Updates from the One Child Matters team, partners, and supporters.


Important Update: Crisis in Nicaragua

Thank you for your commitment to the children in Nicaragua through child sponsorship. Being a part of a Hope Center and connected to a sponsor like you makes such a difference for these children. In an effort to keep you informed and prayerful, we want to alert you of the current situation in Nicaragua.

In recent weeks, civil unrest and protests broke out in cities across the country. The demonstrations have escalated in violence, making it unsafe for many to leave their homes. The overall turmoil has kept children from schools and adults from their jobs.

More than 1,000 children in our program have been affected by this upheaval with limited access to food and loss of income for their parents. Unfortunately, it looks as though the unrest will continue for some time.

Blockades on main access roads throughout major cities inhibit the purchase of food and drinking water, and widely used products such as gasoline and chicken are scarce. Eight weeks of conflict have resulted in more than 200 deaths with 1,700 wounded and over 100 people still missing, including the son of a tutor from one of our Hope Centers.

In response to the ongoing conflict, the national One Child Matters office convened and formed the OCM National Emergency Committee which is made up of four pastors, two Hope Center Directors, and OCM National staff. It was determined for the physical safety as well as the emotional well-being of the children enrolled in the affected Hope Centers that all One Child Matters program activities be suspended until further notice as the Emergency Committee assess the situation on ground. This team of committed individuals is doing all that they can to prioritize the most urgent needs of these children and their loved ones.

As food stocks in the region are steadily decreasing with local suppliers unable to meet demands, and the loss of work opportunities for area adults (the majority of whom are without permanent jobs), the OCM National Emergency Committee has been in constant contact with our office in the event that requests for additional funding become necessary.

For the safety of our national and Hope Center staff, child and sponsor correspondence will continue but delays are expected. Also, letters will be done electronically, so you may receive a scanned copy of your child letter rather than the original.

We are confident that your sponsored child would find great comfort in extra communication from you during this stressful time. Please take this opportunity to send letters, reminding them that they are cared for and not alone. You can also write to your child online through My Account.

If you would like to offer monetary support, there are avenues in place to ensure that your funds are directed to our Hope Centers in Nicaragua. You can give online to our Crisis Fund or call 800-864-0200 to make a contribution.

Though we are saddened to bring such news, it is our hope that this is awareness will gain your much-needed thoughts, prayers, and assistance.

A Day Through Their Eyes

8 children from the same community have shown their unique perspectives of their daily life with us. We are so thankful for this opportunity to hear directly from these children who are working hard toward a better future.

One of the most enlightening insights that we saw when talking with each of these children is that they all have similar values in their lives. They have a deep love for their families; they work hard in school; and they attend the church within their community. Such simple values, but are they really much different from our own?

When we see these pictures, our eyes may first be drawn to their run down houses, simple meals, or poor road conditions on their walk to school. But it is truly not what they see. They see their home and the potential for a full and happy life. And maybe they have found the key to true contentment, because they do not have so much else cluttering their lives. They have what they need – family, opportunity, and the love of God.

Sponsorship helps to give these children what they need to be content and filled with joy, even in the midst of tough circumstances. Thank you to all of you that are helping a child who is seeking a better life, just like these children. We hope that these photos will serve us all in the future as a reminder of what we truly need in life to succeed.

A Day Through Johnny’s Eyes

Johnny

Hi, my name is Johnny and I am 17 years old. I live in Honduras with my parents and siblings. I just finished my high school education, and now I am looking at going to college. One of my favorite things to do is spend time with my friends playing games. Thanks for taking the time to learn about my day!


Johnny

This is the neighborhood where I live. You see that there are some kids walking with backpacks, and it reminded me of when I would go to school like they are. There are a lot of children in my neighborhood who don’t go to school, so I feel that there is a need for more education in this area.


Johnny

Here I am being a chef! Ha ha! I cook every day for myself and for my little brother and sisters. When I cook, I am showing them that men can also cook and help in the kitchen! Even though sometimes I make a mess…


Johnny

I took this photo when I woke up this morning. This is the view from my house, and every day I like to look outside and thank God for giving me another day of life. When I see God’s creation, I am reminded that He is good.


Johnny

Here is my little brother. I sometimes call him “The Little Terror” because he can be quite a handful sometimes. He’s only three years old.


Johnny

My littlest sister eating her breakfast. She is one year old.


Johnny

This was my breakfast this morning – some cookies and coffee.


Johnny

My little sister likes to be my little helper! She was helping me sweep and clean up the house, so we have a little broom for her to use.


Johnny

This is a picture after cleaning my house. I really like cleaning and how the house looks when I’m done, because everything is neat and its place.


Johnny

My whole family lives in this house. Both of my grandfathers live on the bottom floor, my family on the top floor, and my aunt in the back of the building. I like living so close to my family and seeing them often.


Johnny

This is my other little sister when she’s at school playing. She is five years old and is in Kindergarten.


Johnny

Here my little sister is taking a nap, and that’s my other little brother laying down with her.


Johnny

I really like to see people worshipping and praising God. I took this picture at the church service in our community.


Johnny

Our church has a worship dance team, and I have been in this ministry for one year. Our team name is “Shammah”, which means “the presence of God is here”. I love to dance, and I love that I get to dance at church. I like it because I feel like we are a bridge between the worship team and the congregation.


Johnny

This is our team leader for the worship dance team!


Johnny

The other chore that I do around the house is wash the clothes and put them away. These photos show a little bit of how I do that.


Johnny

This is my dad’s motorcycle. Ever since I was little I have loved motorcycles and cars, and I have always wanted one of my own. Now that my dad has one, I’m trying to get my license and learn how to drive it.


Johnny

This is what my church looks like from the front.


Johnny

Here is one of our practices for the worship dance team.


Johnny

This is the most important photo that I took, and it means so much to me. This is the drum set that is at my church.

I have had a dream of being a drummer ever since I was a very young child – I always wanted to be part of a band at school, or wherever I could! I played for a little while with a band in my neighborhood, but that did not last very long. But I always tell myself that it wasn’t the last time I will be part of a band.

Now, I work very hard and I pay attention to other drummers on the worship team at church, so that I can learn how to be better. That’s how I got introduced to the dance team, because I am very interested in worship music.

I am so thankful that God has given me the opportunity to start playing drums again at the church. I feel like my dreams are coming true. One day, I would love to play drums in big stadiums or even in other countries. I will keep working hard and hopefully get to someday.


Johnny

This is my dad. He is a very good man. My mom used to work a lot, so when I was little my dad would always stay home and be with me. It is now the time in my life when I can pay him back for what he has given me, which is why I help around the house as much as I can, like watching my siblings or doing chores. I don’t want to be a burden to them, so I want to help them. I’m very thankful to God that I have a father, because a lot of kids around here don’t have a dad at all.


Johnny

My mom is a very special person to me. I respect her so much, and I don’t ever want to misbehave or be disrespectful to her or my dad. She does correct me when I’m wrong, but she does it out of love to make me a better person. Both of my parents are a blessing to me, and I am so thankful for them.


Johnny

This is the director of the Hope Center that I attend, and she is very dear to me. I started attending the Hope Center when I was five years old, and I was a really bad kid. I probably gave her a lot of gray hairs, because I would misbehave and influence the other kids around me to do bad things.

One day she sat me down and looked me straight in the eyes. I remember being scared and nervous, ha ha. She gave me advice and told me that there are seasons in my life when I need to grow up and make some changes. She told me that when I’m young, I need to start learning and being better in preparation for these seasons.

She also told me that I need to be the same person outside of the church as I am inside. I will always remember that advice and I try hard to be that way.

She will sometimes use me as an example with some of the struggling kids in their classes as someone who has changed a lot. But she knows that they can change, because I did, and I was the worst of them all!


Johnny

This is my favorite teacher at the Hope Center. I’m very thankful because we have grown close and we talk a lot. He teaches me and helps me, and I know that everything he teaches us will be useful in the future. He gives great advice, and so I try to listen to what he has to say.


Thanks for sharing with us, Johnny! We are so impressed by the young man you have grown into, and know that you will continue to do great things that will make your family and your teachers proud!

A Day Through Kristhel’s Eyes

Cristhian

Hi, I’m Kristhel. I am 15 years old, and I live in Honduras. My dream one day is to become a businesswoman or a teacher, because I want to have a stable job and be able to provide for my loved ones. I know this takes a lot of hard work, so I study hard in school and do really well in my math and English classes. When I’m not studying, I like to listen to music, play tag, or jump rope with my friends. I hope you enjoy seeing a little bit of my day!


Cristhian

Sometimes during the school day, I like to go up to the 5th floor to look out at the sky. I do this because it gives me a few minutes to think about God, how He is beyond the sky and He is looking after me. God is the most important person in my life. He is always with me and He is my encourager to keep going when things get tough.


Cristhian

This is my best friend Johanna. We’ve known each other for a few years, and she is always making me laugh. I hang out with her and my cousins often, and we usually like to go out and eat baleadas (a Honduran street food).


Cristhian

I have a brother and a sister who are both younger than me. They are 13 and 4 years old. The day that I took this picture, my brother was sick with a headache and cough and stayed home from school. Because my mom works during the week as a maid, I will stay home and take care of them. My grandfather lives next door, but he works too, so he only comes to help us at night.


Cristhian

My father gave me this bear when I was 7 years old. When he was coming to visit one day, he brought me this bear as a special present. My stepfather was really jealous. My father is not around much; sometimes he calls and sometimes he doesn’t. But I like to keep this bear as a reminder of that day.


Cristhian

I consider my stepfather to be the real father in my life. That is a photo of him with a painting that he made. I remember we were eating fruit one day and he decided to paint a picture of it, because they were all my favorite fruits. So he made me a special painting. He passed away when I was 10 years old. This photo is a few years old now, but I love the reminder of him.


Cristhian

This is my teacher at the Hope Center. He really cares about us and always asks about how we are doing. He has helped me to become a leader in my age group because he will ask me questions first when others are a little shy. After I answer, the others feel more comfortable to answer. I like that I am learning to be a good example.


Kristhel, you are a great leader and have an inspiring story! Keep up all of your hard work and we know you will achieve your dreams!

A Day Through Juan’s Eyes

Jose

My name is Juan, and I am 14 years old. My family and I live in an area of Honduras that is known for mudslides, so it’s not the safest place to live. But my dream one day is to be a firefighter, so that I can help people who are in trouble. My parents work very hard as a photographer and a receptionist, but it is still hard to take care of my family. That’s why I am thankful I get to go to the Hope Center where I have hot meals, good education, and medical check-ups. Here is a small glimpse into my day!


Jose

This is my favorite dinner: Refried beans, chorizo, and a fried egg with juice! Yum!!


Jose

Some of my favorite fruits are avocados, mangos, and orange juice.


Jose

This is my family – my sister, my father, and my mother. I love these people the most out of anyone in the world. I took this picture when we were in the hospital because my father was not feeling well, but thankfully we were able to go home that night. He is feeling much better now.


Jose

I love my room, because it is where I go to relax. This is where I sleep at night. I like to call my room my bat cave – haha!


Jose

When I go to the Hope Center, I sometimes get to do some crafts. These are a few of the crafts that I have made. I painted a fruit basket; we made a penguin for Christmas time; and the most recent craft we did was a little wooden keychain.


Jose

One of my favorite hobbies is music. I used to play the bass on the worship team at church, and now I am running the sound board. I love learning about different aspects of music!


Jose

Every morning I read my devotional book. It’s a book for young people, and it always gives me an encouraging word in the morning before I go to school. It has a story and some scriptures to help me start my day.


Jose

I have a pretty nice view from my house! It looks very pretty in the mornings when the sky is different colors and it is peaceful outside. I also like looking out the window at night when all the lights are turned on and glowing.


Jose

My favorite sport is soccer – it’s one of the best things about my day. It’s my favorite thing in the world, to watch or to play. I am left footed, so I really like the left footed soccer starts that play in Europe.


Jose

This is the soccer field in my community where we play lots of games with other kids. I come here often because it is very close to my house.


Jose

This is Pietro, and he is the only cat I have ever had. I’ve had him for less than year. We have 6 cats in our house, but Pietro is mine!


Jose

This is where my Hope Center is and also where I go to church. I love that I get to come here all of the time. We learn a lot about God and we also get to play soccer, so I love that because they are my two favorite things. I also have a lot of friends here.