21,000 Thank You’s

We at With One Hope have a lot to be grateful for. One of those things is you, the people that have prayed for us, followed us, and supported us each year that we have been working in Nicaragua. At the end of 2016 we asked you to help us once again raise year-end funds, and you responded.

Thanks to your generous donations, including the match, we raised a little more than $21,000!!!

I cannot tell you how blessed we feel and how much we want to say thank you. Every single one of those dollars is one more opportunity to share the gospel, to help end hopelessness, to provide education, and to come alongside those that feel all alone.

So, what have we been doing with the funds so far?? I’m glad you asked!

Santa Claus Came to Town

Remember Christmas? That holiday that now feels a mile away? Well, we celebrate it in Nicaragua too. And one of the things your money does is to help us provide simple Christmas gifts to all the children in our single mother program. In fact, the picture at the top of this post are the gifts we gave out this year!

The children look forward to this all year. The picture to the right is Brian and Anthony opening their gifts. For the most part, it is the only time of year they receive a gift that is brand new and 100% their own. The joy that comes over their face and they open their packages is both humbling and inspiring.

Oh that we might all receive simple gifts with such joy and gratitude. If we did, I can’t help but think the world would be a little better for it.

Shifting our Treasure

All of the gospels make it clear that we are to give to the poor, to help provide basic necessities for those that cannot provide them for themselves, and, in the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:

Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

As an organization, this is our focus. We want to be the serving hands and feet of the King, to love others deeply, to provide for their needs. We want to take the very things that the Lord has blessed us with and freely give them back to him – our money, our possessions, our time – as a fragrant offering of thanks.

So, to start off 2017 in that direction and to make sure our hearts were centered, we did that very thing. In the first week of January Walter and a small team went to a rural community outside of Leon that is one of the poorer communities in the country to bring the gift of sandals.

In the end, you enabled us to provide new sandals to more than 500 people. 500 people! That is a huge thing.

Now, to some of you, sandals might not seem like a significant thing. But in these villages, many go barefoot all day, every day – especially the children. In a world where many homes have dirt floors and children usually work in the fields and alongside livestock each day, parasites are common. They enter in through the bottom of their feet as they walk in the mud, resulting in severe, long-term diarrhea.

These communities often don’t have access to anti-parasite medications due to cost and availability. For adults, they are able to live with the unpleasantness. But for many children, especially those under 8 years old, it means more than just discomfort – when untreated it can often lead to server dehydration and even death.

Unfortunately we can’t get rid of all the mud in Nicaragua, so the best way to help prevent these issues to give these families what they can’t provide for themselves: sandals.

School’s Back in Session

Finally, the 2017 school year is now underway. We are in our 9th year of supporting multiple schools in Nicaragua! Can you believe that? I know I can’t. It seems like just yesterday we got started. Either way, school is started and our kids are back learning, building skill sets, and exploring opportunities they never thought possible.

I’ll be sharing more on this soon, but in the meantime, know that we at With One Hope are so very grateful for all that you have enabled us to do. We could not do this work without you.

Chris & the With One Hope Team

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