WOW!! What an amazing trip to Nicaragua. I just spent a week in Palacaguina and there are not words capable of expressing how great of a trip it was. This year is going to be our best year yet and the future of PCA is very bright. I believe we have a strong, unified team at the school that is ready to make a difference in the lives of our children and community. When we were forced to leave our beloved Nicaragua and the school, I will be honest, we had no idea what God was doing. There were far more questions than answers. But now, we can see the beginning of, yet again, God doing something amazing. God has raised up incredible leaders who, I believe, will charge forward with the mission and vision of Changing a Generation. Thank you God for your grace, mercy and strength. Even when we do not see, You have promised and You are faithful. God is so good and we are Highly Encouraged!! We pray you too are encouraged with us.
PARTNER APPRECIATION EVENT – CENTRAL ARKANSAS
IT IS OFFICIAL!!! Saturday, April 6th, you are invited to join us in Central Arkansas for our Partner Appreciation Event. We want to share all you have done in 2018. We look forward to feeding you a chili dinner while sharing all of 2018’s accomplishments and the plans for 2019. We ask you to bring a friend who would be interested in joining you in partnering with a ministry that is making a major impact in the lives of children and families in Palacaguina. If you can RSVP, great, if not, you are welcome to just show up. But please, allow us to honor you for an evening. And, we have a great surprise planned for all of our 2018 partners you will not want to miss. We greatly look forward to seeing you in April. Details are:
Fellowship North Church
1 E. 52nd Place, North Little Rock, AR 72116
Saturday, April 6th, 2019
5:00pm – 7:00pm
TEACHER TRAINING 2019
Upon arriving at the school a few weeks ago, I joined the end of our annual teacher training. I was especially encouraged to see all of the teachers and school staff working as a team to prepare the classrooms and ready the school. Our training period this year began with a painting project where the teachers repainted all classrooms and the preschool, followed by seven days of in-class training provided by our team of educational consultants in the US. To quote Reynaldo, our new General Director,
“In summary these two weeks have been very beneficial for PCA, for teachers. They have exceeded my own expectations.”
A big thank you to the team of educational consultants who prepared our videos and training agenda. I can verify it was a colossal success and truly helped us start the school year strong!
One of my desires for traveling to Nicaragua was to understand the situation and evaluate if teams should feel comfortable coming back to Palacaguina to work with the school. My conclusion is I feel it is safe for adult teams to begin traveling back to Palacaguina in 2019. For youth teams, I would encourage waiting a little longer and possibly making plans for trips in 2020. Why adults and not youth? Though I think youth would also be fine, it would be prudent, due to the additional requirements on international youth travel, we give a little more time to feel even more comfortable with the stabilization of everything. Just for good measure.
PCA/516NOW FAMILY BARBECUE
For the second year, we provided a ministry year kickoff with a family barbecue for all PCA workers and their families along with all employees of our partner organization 516Now. It was a precious time for me as I was able to serve our ministry family and hear from each person as they introduced their family and spoke of their gratefulness for the school and the opportunity to work here and serve our children and the community. This theme resonated with every single worker and it is because of you we all have such an opportunity to Change a Generation through giving children an education with moral values.
2019 PCA OPEN HOUSE
I do not have words colorful or exciting enough to express how wonderful this year’s open house event was. In the words of a friend, “This was the most organized and well run event, I have ever seen in Nicaragua.” Praise the Lord!!! We had, easily, more than 100 parents and students attend. Part one of open house was an assembly where I spoke to all parents about our future and the future of PCA. Additionally, our new Director, Hermana Aura, presented our student handbook, and our General Director, Reynaldo, presented projects and efforts we are doing in 2019 to assist our parents and students more. Following the assembly, all parents, with their children, went to their classrooms where they met with their child’s teacher, completed admission contracts and were able to ask questions. It was a truly amazing event that was everything I could hope for to begin the 2019 school year. I saw the teamwork and organization that will be the foundation of our staff’s ability to make a positive impact on our children and families at PCA.
2019 PROGRAMS AND ASSISTANCE
This year, we are focused on helping our students and their families more. Due to the situation in Nicaragua, our parents are facing even more financial hardship. Though our tuition is already extremely low, many of our families are struggling to afford it. Therefore, we have expanded our 50% reduced tuition assistance to cover up to 80% of our students. In addition, we are covering the cost of books for students and some supplies as we are able. We are also looking to finish this year our kitchen so we can bring the food preparation activities into the school to further help reduce the burden on parents. All of this will cost, but we believe it is important to help our parents as much as we are able, while still giving them the chance to invest in, and be a part of, their child’s education. It cannot be free, but we are working to make it as affordable as possible.
PROJECTS AND CONSTRUCTION
I spent a good amount of time working on the plans for construction and growth this year. We have several projects critical to complete this year and I believe, with God’s help and your generosity, we will.
- Several gutter and water erosion projects to protect existing structures (est $1,000)
- Complete the primary school perimeter fence and gates (est $8,000-$10,000)
- Dirt work to level the last section of our primary school campus (est $2,000-$3,000)
- Roof Completion of our primary school building (est $1,800)
I was excited to see the work and completion of several projects this last month:
- Repainting of the preschool building
- Completion of our Cafeteria Roof
- Good progress on our safety wall to protect the preschool
- Completed renovation of our main school office
We are excited about 3 new partners last month who have sponsored 5 children needing sponsors. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We are working now on identifying a final count of new children who will need sponsors this year. We will have at least 15. Without these sponsorships, we will face a deficit in our annual budget and may need to cut some programs. So, please share with others about the good work being done in Palacaguina and invite them to partner with us in sponsoring a child for only $40 a month to Change a Generation. Together, we can give these children an amazing future void of poverty.
- Pray every child will be sponsored for 2019
- Pray for a strong year at PCA and our staff working as a team
- Pray for our upcoming Partner Appreciation Event and those who will attend
Every accomplishment, every life impacted, every child and family ministered to would not be possible without the prayers and support each of you give every month. We are so grateful for you and for your heart and passion to see the work for God’s kingdom advance. We are blessed to have you as our partners. We hope and pray each of you can see and feel the amazing impact you are making every month. Thank you!!
Dios te bendiga de la familia Witonski!!! (God Bless you from the Witonski family)
Want more frequent updates, pictures and videos? Check out the schools Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AcademiaCristianaPalacaguina/