Ok, so I am so far behind right now. I need to tell you about our trip to Rivas and our trip to Rio Blanco and so much. The only thing I need right now is time!!! I can't believe it is already the end of the month. Where does the time go??
This past week, after returning from Rio Blanco, we have been gearing up for the Nicaraguan school year to start. This will be our 3rd year with the honor to be able to provide school supplies for 5 rural schools outside of Jinotepe. For those that keep up, these schools are in the same area where we hold the medical clinics every month and also where we have begun to have movie nights. School begins here next Tuesday. I can't believe it snuck up on me this year. We are getting all the final data so that we know exactly how many students there will be in all the schools. This year I have been told it will be around 340.
This past year we were told that it was a very good year for attendance. The teachers and principal have noticed that the children and their parents have taken more responsibility to attend classes and also to stay in school (there is a high drop out rate after 2nd grade). It has really been a blessing to help these families and give them hope. Both through the school supplies and the clinics but most importantly through the tangible love of God.
It amazes me to see how many children aren't able to attend classes because they can't afford a pencil or notebook. Their whole school supplies for a year are around $10 per student. They don't worry about the new pair of shoes, or who has the cool new clothes, or their nice new backpack. The students are supposed to wear uniforms to the public schools, but for the rural schools they wave that so that they can attend. Most kids are happy that they have flip flops to wear, some have no shoes. And from what I have seen, less than half even have backpacks. All these things are the least of their worries. I remember last year Josiah asked if the boys would get upset if they got one of the kitty cat notebooks. I just smiled and asked him to watch as they opened their packs. The boys were just as happy with the kitty notebooks as the girls were with the car ones. They didn't care, it was still paper.
So once again, we are on our quest to get supplies. It is always a tiring week or so but so worth it. Even the teachers get supplies. The govt. only gives out very little, like paper and chalk. And with only making a little over $100 a month, they can't afford to supply it themselves.
Anyway I will quit rambling on about this, I just love to see how God touches these lives with the littlest of things that mean so much. And beyond that, how God reminds me how to be grateful for the little things in my life. Our lives are truly blessed through all the lives that have crossed our path and those who remain.
Thanks to all who have helped and who continue to help....there aren't enough words to express our extreme gratitude, so I will just say Thank You!!