March has been a month of many good things happening on all sides. Our home is getting put together and the school is doing very well. We are so grateful for the blessings we are experiencing every day and we are incredibly thankful for all of you who are making it possible for us to minister to and reach out to the wonderful children and families in Palacaguina. There are definitely challenges every day and there have been a few low points this month, however, the challenges are pale in comparison to the positive accomplishments we see God doing through this journey. Life is so hard, but God is so good!!!
USC UPSTATE TRIP
This month we had 16 college students from South Carolina come to work in our community. They painted two community schools and taught English at a school in a mountain community. It was amazing spending a week with such selfless people. Watching a group spend their Spring Break to serve in Nicaragua was an absolute blessing. If you want to see them in action, you can watch their videos on my youtube channel.
A huge answer to prayer this month was the arrival of our container. The container arrived on March 2nd and what a blessing. The kids now have beds to sleep in and Deborah has a kitchen. All of the items for the classrooms have really made a difference. Additionally, we were able to install the school playground. Oh my goodness, the children LOVE it!! The parents are very happy too. I will soon have a youtube of the playground.
We have the possibility of partnering with a University here in Nicaragua to offer college classes directly from our school. This is huge for Palacaguina. Currently, young people, and adults, who desire secondary education have no local options. The travel required prohibits many from pursuing higher education. This partnership will open amazing doors for so many. We first need to accomplish several objectives, but the plan is to start classes in June of THIS year. If we can rise to meet the challenge, this will be huge!
CONSTRUCTION UPDATE AND NEXT STEPS
We are coming to an end of our current construction project. By mid-April we should be complete with the construction of the administration offices, the library and four classrooms. Our next step will be working to finish out and equip the library, classrooms and offices. This is a big goal. We will need an estimated $30,000 to finish the rooms and equip with tables, chairs, boards, etc. About $8,000 of this amount is required in order for us to partner with the University so we have classrooms for the students. God is doing great things and we are believing He will continue to open the doors and help us get this done.
Our next major project, after equipping the new classrooms and library will be to start on the construction of our next classroom building. This will open more opportunity to work in the community and provide more facilities for ministry, university, evening courses, etc. This will be a $48,000 project.
MISSIONS TRIP OPPORTUNITY
I hope several of you reading this update will jump on this opportunity. One of our kindergarteners needs a home. In October of last year, his home collapsed and his family has been living under plastic since then. In addition to this hardship, in January he lost his Mom to illness. A team of 7 or more people with $4,800 could build a home for this family. The cost of the 8-day trip would be roughly $1,300 per person and then the cost of the project. If you are interested in putting together or joining others on a trip like this, please let me know. Ideal timeframe would be April/May.
The school is doing very well. We are going strong with 65 students. The kids are learning more English every day and we seem to be getting into a great rhythm. The parents are very happy and are very involved in the school. They self-organized a PTA and have been working to make the school great. For example, we have a celebration at the end of each month now for birthdays and this month we had a pool party at the school and the kids had so much fun. You can see pictures and video on our Facebook page for the school (Academia Cristiana de Palacaguina). By the way, this is the fastest way for you to see regular updates/pictures on the school throughout the month.
Last update, I shared we still had a gap of $600 a month for this years budget. Praise the Lord for an amazing friend who stepped up and said, “Hey, I’ve recently gained a source of extra income and God is putting it on my heart to help ya’ll with it.” He is committing for the rest of the year to provide the whole $600 per month need. WOW!!! God is so good!! We are so grateful for this wonderful friend who is going to make such a difference. Please pray God will continue to provide for this friend as he is trusting and following God’s leading. Thank you! And thank you for all who are helping us Change a Generation.
- Internet – we are so lacking in our ability to communicate and share with you. We are getting closer, but need a few more things to happen. Please keep praying for a solution.
- Car – the car, though a blessing to have, has had several maintenance issues and needs tires. Please pray God will open the doors for the repairs and tires.
- Transition – please keep the kids in your prayers. We are hoping for friends and opportunities for them to engage with others. Overall, I will say they are doing extremely well.
- Salaries – The government just required us to give a 9% increase in salaries. This is going to have a big impact on our “just covered” budget. Really weird how this works. But, please pray for us as we work through this.
We cannot express enough how grateful we are for all of you loving on us and praying for us. You are the reason we get to be here and literally see the hand of God moving in the hearts of people. You make this possible. Your giving and your prayers are the vehicle God is using to do what only He can do. I hope to talk to you soon and share with you directly how AWESOME God is and how wonderful everything is going. God Bless you as you serve and honor Him with your lives. We are fulfilling the Great Commission together.
For more updates throughout the month, check out my youtube channel. I try to upload a new video at least once or twice a week.
Dios te bendiga de la familia de Witonski!!! (God Bless you from the Witonski family)
The Witonski Family <><
Getting ready for the PreSchool Pool Party