We’ve had a bit of blog silence these past few weeks, as we’ve been trying to sort through some stuff with our work here in Nicaragua. If you’ve followed our family’s updates for the past six months, you know we’ve been working on growing and formalizing our adoption care ministry. Here’s a recap:
- We tried to find a partner in the U.S., but that didn’t work. So we switched gears and looked for a partner in Nicaragua.
- God brought us the Martinez family to take over the day-to-day supporting of adopting families in Nicaragua, so we can return to the U.S. and “be the partner” we’ve been wanting.
- Our initial plan was to raise money to move the Martinez family into our house and have them continue the guesthouse we’ve been running. If we didn’t raise enough, the backup plan was to close the guesthouse and instead rent a few apartments in a nearby community popular among missionaries and adopting families.
- We spent a month in the U.S. this summer starting the fundraising campaign, and then returned to Nicaragua for the start of the school year.
These past six weeks, we’ve prayed and talked and listened a lot. We’ve watched God close certain doors and open others. And throughout that process, it became clear to us that closing the guesthouse, in favor of renting a few apartments in that nearby community, was a better option for the ministry and the families we serve.
And this is how Plan B became Plan A… and we move one step closer to the full-service adoption care ministry we’ve been dreaming about.
FROM A BUILDING-FOCUS TO A FAMILY-FOCUS
First, FIT Nicaragua will switch from funding and running a guesthouse to primarily funding a missionary couple whose job is to serve adopting families. We believe this is a much more easily replicated and sustainable model, particularly as we try to take this adoption care movement to other countries.
Our updated job description for the host family includes…
- managing all of the units we rent within the apartment community,
- preparing all units for arriving families,
- sharing a meal with each family at least once a week,
- providing all emergency/church/airport/grocery transportation at no cost to the family (and managing the ministry van for low-cost rentals for all other transportation needs),
- checking in with families daily to determine how best to meet emotional, physical, and spiritual needs,
- managing household help, tutors, and translators,
- helping families learn about the country of their child’s birth,
- and serving adopting families with Christ-like love.
(A complete budget and job description is available for anyone who wants to read through it.)
In fact, one of my favorite aspects of this model is that God brought us a local missionary family who is already living here in Nicaragua, but just needs proper funding in order to adequately serve. The Martinez family has been supporting themselves, through teaching and web development, while also trying to serve locally. We know how hard it is to work full-time to earn a living and also work full-time ministry. By funding a national missionary already “in the field,” we are saving FIT Nicaragua and our donors thousands of dollars in training and relocation costs.
And, we’re enabling a family that desires to serve full-time the chance to do just that.
Second, the monthly funding goal reduces from $5000 to $2500, which means our current funding is at 66.6%! (That is just a bad number for a Christian ministry to be stuck at… someone needs to set up a new monthly donation simply so we can get past this point!) In any case, we need a mere $835/month to reach our monthly goal! Can you help!!?? $30, $50, or $100/month makes a big difference to a family living on $2500/month, so every little bit is important, and every little bit helps.
FURNISHED FAMILY UNITS
Third, instead of sharing space in a larger home, adopting families will each have their own apartment unit, and pay for only their own family’s expenses in that unit. However, FIT Nicaragua will secure, furnish, and prepare as many units as our overflow funding allows (as in, money that comes in above and beyond the monthly costs to sustain the missionary family), so families have minimal in-country housing costs.
Because we are signing year-leases on the units, families will pay about half what they would if they rented on a month-to-month basis. And, because of the longer-term commitment, we can fully furnish each unit — even with laundry machines! — to make them more comfortable for families. This is huge, given there are no laundromats, and also considering the high cost of electronics and appliances.
So while we’ve made great strides these past few weeks, we still need a few more people to join us as we serve these adopting families, to reach our monthly goal. Please consider how you can help.