This past December I was blessed to visit my families and check on how everyone was doing.
Below is a summary of my visit; Click on the text links to view the photos.
Pre-School, Middle School and High School Graduations were taking place while I was there. This was the first time in the 10 years I have had this program that I was able to attend all 3. We had 7 Pre-School, 14 Middle School and 4 High School graduates. It was so exciting to be a part of this milestone in their lives. They were also excited that "Ms. Angie" got to see their accomplishments.
I left each graduation feeling like a proud Momma. At each graduation the top students were all from my community. What a huge accomplishment!!!!.
Even the kids that received awards for best student in each class were also from the community. At the beginning of each ceremony a student from the upcoming graduating class attends to represents the upcoming class and the kids that were selected were also kids from the community. It was so excited to know that our kids take school very serious and try extremely hard.
The top student of the Middle School class is a great testimony to the favor of the Lord. This student and her family endured an extremely hard year. The father and mother split up and the mother was left with trying to find a way to provide for her and her daughter. I remember when this first happen and the mother and daughter was devastated. Yet, even though this was a huge set back in their lives the daughter was determined to not let it change her future and in the end she was the top student of the class. She is the last girl in the Middle school photos.
This is the 10th year of Operation Education. I started out with 40 kids and now I have 9 college students and 109 grade school kids for the 2018 school year. School will start on February 12th and the kids are already prepared to go. This is something that is just unheard of in this area. It would not be possible if not for the support of the sponsors. The families remind me every time I go that this help is needed and to please never stop.
Check out the pictures of each student receiving their school uniform package, school supplies and a Christmas gift by clicking here. We also celebrated the success of last years school year by playing games, and enjoying a Pinata and face painting/balloons by my teammate Kelli. Those pictures can been seen here.
It was almost Christmas when I was there and what a great time of the year to bless families with the essentials of life, FOOD.
Every day we live our lives here in the states with cabinets and refrigerators full of food but sadly that is not the case for these families. Most do not have enough food to get them through the day much less through the weeks to come.
Each family received 20 lbs of food, 10 lbs of beans and 10 lbs of rice. It is a tremendous blessing to them and I am so grateful to the people who hear God's voice and are obedient to send me extra funds to purchase all the food.
We also blessed each family with a bucket and lid. During my August trip I watched as a chicken got a fresh drink from the bucket and seconds later so did the kids. This is a typical occurrence there and one of the root causes of bacterial infections.
ICE CREAM NIGHT AND GOD's PERFECT TIMING
As usual we had Movie night in the community where we had 14 gallons of Ice Cream for the kids and families.
It started off as a typical movie night as I was preparing the bowls and Kelli and the Nic team were delivering them to the kids. This, however, was no normal night.
I was scooping out the ice cream and all the sudden I heard what sounded like a fight going on outside the room I was in. One of the college students who was helping us called into where I was and told me there had been some kind of accident.
I ran out of the room into the pitch black darkness and fought my way through the crowd to find a dad holding a little girl in the air shaking her back and forth with all the strength he had.
I once learned from a previous Pastor that you really know where your faith stands when an emergency happens. That proved to be true this night.
The women in the crowd were streaming to the tops of their lungs and the crowd was so tight around the dad that I could not understand what was going on. I saw the dad trying to get the mouth of the child open and she was clearly not getting any air as I could see her turning blue.
My first reaction was she was choking so I grabbed her out of his arms like a Momma Bear ripping her cub from a predator and started to do the Heimlich on her. About that time my translator arrived and told me the crowd was saying her jaws were locked. I immediately started speaking to the sickness in her body to leave and asking God for wisdom. He clearly showed me she had had a seizure so I laid her down on her side and checked for a pulse. She was no longer clinching her teeth which meant the seizure was over but the crowd around me thought she was dead. We tried to explain to them she was not but everyone was freaking out and screaming.
I remembered when I was young that my neighbors daughter had seizures a lot and to test if she was completely out of the seizure they would put something sweet on her tongue which by default any kid who is conscious will naturally lick it. I yelled at the crowd to get them to be quiet and asked for a piece of candy and within a second of putting it on her tongue see reacted by trying to lick it which proved to the crowd she was not dead. It was crazy.. It was beyond overwhelming for everyone.
I scooped her little body up and took her away from the crowd to a room and wiped her down with a wet rag as she was really hot. As soon as she started to cool down she opened her eyes and throw up which was a good sign.
I had my translator Raphie take her and the family to the hospital right away to find out what caused the seizure. I will never forget seeing the dad shake her back and forth. I truly believe that if we had not been there he would have killed her just from the shaking. Later that night we went to the hospital and learned that she had a parasite in her body that had traveled through her blood flow and had reached her brain trying to exit her body. This, sadly is a common problem with kids in Nicaragua and is a deadly situation. The doctors stated that if we had not got her to the hospital at the moment we did the parasite would have killed her.
Let me remind you that none of my families own cars, the community is 15 minutes by car from the hospital and there are no buses or other methods of transportation. If we had not been there with a car at that exact moment this story may have had a much different outcome.
I learned several lessons that night.
1. My faith was in the Lord and many others in the community were crying out to God, yet many others were not. Much more work to be done there.
2. These families need to be taught proper ways to handle medical emergencies.
3. They need a plan of action to get the person to the hospital.
When I return it is my goal to teach classes to everyone in the community on how to deal with common things like Heart Attacks, Seizures, Head Injuries, Severe Cuts, etc. I am in need to help to accomplish this.
Do you know of anyone who works with the Red Cross or Samaritans Purse or any other agencies that might have pamphlets in Spanish on these type of topics? Do you know anyone who is trained in Field First Aid? I need someone who knows how to deal with issues like this in the fields and not in a city type setting.
If you know of anyone I can contact or have any suggestions on how I can find materials for this type of training I would be grateful. I would need it by at least May. I hope to do this training during my trip in July/August.
As you see this trip was a very exciting one. We were able to show the Love of Jesus through the closeness we encountered with each family.
Thank you as always for your prayers and continued financial support for these kids.
Angie & Terry
The Power of One Ministry
c/o Angie Honeycutt
804 Balsam Terrace
Charlotte, NC 28214