I cannot believe that it is August! Time seems to be flying by.
This past February, as I was preparing to move to Nicaragua, I was speaking to small groups to churches to individuals sharing my heart. It was such a fun time of allowing the Lord to grow my heart for this place. One day, I got an email from my friend, Lisa who has lived here for 3 and a half years. At New Song, she runs the educational sponsorship program (www.educatenica.org), which works like Compassion or World Vision except that ours is much smaller. All of the kids are involved in our ministry and are individually known. Lisa asked me in this email if, when I came back, I would help her with the program because it was getting too big for one person. (At this point, it was ALREADY too big for one person) I prayed about it and decided that I would.
Flashback to my senior year of college at Asbury: I was student teaching and FREAKING out. Not over student teaching or stressing about the work, but coming to this realization that I did not want to be a teacher. Realizing these things my senior year did not lead to fun butterflies and rainbows. It led to breakdowns in bathrooms and lying on my dorm room floor staring at the ceiling for hours. My professors were a little confused. I was confused too! My supervisor was amazing and talked me through so many of my thoughts.
I love teaching, but I just saw so many needs that the students had that I wasn’t able to meet because of time constraints, expectations, and standards that had to be met. I couldn’t do it. I wanted to hug, love, and walk with them through things. I wanted to address the needs of students in a deep, personal way.
When I decided to help with the program, I expected mainly to be doing paperwork, sorting donations, and really only meeting the desires of the organizer in me. While, yes, I do those things, I get to do SO much more.
AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT.
I get to address the needs of kids that affect their performance in school. I get to spend time with families and really learn about the hearts of the kids. I get to meet teachers and directors of schools and invest in tutoring students at their specific levels.
I have gotten to celebrate with Veronica, a third grader who is the first one in her family to attend school, to be able to read or write. After her first report card, she was failing a number of classes. Some heart to hearts and tutoring later, she is passing all of them!
I have gotten to watch Delinger absolutely LOVE on his little cousins, excited about their successes and adoring spending time with them.
I have gotten to encourage and support Jovanny as he teaches and takes on more responsibilities.
I get to teach English classes, lesson plan, and tutor in ways that the kids need it on their own personal levels. To let the educator in me spring out!
I have gotten to watch kids’ eyes light up when we tell them they have a sponsor. Someone who believes in them too! Someone who knows them!
I get to believe in kids! To say they can do it. Yes, to tutor and help them where they need it, academically, but mostly to love them and challenge them to be who God created them to be.
Flashback to my senior year at Asbury: I had no idea how God was ever going to use what I was learning. I thought, “I don’t want to be a teacher, this has been pointless.” God is so funny sometimes the way He uses things I never thought I would, in ways that are so perfectly made for what I love.
Here’s the link to more information about the sponsorship program: www.educatenica.org