Oasis de la Gracia finished up it’s second full year in December 2016. We continue to be amazed and grateful for the blessing this ministry is for all involved. This year, the director, Pedro Ruiz provided the following summation:
“For 2016, the ministry grew to include 34 children in grades 1—7. Of those, 16 are male and 18 are female. The staff arrives every day at 8:00 to prepare for the day. The children attend from 9:00am—4:00pm Monday through Friday. The older kids, grades 4-7 attend in the morning and receive Bible classes, computer classes, and tutoring on their schoolwork before they are provided with lunch. Then, from 12:30 until 4:00, the younger kids, grades 1-3 attend. Following lunch, they also get Bible classes, computer training, tutoring, and help with their schoolwork. During the Bible lessons, the teachers use games and competitions to make the learning enjoyable and help students retain the knowledge.
The ministry has been a wonderful blessing to the children, staff, church, and community. This year, we are especially thankful for the following:
– The faithfulness of the majority of the boys and girls, along with some family members, in attending the Grace Baptist Church in Diriamba.
– The Bible classes provide great spiritual riches to both staff and children.
– The participation of three of the children in the church choir.
– The computers and ability to provide that training to the children.
– The impact of Oasis de la Gracia on the surrounding neighborhood where God has used the ministry to reach adults and children and enabled further growth of the church.
– Every Saturday, Oasis de la Gracia is able to give Bible classes to some family members of the children.
– Since July, we have noticed some of the mothers demonstrating a greater concern for the well-being of their children and are more attentive to the activities and needs of the kids.
– We’ve seen a change in the attitude of the surrounding community—they have become more positive towards the ministry this year!
– We are so thankful for the spiritual and physical gifts all those that support and enable the ministry!
I would like to ask you to pray for our ministry. We continue to see problems in the homes of these children. The lack of stability in the home contributes to many emotional problems with the children, as you would expect. Please also pray for the following:
- That the Lord will use Oasis de la Gracia to provide stability and spiritual blessing to the children and families.
- Strength and perseverance for the staff of Oasis de la Gracia.
– That the ministry would continue to grow and be a blessing to the community and Grace Baptist Church.
– Faithfulness of the children and families in attending & that the Lord would work in their lives to bring them to Him.”
Ramon Zeron, the pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Diriamba also sent us a note. Most of you remember that Ramon, one of five pastors that work with the missionary Jason Rogers in Nicaragua, had the idea and zeal for starting Oasis de la Gracia, but lacked the means to do so. He sent the following:
“Brothers, the families are really poor, and the Oasis has been a blessing for them. We are trying to help them and have identified some families for next year whose children were too young to attend this year. They will be in first grade next year and we can welcome them into Oasis. Please pray for the activities we have planned for the end of the year— a small Christmas dinner and some piñatas to celebrate the end of the school year. We hope to have participation from the families and desire to have a worship service and bring the Word of God to everyone. Thank you, Brothers. Continue to pray for the teachers, the director and our church. May the Lord bless you abundantly. Your Brother, Ramon.”
We are once again in awe of how God has blessed 18ten through the generosity of our donors, both in resources and prayer. Through your gifts, we were able to meet all the needs of our organization as well as make an additional financial blessing to a key supporting pastor in the region. Oasis de la Gracia continues to invest in the lives of the children in Nicaragua, and the message of God’s love for them has reached beyond the walls of the school and into the homes of their families.
Lord willing, Oasis de la Gracia will continue to grow in its third year which starts in February of 2017. Additionally, we continue to pray for direction and explore other areas in Central America where we can enable local Christians to provide for disadvantaged youth and demonstrate the love of our Savior.
We also continue to look for ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations. In that light, we will begin working through the National Christian Foundation soon to expand the options for donation as well as provide an additional level of financial accountability and oversight for the gifts we receive. We are excited about this and will provide additional information in the near future about this partnership.
Thank you all for the role you play in this ministry—please continue to pray that God will use each of us mightily in His service.