Practice Makes Perfect
The Senior and Junior CCS boys basketball teams have started training for the annual
countrywide competition. Here the Seniors play a “friendly” game with students from
the Salesian School of Masaya.
Girls Dazzle Opponents, Boys Look Solid in Major Regional Tourney
The CCS girls “took their opponents to school” recently as they claimed second place in a new track-and-field competition initiated by the Ministry of Education.
The event included more than 60 students across four (governmental) departments. The boys also surprised in their division with a fifth-place finish.
CCS was invited to participate based on its standing in past competitions. The games gave CCS an opportunity to evaluate the students’ training and preparation.
Chacocente fielded teams in both the boys’ and girls’ divisions, competing against schools from the departments of Carazo, Rivas, Granada and Masaya.
Day of the Bible Celebration Is Full of Creative Reflections
The day of the Bible, commemorating its translation into Castillian Spanish, drew 15,000 Evangelicals to the 444th anniversary celebration in Managua this year.
At the Chacocente Christian School, the teachers inspired reflection and dialogue among the students in each grade through crafts, movies, games, songs and social dramas.
The students then shared those reflections with their classmates in other grades through assembly style presentations.
Students Rehearse for the Second Annual Poetry Festival
Nicaragua has a rich history of poets, most notably Rubén Darío (1867-1916), Gioconda Belli (1948 – ) and Ernesto Cardinal (1925 – ).
This March, 11 CCS students from both primary and secondary grades competed for the honor of representing the school in the II Festival de Poesia 2015, which will begin with recitations at the municipal level. The selected students will compete against schools throughout Masaya, and then if they place favorably nationally.
From Where I Stand…
Spring has arrived and for many of us, it is a welcome relief after a long, albeit beautiful, winter. Many of you may be preparing to celebrate high school or college graduations for yourself or loved ones. Graduations mark a job well done and a promising future.
Such it was and remains for the families of Project Chacocente. Over a year ago, eight families were presented with the deeds to their homes and land. We all share the wonder of their accomplishment!
Although our commitment to directly support them financially is over, we remain attached to the families through our shared memories and hopes for a brighter future. The journey from the Managua dump to complete self-sufficiency continues and remains difficult in a country struggling to lift itself out of poverty.
So, how are the families doing?
They are ever cheerful and hopeful! All of them either farm their land or rent it to others within the community. The crops provide food for themselves and a profit when sold at market.
Families continue to sell their handmade hammocks and jewelry to visiting delegations, and soon their hammocks will be available for sale in the United States thanks to a generous and creative supporter (details to follow later).
Project Chacocente employs Juan Carlos, who serves faithfully and effectively as Family Coordinator. Chacocente Christian School employs five family members: three teachers and two security guards. Others, such as Chiky, Rodolfo and Nelson travel to Managua for their jobs. The families still work alongside mission teams on construction projects and campus upkeep. Currently, six adults and youth are taking continuing education courses. Tuition and transportation expenses are provided for them by your donations.
What are our hopes for the future?
This year, thanks to the generosity of our delegation teams, we are offering home renovations or a new home to some of our teachers. Fundraising is underway for a church on the school campus. We are working with Get Hope Global (www.get-hope-global.org) to provide business training for the women of the Project. An engineer from The Mission Society has made recommendations for extending the blessing of potable water to the people of the community that surrounds Chacocente; we continue to discuss that project, mindful of The Lord’s promise to Abraham: “I will make of you a great nation, and I From Where I Stand… Robyn Gage, Board President will bless you … so that you will be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2)
So, how can you help?
Pray, pray, pray! It is our most powerful tool. Please pray right now, right where you are! Pray tomorrow and the day after for God’s guidance and strength.
Support education! Research tells us that education is Step 1 out of poverty. Chacocente Christian School is a beacon of hope for the entire area and we continue to strive towards academic excellence.
Operating a tuition-free school that provides fair wages to 17 fulltime employees is costly. Your financial gifts will be used for the direct support of the school.
With God’s help and your support, the future holds much promise for all!
May it be so.
OWU’s Sarah Kennedy: “The trip was incredible!”
As a member of Asbury First UMC in Rochester, NY, (one of Project Chacocente’s avid supporters), Sarah Kennedy has heard about the project a number of times. But she had never had the opportunity to go.
Currently attending Ohio Wesleyan University, Sarah proposed a service trip to Chacocente for Spring Break.
She was a little nervous, having never traveled there herself. In February, she and seven other OWU students and two faculty members trekked to Nicaragua, and all her fears were put to rest.
“Although [Chacocente] is a place near and dear to the hearts of many in our congregation, I was a little skeptical, having never been there myself. What if my experience was drastically different from that of the people I love and trust here at my Asbury First home?
When I arrived however, my fears were set at ease.
The first two days of my trip were spent painting ceiling beams, sifting sand for cement, and digging a latrine hole for a home being built for a Chacocente schoolteacher.
Although the construction site was away from the Chacocente campus, the Project families came to teach us what to do and work alongside us – but mostly to laugh good-naturedly at our construction incompetence and weak Spanish skills. We made friends quickly, and spent our water breaks making dumb jokes in crude Spanish.
After a day of illness (because going to Nicaragua and not getting sick seems to be difficult for some delegations…), we spent time at Chacocente Christian School, where I met children I’ve heard stories of for many years.
I joined in on an English class, played intense games of tag and basketball at recess, and was attacked by 6 first graders, all wanting to be the one to get the larger half of my lap to sit on.
While the experience was different from any mission trip I have ever taken through UMYF, simply because I was traveling with a non-religious group, the trip was incredible.
The people of Chacocente understood when our entire team came down with traveler’s sickness, and they went out of their way to make us as comfortable as possible. Even though that was an unfortunate occurrence, the experience of getting sick in an unfamiliar place taught me more than staying healthy would have.
The families of Chacocente were truly glad that we had given our time and money to be with them, even for such a limited time. And I am so glad to have been able to give. I hope to return to Chacocente soon… maybe I can lead the OWU trip next year. Whatever happens, I now know that Project Chacocente will be as near and dear to my heart as it is to many of yours, and that I can proudly say that this is an organization worth supporting in any way possible.”
Teachers, World Vision Team Up to Study School Garden Management
The Chacocente Christian School’s teacher of agricultural courses – Elio Ticay – attended three training sessions offered last month by World Vision to explore the finer points in the care and mangement of school gardens.
Conducted in nearby Nindirí at the World Vision office, each session ran from 12 – 5 pm.
The school’s agricultural classes not only teach CCS students solid farming skills they can use to help their families, but the school gardens provide fresh vegetables for school lunches.
Dealing With Reality
It probably comes as no surprise that the children of the Chacocente Christian School sometimes need a little extra guidance. The school administration coordinates both individual meetings and group presentations with psychologist Álvaro Antonio López to help students manage difficult personal and societal issues.
López also gives presentations to the students’ parents as needed.
The needs of children in preschool and primary school (eg: self esteem, family crises) are often different from those of the older students (eg: sex, teenage pregnancy, careers), but the classes are all aimed at motivating the students to maximize their educational opportunities.