Thirteen youth from Evergreen Covenant Church had a wonderful opportunity this summer…[spacer height=”20px”][spacer height=”20px”] Photo Credit: Sophie [spacer height=”20px”] …to meet Nicolás Christian School students, teachers and village families in the Ixil region of Guatemala. The ECC youth group was comprised of students of different ages and came from five different schools. They were united by a common mission for this trip, however. ECC Youth Experience Ixil Culture Accompanied by four chaperones (Ryan LaBrie, Scott Kuhn, Kendra Gil and Robin Rosenquist) and ECC Youth Pastor Brent Strobel, the youth carried out a mix of sports activities and classroom activities at Nicolás Christian School. The most meaningful activity that the team experienced was having the opportunity to talk to NCS students and see how happy they were despite having less materially and living under far more difficult circumstances than the ECC youth. In addition, the youth team visited Professor Noe, a teacher at Nicolás Christian School who had recently suffered a motorcycle accident. Noe was very touched by the ECC Youth’s visit to pray with him and the visit was an emotional experience for many involved.[spacer height=”20px”] “The beautiful thing about God’s work in our lives is to see how in giving we all receive. We don’t give to receive, but God is faithful and when we are open to His work and people and vision, he sustains us with meaningful purpose. Many of the kids were touched by a painting given with their name on it or a special recognition by another child. The ECC kids gave of their money, vacation time and energy on the trip and, in return gained local and Guatemalan friends, a new perspective on God’s work …
[spacer height=”20px”]Social entrepreneurship occurs when individuals and companies develop, fund and implement innovative solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues. [spacer height=”20px”]One example of a social entrepreneur is 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammed Yunis, the man that popularized the micro-lending concept in India to provide small loans to poor women to start small businesses. His objective was to help poor people escape from poverty by providing loans on terms they could understand and manage, and by teaching them a few sound financial principles so they could better manage their finances. Social entrepreneurs must have a good understanding of how a problem impacts people, particularly the marginalized and poor, in order to develop creative solutions and identify available resources to solve those problems.[spacer height=”20px”] [spacer height=”20px”]Unlike traditional businesses, the goal is not profit making but instead to provide solutions that benefit society. If there are any profits, those are usually reinvested to expand the business to serve more people. Businesses must be designed to be financially and ecologically sustainable, however. Global organizations have developed to support and encourage innovation and leadership through social entrepreneurship. [spacer height=”20px”]These organizations offer technological and business consulting expertise to create comprehensive, well researched, successful small business plans. These organizations can provide start-up capital, promote networking, collaboration, and partnerships and assist with media communications to tell the story effectively, to teach and to promote greater impact. In November, NFE Vice Chair Kathy Riper, NFE Treasurer Lolo Levy and her sister Sara Wells and team member Dave McKnew met with Andy Lieberman to learn more about social entrepreneurship opportunities in Guatemala. [spacer height=”20px”]Mr. Lieberman is employed by Santa Clara University in California, which has a commitment to …
[spacer height=”20px”]We are now accepting applications for our July 21-31, 2017 Impact Trip. [spacer height=”20px”]The application and enrollment instructions can be found here. We will be hosting a regional Teacher Professional Development workshop on this trip, so educators are especially encouraged to come on this trip. If you have never been on a mission trip, an experience like this will deepen your relationship with God as you serve him, as well as creating lasting relationships with our NFE scholars and your fellow team members. Make this your 2017 New Year’s Resolution!
[spacer height=”20px”]Come and join us! [spacer height=”20px”]NFE is having a special event on December 4th at 11:30 am where Guatemalan and Mexican textiles will be sold at Evergreen Covenant Church in the Fellowship Hall. NFE has a special friend, Hazuki Camp, participating in our sale. Hazuki used to attend ECC when she was attending school in Seattle. Hazuki volunteered at Agros during that time. She is from Chiapas, Mexico where Agros has villages. Hazuki now lives in Beaverton, OR with her husband and three young children. She works with Trebol, which is a coop of women who make beautiful, handmade leather and embroidered products. Hazuki will be donating a percentage of her proceeds to NFE. Following the Textile sale, a Trip report will take place.
[spacer height=”20px”]Support Nicolás Fund for Education through the Bellevue Presbyterian Church Alternative Gift Market this Christmas! [spacer height=”20px”]Buy a share of a laptop computer for Nicolás Christian School for $60, or purchase shares of musical and sports equipment for $40/share. (Our dream is to amass enough musical instruments to form a marching band for Nicolás Christian School! ¡Marching bands are muy popular in Guatemala!) AGM shares can be purchased with checks or cash at Bellevue Presbyterian in the lobby on December 4, 11, and 18th. If you buy in the BelPres lobby, you will be given a gift card to share with the gift recipient. Alternatively, AGM purchases can be made online with a credit/debit card. Thank you for your support of NFE! The AGM catalog print version can be picked up at Bellevue Presbyterian Church.
We are hoping to offer virtual attendance at our Nicolás Christian School graduation ceremonies on November 15, 2017. [spacer height=”20px”]We are still working out details to make sure this will be feasible, but if we can arrange it, you would click a specific link which would be e-mailed prior to the ceremony. If this is something that you would be interested in, please contact Becci Merritt via the form below.
[spacer height=”20px”]Are you someone who has accumulated a stockpile of frequent flyer miles? [spacer height=”20px”]There are individuals going on NFE trips who would very much appreciate your donation of those miles to help make their trip to Guatemala possible! Contact us on the form below for more information.
[spacer height=”20px”]It is not too late to go with our team in November to celebrate the graduations of our students! [spacer height=”20px”]This is a wonderful chance to be an enthusiastic cheerleader for our students who have worked so hard and overcome so much to graduate! It is considered quite an honor for our families to have a North American present at a student’s graduation. The trip dates are November 10-18th, 2016. Trip application forms are found on our website if you click on “Your Impact at Work” and then click on the trip dates. Our February 2017 is now full, but we are also accepting applications to be on our July 2017 trip. [spacer height=”20px”]Tentative dates for that trip are July 21-31th, 2017. This team will have the opportunity to participate as a host in a Teacher Professional Development Workshop, to interact with our Nicolás Christian School junior and senior high students and to visit the student’s families in their home villages. Typical trip costs are around $1800 which includes airfares, meals, accommodations and transportation. Spanish language skills are not required. Come on the trip of a lifetime to experience God’s love in a new and personal way, and to witness God’s work in the lives of these students!
[spacer height=”20px”]Nicolás Fund for Education recently updated our website. We have added brand new photos of each Nicolás Christian School student as well as a gallery of videos to watch. [spacer height=”20px”]Most of these videos were self-produced at Nicolás Christian School by students and teachers telling their story. These videos are a fantastic way to get to know individual students as well as experience the day-to-day life in the school. Our website features dates for upcoming trips as well as trip application forms and instructions, found under the “Your Impact at Work” section. Please take this opportunity to look around the new and improved Nicolás Fund for Education website!
Thank you so much to our wonderful and faithful donors! We are in good shape to face the challenges of another academic year now and start to envision what 2018 might look like for these children and the Ixil community. We thank God for the way that you stand up for these children in the Ixil so that their hopes and dreams can be realized!