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Spring 2015

Articles in this issue:
Protecting Children and Strengthening Families
Q & A with Jerry “Alex” Alexander Orozco Cortez
A Story of Rescue, Restoration…and a Really Bright Future!
Consider yourself cordially invited ...
We Need Your Support!

Protecting Children and Strengthening Families

Michele & Fernando, siblings in our Community Care Program

We’d like to introduce you to Fernando and Michele, siblings involved in our Community Care Program. If you’ve volunteered in Nicaragua recently surely you haven’t forgotten those smiles!

Fernando and Michele have devoted parents who work very hard to provide for them, as well as their baby brother Anthony. The father, Dionisio, uses the family horse and cart to earn income in trash disposal, as well as to haul firewood, to clear land, cut coffee, and various other activities. He works hard, but the economic returns are minimal. The mother, Maria Auxiliadora, has busy days washing clothes, chopping wood, preparing food in a stone fire pit, and caring for the kids. The family’s home was built with pieces of plastic, sheet metal, sticks, tires, and then secured with rope, wire, and some nails. They had one bed for the whole family. In the rainy season the home remains very damp. They had no sanitary latrine or running water.

Nicaragua is the 2nd poorest country in the western hemisphere, and by local standards the family is considered very impoverished, firmly stuck in the cycle of poverty.

When the kids first came to Arms of Love they had parasites, lice, various illnesses, and many signs of malnutrition. Their education lacked and they had no school supplies. Despite all this, Fernando carried a spirit of joy, and Michele freely shared her beautiful smile. The love of their parents shone through their children in the midst of difficult circumstances. We saw potential.

27 children from our community were identified by the local school as urgently needing assistance, and in March 2013 the Arms of Love Community Care Program began for these kids, including Fernando and Michele.

Beyond nutritious meals 3 times per week, supplemental education is provided for the kids and parents, including tutoring, music classes, English classes, computation, hygiene training, mental health teachings, and spiritual discipleship. Of course the kids are also provided a safe place to play on the Arms of Love property…and they love to play!

Fernando and Michele are healthy, more confident, and doing better in school. Their mother now demonstrates increased leadership, servitude (volunteering her time with our program), responsibility at school, and involvement in church. She is constantly sharing her gratitude.

Arms of Love has been able to provide beds and mattresses for their kids, school supplies, medicine, food packages, Christmas gifts, supplemental work for the father, and clothing and footwear for the family. Additionally, thanks to a church partnership and collaboration with our Community Care Program, the family was recently able to have a new cinder block home built, further stabilizing their health and hope.

The mother says she has no words to describe the love Arms of Love has provided to their children and for our desire to see them succeed, and perhaps most importantly, that they feel like part of our family. Thank you for being part of the family too, and for partnering with Arms of Love to change lives!

Q & A with Jerry “Alex” Alexander Orozco Cortez

Alex's graduation photo

Alex finished high school great grades, earning a partial scholarship to supplement his Independent Living Program grant with Arms of Love. He is also working a job in his field of study, accounting, while completing his first year of college. We are very proud of Alex!

How long have you lived at Arms of Love Nicaragua? 15 years.

What are your thoughts on graduating high school, and what made you successful? I had never been a good student before, but when I transferred schools I committed myself to my courses. I had to sacrifice my social life and personal time because of the additional travel time to Managua (3 hours daily) and the extra study time required.

What are you studying now and how did college become a reality for you? I am studying accounting at my university through a grant from Arms of Love and a partial academic scholarship. I really appreciate my sponsors believing in me and giving me the opportunity to attend college. I currently have classes in accounting, expense, leadership and labor law.

Why did you decide to work while attending college, and what are you learning? I wanted to put my accounting education into practice and learn how life is outside of Arms of Love, which is preparing me to be a good man, a man who will have a sustaining career. I am learning much from this beautiful experience.

What are your dreams for the future? To finish my studies, get a good job to provide for a family, and to give back to Arms of Love. What is your advice for younger guys at Arms of Love, what do you tell them? That they should study hard and behave well, and that they should listen to the house parents because they give good advice for the future.

How can people pray for you? For my health and my family, and to pray for Arms of Love, that people will continue to support the children and their futures.

Fact: Only 28% of Nicaraguan 1st graders will ever go on to complete the 6th grade (US Dept. of State)

A Story of Rescue, Restoration…and a Really Bright Future!

Anzelie with her students

Hi, I'm Anzelie Salada Bautista. I’m 25 years old and I’ve been living at Arms of Love since September 10, 2004. I came to the children’s home because God provided a way to heal me from my wounds, and to give me a path to achieve my dreams in life.

I was an abuse victim at the hands of my stepfather, but God helped me escape those difficult trials, and to even find forgiveness. I’m so thankful that the Lord brought me to Arms of Love, where I felt love, care, happiness, and have been healed from my past. Arms of Love is very meaningful to me, it’s been a great blessing. The staff, administrators, and sponsors are like second parents to me, they are an inspiration and strength in life, a source of hope. The Arms of Love family has helped make my life whole again.

I’m in my fourth year of college -- the last stage of my educational journey (for now). My degree will be in Education, and I’m currently student teaching at a public elementary school here in Bohol. It’s been a good experience, but stressful too! The kids’ hyperactivity can be very challenging -- thankfully God is my source of strength. My practice period is almost complete, and my prayer is that after graduation I will pass the board exam and be employed to teach children. I hope to show children that I am approachable, lovable, and that I can be a blessing in their life.

Thank you, Arms of Love family, for your undying support financially, in prayer, and in love. - Anzelie

Anzelie is an amazing young woman, what an honor to share in her redemptive story!

Consider yourself cordially invited ...

Philippines Trip with Arms of Love!

to the multi-generational service adventure of a lifetime! This is an incredible opportunity to use your gifts, as well as to expand your comfort zone. Click HERE to learn about the trip ... and if moved to respond inquire today!

We Need Your Support!

A Filipino boy at a Community Care Program feeding center

We hope to expand our Community Care Program, offering more days to more kids in desperate need of nutrition and education.

Additionally, our sponsorship support is substantially underfunded at present. Kids in our Residential Program are in need of sponsors!

Please prayerfully consider sponsoring a child, support our "where needed most" fund ... and spreading the word!


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