Saturday, May 2, 2020

Thankful hearts

A beautiful thing to see is those from around the world come together and serve one another in times of need. With the stay at home order in effect, those on the island of Bocachica are greatly impacted. 
We are pleased to say that over the past couple of weeks your donations have helped to feed  hundreds of families. We are working with the local church on the island to donate a weeks worth of groceries to families on the island. The church is doing a great work diligently serving the community. Not only are they giving out food, they are presenting the gospel as well. The locals are very thankful for your generosity and your continued prayers!
We hope you enjoy the photos. Stay safe and healthy.
Love,
The Ariels





















Sunday, April 5, 2020

Prayer for those in Bocachica

I know many of us are in continual prayer for people around the world. I wanted to please ask you to pray for those in Bocachica. While the stay at home order has been hard on many of us here, it too, is very hard on those in Colombia. However, they do not even have simple luxuries that we have right now. In order to go to a grocery store the locals have to wait each morning for their Cedula number called out. (That's like our S.S. number here.) If your number is called one person in your family may go to Cartegena and get food. However, with the extreme poverty conditions that they have in Bocachica, with out work there is no money to buy food. Emily keeps us posted daily. She said the island is in full panic. The locals are very scared of the virus and concerned that they will not be able to feed their families. The pastor of the church has advised people to stay off of social media and to avoid the news. He thinks it is instilling more fear than educating them about the virus. Emily mentioned that the stores in Cartegena are price gouging and have very limited hours. They have to wait in long lines just to get into a store. Not to mention some farmers from around Colombia have stopped some shipments of produce. Therefore making prices on fruits and vegetables go higher. 

Nate and I were able to send money this week to the church to help with this need. With this money they were able to buy bulk food and distribute it to the locals. We know this money will only last for a short period of time. I know God is in control. I know He hears our needs and gives us our daily bread. Please pray for those on the island to have faith like never before, for patience with the stay at home order, and trust in the Lord during this time. Please pray for the church as they bear the burdens of many and are trying their best to help. We have attached photos below. 
Thank you for joining us in praying,
The Ariels
Want to help with a food donation?
Checks can be mailed to Juntos memo: **food**
3706 Union Ridge Rd. Burlington NC. 27217
Or through PayPal: paypal.me/JuntosColombia


Saturday, December 28, 2019

Year end 2019

Looking back over 2019, our family is thankful the Lord has allowed us to continue to do ministry work both in Bocachica, Colombia, and right here in our city.

It's hard to believe we broke ground on the school only two years ago. Since then the school has grown beyond what we thought would take place in this short amount of time. We currently have 5 classrooms, 2 multi-unit bathrooms, a staff office, and a kitchen to service the school kids. Last year we had 58 children who received a quality education while hearing about the Lord daily. Once school starts again in January they will have 78 children in attendance.


Nate and I went Bocachica in March. It was incredible to see the school and see the progress that has taken place.  During this trip we also had meetings with the engineers about the next phase of the school. It was a fruitful trip being able to see what's ahead for the school. For me it is a blessing to see Nate's construction knowledge brings forth fruit even in Bocachica.

I was able to take my oldest son with me to Bocachica in October. We hosted a team from Bogota and helped them with a sports clinic, with a vision of Emily and Ausberto to open a sports center in 2020.

Nate, along with a couple from Canada, went to Bocachica in December. They had the opportunity to visit the school and hear what the future holds for the school. While they were there they had the privilege to see the 2019 kindergarten class graduate. They heard testimonies from the locals about the joy and thankfulness they have with their children attending the Christian School of Bocachica. 
It has been rewarding to know the Lord has used us in ministry here in our community as well. Nate and I have a desire to serve no matter where we live. When we came back to the states in 2016, my husband started coaching my girl's soccer team and did so for 2 years. This year, Kristen made it on a travel soccer team. Which made our schedule full, and not leaving us time to continue coaching. However, we wanted to continue to have opportunities to met with the girls and their families on a regular basis having times of fellowship and outreach.

In June we took the soccer girls to see a professional soccer game in Charlotte, NC. October we had the girls and their families over for a cookout and a pumpkin carving contest. November we took the group to an all night evangelism outreach with Word of Life Ministries. And in December we spent a day baking Christmas cookies to share with a family or friend.  The parents of the kids have asked that we continue to keep the girls together and mentor them. It is nice to know we are as important to them as they are to us.


As you can see, we have a lot to be thankful for. Thankful that our time doing mission work didn't stop when we left the island. The Lord has been gracious to us giving us a way to continue to help the locals of Bocachica and to continue to serve right here in Alamance county. We are so thankful for our family and friends who have supported us. Thankful that you believe in what we are doing in Bocachica. The locals give praise for you often. They are grateful that you are helping them make their dreams and desires come true. With your support, you are changing the lives of many.

If you would like to help us with the next phase of the school and want to send a tax-deductible donation you can do so by using Paypal at: www.paypal.me/JuntosColombia

Remember 100% of donations go to the school building project. We are currently raising funds for the next classroom.

Also, if you want to do a short term mission trip please let us know. We are in the process of putting one together for 2020. I would be more than happy to share details with you.

We hope you and your loved ones have a Happy New year!


Monday, November 25, 2019

B-Real

Last month my son, Nathanael, and I visited Bocachica. It was a blessing to spend time with just my son, as you can imagine, alone time with one child out of 8 kids is a treat in itself. He was ecstatic when we purchased the tickets and found out he'd be joining me on this trip. He couldn't wait to see his childhood friends, sleep in his old house, love on his pets to whom he had to say goodbye, and of course eat the Colombian cuisines.

Crepes and Waffles! 'Than's favorite restaurant.

'Than with Marcus. His family takes care of our house while we are in the States.
This was a hard goodbye. Marcus cried himself to sleep this night.
Back in March of 2019, our close friends, Emily and Ausberto, shared with us a vision of theirs. They want to open a Christian sports studio for the youth and young adults on the island. A place to train in sports at the same time as being mentored spiritually. They already have land where the studio can be built, but there are a lot of aspects that go into making this vision a success.

We later shared with vision with other people and when Juan David heard it he wanted to help. He put a team together and they came up with the weeks agenda. Juan David has a heart for Bocachica. We first met him in January of 2012 on his first mission trip to Bocachica. Since then, he has been to the island numerous times and our family has been able to build a close friendship with him.  Juan David mentors two young adults from the island. Not only does he spend time with Papo and Yaikder, Juan monetarily supports Yaiker making it possible for him to study at a private school in Cartagena. 
Yaiker, Juan David, Papo
"Than and I had the opportunity to cheer them on during a race that was held in Cartagena, Colombia
Yaiker ran 10K and Juan David and Papo ran 25 K
3,000 people ran this race
Not only was it a special trip due to sharing it with my son, it was also special to spend the week with a team from Bogota. Three of the team members we know well. I have missed each of them dearly. I loved reconnecting and hearing about how the Lord is working in each of their lives. I also had the opportunity to meet new team members who were amazing! It is honestly one of my favorite things about doing mission work. Meeting new people and hearing about their lives. I am so thankful to know God made us relational beings. I am thankful to have worked along side each of them.
B-Real team 
This week was dedicated to see what kind of interest the island would have for a sports studio. The team offered a week long clinic that focused on boxing and cross fit.  The clinic was for ages 12-25 years of age. The training was intense, but the youth embraced it with enthusiasm. In one of the sessions I noticed an older gentle man standing against the wall. I thought he was watching his child train. After talking to him, he shared with me that he wasn't watching a child, he was interested to see what was being offered and thinks this is exactly what the island needs. He said the youth have nothing to do with their time and energy. They often get into trouble which can include drinking and doing drugs.
Boxing training
The man against the wall thinks this studio is a must!
The ladies loved this! Even older ladies in the community want to participate.
During the week we had 297 young people who came to the camp. The last three days of the camp the team held cross fit competitions for each age group. This competition was comprised of numerous, high intensity, timed exercises  which narrowed the competition down to 40 competitors who advanced to the grand finale. The grand finale was held at the beach where friends and family members could come and cheer the competitors on.
The winners of the cross fit grand finale
This week was confirmation that the island would benefit from a Christian arts center. The locals want something like this as much as Emily and Ausberto do. It was a privilege to come along side Emily and Ausberto to see their excitement and desire to help the young adults. The youth need avenues where they can focus their time and energy into something positive at the same time being mentored. Please pray as they go forward with making this vision become a reality. There are a lot of aspects that go into making this center successful.

 There is big news on the island. We have gas! This was promised for years and it's finally here. The funny thing is the company which was installing the gas lines and meters installed 200 meters into various houses and thought that was sufficient. The Bocachicans took it upon themselves and told the government officials if the gas wasn't installed like promised they would protest by closing off the canal making it impossible for the cargo ships to pass through. Companies and the government would lose a lot of money if this protest took place. Needless to say, all house on the island are suppose to get gas before the end of November. This posed a problem for the school. The company would only install gas lines and meters to houses that had functional kitchens. If the school didn't have their kitchen done by November they would have to pay the company 1,500 US dollars to get it installed. Since the school did not have a kitchen we started on this right away, and thanks to donors like you, we were able to send funds down to get the kitchen in place. I received an update yesterday and they have the walls up and the roof ready to be installed.
Kitchen walls are up and stucco has begun.
During the week we also painted the 5th classroom of the school. This classroom will be in operation in January of 2020.  This was a nice way to unwind and enjoy the teams company. The team enjoyed seeing the school, hearing classes in session, and spend time with the kids during recess.

5th classroom being painted

'Than above and Karol below, enjoying recess with the kids.


Please pray for Bocachica, October starts the rainy season. This makes normal living on the island more difficult. It is an art to walk on dirt streets with rain. Not only is walking hard, rain means the chance of losing electricity increases. Rain also brings the mosquitoes. They recently lost a 5 year old little girl to Dengue fever.

The hill to my house. This was just a morning shower. Imagine it after a full day of rain.
Look how cute this family is. Rain water means bath time!
Why not play in a puddle?
This was another great trip to Bocachica. As a parent it is rewarding to see your child spend a week in harder conditions then he's normal to and hear his heart on wanting to stay longer. It was a blessing to know after living in the states for almost 4 years and seeing how life is so different here vs. there he never once complained. The heat, the rain, the noise, bucket baths, losing electricity, he was able to adapt. He even asked his dad if he could start working with him to save up money for another trip... (we will let him be a kid a bit longer before he has to go to work) I pray he continues to have a heart for people. That he can see people for who they are not what they have.

Thank you to the team for your time and dedication to the project. The week was a success and very enjoyable. May the Lord bless each of you for your hearts.

Thank you readers, for your prayers for Bocachica. The school, the sports studio, the church on the island and of course the people.

Blessings and love,
Tara

Friday, September 27, 2019

A fashionable clean-up

We recently received a video update of the school. The engineer who is working on the school documented the progress for us. We are on track to open the new classroom in January. This will host third grade when the new school year starts in 2020. This video shows the office, classrooms, and bathrooms.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfhDZmbFmx8  


Last week the Christian School of Bocachica had visitors from Teach Beyond out of Bogota. The school dedicated the week to learn more English.  Currently, the kids have English three time a week from an English professor out of Cartagena. Teach Beyond taught more vocabulary to the students. They learned about American sports, animals, school supplies, and even learned about the importance of recycling. One day the kids had a fashion show showing off their creations they made from trash. Below are photos from the week. 

This video below will bless you! Take a listen to this sweet prayer by Raishelin grade 2. They are learning so much. 


The team of teachers from both The Christian School of Bocachica and Teach Beyond.

The school is decorated for English week

look at his imagination

First place goes to Jana Chaly. 

Futuristic recycling

How about this for recycling?

Some of the second graders hanging out with the Pastor

Learning about American football and Soccer

Artwork has been added to the playground. This makes it so inviting
 Below are photos of the teacher's bathroom and the 5th classroom. 
The 5th classroom. Next month the painting will be done and windows and doors will be installed.
We are so thankful to see the provision of the Lord. These kids are receiving a quality education in a loving environment. Thank you for helping us make this possible.
Next month I will be traveling to Bocachica with my son, Nathanael. We will be assisting a church from Bogota with a project and also helping out at the school. I'm excited to go back and visit with everyone, see the school in session, and for Nathanael to reconnect with his childhood friends.
Prayers are appreciated.
In love,
The Ariels