Greetings from Leon, Nicaragua, in the name of Jesus.
My name is Maximo de Jesus Castro. I am the pastor of the Star of Bethelem Church; I minister to your Compassion-sponsored child. I am so thankful to you for your generosity towards your sponsored child. Thank you for the support, your prayers and love. God bless you!
(Actual Photo of NI-221)
I'd like to share with you some thoughts to help you to understand more about our community and our local program with Compassion.
Our program is making a great difference in the children's lives. At this moment we have 100 kids who already have sponsors and other 67 who are registered, but they are still waiting to be sponsored. I want to tell you that the kids are so happy to come to the Children of Bethlehem Child Development Center at our church, because they face many stressful needs at home. In the community there is too much unemployment and those who have an employ earn an extremely low salary.
Kids live in small houses and in peripheral neighborhoods, which are so unhealthy. Many kids suffer respiratory illnesses and fevers; also, spiritual needs are great. In this community there are Christians but they are the minority.
I feel very happy with the center workers who, besides being church members, they also are volunteer teachers that work full time teaching kids. They really love kids and they know each one by name. We teach kids many things about health, hygiene and good manners. They receive classes to complete what they receive at school. But the most important is that we teach them about the life and work of Jesus. We pray for each one of the kids, giving them integral attention in the spiritual, physical and emotional area.
(Actual Photo of NI-221. That's my Antonio in the stripes)
During the year of 2008, 30 kids received Christ as their Savior. And 16 parents are attending church. I was praying to the Lord for a long time, to find a ministry, which could help me to work for the children, and then I found Compassion. It has been such a blessing for the children of our community and especially to the children of our church. This is the main provider of spiritual teaching to our children. I want you to know that your personal support as sponsor means a lot.
Our children need to feel loved and valued. We share with them their sponsors' names and when they receive letters and pictures, they are happy, and this makes them feel so special.
Please continue to pray for your sponsored child. And pray for our church and for our Children of Bethlehem Child Development Center. We pray for our children to grow up educated and healthy so they could be useful for the society.
God bless you!
Maximo de Jesus Castro