I won’t insult you again by making excuses about where the updates from us for many months have been. I will ask you to forgive me. Over the last three months there have been many changes for the Hollands. As each potential change arose I hesitated writing. (Read on and you will see what I am talking about.) Without any further ado, I will try to update you on things as we know them today.
We are about to begin our 66th month of work here in Nicaragua.
While we have chosen not to start vision screening in the schools as we have in the past, Sheila continues to check eyes and fit glasses out of the Misión Para Cristo medical clinic each Tuesday. To date, Sheila has screened 444, referred 40 to local opticians, and fitted 397 clients with eyewear this year. Those waiting in the clinic area are presented Bible lessons by mission staff. Spanish Christian literature is used to check the vision of those requiring reading glasses. Clients are invited to keep the material Sheila offers them.
We continue to work with the Tuesday Children’s English class, the Hijos del Rey (Children of the King) program in Jinotega each Sunday and the Niños de Carácter (Children of Character) in the nearby community of Apanas each Saturday. In addition to the spiritual training provided we often get requests for assistance with school uniforms and supplies, and medical needs throughout the year. Each request is considered on its own merit and help is provided when appropriate.
Watching the young adults and teens take the reins of the Saturday and Sunday programs has been a joy. They have moved from not having any idea of the teaching styles we were pitching to them, to not only implementing but writing their own lessons. They do 98% of the work.
“There is something you should understand about the way I work. When you need me, but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go. It's rather sad, really, but there it is.” Nanny McPhee
We feel it is time for us to leave our current home and loved ones here in Nicaragua and return to the those we love in the United States. We are targeting mid-July for this transition and many factors have been considered in setting this time frame.
We have been prayerfully considering our return to the United States. We feel we are at the point that Alejandro is ready to begin his US education, and frankly needs to. Sheila has done a great job of teaching him English. He is excited about living in the States. We feel that the training that God has allowed us to do here is in a good place. We are actively seeking someone to take over the vision ministry, and while we think we have identified the best candidate, it is unlikely we will be able to fully complete training prior to our anticipated return window of mid-July.
We will return with literally nothing more than the clothes on our backs. I have been interviewing for jobs and have many more applications in. We hope by the time we return that we will know where we are going to set up camp when get to the States. If you have any leads for jobs…anywhere in the US, please let me know. Most of my experience is in Children’s Ministry, but I have a few years of teaching under my belt, and some administrative experience as well. So, if you know of anyone needing a “mature” children’s minister, an elementary teacher who is committed to getting up to speed in current trends in education, or a dish washer, graveyard shift cashier, or someone to sweep up after the party, I’m your man. Pass along any details and I will contact whomever. Resume is polished, and attached to this email ready!
Regarding how this change impacts you, it should eventually relieve you of your current financial commitment, although, as always, we ask for your continued prayers. We are also asking for your continued financial support through December. It is our goal to put some money in the Foundation account to be able to sustain the vision program in Nicaragua. We also will need some adjustment time and funding to repatriate. Beginning in January 2018, we will ask all of you who are willing and able to continue to send a donation to the Foundation of $10, $15, $20 or whatever you can to continue to fund the work of the Foundation, but on a much, much smaller scale.
BLESSINGS NEVER CEASE
The LORD moves in mysterious way. We are excited to announce that we are pregnant – technically Sheila is. The New Holland is due in December. Yes, reread, laugh at God’s sense of humor, and pray for us even harder. We are excited and Alejandro is almost beside himself. (This kind of adds to the sense of urgency, immediacy, and underscores the need for a job that can support a family of four, especially in the light of the fact that the one with more marketable skills will not be working. )
We are also happy to announce that we are no longer homeowners. Our house in Georgetown sold early this month. We owe an incredible debt of thanks to Lee and Cindy Jarrard for being our legal representation (and so very much more) in Georgetown and to Susan Hershey, who went WAY above and beyond in selling the house. In addition to our thanks we have little to offer her. Including her contact information is the least we can do.
While Alejandro’s adoption is absolutely, 100% complete, the immigration process is not. We have filed documents to complete the process and we have obtained a multi-entry US visa for him, we will have one or two trips back to the US Embassy in Managua for the final interviews and processing after we make our move in July.
CONCERT OF PRAYERS
· Baby Holland
· Nicaraguans stepping up to take the lead
· Benny & Donna Baker
· Colette Price
· More special Nicaraguans that we can possible name
· Baby Holland and Immigration look at a calendar together to make sure there are no scheduling conflicts
· A home, a job and insurance
· Completion of the immigration process
· Sheila’s health while waiting
· Confidence and continued commitment from the leaders of the children’s programs
· Courage and peace for Alejandro in a long list of transitions he faces that are far different than ours
· Capacity to gracefully handle the grief of leaving so many special people here in Nicaragua
If you are not already contributing, and are interested in making a one-time, tax deductible contribution you can send it to:
SFSE, PO Box 903, Georgetown, TX 78627
Thank you and bless you,
Jonathan, Sheila and Alejandro