring program and taking care of some odd jobs like painting, trimming a gutter, fixing a little fence and those types of things.  Today was the big fiesta with all of the teachers because it is Teacher Day in Nicaragua.  So, the Narrow Gaters took them all out to lunch at a nice Air Conditioned restaurant!  Then when we got back and they had given all 100 and something kids in the tutoring program 500 balloons to surprise the teachers when they came back into the Club…it was awesome! It was so loud when all 500 balloons started getting popped by the kids :)  It was sort of controlled chaos and then we had ice cream together….big smiles on all of our teachers faces!

As our study portion of the summer, we have been going through Richard Foster’s book “Celebration of Discipline” together, most recently discussing Prayer and Fasting.  We are also reading through testimonies of Christians who are being persecuted and martyred in a book called “Killing Christians”, they are difficult to read and it is equally shocking that these stories are as recent as the last three or four years.  We need to constantly be praying for Christians who are suffering.  Check out this facebook page called 8thirty8 that is a constant prayer guide for persecuted Christians.  Lastly, we are enjoying a book called “Renaissance” by Os Guinness, a contemporary call towards a renaissance in Western Christianity that in recent decades has yielded strength and influence under the shadow modernity.

Starting Saturday they will be living at Casa Havilah and Casa Robles for five days.  We call these times Solo Journeys where everyone gets immersed into Nicaragua culture living in an all Spanish speaking environment.  It should be awesome!

I say that because this group of individuals is awesome and we are having a blast together!  Again thank you for your continued prayers for all of us and for all of the continuous ministry going on this summer.  Jesus is moving in powerful ways in us and through us.

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Club Esperanza: New Intern Familiar Face….

IMG_1832     Diana was born in La Chureca.  Her family was one of those families that was there for reasons beyond their control but made a huge effort to live a life that honored God in the midst of such a difficult place.  Her mother Josefina was one of our best teachers all the way up until the dump was closed, and she only doesn’t work for us now because she was hired as a director of another school.  Don Aurelio is still one of our gaurds at Club Esperanza.

Diana graduated from Colegio Esperanza and has been in High School for the past few years.  This year she wanted to do an internship in office administration so, we set things up for her to do that at Club Esperanza with Sheyla…she has been awesome!  Every time I see her I tell her she is the Star of Club Esperanza :)  Her insternship is coming to an end and she will soon be graduating High School!  Amen.  She is only just turning 17 years old which is pretty amazing considering the place she has come from.

Her story is pretty remarkable and a testimony to one who chooses to follow the Lord and honor Him with her life.  It is also a testimony to a family that fights for what is good.  From the ashes of a dark place comes a beautifully shining star!

We are sharing Diana’s story because we would like to be able to bless Diana with another opportunity.  We would like to be able to offer her a paid internship to finish out the year at Club Esperanza.  We are doing this for a couple of reasons.  First of all she is such a huge help.  Second, it will allow her to continue to learn from Sheyla which will be an invaluable experience for her.

We are trying to raise $100 a month for the rest of year to give a small stipend to Diana and allow her to continue with us at the Club.  

If you would like to help follow this link. (Click here)

Please put “Diana Club Esperanza.” in the memo line on a check or the note section on paypal.

Thank you and most of all I know Diana would love to know that you are praying for her…please ask God to bless this young woman greatly!!!  Amen.

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Here are some really cool pictures from a new mural on the wall at Club Esperanza.  It was painted a few weeks ago by a high school art class from Norfolk Christian School in Virginia.  It is really beautiful so since I am blogging I wanted to share it.  Things are going great at the club and we are faithfully serving our nearly 300 hundred children every day through a fun and exciting summer…hoping and praying for hundreds more just like Diana!

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Donate some fun to Casa Robles…

Before our shameless petition for a donation of fun to the boys at Casa Robles, I want to give an update on the construction project at Casa Robles.  We started a few weeks ago to close in the front area of the house for two purposes.  First of all, Angelica and Yuri will feel much safer having the wall up out front to make it a lot less open to the street.  Second, it will give the boys more space to play in their urban setting…we already have a big umbrella ready to put up on the front porch to just hang out outside :)  We look forward to it being done soon, the house has been a bit of a hazard zone for a few weeks!

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On to the fun…Papa Yuri took the gang to Pricesmart the other day with him, Pricesmart is our Nicaraguan version of Sam’s Club.  It is fun to just go there and walk around in the Air Condition and look at stuff…I know I know it is funny the things we do down here for entertainment sometimes, but that is for another post.  Today Yuri showed me some pictures he took…all the boys were watching as he showed me.  They saw a Foosball table and bicycles that they got all excited about and asked Papa Yuri to take pictures of them to show Chachi!  It would make the boys year if we were able to get one or two of these :)  But, we will need some help to make it happen if you are able…

IMG_0755 IMG_0846…Would you like to help donate some fun to the boys at Casa Robles?  The Foosball table is $302 and the bike is $164.  If you can help you can send a check to North Carolina or use our paypal link (click here).  Shoot us an email too if you would like to give a heads up.  

Joking aside, it would be so awesome to bless these boys with a donation of fun!  They are all doing so well…their report cards at school are amazing.  Please keep all of them in your prayers…Marcos, Freder, Heyler, Israel, Andrews, Denis & Angel…and pray for Mama Angelica and Papa Yuri too.  Thank you, God Bless from Nicaragua!

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Farrington Newsletter – Spring 2015

We hope you have a moment this week to read our most recent Newsletter.  We had a really exciting last few months and hope you enjoy reading about it.  Thank you for your continued support and prayers!

Farrington Newsletter – Spring 2015

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 Would you consider supporting our ministry financially?  We do rely on the generosity of individuals and are thankful for every little bit of help we get.  Thank you! 

Click here for Donation information.

For some more detailed information on our ministries check out our last newsletter.

God Bless from Nicaragua!!!

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Happy Happy Birthdays….

We had so much birthday fun in the month of March we nearly started a petition on whitehouse.org to rename the month of March “Birthday”.  But we resisted the temptation and will just allow the month to keep its name :)  But we will share here on our bloggy blog some of the fun photos from the last month….a.k.a. Birthday.

IMG_1100     Easily the most touching and special birthday party of the month was with Jaquelin from Casa Havilah.  She turned fifteen so we had a semi formal celebration for her “Quinceañera” with all of our family, all of Casa Robles and Jackie’s family.  The best moment by far was when she came out with her procession and then all of them gathered for a special dance.  I will post the video on our facebook because we can’t put videos on the blog…but it was so so sweet watching Jackie dance with Papa Mike and all the little Robles and Havilah children dancing around them.  Now that Jackie is a young woman we would ask for your continuous prayers for her.  We want to see her grow into a prosperous and virtuous young woman…amen!

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    Later in the week we celebrated Andrews from Casa Robles.  We had everybody over to Casa Robles and had a big bang up party with a Batman Piñata, music, dinner, cake, and a load of kids running around in circles screamin’ trying to wipe icing on each other…Lots Of Fun!!!

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     Juliette turned three this month too.  Krista (with our super intern Madeline’s help) put together the funnest “Tangled” party ever, complete with a replica of Rapunzel’s tower and her hair running across the rancho.  We had a painting wall and even a “May Pole” which we finally figured out towards the end of the party.  Juliette was so cute the entire time!  As loud and crazy as our baby girl is, she is the sweetest little thing…its worth a million bucks when she comes up and smacks one on you out of the blue and says “I love you”.  Our little Juju bean is such a blessing!

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     Then lastly but certainly not leastly Johanna and Jolando Buzbee turned 15 on April 1st!  We had a fun little gathering for them at their house complete with what is quite possibly the greatest cake ever!  Happy Birthday Girlz!!!

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Thank you for your continued prayers for our families and for the ongoing ministry here in Nicaragua!  God Bless from Nicaragua!

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Happy Easter…prayers for the persecuted church

I have started reading a book called “Killing Christians: Living the Faith Where It’s Not Safe to Believe” by Tom Doyle.  In light of Easter and the great sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for all of man kind, I want to share some excerpts from the book.  It is from a Syrian pastor living under war and the threat of death from “Al-Nusra front” an Al Queda group that has taken over their town and is killing Christians.  His name is Farid.

“I think what followers of Christ in Syria fear the most are the crucifixions.  It’s a horrifying prospect.  Death on a cross is gruesome, and on top of that, crowds mock and torture the believers leading up to actually nailing them onto crosses. Some who face this are new in the faith, and I don’t blame them for being frightened, but it would be an honor to die for Jesus in this way.  Just think:  the Lamb of God went to the cross in Jerusalem only two hundred miles from Damascus.  Now two thousand years later, the prospect hangs over our heads as a real possibility, just like it did for Jesus and His followers in the first century.”  (p.41)

It was really challenging and quite the heavy reality check to realize this Christian man is telling a story that is happening today.  Reading his words as they are shared in this book about his small group of believers in Syria is very powerful.  It is a gathering of Sunni and Alawite men who had given their lives to Christ.  They meet in secret in early morning meetings at secret locations.  These two factions are waring today in Syria with large scale death and tragedy.  But, in these meetings, because of Jesus, they meet together in peace and wash each others feet.  Here is another exerpt from the book, Farid speaking at one of their secret worship services…

“‘Think of it:  Kamal, from a Sunni family, led me, from an Alawite family, to Jesus, who was from a Jewish family, so I could join the Christian family.’  Laughter rippled across the room. ‘What an amazing peace plan that is!'” (p.31)

Indeed, what a beautiful peace plan!  As the story continued, it shared about how Farid gathered with his group of brothers in one of their meetings and prayed about leaving Syria for safety.  Farid’s own mother and father had guns to their heads the previous week being told to convert to Islam or pay a $10,000 fine or be killed.  So he prayed with his brothers telling each one to fast and seek the Lord that week.  If they felt they should flee Syria during their fasting, then they should do it without shame or hesitation.  If they felt they should stay then they would meet again the following week.

Farid shares how he honestly was hoping for at least one brother to be their the next week, so he could have at least some fellowship in their suffering.  To his surprise the meeting was full the next week, nobody was leaving Syria.  That night they took up an offering amongst the gathering.  They used the money to buy a plot of land.  The reason for the plot of land is so they can at least  have a place to bury each other should the time come that they are killed for not denying Jesus and converting to Islam.  This is the final quote from Farid in the book…

“Pray for us in Syria, but please do not feel bad for us.  We have never been more free.  And even though we’re willing to die, our graveyard is still empty.” (p.42)

As we celebrate Easter tomorrow, we are celebrating an empty grave that changed all of history!  Farid’s story is recent but I assume some time has passed since it has been published.  I hope that we would all join in praying for Farid and all the Christians in Syria…that the graveyards would remain empty!  Amen.

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We joined a movement this week to wear Orange for Holy Week.  The idea is to wear the orange in solidarity with the Christians and others who are being marched out in orange jumpsuits and beheaded by radical Islamist in Iraq, Syria, Kenya, Somalia, Libya and other countries.  I am planning to wear orange for Easter Sunday.  Will you join us and wear orange tomorrow too?  And let’s pray for peace, pray for the Christians who are being persecuted today in 2015,  and pray for Jesus to change that entire region of the world where darkness is so heavy and people are suffering greatly. 

God Bless You and Happy Easter!

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Miracle Man…

In a break from Nicaragua news, we want to take a second and share the link for our friend Brett Parks’ new book. Brett was nearly killed almost two years ago coming to the aid of a robbery victim in Jacksonville, FL. We were in desperate prayer for weeks, asking God to give him life.  You may remember us asking you to join us in prayer for him here on our blog.  He suffered greatly as a result of his heroic courage, but he is living his life as a testament to God’s salvation. The hospital dubbed him “Miracle Man” in his recovery and Brett tells his story in this new book; his spiritual journey with the Lord through this time, how Jesus sustained him, and how he is living his life to glorify God amidst a difficult tragedy….”beauty from ashes”.

We hope you will Pre-Order his book, as a supportive effort and to be encouraged by the incredible story he tells.  Praise Jesus!

You can preorder it here on Amazon.com

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This photo on the cover of the book is a X-ray of where the bullet is still lodged in Brett’s body just near his hip joint…that 9mm bullet tore apart his large intestine, his kidney and the major artery that delivers blood to the the lower part of his body.  Doctor’s called him Miracle Man because his survival chance was not even .000001 percent.

We are very thankful to Jesus, that we still have our friend with us, that we get to visit him and his beautiful family; Susan, Jason & Stella who was born months after Brett was shot and he was still in the hospital recovering…God is so good!

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