Front row left to right: Marisol (custodian), Eloísa (teacher), Coco (Ramón’s wife), Pedro (director), Ramón (pastor), Hazel (teacher)
Back row: María Luisa (cook), Moisés (driver)
If you’ve missed our last two Facebook Live videos (click here to visit our Facebook page), we have shared a lot about our big announcement for this year. After much prayer and discussion, 18ten has agreed to move forward with converting Oasis de la Gracia, what is currently a before/after school program, into a full-time school. This change, Lord willing, has the potential to exponentially increase the impact on the children and families of Diriamba. A school will give children the benefits of the current ministry, plus allow students the opportunity to help their family for half the day.
Though Ramon, Pedro, and the rest of the Oasis staff are our “boots on the ground” in Nicaragua, your prayers have played an integral role in the development of this exciting project—they are being answered in a big way! We shared briefly in May’s newsletter that Cliff Bown, a brother in Christ from Ohio, has caught the vision of an Oasis School of Grace, and has been making huge strides in the fundraising department necessary to convert Oasis into a full-time school. We are humbled, inspired, and even a bit challenged by his drive.
Cliff first met Pastor Ramon when visiting Nicaragua with his church in Ohio (Lindenwald Baptist Church). Since January, Cliff has raised a) enough money to purchase property on which the Oasis School of Grace will be built; and b) over half of what is needed to build the school. Furthermore, Cliff has also played a large part in designing the blueprints for the school. To get the ball rolling on construction, there are a couple of things that need to happen: 1) remaining funds to cover construction costs need to be raised (approximately $125,000); and 2) a construction crew needs to be hired. Finding a construction crew in Nicaragua can be as much of a test of patience and persistence as is fundraising. While the hiring of a crew in the states can happen in a few hours, it can sometimes take weeks in Nicaragua to find a qualified crew that is available. After that, it can take even more time to negotiate the contracts and pay. Please pray for a divine appointment for this project, for trustworthy leadership of the crew, and for us to trust in God’s timing as we wait for the parts to come together.
18ten’s Financial Involvement
As for 18ten’s financial commitment to Oasis, we are moving forward with our major fundraising efforts to support Oasis’ ongoing operating expenses, which will increase from about $3,000 per month to $5,000 once the school is operational. This jump is due to the expansion from what is currently a 40-child, two classroom program, into what will be a six grade-level school (primary only) in its first year, Lord willing. Though families will pay tuition, the amount they could afford to pay (we are expecting an average of $5 per month per student) would not come close to covering the monthly expenses. Therefore, 18ten will need to step in to help subsidize the rest. As you can see, the need is great. Would you consider financially partnering with us? Specifically, 18ten needs more recurring donations to cover this $2,000 / month increase in operating expenses. If you are already an 18ten monthly donor, we ask that you would consider making an additional one-time donation to help with the school construction costs. Please visit our giving page to see specific giving options as well as recommended donation amounts. We trust that our God is faithful, and will continue to open the doors necessary for more children to come to know Him through the Oasis de la Gracia ministry.