Saturday, December 31, 2016

Wrapping Up the Year!

What a roller coaster year it has been.  Think about riding a coaster.   As it climbs the hill there is lots of anticipation, once at the top the excitement is exhilarating.  Then the coaster starts down towards the valley; for me, fear starts to set in and I hang on because there is no getting off the coaster. Then there are the twists and turns and I think about if the coaster will be able to stay on the track.

Our year was much like that.  We started out with excitement and so much anticipation about the Academy.  Then we had fear as we wondered had we missed God's Voice and His plan.   All we could do was hang on because life kept moving forward.   There were twists in our plans when God revealed that He had different plans for the building that we had hoped would be for the Academy.
He was going to turn it into a church.

Mario's carpentry shop did not turn out as planned.  He learned some valuable skills, but as of today, he is in his village doing nothing.  But, as I spoke about last month, God will use everything for good. He has a plan and His ways are not always our ways.

Mid-year, we welcomed our third Nicaragua "grand baby".  Oh, the promises of God come to mind. Long before Nicaragua or missions was ever on our "radar", God told me that I would have many children and grand children.  Someone once compared me to Gladys Aylward and she led over 100 children through the mountains to safety.   Well, I know that we've had influence to almost 100 young men.  You don't hear about all of them, because they come and go out of our lives.  We only hope that we left something of value with each one.

In August, we had a team member say to us that now there was no one living in our home with us, it was time to find 4 new young men.  My eyes must have grown as large as saucers because he said, I'm sure that is not something that you find appealing, having boys live with you again.  He was certainly right about that.  We raised daughters and learning the ways of boys was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.  I was enjoying my rest from the challenges of caring for boys; especially boys with issues.

But, here we go, more twists and turns!  Remember, God's plans are not our plans, His ways are not our ways.  At the beginning of the year, we met a man in his mid 30's and there was a mutual connection.  Recently, God began using him to bring our awareness to young men in need.  As quickly as a coaster can go around a curve, God quickly took us toward His plans.  The young men would not be living with us, but we would help them try to lay hold of a more stable life.  So, the Restoration House now has it's own residence.

We finished the year with a wedding.  Our Nica son, Jack Noel, married his love during a ceremony held in our home with his American "dad" officiating.   As with coasters, we have experienced ups and downs, twists and turns in Noel's life, but it came to an exhilarating end.    Now he is passing from son to responsible man with a family of his own.  As he and I walked arm and arm toward the Pastor and guests to take our place, I said to him, "don't forget me".  He replied "never, Madre".    It was a beautiful evening, set in a magical setting of twinkling lights in the presence of loving friends and our ever faithful God.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Give Thanks

There's so much to give thanks for during this wonderful season.  When one is going through some difficult and discouraging times, it's hard to see what good could possibly come out of it.

Two things God's Word tells us:  Give thanks in ALL things and He will use ALL things for good.

I don't know about you but when we're in the midst of trying times, giving thanks is not the first thing that pops up in my mind.  I'm learning to slow down, pause, breathe and sometimes I do remember to find something that I can turn into a blessing in my prayers.

Believing that God uses all things, is a lifeline to me.   Every single day our lives are challenged in ways I never thought possible, much less to be able to endure the hard times.    Most of you do not know about the devastating blows that hit us just hours before boarding the aircraft to move to Nicaragua.   There were years of sadness, verbal assaults and isolation from our family, all while trying to transition into a culture so totally "foreign" to our normal way of living.    Even among the people we came to serve, we experienced so much opposition.  I'd cry out continually asking,  "God, where is the good in all this?"

But, I'm a walking, breathing testimony, that God's Word is true: good does come out of trials.   All of life is a process, which requires time, obedience, faithfulness and it's not just on our part.    As He is working in our lives, He is also working in the lives of those around us.  Working and coordinating every detail until one day we start to see or experience that "promised good".

There's so much good! All around and near me, I see and experience good. Relationships are being restored, lives are being healed, amazing breakthroughs are taking place, dreams and visions becoming a reality.

We all love to experience the goodness of God.  But, let's never forget to Give Thanks in all things, because He tells us to do so.   And if we are blessed to experience the good, it's all the more reason to continue to Give Thanks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Restoration House

For three years, we have been in association with a Godly, humble Nicaraguan man named Benjamin. He has a program that focuses on the rehabilitation of men struggling with alcohol and drugs.  He teaches them to turn their focus away from substances and turn towards God.  You might remember us talking in the past about taking some of our guys out to "The Farm" located in the midst of sugar cane.  It's located a 30 minute drive from our city, not easy to find, nor is it easy to get into or out of The Farm.

Recently, there have been more and more young men that we have escorted out to The Farm for a 21 day stay.  It was becoming a concern as to how the guys would cope when they left.  The fate of Israel Jose was probably responsible for us to finally take action to implement a plan.  We had known him for years and he was brought back into our lives for a purpose.  On the drive back from The Farm after leaving him there, we asked a question to our friend Wilber, "do you think it would help the guys if they had a safe place to go after leaving The Farm?"  The very next day we started looking for a house.

Twenty-one days in recovery is not a long time.  A person is hardly finished with the detox within his body. We want to provide an additional time and place for them to begin on learning to transition back into society. Many guys were living in the streets before.  Many have lived in horribly disfunctional homes.  Many homes have more than one person actively using alcohol and drugs.   Many don't have jobs.  Many have never learned the every day life skills most people take for granted.   We want to provide a safe environment where they can learn to live as healthy, whole and Holy men.

We love how God works, which at times can be suddenly.  We looked at one house that we all thought would not work.  When we drove around the corner, we stopped on the street to get our bearings and ponder where to look next.   There was a house directly in front of us that had been for rent for almost a year.  We had called about it several times earlier in the years to use for the cabinet shop, but the answer was always the same.  The house was being remodeled and it was not ready.

We made one more phone call and finally, the house was available.  The representative said she would come right over to show us the house.  When the cab pulled up and a woman stepped out, there was no doubt that the house would be ours.   The woman was a friend of ours helping the owner who lived in the States.  She was so excited because just that morning she had asked God during her prayer time, "to please bring someone to rent the house".

The place was a perfect size because we wanted only 6 men max in the house plus the house monitor. And the favor of the Lord just kept coming.  Without asking, the rental price was reduced by $50 a month because we would not be using it for an income producing business.  Now we had less than 21 days to prepare what has become known as The Restoration House for the first occupants from The Farm.

Favor, favor, favor was continually coming our way.  We had to purchase everything we needed to supply the house.  When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING.  We had to find a person to live in the house to manage it and watch over the guys.  AND, probably the most difficult was to establish a schedule along with rules and procedures.  Up to the final hours before the occupants arrived there were last minute things to purchase and most importantly was to fill the House with groceries.

Three young men including Israel Jose were first brought to the office in our home to talk with them about the schedule and rules. We did not anticipate the resistance that we came up against during this meeting.  It's been an ongoing battle during our entire time living and working in Nicaragua to get the local people to see the wisdom in scheduling your time and observing rules.  They are very independent and more so the young men we have dedicated ourselves to serving.

One of the guys actually broke down in tears and tried every way possible to negotiate with us.  They only looked at the schedule and policies as what was being denied them instead of how it was meant to keep order in the house and protecting them from the neighborhoods and old friends that might be harmful to them.

We've learned through experience that when you have to talk someone into something, the commitment level is not very strong. Wilber, being a recovering addict, was passionate about the guys staying in the House and talked to them for some time about the benefits. They all three agreed to "try it".

Sadly, the one in tears left the house the next day.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Out From the Past

This morning while having a time of meditation, we heard a honking of a horn and a calling out - Preston!  It was 6:30AM and our front door was still closed, we do not open it until 7:00 for this very purpose - privacy and quiet.  However, the call came out again - Preston!

We went to the door still dressed in our pajamas, but here in Nica, seeing one not properly dressed is no big thing.  Opening the door, we found our good friend Wilbur.  He proceeded to tell us that there was a young man that has been heavy on his heart lately and this morning he saw the guy, down and out and ready for a change.  Wilbur wanted us to call our mutual friend, Benjamin who has a substance abuse rehabilitation farm in the middle of NO WHERE to ask him if we could bring the young man out, he was ready to go, now!!

Israel Jose 2012

Wilbur went back to his home, grabbed up the guy and brought him on the back of his moto to our house.  In the mean time, we changed our clothes to prepare for a trip 15 miles out. When Wilbur announced his return, we went to the door and saw the young man with his back to us sitting on the curb, slouched over, head hung down and hugging himself.  Wilbur spoke to him to stand up, there was no reply; he spoke again, still no reply. Then Wilbur smacked him on the shoulder with his moto helmet and the guy jumped up.  When he turned to face us, we were SHOCKED.   He was one of our lost prodigals who had lived with us for a short time, 4 years ago - Israel Jose.

He was timid to step towards us.  Preston was the first to welcome him through our front gate with a hug.  When I, Sandra, opened up my arms to hug him, he fell into my arms and cried.  I held him for awhile and let him know that we were glad to see him.

We took him into our house as we assembled a few things for him to take for his 3 week stay on the farm.  All he had was the clothes on his back.  We provided him with a sweatshirt, towel and large beach towel to act as a blanket.  We told him we would get a few more things for him and bring them out on Sunday.  He is horribly thin, so we asked if he was hungry;  I know, that's a really foolish question.   He smiled and said he remembered that Preston was a good chef.  It's amazing what some people choose to remember.   We had leftovers from the previous night's dinner which came in handy.  It's always wise to have a supply of rice and beans or arroz china (fried rice) on hand because we never know who will be stopping by.

Wilbur accompanied us as we drove Israel Jose out to the small town of Posoltega.  It's our norm to wait in the community park and someone from the farm comes out to meet us.  When we arrived, Benjamin's son, Ishmael, was already waiting.

We left Israel Jose with Ishmael to be taken out to the farm located a journey through a couple of small rivers and hidden amongst the sugar cane.   We will visit the farm on Sunday for services and spend time with Israel Jose.

Israel Jose is an "old" 22 years.  He's been through the "school of hard knocks".  Back when he lived with us, he did not see the necessity to change his life.  Whereas he was always polite to us, he was manipulative and dishonest in his behavior.   Within a month he chose to leave our home to pursue his own way.  Occasionally we would see him in the market place and it was apparent that his own way was not being kind to him.  It has been a least 2 years since we last saw him.

We ask that you join us in prayer for Israel Jose;  that his time of running is finally over and that he is ready to submit to the One and Only who can show him the Way, the Truth and the Life.

It's been a beautiful morning and we are grateful to God for bringing Israel Jose back to us.

Road to Finca through cane fields

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Team and A Baby

We hosted our second team of the year; a group came to visit from The Rock Church in Boone, NC. The purpose of the visit was to get to know one another and see if the work we do would be something that they would want to support and become involved in.

We prepared an itinerary for them of events with one important stipulation.  They needed to be prepared to be flexible to embrace last minute change.  You see, we were on baby alert.  Our chef and Nica son, Jack Noel, was about to become a daddy and it very well could happen during the team's visit.  Everyone was on board and in fact excited because they wanted to see the expected baby.

We had activities everyday, but we are always careful to not overload a team.  They come very excited wanting to do everything that is possible and all too quickly, they begin to run out of energy. No matter how many ways we try to prepare them they just do not take us seriously.  It has never failed, every team will start to dissect the schedule and want to drop activities and events because of exhaustion.  The heat is intense here, the teams have not had time to adjust to the travel, and the cultural difference can be overwhelming.

To overcome jet lag, we had a day of fun by taking a tour of the city in tricyclo taxis; this proved to be a big hit.  We packed bags of supplies to hand out to residents in two communities.   We took them to communities to see how people lived outside of the larger cities.  The team did a service project to install a patio at the building we were going to use for a school, but now is being used by Pastor Santiago.   It was really humid and hot during the patio installation so a trip to the Pacific Ocean for dinner and watch the sunset was really enjoyed by the group.

They did a discipleship training for members of a church and held a youth event at another church.   The team visited a rehabilitation center outside of town to encourage the men at the center as well as former residents and their families. The pastor was the guest speaker at the church in El Paraiso. His heart is working with pastors and a very successful meeting was attended by 25 pastors from surrounding areas.  Pastor Michael was able to encourage and pray individually with each and every pastor.

This team hung in really well and as we wound down the week, the baby decided to make her entrance.  I, Sandra, went from being host and tour director to chef in a flash.  We were scheduled to feed dinner to approximately 50 members of Pastor Santiago's church and community members.  This event was important to the church and we did not want to disappoint.  The team made my job particularly easy for the remainder of their visit by insisting that their meals would be eaten in restaurants.

Team visits are important and we always look forward to receiving American guests.  But the week's events are exhausting for everyone.   It takes us a day or two to recuperate and then we must play catch up on our work that had been put on hold.

Friday, July 29, 2016

A Generation that Does Not Work

It has been a busy couple of months balancing normal workload of the ministry and trying to help Mario start his business. Recently we saw a pattern developing in Mario's behavior toward his work. Every week there was a reason for him to take one day off from work.

Communicating with the local people is a very difficult process.  Believe me, it is a process trying to piece together bits of all communication to finally draw a conclusion of the true intent.  They NEVER tell you what you need to hear.  It is hard to read between the dialogue as to what they are really trying to say.  This was the case talking with Mario.  He was saying all the right things but never what was on his mind.

It seems he was growing tired of making the trip into Leon every day.  He'd leave home at 7am and return at 5pm five days a week.  Typical hours for the American culture - 10 hours including travel time.   Mario told us he did not think it was necessary for the shop to be open all day every day.   He said we do things differently in Nicaragua than the United States.  (yes, they do; in reality they work 12-16 hours a day, 7 days a week). He also began to complain about not having power tools.  It was always understood that as a business owner that he would be responsible for buying the bulk of his tools. The ministry might donate a tool or two, but it was always the owner's responsibility to acquire tools.  He did not like that he never had time for his friends, work consumed much of his time.

Mario told us that his sister had returned from Spain with money in savings and she would help him buy tools.  He wanted to begin to work in his community.  We are spending our final days with Mario preparing him to be on his own.   It's only a matter of a phone call if he ever needs our assistance and of course we will continue to work in El Paraiso to develop the economy.

We have been in Nicaragua long enough to know that if missionaries do not hand deliver everything to a person they will not take the initiative to run with an opportunity.  

Last November, the cabinet shop was moved into Leon from El Paraiso because of several reasons. One in particular was to gauge the interest of Mario in how much he was willing to invest of himself to have his own business.    Due to Mario's recent lack of interest, our analysis is that he did not want to buy his own tools and playing soccer with his friends was more important than building toward a stable future.

El Paraiso is a community that was birthed out of the devastation of Hurricane Mitch.  Several villages had been buried because the wall of a water filled volcano crater collapsed.  More than 2000 people lost their lives.  The survivors were relocated to a plot of land, homes were built and El Paraiso came into existence.

The displaced people were farmers who now were living on small lots with no work available in their surroundings.  It's been almost 20 years and the new generation is growing up not knowing what it means to work a regular job. Some young men might take a part time job working in the sugar cane fields during the harvest season. The majority of the community depends on government help, extended family members working in other countries who send money home each month or the kindness of missionaries.

Such is the case of Mario's mother and sister.  They live in Spain 11 months of the year and return at Christmas for a visit.  Mario has siblings that have lived their entire short lives without the presence of their mother.

The family unit is so broken, that it is acceptable in this culture for the women to work hard while the men do whatever men like to do: hang in groups, gamble, drink and chase women.

Our purpose in Nicaragua is to teach a generation how to work so that they do not have to depend on the assistance of others.  It is Biblical that a man shall work if he wants to eat and he is responsible to care for his family.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Gabineteria Mario

Last November, we moved the work of the cabinet shop from El Paraiso to Leon.  For a time we have had the training and work done in our home. We have finally found a small little space around the corner from our house.  And we chose to name the new business Gabinteria Mario.

Moving into the space has been easy, we are minus machines and tools because of last month's theft. From the very beginning in 2010, we taught the guys how to work with hand tools.  If the guys would ever want to start their own business, it would be cheaper to buy hand tools. Many times power outages is common even in the city which makes power tools useless.

It goes without saying that they always preferred to work with power tools, it's easier and faster.  The younger generation and this culture love to see results immediately.  If it takes too long, they lose interest and walk away.  So, we allowed them to graduate from using hand tools to power tools as soon as they had proven they had mastered the techniques of hand tools.

Mario is happy about the new space but not about going back to "the stone ages" of using hand tools. We told him that until we can generate sales to save money for new power tools, hand tools would have to do.

The purpose of the cabinet shop is to build wall cabinets, pantries and wardrobes.   We are taking the concept of Lowes and Home Depot;  individual cabinets that can be purchased as needed, carried home and installed.  The community is growing, modern homes are being built that require cabinets. People are beginning to be able to afford to fix up their homes after years of neglect and cabinets are needed.  Buy 1 or 2 as they can afford them.

Nicaragua is dry, windy and dirty six months of every year.  It is common to sweep up one cup of dirt from each room and wipe tables every half hour of dark dirt.  Typically houses do not have cabinets or closets. There needs to be storage for dishes and clothes.

Our desire is to work with Mario in Leon to continue to build his carpentry skills and teach him the fundamentals of business.  In the future, we hope to have a factory out at El Paraiso.  Mario goes to college on Saturdays to study industrial engineering.   How appropriate is that for the future?   In the meantime, we want to build the business in the metropolis of Leon.

This month, Mario has been learning how to figure the pricing for the materials used in each size of cabinet.  After the costs are determined, he is taught about markup and profit.  Seeing the sale prices in black and white on paper made him uncomfortable.  Too high, he kept saying!

In this culture, a product is made and usually not much thought is put into the sale price.  The price might be determined by whatever sounds good or whatever is needed that day to buy the day's groceries or maybe it's time to pay the rent or definitely the price is based on the color of one's skin or their prosperous background.

We spoke to Mario about how was he going to buy sand paper, a new saw blade, pay the salary of a helper. What about the rent, the lights?   Well, it takes the proper markup to pay all the expenses. He started to see that pricing was important to keep a business thriving.

This month, we are working on cabinet prices and business fundamentals.  Tune in for upcoming news on how the business is developing.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Seventy times Seven

It's hard to believe that we have experienced theft, yet again.

Last month, we moved to a smaller residence since we no longer had youth living in our home.   We needed space to store the machines and tools used in the carpentry shop.   There were two rooms in renovation in the building that is now being occupied by the church of Pastor Santiago.  He gave permission for us to store the tools while we were completing the work on the building.

One day when Preston went to the building to do some work he discovered that all the machines and tools were gone.   The planer, the table saw, circular saws, sanders, plate joiner, drills, and other smaller tools.  Everything that was not in a tool box in our home was gone.

We talked to the neighbors but everyone had the same story, they saw nothing.  Even the neighbors living across the street, gave the same story; they saw nothing.   What makes this so unbelievable is that the thefts were happening during THE DAY.  How do we know this?  It's way too dark to work at night.  The thieves had to scale a 12 foot wall to get the goods out of the building and a week later, on a Sunday there was another theft.  This time chairs were stolen between the time the morning church service ended at noon and the afternoon service began at 4.

Back in December, we had many tools stolen by someone staying in our home.   It took weeks to assess all the things that were missing because Preston has so many small, medium and large tools.  He would need something for a particular job and when he couldn't find it, we knew that it must have been included in the December heist.   When we took a final count, the tools were valued at over $800.   This latest heist will cost more than $2000 to replace what was taken, not including the chairs.

Theft is an ongoing hazard for the missionaries living and working in Nicaragua.  We've experienced a dozen different incidents of theft in the years we have lived here.  We hear stories all the time from others from a whole house being emptied out while the family was home for the holidays to a pet being poisoned while the family was away so that the thieves could enter the compound.

We tell people, the nation is not violent, it's just a nation of thieves.

We have since cut away the shrubs and overgrown weeds from around the building.  We had our friend, Wilber, weld the razor wire to metal rebar at the top of the wall.

So, seventy time seven, that's what the Bible says.   That's a hard one when the offense is repeated over and over again.  Forgiveness has no limits.   I don't know if it's unforgiveness that we struggle with or cynicism.  

We were privileged to have grown up in the most wonderful country in the world and never in our years did we personally ever experience discrimination.  We encounter on a weekly basis behavior that could be considered modern day persecution; extreme rudeness because we are Americans and they know we won't retaliate, we are laughed at, sneered at, lied to, stolen from.

Every day, we have to prepare ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally for the work we do and life we live in Nicaragua.  BUT, those of us that continue to stay, this is home and in spite of everything we love the people that God has brought into our lives.  The work is HARD, sometimes the rewards are few, but we get glimpses of breakthroughs and we know we are on the right path.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

We Only Know in Part

When the door to opening the Academy seemed to have closed on the ministry, it was a very disappointing time for us.  We felt confident that the plan was still alive to open an academic education center, but the timing was being postponed.  We also felt very confident that renting and renovating the building was the right thing to do.   Now the question before us was "what is the purpose for the building?"

We were in preparations to host a team from Center City Church in Greensboro, NC.  As we met with a local pastor friend of ours to talk about some coordinated events with the team, he mentioned to us that he was seeking a building to rent.  He had been holding services in his home but needed more space.  He said the dwellings he looked at were $500 and more and needed lots work to make them usable.

Immediately, a knowing was inside of us.  Preston and I looked at each other and there was no question that God was putting the same thing on our hearts.  We had a building and it was a lot less than $500 a month.  As we presented the idea to Pastor Santiago and his wife, they saw it as a possible answer to their prayers.

After inspecting our building, they agreed that it would be perfect for their needs.  It had the common area for services along with separate rooms for classes and a kitchen for community functions.  The building was also located in an area of smaller, poor communities that the church had begun to reach out to.

Our first event for the building was to use it for the meetings with the visiting team from Center City. It was during this event that it became so clear that the building was being used for God's purposes.

Sometimes, we do not see the whole part of the plan in the beginning.  The Lord continually uses people to help others.  We had been chosen to prepare a space for a church for a local Nicaragua pastor.   The pastor did have the funds to renovate a building nor the skill level to do the work.   We had acquired the building for what we thought were our purposes, but God had other plans.      Romans 8:28 ERV says:  "We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. These are the people God chose, because that was his plan."

Sunday, February 28, 2016

When God Closes a Door

It's difficult to put in words what I am about to write.

At the end of last month, our dreams for an academic education for the young men of this area were being assaulted.  We had felt confident about the decision to open the school because there was so much interest by young men in the community, and the building fit our needs and was affordable.  We began the renovation of the building, but we were not receiving the necessary funds needed to purchase the equipment for the classrooms.  The financial setback was small in comparison to the battle we were experiencing with the people that had said they wanted to be a part of what we were doing; who expressed a desire to teach and help at the academy.

In last month's post I explained that long time friends would be helping us with the administrative aspect of the school.  They had experience as part time educators.  It would take too long to explain everything in detail that had transpired. Because of lies and manipulation by one of the persons, we had to bring the project to an abrupt halt.   We needed time to assess what we were up against and how we would proceed; IF we would proceed.

This unexpected development shook us to our core.  These were people whom we considered close and trusted friends.  However, the integrity which we needed so badly had been challenged.  It's very difficult to live and work in Nicaragua.  You have to ask for information several different ways in order to piece together what you received to arrive at an honest, workable solution.   We depend on people to watch "our backs";  to help keep others honest in their dealings with us; and to inform us when we are being taken advantage of.

The boys that we have had relationships with during the years we have been here were very disappointed that the school opening was put on hold.  They saw the academy as an opportunity to complete their education.  Young men who were in their late teens to mid 30's would have to wait for another year because all other education facilities had already completed the enrollment process.

The only thing we are sure of at this point is that the building has a purpose and it's for us to discover what it is.  We will continue to complete the renovation as funds become available.

As we seek God's plan, we will "dress our wounds" and forgive those who had let greed get in the way of helping the youth of the nation.

We still feel strongly in the power of education.  We believe that those young men who did not have the choice earlier in life to pursue education deserve another opportunity no matter how old they are.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Hombres de Valor Academia

We have 2 months to remodel the building, hire teachers, and hold student registrations for the opening classes of Hombres de Valor. Our long time friends will be helping us with the administrative processes.  Guys who have been in past carpentry classes will be doing all the physical labor to remodel the building to get it prepared for first day of classes.

The school will be located in a building at the edge of town on the main bus route.  The building is small but is perfect for the small class sizes.  We want to make sure the teachers are able to give each student the attention that he needs.

It's been awhile since the building was inhabited, so there is a lot of cosmetic work to be done along with minor repairs and the installation of new wiring for lighting and fans.  We want the building to be as fresh and new as we can make it; nothing but the best for brothers of the King of Kings.  All around them they are reminded of the poverty they live in; however, not in this school.  Because they are making the commitment to re-enter school to lay hold of a better life, they deserve surroundings to match their new ideals.

We made a decision early on that the school would be private so that we would have the freedom to educate with a Christian World view.  Like all the work we do, the focus will be on the young male. We felt that it was important that distractions be kept to a minimum, thus no co-ed.

Classes will be 4 evenings a week.  This allows for the men to work during the day.  Needing to work to provide for their basic needs has usually been the reason why they dropped out of school.   

The total program will be accelerated by combining some of the years and a stand alone final year. The school will begin with a combined 7th and 8th.  The next year, they will promote to a combined 9th and 10th as we receive new students for 7th and 8th. By the time the original class promotes to the final 11th year, the entire school will be in place.  The 11th year will prepare the student either for vocational or university.  

We have determined that we will need approximately $500 per room to remodel and furnish the classrooms for a total of $4000.   As you can see, we have already begun the work on the facility. We would appreciate you prayerfully consider to help us complete the project.  Your gift can be made safely using our online giving app. 

We have been in the process of interviewing teachers as well as individuals who have a heart to see the youth become better educated.   It is important to us that the person who wants to teach at the Academy be more interested in the growth of the student than in their paycheck.  If the salary is their top concern,  they can apply at the local schools.  There is a program in South Carolina where 85% of the teaching staff are not certified teachers.  The school has the highest academic testing in the state.  

Registration for classes will begin the end of January.