“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11
We greatly enjoyed our 6th annual week of Christmas parties for all of the children, teenagers, and adults of Bajo Tejares this December. This year, we hosted approximately 325 people in the community of Bajo Tejares! What a blessing each party was to everyone involved. Thank you to all of our generous supporters who sponsor children through our sponsorship program. Because of our sponsors, children are able to receive a backpack full of hygiene items, school supplies, and toys.
We celebrated the birth of Jesus and how far we’ve all come in 2014 in both the education programs and ministries at the mission. We’re proud of the community and how they are growing!
Our education programs are growing rapidly and God is taking us to places we never imagined. When the mission opened its doors in 2008, we hoped for 25 children to sign up for our programs. Just a few weeks in, we had close to 100 kids eager to receive help with their education.
Fast forward to 2014 and we have easily doubled that number and are helping countless others who are not enrolled in programs. We do not turn any child or teenager away who needs help with homework assignments or school projects.
In the first two trimesters of the year, we gave away over $300 in rewards to the high school students for earning good grades. The last trimester of 2014 could easily take us over the $500 mark. An incentive that Larry started years ago with a handful of kids and $10 has grown exponentially into a fun and rewarding time when grades come out to recognize the high school kids for their hard work and perseverance.
In 2015, we will be taking our education programs to the next level. We want to continue to provide top quality resources for the children of Bajo Tejares so that they can continue to excel in their education. After using the same materials for the last six years, we expect to invest approximately $5,000 at the start of the year to revamp our curriculum and implement it for the new school year starting in February.
God has definitely shown his favor to the mission in Panama this last year. Thanks to donations, there are 54 families on the feeding program currently with hopes that we can add even more in 2015. These families not only receive approximately 2-3 weeks of staple food items, they also receive necessary medications, school supplies and uniforms, emergency medical assistance when needed, and most importantly they receive prayers with every visit from the FSM staff.
FSM partnered with teams from Florida, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia for mission trips this year. These partnerships provided the first medical/dental mission team and proved to be invaluable care to several communities. Other outreaches included water filter distribution, Vacation Bible School, community construction projects and evangelism. This Christmas, a small team will be going to Caisan to deliver gifts to local children, many who have never received gifts before.
With all God has done in 2014, we eagerly look forward to what He has in store for us next year.
The final paperwork for the orphanage has been submitted for government approval. We pray we will have children soon. With children coming, our greatest need in the coming year will be enough funds to feed, clothe and educate these orphans.
Opportunities for individual child sponsorship, or entire home sponsorship for churches and groups, will become available as children arrive.
We also are praying God allows us to finish the remaining cottages and build a central cafeteria and laundry facility.
Our focus on the community will continue to expand as our outreach to the community continues to grow,. In 2015, we look forward to bringing the love of Christ to “the least of these.”
God has allowed us to be a part of something incredible in both of the missions in Costa Rica and Panama. We continue to dream big on behalf of the people we serve as we gear up for an exciting year in 2015. As we celebrate the Christmas season, we ask that you consider partnering with us to live generously this year as we prepare for what 2015 holds for us all.