Muriel is one of my students. She lives with her grandmother. She doesn’t see her mother who is in Costa Rica, working. She doesn’t know her father.

But she works hard! She studies every day, is at the top of her class and washes dishes at one of the local restaurants at night. She is one of those indomitable spirits we write epic poems about. 

She finally passed her English certificate class this week and I think this deserves celebrating. I am so proud of her and her hard work.

Her proudest moment came Friday. She has been accepted into nursing school. She will start in October. In 5 years she will be on the front lines of the health care system. I know she will finish tops there as well.

Why do I share here story?

You see, facing hardships that we can only imagine in her life she has kept her love for God and her zest for life completely intact. She doesn’t complain. She doesn’t whine. Compared to us she has every right to do both.

Every time I see her she smiles and says thank you for helping her so much. I tell her the same thing every time. It is she who has helped me. 

When I am overwhelmed, I think of Muriel. When I think things are too rough, I remember her. When I am frazzled or frustrated or forlorn I remember this little 18 year old who has overcome so much.

She is the epitome of hope. She is the standard of faithfulness. She exudes love.

Oh, and did  I tell you she is completely deaf and blind in one eye? No, that slipped my mind? No, I didn’t tell you because in the 5 years I have known her, never once has that been an excuse. She sometimes has to remind me to look at her when I speak because her flawless lip reading makes me forget her deafness. But you’ll never hear her complain that her life is too hard.

Muriel is an angel. She will go far.

These are the people we serve together. These are the ones who make us get out of bed every morning with hope and joy.

Pray for Muriel. Pray for all our children. Thank you for helping us serve these wonderful kids.

Dios te bendiga 


A baseball team

Let me tell you about Mario. Mario has a baseball team. It is young people from our poorest barrio. The range from 9-15 in ages. 

He works tirelessly for these boys. He has helped provide them with computer classes, English classes and so much more. He is one of the good guys.

The reason I admire him so much is that in spite of the fact that he speaks fluent English, has a outgoing personality and a patient disposition his tourist business is suffering greatly during this crisis.

If the tourists were here, then he would be translating and tour guiding and making a lot of money. Instead he coaching a baseball team for free.

This is part of what I’ve been talking about for almost 6 years. When things seem hopeless … maybe a change in direction is needed. That’s what he did.

I have partnered with Mario to teach the English classes. The boys are eager learners and participate in class. They understand that the skills we try to teach will help them in the future.

I pray for Mario everyday… I hope you will too.

We talk about faith, hope, and love a lot on this blog. This is an example of all three coming together.

Faith in the youth of our country that will build a future that is much brighter than the one they see today.

Hope that our country will stabilize and the tourist will come back. These tourist which, as I have said so often, provide the backbone of our economic system.

And finally, love of the children and the families of Pantanal. Giving these poorest of the por hope as well.

Your support helps us serve them. Thank you for that support. Your prayers, your encouragement and your thoughts are being tremendous returns. Keep up the good work.

I’ll be coming to the U.S. in October. I hope to get an opportunity to speak to anyone who wants to share in our dream of a better, more prosperous Nicaragua.

Dios los bendiga