Club Espernaza: Updated photos…

It is certainly true that pictures are worth more than a thousand words.  I recently had a nice camera down at Club Esperanza and shot some current photos of our preschoolers and the surrounding neighborhood…as you have time to look through them, please keep Club Esperanza in your prayers this Fall!

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Club Esperanza: Our Awesome Staff and their free time!

If you have ever visited Club Esperanza in person or spent time looking over our blog, you will see the faces of our group of teachers, tutors, kitchen and maintenance crew and administration.  They are always there in the background or popping into a photo.  We make great efforts to fundraise because that is the only way we have to pay the salaries of all the wonderful people who work at the Club.  We are so thankful for your support!

Certainly, the most beautiful thing for us is knowing the heart of our staff and seeing the efforts they make.  The truth is, the pay is better elsewhere.  The conditions are certainly safer and better elsewhere.  The kids in other middle and upper class communities are certainly much more well behaved.  But this group is dedicated to serving the Lord at Club Esperanza.  I want to take this blog space to share about some of the things that happen at the Club done by our staff in their free time.

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“C.E.L.A:  Club Embarazada y Lactante” – Yaraseth lives in the community surrounding Club Esperanza.  She has been a teacher with us ever since we had the school Colegio Esperanza in the dump community of La Chureca.  She is a young mother herself and when the opportunity to start a special group for pregnant and nursing mothers arose, Yara volunteered.  She now organizes and runs this group on Fridays with the assistance of the mother of one of her preschool students.  Pregnancy, nursing and mothering a newborn can be a very difficult time in one’s life.  Those difficulties are multiplied in the circumstances of poverty in our community.  Yara uses the time to provide not just the support of friendship, but also teaching and education to help the mothers with some basic ideas and tips to make life easier.  They have fun together too in the midst of the excitement of having dozens of babies in the same meeting (when they all start crying at once it gets really exciting!).  We also distribute donations of clothing, baby supplies, etc to help our mothers materially as well.  There are nearly 30 mothers who participate…pretty stinkin’ awesome!

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“Teaching on Baptism” – Professor Roberto has also been a teacher since we had the school in La Chureca.  He has the added bonus of being married to Sheyla, our director!  Roberto has been receiving Seminary training this past year, hoping to grow deeper with the Lord personally.  He also has the desire to be able to reach his students spiritual needs on a deeper level.  So, when some of them started asking about Baptism and what it meant, Roberto took the opportunity to organize a Friday class where he could teach students about Baptism and what it means to be a Christian.  He had a group of young men join him and they dove in together.  They finished their first group of teaching last Friday.  Some of them are now really wanting to be baptized.  Please pray for God to give each one the perfect moment for their baptism!  Again…this is awesome!

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“Grupos Matrimonial” – If you have been to Nicaragua recently and prayed with us at Miss Ruby’s house you would have met Marisol.  Marisol is a powerful woman of God and a friend of ours from church.  She has been helping at Club Esperanza this past year, and has been an awesome influence.  She and Sheyla recently had the idea to put together a Marriage Seminar for families from Club Esperanza.  One of the biggest battles for many of our students is that they come from homes where their parents’ relationships are broken or on the verge of collapse.  This seminar is an effort to do something about it!  This past Saturday Juan and Marisol, Roberto and Sheyla and another wonderful couple from our church put together the first “Grupos Matrimonial Seminar”.  Ten couples signed up and came on Saturday to find our cafeteria turned into a dining hall awaiting their arrival.  There was a time of teaching, a dinner together, and then a time of prayer for each couple.  The fruit of this seminar will be long lasting in the lives of each couple and it is going to make an impact on the entire community.  It was very special that afterwards several of the couples expressed their desire to get married, so we are going to work on having some weddings in the near future at Club Esperanza!  Again, so Awesome!

We hope you are encouraged to read about some of these incredible things going on in the “free time” at Club Cristiana La Esperanza.  Encouraged that your continued prayers are sewing into the lives of many here in Nicaragua!

Club Esperanza is always full of life.  When you show up randomly you might find a kid flying around on his little bicycle or someone hiding in the garden!  Praise Jesus for this safe refuge and place where His love, truth and joy can be a constant!

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Some Tallahassee Lovin’…

We had a great time a few weeks ago with our friends the Clouds from Tallahassee, FL.  They came down with a couple of friends to get their butts whooped in the Nicaraguan heat!  Ok just kidding, it is hot here but I have heard that summers back home are brutal.  What we lack in Air Conditioning here in Nicaragua, we make up for with a cool afternoon breeze in the shade and the occasional night time storm that cools it down.

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We spent most of our time with the boys from Casa Robles, having fun together.   We took them out to pizza…which gave the opportunity for some adults to climb into the kids playground LOL!  We saw a cool dinosaur park together, and had a grill out at the beach.  All great and fun things to do together, aside from the sting ray.  That is another story.

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In the midst of the fun, there were some really special times riding in the van and visiting in the house.  A real solid connection has been formed over the years.  So, it was just enjoyable catching up and hearing stories about life.  Of course the boys had fun showing off the English skills they are learning at their new school.  They sung us some songs that we didn’t even know all the words too…in English!  We laughed a lot and prayed a lot.  We prayed about the futures of Angel, Andrew, Denis, Heyler & Freder.  There are so many great possibilities for these boys.  We are looking forward with lots of excitement!

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Of course we couldn’t let them get out of Nicaragua with out doing some manual labor! Down at Club Esperanza the bathroom wall had been getting some harsh treatment over the year from some of our kids just “being kids”.  It was time for a once over to cover up some of their unsolicited art work and signatures!  There is nothing like a little bit good sweaty work painting in the bathroom of a school for 300 kids🙂

Thank you all for being such faithful partners with us here in Nicaragua!

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Uncertain times politically…Nicaragua

Another Presidential election is happening in the United States this fall.  It has become quite the interesting race, to say the least.  Elections seem to get lots of attention every four years and are always entertaining.  It is pretty incredible, the way this has happened every four years for over two hundred years in the good ol’ U S of A.

Here in Nicaragua we are due for Presidential Elections this fall as well.  Unfortunately our Democracy is less than 40 years old, and if you think it is craziness in the United States this time of year, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

Times are uncertain here in Nicaragua and we covet your prayers for this country that we love.  It is our home.  I say uncertain, but it is actually certain that Daniel Ortega will be elected president for a third consecutive term in November.  We do have a creeping dictatorship.  Thankfully, for now everything has remained peaceful.  Through the changing of the Constitution, heavy handed voter registration, and various “pactos” with his political opposition, Ortega is here to stay.  Through the revitalizing of public parks and spaces, distribution of homes and tin and livestock, and other social programs, many people have been affected for the good.  Ortega has used his government to do these good things, which is wonderful!  My concern is, if there is a threat to this consolidated power, what will happen?

From my perspective as a Christian, I know that power is a huge temptation for any human being.  Once given, it is not easily passed on to next person.  As it stands now in Nicaragua, one family has fastened themselves to that power.

In the build up to this election, about a month ago all of the legislators who were forming opposing political parties to run for President were removed from their positions as law makers and replaced.  An unprecedented action.  In a time of year where political propoganda is usually EVERYWHERE, there is nothing.  It is pretty shocking.  And then most recently there was the news that Ortega was announcing his wife Rosario Murillo to run as his Vice President.  Again unprecedented.  (here is the news article)

Here is another article about “Why we should care…” This article is written by a Socialist American who moved to Nicaragua years ago, excited about Ortega’s election in 2006 and the Socialist movement across the Americas.  He used to run an informative website for Ex Pats in Nicaragua sharing all of the current events and political stories to an English speaking audience.  It is not a Christian perspective but worth reading if you have the time and want to understand the situation better.

We are not fearful or worried, because we believe in a God who is eternal and infinite, not limited by any government built by finite human hands.  But, we do seek God for Nicaragua and want the best for this great little nation!  So please join us in prayer this fall.  Pray for the political situation here and ask God to make things right and good for the sake of His children in Nicaragua.

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Summer Newsletter: Baptism, Robles Van, Ministry fun, family fun…

Happy Summer Days…we hope this blog post finds you well and not too sun burned!  We would like to share our most recent newsletter with you.  Please take some time to read it…some easy summer reading🙂  Thank you for your prayers and support!

Farrington Summer 2016 Newsletter (click to open)

Fundraising Update: We’re excited to share that we have raised $19,455 of our $25,000 goal!  This is a matching campaign for our ministry centers here in Nicaragua.  Every $1 donation is being matched with a $2 donation as part of this campaign!  We are so close to the goal, Praise Jesus!

If you would like to make a donation as part of this please click here


Below are some fun family update pictures that we couldn’t fit in the Newsletter…Love from all of us and we pray safety and God’s blessings on the rest of your summer!

Early July was celebration time….America’s birthday and the next day Aliyah’s!

Many of you have been praying for Mason’s little leg and he is doing well!  In the most recent Xray, we could see that his bones are fusing correctly.  He got the cast off a month ago and for the last week has been able to walk without crutches.  His second surgery should be in late September.  So, please keep praying for perfect healing and safety as he walks…and runs🙂

On Mondays we make an effort to fast as a family and as a ministry.  When we are able, we gather together and take communion in the evening.  It is a chance to intentionally set our goals and dreams, our petitions and prayers before the Lord.  If you are ever able to join us on Mondays, we would be really blessed and encouraged by that.

Monday Communion Time...

Monday Communion Time…

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Narrow Gate Internship…Summer 2016

 

IMG_4615We had a couple of wonderful young women serve with us this summer!  Melanie came from the Westcoast in Oregon and Carley came down from the Eastcoast in Virginia.  Narrow Gate is a summer program we host for individuals who want to serve in Nicaragua for a more extended period of time.  Our focus is “Learning, Serving and Living in Community”.  Both Melanie and Carley brought great skill sets to Nicaragua with them, including impressive language skills and a love of Jesus that made for a great summer!  We really enjoyed having them in our home and working together hosting short term missions teams, at Clubs Esperanza and Los Brasiles, Ruby Ranch, Casa Havilah & Casa Robles.

The serving came in the normal onslaught of summer activity.  Often random but always something to do, working with kindergarteners at Club Esperanza, coordinating work projects and activities for teams, volunteering with Vacation Bible School, living at Casa Havilah, taking rescue homes on fun days,  ah and oh yes babysitting the missionaries kids🙂  Some of the “work” is also the unnoticed type, like doing the dishes…the only dish washer down here is your two hands and a sponge!  It was a very big help for our family having two skilled individuals with servant hearts.  In simply living the daily Nicaragua life and touching the lives of people in need whom we cross paths with every day, the Lord moves and uses each of us to draw others closer into relationship with Himself and to establish works that have an eternal impact for His Heavenly Kingdom.

In the midst of the serving activity there are also times for study and devotion with the Lord.  Quinta Havilah can be a real refuge and retreat and we took advantage of that too.  We studied a couple of books together.  A classic on Spiritual Disciplines called “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster and a book by David Platt who is currently the President of the International Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  That one is called “Radical:  Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream”, that title says it all and it was a good challenging perspective to read through.  Then whether gathering with friends down here to watch the “Father of Lights” documentary in our living room, or listening to Ravi Zacharias’ lectures on a three hour car ride, or watching Graham Cooke preach about prayer on YouTube, we had some very good influences getting into our minds.  Then of course I would get distracted on YouTube and we might end up watching The Guy on a Buffalo LOL!  Oh but the times of study and discussion are never enough and time does slip by…the moments we did get together were great!

Living in Community is something that is also a part of serving the Lord overseas and we got plenty of that too.  Living in closed quarters with people you have just met.  Having visitors come and go throughout the summer.  Sitting down for meals together, but also preparing the meal and then cleaning up after.  Living in a home with four perfectly behaved children (ok fine they aren’t always perfectly behaved hahaha).  God uses these times to refine each of us individually with patience in the chaos, with grace towards others in light of their faults, with compassion during tough moments, and so on.  It is a real chance for growth in the midst of serving the Lord in ministry.

We had lots of fun together too, because Nicaragua is a beautiful country!  One of the craziest sights is Masaya Volcano which currently has flowing lava at the base of its crater!  Also beautiful Playa Gigante down south where we did a solitude retreat, or chiming the bells in Granada and getting a boat tour of the islands…and oh yes Zip Lining.

Thank you both for joining us I know we will get to see you all again down here in NicaraguaLand!  We are blessed to have you as friends be working together in the Kingdom of God.  “May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you” wherever He takes you!  I got it right this time, and we sincerely mean that😉

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Club Esperanza: Plumcreek, painting, playgrounds and playing around

 

imageClub Esperanza serves 300 children every day and we really wouldn’t be able to meet the needs of all these kiddos without the help of friends from all over the world!  Plumcreek Church from Colorado came last week and jumped right in feet first at Club Esperanza to make a Kingdom impact on the lives of fifty first and second graders!

They came ready with hands for labor and funds to get to work making Club Esperanza a more beautiful, fun and safe place for everyone.  During the mornings the group worked hard painting the veranda and main buildings to cover up the scuff and rust that the Nicaraguan sun can put on any surface, making everything a little bit prettier.  The fun came when they purchased new playgroup equipment and installed it (there is nothing quite like breaking up old concrete with a pick axe!)  As far as safety goes, we installed safety lighting for night time security at the Club.  It was lots of hard work, lots of sweat and patience needed, but very rewarding to see the finished product.

Along with the work projects we got to spend a lot of time with the first and second grade classes.  Everyday for three days the group shared Bible stories and fun arts a crafts with the children.  The rooms may have been swelteringly hot, but it was a really special time to interact with each of the children.  As we finished the week we loaded all of the kids on the bus with us and headed to the Zoo in Managua, and then as a finale to the week everyone went to Ruby Ranch for the day!  It goes without saying, but the kids totally loved the special attention paid to them, all the fun activities and the new friendships they made.

The group shared a special time at the beach on their last day.  Reflecting on their week in Nicaragua and enjoying the Lord’s beautiful creation.  The culmination of the day was a baptism in the ocean for one of the young women on the team.  It was a great week!

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At Ruby Ranch our girls hopped onto the horses with their Aunts and went for a ride.  Ruby Ranch has three horses now fit for riding with all the kiddos, and it is a really special thing to get to do.  Aliyah is asking when she can ride by herself, I think it will be soon🙂

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