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Friends in Nicaragua
$1,090 Raised
55% of $2k goal
15 contributors
0 days left
Ended Apr 11, 2014
Soon I'll be traveling back to Padre Ramos, Nicaragua to see dear friends I met last year.  They are much like you and me - they want what's best for their children, they treasure their family and friends and they love to laugh.  Though we don't ... More ...

Soon I'll be traveling back to Padre Ramos, Nicaragua to see dear friends I met last year. They are much like you and me - they want what's best for their children, they treasure their family and friends and they love to laugh.  Though we don't speak the same language, it took no time at all to see what makes us so similar.  

Padre Ramos is a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, but living there is not easy.  The gorgeous sea is the backdrop for their lives, provides what sustains them and also harbors many tragedies.  Most fathers there fish during the night in old wooden boats, and their families head to the beach in the mornings to hope for their return and for food.  

Mothers there spend the day with the children and completing tasks which take us only minutes here at home.  They build fires to heat water to use in cooking and bathing, and they use large basins in the yard to wash clothes.  Last year, many of you helped to purchase many of these cement basins, which helps them immensely in their daily chores.  Now, thanks to so many friends, each family in the village has one!  This year, the folks at the 'Youth Ranch' (where I'll be staying) are working to make sure that every home in the community has a small stove.  The stoves are only $45 each.  

School is a different story there, too.  Education is not a given.  In order to attend school, children must have proper uniforms and shoes, books and supplies and pay a hefty fee.  It isn't easy and many kids simply can't go to school.  The children in Padre Ramos have to work even harder to go to school once they are high school age, paying a larger fee each month and traveling for an hour to and from school on a public bus.  School is a privilege, and you wouldn't believe the smiles on the faces of those kids who get to go to school.  From your donations last year, we sponsored my buddy, Nelson, for a year of school.  It was a blast taking him shopping in the city, helping him assemble the needed supplies and watching his face light up when he was told he'd be going to school.  

Nelson's future is bright.  He is active in Bible study at the Youth Ranch. He is learning English.  He is in school.  He loves his family and his village AND he will be able to work in the city, earning a wage that will support a future family.  He is on the road to SUCCESS!  

I love being at the Youth Ranch and I love what they are doing there.  Children are welcomed at all times to this haven, taught English and taught about the word and love of God.  Nothing is handed out.  The kids who 'hang out' at the ranch help out in all that needs doing.  When groups come in to help, the kids from Padre Ramos help, as we go to places unlike any I had seen before - the 'Youth Ranch' kids feed folks who are hungrier than they are.  They are consistently taught about 'walking the walk' and they are among the most cheerful givers I have ever seen.  

I'm lucky.  I get to go back to this beautiful land, so far away and love and laugh with these sweet people.  I'd love for you to go too, some day!  You'd love it!  

I hope I can take with me the prayers and gifts from many friends here in the states.  They love to hear about family and friends who aren't on the trip.  They love the same stories our kids do!  

Together, I hope we can furnish many villagers a simple stove for their house.  I hope we can sponsor another incredible kid in his/her education.  I hope we can purchase another bicycle for a hard-working father, like we did last year.  

Please pray for our friends there.  Please consider sending a gift along with me.  I'll pass it on with your blessings - it makes a difference.  

I know there is an argument for first helping those close to us, and I agree that we must take care of our neighbors.  When I study the word of God, though, I am reminded that we are all neighbors. If any among us is hungry, we all are.  I am reminded of Matthew 25:40 - ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'

When we travel, we meet new brothers and sisters, and this great big world shrinks a bit more.  I'm a different person for knowing these lovely friends in a land far away.  In my way of thinking, each time we extend greetings and love from one people to another, we are closer to acheiving God's call to us to love one another, to serve our brothers and to respect the dignity of every human life.  

I'll visit a group of friends who found themselves born into a very different reality, and I'll again get to see the dignified way they live in that reality.  They do not complain, they love and laugh their way through hardships, they show up to school with excitement and they want to create a better world for their children.  Sound familiar?  

I'd love to take your gifts, your love and your prayers.  

From one group of friends to another, 'Thank you.'

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