Chacocente Supporter Donates $25,000 for Matching Funds
“This is an incredible gift” says Board President Robyn Gage, “so hope our supporters will help us take advantage of it.”
Most people are familiar with the matching concept: for every dollar that is donated, this fund will now double it. Each dollar is worth two!
According to Board VP John Shaver, the donor said in a phone conversation that a trip to Project Chacocente had had quite an impact on his/her life. Establishing the matching fund was a way to express appreciation for that expe- rience. You can match through the end of September.
“I’m excited to know that funds are already coming in,” the donor said.
If you are able to send even a small donation during the hazy days of summer, please take a mo- ment to do so. Our school year runs through November, and pay- ing 16 teachers each month – even in Nicaragua – is quite a challenge.
Donations may be sent to:
Project Chacocente Coordinator Valencia UMC
25718 McBean Parkway Valencia, CA 91355
Thank you for all you do!!!!
Thanks, Mary, for Five Years of Leadership
Please join the Board of Directors as we acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Mary Anderson, who has served as president of the Board for five challenging years!
“Mary has overseen the completion of our elementary and high schools, the water well and numerous other projects,” noted Robyn Gage. “Amazing by any standard!”
A Message from Robyn Gage
My name is Robyn Gage and I am humbled to serve as president of the Board of Directors of Project Chacocente.
Introduced to this unique ministry by my oldest daughter, Emily, upon her return from Nicaragua as a member of the 2007 Mission of Peace team, the people of the Project have inspired me in ways I never could have imagined. Their drive to build better lives for them- selves and their children despite multiple setbacks beautifully exemplifies God’s call to a life of faith.
Much has been accomplished but much remains to be done. The Board is committed to discerning God’s will in all decisions made. We feel His call to educate and feed the children of the Project and the surrounding neighborhood. We feel His call to build a church on the Chacocente campus. We know He is calling us to do even more and we await His guidance.
Please pray in earnest for this ministry! We believe God is listen- ing! Pray that the families will continue to grow in Christian com- munity. Pray that our fundraising efforts will result in the financial support we need to continue. And lastly, please pray that God will give me wisdom and humility as we move forward.
In gratitude for all you each do in word, thought or deed for the people of Chacocente!
View from the Haze
By Cheryl Avery
The donation of $25,000 by an anonymous person is an invitation to all of us to give back to the proj- ect that has given us so much joy, love and connectedness. By offer- ing the money as a matching fund, the donor is giving everyone whose life has been enriched by Chacocente – no matter what their life situation – to offer a gift of thanks. Not to the program, nor to the families; but to God himself.
There is a section in the Nica- raguan Evangelical church service that I love. It’s called “Specials” and provides everyone present the opportunity to offer a gift to God. If you have been to Nicaragua, this is the part where we ask your delegation to sing a song or give a greeting on behalf of your church. We North Americans often misun- derstand the purpose of a special.
We decline, explaining that we can’t sing or are shy. But God in- vites us to the service – and to life – not to entertain, but to participate. The song or poem or reflection is not the point. God uses the song as a “stethoscope” to listen to our hearts, to feel our love. Usually, two or three people will come for- ward to offer a special, but if the Spirit is really moving, six or even ten people might respond.
In the ten years since I found- ed Chacocente, I’ve been amazed to see how often kids “get” this. When they feel in the presence of God, they want to offer a gift.
In Georgia, two brothers (8 and 9) handed me a jar full of change that they were saving to buy a horse. Later, when I counted out the quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies – with a very patient bank teller – I realized that the jar contained more than $89! They had been touched by the Spirit.
A five-year-old girl in West Virginia heard about Chacocente and made crafts that she sold to people in her church. She was moved by the Spirit.
A high-school senior returned home after experiencing Chacocen- te and planned a pre-Prom dinner for her schoolmates, raising $1,600. She had felt the Spirit.
You see, from the inception of Chacocente, God inspired a project that would send blessings in two directions. It was not just a health or housing project for the poorest Nicaraguans. It was a vehicle to experience the love of God, regard- less of whether you are a “have” or a “have not.” That’s why we al- ways go down to give of ourselves and find that we are the receivers.
There is a huge gap in what we perceive vs reality. We go to Chacocente thinking we are bringing
help to the families. And to a cer- tain extent, that is true. But we come home realizing that we re- ceive so much more; but of what?
Touching the realm of God, being swept up in his plan, is a powerful experience. It’s electrify- ing; addictive. It always leaves us wanting more. It seems that we are more able to make that connection when we leave “our world” and open ourselves to someone else’s.
It’s why we feel called to sup- port that process, or to literally re- turn to where we first felt that amazing feeling. The Truth in us recognizes the Truth in another; the connection we make feels special and holy. God designed it that way, so we would know him when we came near to him. In this way, we too can feel the Spirit, just like the children who so often “know” how to lead us.
In his amazing love, God provides us with opportunities to connect, to be part of the plan. It’s not about how you sing the song, but that you choose to sing.
Don’t Send Your Student to College Without a Calendar for 2015 !!!
Wait till you see this! Many of your favorite students from the Chacocente Christian School posed as tiny professionals to help us make this calendar for 2015. Called “Because of You, We Can Dream,” the calendar shows the children as the professionals they can become, if only they get a solid education.
A fund-raiser for the school, the calendar is on sale now for $20 ($10 is tax-deductible) plus $3 p&h each. The photos were shot by Cheryl Avery, a former photo journalist.
An added benefit: All calendar sales will be matched!
The Chacocente school offers 150 children from the Project and surrounding neighborhood an eclectic education including eight subjects not taught at state schools. In session 61⁄2 hours per day (not the standard 31⁄2), we offer English, Christian Ed, Computers and the Arts in addition to required classes.
Order your calendar(s) now at www.outofthedump.org; on our Facebook page, Friends of Project Chacocente; or at projectchacocente @gmail.com. Thank you!!!
Chacocente High School Students Place Second in Departmental Science Fair!!
A team of our Juniors and Seniors won second place at the Masaya Departmental Science Fair in June. All schools located in the densely populated department participated. The students ably defended their project, “The Devel-opment and Use of Organic Fertil- izer,” before the three judges.
The students are: Jossimar (a junior), and seniors Sergio, Heylin and Deyling. Chacocente professor of Biology, Mariano Campos, directed the students’ efforts.
Chacocente Boys Advance to Basketball Nationals
Chacocente’s boys (9-12 yrs.) ad- vanced from the departmental playoffs to the National Championships in June. They didn’t win, but played well. Players standing, L to R, are: Walmer, Ariel, Hollman, Isaac and Hamleth. Kneeling, L to R, Henry, Deyvin, Elias, Jordan and Oniel. Professor Winder Hondoy Paladino is the team’s coach.
Youth Team Proud of New Uniforms
“We had no identity,” says Maycool, who has attended the school since Pre-school.
Now, thanks to North Con- gregational UCC (in Columbus, Ohio), the boys are sporting jazzy uniforms!
There’s no question now who they are.