Monday, January 21, 2019

Exciting news: The Christian School of Bocachica opens this month!

We have exciting news to share with you from Bocachica, Colombia. It's hard to believe this time last year, Nate and a team from the States were breaking
ground on the school. Now they have gone from breaking ground to having four classrooms and a set of bathrooms complete. The most exciting news is that on January 28th, the school will open and operate at their permanent location.

Jay and Jorday work 2.jpg 
Jay and Jordan last year putting in the footers.
IMG-20181213-WA0003 (1).jpg 
Four classrooms! The bathrooms are located at the end of the right-hand side of the building.

The bathrooms are being finished with tile.   

When the school opens on the 28th they will have four grades. Preschool, Kindergarten, first, and second grade.  
Here is the look at the kids who just graduated from Kindergarten.

Nate and I have been asked by the school and the local church on the island to attend the dedication of the school in February. We are excited to be part of this and also to see first hand the progress that has been made.
We can't wait to share with you photos and testimonies of all the good things that are taking place on the island.

Thank you all for your prayers for the school. It is a blessing know the kids are going to receive a quality education and hear the Word of the Lord daily.
Please continue to pray as they are in the final days of cleaning up and organizing things for the school to open on the 28th.

The Ariels

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Exciting update on the Christian School of Bocachica

Greetings from NC. We are thankful not to have been hit hard in Burlington with Hurricane Florence. Praying for those who have been affected in the path of the hurricane. It has been nice to have Nate off of work and Alicia home from college during the storm. This bit of down time has given me some time to share with you all what is happening with the school in Bocachica.

 Earlier this year the school had to go through some extra engineering code upgrades.  The government had okayed the previous plans for the school. However, with some new buildings in Cartegena that had been deemed as uninhabitable, the local government recalled the permit and stopped the building. Some adjustments had to be made to ensure all new building codes were met. Those changes have taken place and once again we can continue with more construction.

The new school year has started for the children of Bocachica. Right now though, they are not in the new building. The changes that needed to be made put construction a little bit behind. We are thankful to have a borrowed place that can hold the classes until the construction is complete.

For now, they are finishing up the fourth classroom. The large latrine that will service the first phase of the school has been built, and they will now work on the construction of the bathrooms. We are currently collecting funds to complete the bathroom project. If you would like to help Juntos complete that goal please look below on how to send money.

We were blessed to hear that the Colombian and American Navy gifted a playground set for the school. What a blessing to children of the school.

  Nate has been busy for the past two months helping a church in the United States ship a container of Bibles, and Tracts on John and Romans to Colombia. This material will be distributed in Colombia and Venezuela. The church reached out to Nate needing his help with interpreting for the American senders and for Colombian customs and the pastors receiving the materials. Nate now knows the ins and outs of paperwork, cost, and logistics of sending a large container to Colombia. In total there were 1521 boxes, 33,000 pounds of Christian material. It took about 30 days to complete the process.
Now we are working with them to ship them to various places around Colombia and Venezuela.

The container full from the U.S. ready to be shipped

Ausberto, our good friend, helping with transportation of the container to storage.
He helped us with logistics in Cartagena, Colombia.

As always it is a blessing to help in the Lord's work. Thank you all for taking a moment out of your day and reading what's new with our work. Please enjoy these last few days of summer. I know the excitement of fall is upon us.

Many blessings and love from the Ariels.

If you would like to support the school project:
 1. You can click on the Paypal logo above.
 2. Send a check to:
          3706 Union Ridge Road
          Burlington, NC. 27217

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Colombia Spring Update

Perhaps this will be my annual update in honor of the greatest holiday. Happy Resurrection, He is Risen. This past January we took a team to Bocachica to start the classrooms for the new Bi-lingual Christian School.

The local construction team is still working on the classrooms. We planned on fully building out 2 classrooms, but they decided to do four. Right now we are still in need of more funds to keep working. The church has expressed to us multiple times how encouraged they are by all the support they are getting. They are excited about investing in the next generation, bringing change that will last. This is a quote from one person " ESTAMOS MUY AGRADECIDOS CON DIOS QUE NOS ESTÁ CONECTANDO CON CORAZONES SENSIBLES  POR LAS FUTURAS GENERACIONES."
They are commenting that they are grateful to God to be connected to sensitive hearts for future generations. It is encouraging to us as well to see their response as they work to serve the Lord in building a new school that will build up the whole community. This is something that they desire and is not an agenda or plan that outsiders put into place to try and change them. Pray that this momentum will continue with the school and that it bears a lot of fruit.
  While we were there we met the new English teacher from the USA. She had just arrived so we talked a little about the island life and welcomed her to her new home. We were updated recently that she is having a hard time adapting to the cultural style of the island. Pray for her to adapt and feel at home, she is planning on being there long term.
The children also got new desks this past month.

The plastic filters are now being made, we have word that the first 50 are ready to be installed. We are waiting on logistics before they are shipped to us. We are partnering with the NGO to have five installed in Bocachica and five in Bogota to be used for field testing. These will be tested for a period of time to measure the quality of water produced by these new plastic bodies.

 Even though we are not in Colombia to be able to host people at our house, another family from the church lives there. So it is a blessing to hear that they are able to use our house for hospitality in our absence. This past week a music band we know from Medellin was going to a concert in Cartagena. They came out to Bocachica to play in the church and they stayed at our house while on the island. They had made a song about Bocachica and made another music video on a previous mission trip. Click on the link if you want to see the song and our neighbors too!  "If Your voice isn't there" They were making filters as well. These young people are good examples of using your talents to serve Christ.

 The Ariel family is still at home busy in North Carolina. Juntos is now a 501c3 recognized mission. This will help us with taxes and keep everything organized. So if you want to support a project you can send the money directly to Ariel Missions/Juntos. We still can receive funds through Antioch Community Church, if you send money there make sure to write in the memo what the money is intended for.
 The address for us is
Ariel missions/ Juntos
3706 Union Ridge Road
Burlington, NC 27217

This season we celebrate our salvation:

"Your Lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year... And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel. Now the blood shall be a sign on the house where you are. And when I see the blood, I shall pass over; and the plague shall not...destroy you."

So God gives atonement. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for your soul.

John the Baptist sees Jesus and exclaims, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

" So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many," and "this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God."

 We are thankful for His salvation and we are thankful for the work He has given us. Thank you, too, for the support and partnering in this work. Hope you all had a great Easter!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Dear family and friends, 

We wanted to share with you an update on the Ariels and what our mission work looks like
for the year 2018. 

While we as a family are still not able to go back full time on the mission field, it is in our hearts
to do as much mission work as we can from the states, such as raising funds for the school in
Bocachica and putting together teams to do short-term mission trips, as well as visiting Colombia
as much as possible. . 

Many of you know that Nate and three of our daughters had the opportunity this month to go back
to Bocachica with a team and start on the building project for the first Christian school on the island. 

As of right now, the school has a kindergarten and first grade. Their desire is to add a grade
each year. This school is run by the local church. Once the building project is done, this school 
will be self-sustaining. The school also has a missionary from the states who will teach the 
children English. This is important so the children can learn English properly,  This will enable
the students to be able to enter into university and seek higher quality jobs. The school and the
church are working together with the families, giving them the tools they need to help their
children succeed in school. 

While we are not on the ground doing the work, we are very involved with the church on the island.
We are in constant communication with the locals. We are putting forth a lot of time and energy in
putting together teams and doing all the logistics from here.

So where does that leave us? We are in need of funds to keep the work going. We had funds that 
were collecting over the past two years while we were here in the states, but we used a lot of those 
funds for the building of the first three classrooms. We are currently in process of putting together 
a team for this August. Your support allows us to serve the Lord and those who live on the island by 
enabling us to plan and do these things. Please consider supporting us monthly or with a 
one-time donation. It's an exciting time to help those on the island receive an education that will 
set them on a better path for their futures. Wouldn't you like to be a part of that?

If you would like to support us you can make your checks out to: 

                       Ariel Missions - Juntos 

 Send to:       3706 Union Ridge Rd.
                      Burlington, NC. 27217

Thank you for your prayers, your support, and love for our family. 

We are thankful we can serve the Lord!

The Ariels

Nate and Guillermo working

Attachments area
A wonderful team! From NC, MD, Germany, and  Colombia

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Luis update on filters

 Luis went to Viota, a village outside Bogota, where there is no potable water. It is a rural community that is agriculturally based and gets their water from the local river. He joined another organization to help them make and install the Bio-sand filters. They were sponsored by the Rotary clubs from Canada. They were able to install 59 filters. He was happy to be continuing in the work of helping bring people drinking water to people that do not have that luxury.

 This January we are planning on installing more filters near where we lived in Bocachica. There are two small villages that are a couple of hours away from where we lived that get water from a local river that is very contaminated. The locals use a process that takes a while to treat the water. If we can install these bio-filters it would speed the water treatment process up as well as give them a better quality of water. We are wanting to start to raise funds for this project. If you are interested in supporting water for people who have no access to drinking water let us know. As we get closer to time I will give another update with more details. Thank you for those that support us, and enjoy the pictures!
Ivan y Rocio of Proyecto Gente along with Fundacion Senora Pilar

They had four filter molds that helped speed up the process, but it took over a month to complete all the filters.

Installing a filter into a home

Sunday, September 10, 2017

What I liked about summer, Germany

We had the great opportunity to visit Germany this past July. It was a culmination of many different threads all coming together to allow us to have this experience. It was the first time Tara and I could go on vacation together without kids since our honeymoon. It was a 40 year birthday for me, and almost our 20th year anniversary.The trip also allowed us to reconnect with our friends who worked with us in Colombia. During the years we lived in Colombia we had many Germans that worked in Bocachica stay at our house, sometimes days, sometimes months. We were able to see many of them while traveling and staying in some of their homes; there were only three nights that we stayed in an Airbnb.
  We saw many places and had many experiences. For Tara and I, though, we are always happy to be with people, so one of the greatest highlights was seeing all our friends. They were all excited as well and had plans when we arrived to show us the local sights. I feel like we had more depth of knowledge of the areas because of their personal attention. We are very thankful for their help and friendship, and sorry to the others we missed this trip.
Leni and Raphaela

Maria, Anne, Elvira, and Arthur

 At the wedding of Tine and Sasha

Doro and Hannah

Patrick and Bianca

There were also others that we didn't get photos with, our hosts in Munich, Gregor and Ana. 

An interesting thing for us Americans may be a number of bicycles there. They are more abundant than cars.
The architecture was beautiful
It was exciting to sit where Dietrich Bonhoeffer sat and

We saw many more sites and interesting things that would take more posts to tell about.
  One of the greatest impacts for me was seeing all the history in Germany. Some of what forms our culture in the West originated here. Because of the long history, there are a lot more stories, and the places we saw reminded us of them. Particularly, the glory and the depravity of humankind. We were in the country where the Reformation started, and many great theologians are from here. People that shaped our spiritual heritage and freed and articulated better what the Gospel really means. Many of the technologies we enjoy are birthed in the minds of Germans. We saw generations of architecture that are beautiful and timeless. In the same place, we toured a concentration camp and saw memorials to those who were killed in time of the Nazis. We saw the Berlin Wall. All the history is still visible. What I learned is important though, is that we need to see and know both of these sides of humanity. Gregor, our host in Munich, said that there is shame about what happened in the previous generation, and what he noticed is that his grandparents and everybody else never talked about anything that happened before that time period. So he considers it a lost generation, they never talked about the bad things because they were horrible, but at the same time, they didn't talk about the good things. For instance, Dietrich Bonhoeffer is fairly well known in the United States and in Asia. These people groups make up more of the tours of the Bonhoeffer house than the Germans. Americans about 40 percent, Asians about 30 percent, and Germans about 15 to 20 percent. Gregor said many Christians in Germany have never heard of him. So it is important to know the bad and the good, to be reminded of what humans in their depravity can do, but also what the Gospel can do in humanity. That is why sometimes in America we need to be reminded about racism and colonialism. To see that we are not too far removed from the evil, but at the same time to see how the Gospel and transformed people can move us in a new direction.

It was great to see friends and new places. We had a great time.
We will be updating about Luis' project he just finished in the next post.

Monday, June 26, 2017

May Happenings

This past April I made a return visit and met up with Luis in Bocachica. The pastor from the local church is living in our house, so we stayed with them.
 They were great hosts, and it was nice to be there with friends.
 Luis and I went and visited a number of houses to follow up on filters we installed three years ago. Many are giving good testimonies about the changes they have experienced with better water. More than one had the same story about how they can no longer buy juices in the street because they will be sick shortly after drinking them. Some also filter water for other family members that need clean water as well.

 A new devolvement that is happening with the filter in Colombia is there is another project in Bogota that has made the filter body out of plastic. We have joined with them in working towards providing the best system for household treatment of water. This month they finished the first filter out of plastic. We worked on doing this a couple of years ago, but there were no companies that could do it cost effectively for us.

A plastic filter body will give this system a more professional finished look. It does cost more. The estimated cost for the filter will double. The good thing about a plastic body is that we can take this into hard to reach areas that normally aren't accessible due to the weight of a concrete filter body. Previously, Luis made a filter out of a drain tile, but in the future, we could return to this remote area and install more filters using this plastic filter body.

Another project that we are embarking on with the local church in Bocachica is the building of a new Christian private school. There is a public school in the village now, but it is woefully below standards for providing the minimum in a good education. The church has already started this year with the preschool in the faith that God will provide for them to add a class each year until they have ll the grades for a complete education. Luis and I visited the school which for now is using two borrowed classrooms from another site. The full vision is to have a bi-lingual private Christian education available to people of the village. The parents of the students are paying monthly to have the kids taught, this is a big sacrifice for them because the normal mentality is that they are poor and receive things for free. However, the parents who want the change are willing to sacrifice monetarily in order to provide something important to the next generation. The need then is for the church, they had an architect design the plans according to the regulations of Colombia for the structure and layout of the school. The estimate for the school structure without the finished details is quoted at 125,000.00 dollars. This is a lot, but it also isn't a lot considering the lives it can change for the future. This year the goal is to build out two classrooms and the bathrooms so that the school can move into its own place.

Kids in uniform ready for school.                              

Teaching English classes with Luis                                           
Right now we are in the planning stages of bringing a team to Bocachica in January 2018. Please tell us if you would like to be part of this team.  Join us in praying as we get the details to come together.

Blessings from our family to yours,

The Ariels