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Financial Update and Needs

May 10, 2014   //   by molly   //   Blog  //  No Comments

As we have mentioned, each summer we usually take a trip to MN to be able to visit and connect with all our friends and family, but this summer we are not going to make that trip.  We hoped to take this year to save a little extra and get ahead financially.  However, since the beginning of this year due to a decrease in monthly support and one-time gifts, we have experienced a drop in support and are currently almost 20% under-funded, which amounts to about $800 a month!  So instead of being able to save and get ahead, we are actually falling more behind.

You may remember three years ago we were severely under-funded, but we shared our needs, God moved, and many of you stepped forward.  And since then, we have been consistently and very well supported until these last four months. We want to thank you and give Praise to God!   Even though we are far from the deficit we were at three years ago, we want to be pro-active now and share our needs, and we know God will be faithful once again.

As we continue to move forward in our full-time ministry, we ask that you prayerfully consider partnering with us through monthly support or increasing your current support to help provide the stability and consistency in our budget.  For electronic giving click here and then on our family picture or look below for where to send check.

 

Thank You and Blessings,

Ryan and Molly Nielsen


Or send checks to:

Living Hope International

P.O. Box 116

West Bend, WI 53095-0116

**with a note for “Ryan and Molly Nielsen”

 We also ask that you send us an email letting us know of your commitments!

 

 

The Next Project Integral Education Center!

Apr 9, 2014   //   by molly   //   Blog  //  No Comments

We are super excited to let you know about the next BIG project for Living Hope: The Integral Education Center!

For the last 20 years, the children of Esperanza Viva have been attending school in tents; enduring morning chills, the afternoon heat, wind, rain, not to mention noise from the other classrooms.  The students and the teachers are thrilled to know that this project is now in its planning stages!

The Integral Education Center will be a 16,500 sq. ft. K-12 school building with capacity for up to 419 students including: classrooms for daycare and preschool, elementary, Jr. high, and an online high school.  It will also have a library, multifunction science lab, school administration offices, and storage areas.  On top of all this, it will also be the new home for our medical and dental clinic!

This school will not only be able to educate the children of Esperanza Viva, but we also hope to open the school to the children in the community around us!!

This building will be our biggest financial endeavor to date, as well as the more costly to equip; taking in account adequately equipping each classroom to its full potential!

Ryan was working very hard getting all the plans, estimates, and even a scale model made to show at the Inauguration Weekend.   Although the scale model was to really impart the vision to our visitors, the children and teachers were also especially excited to look at the model and ask Ryan all about the plans! Please pray as we move forward that God will provide the money necessary to construct this building and help demonstrate to the children the importance of a great education!

Take a look at the pictures; it’s going to be AWESOME!

Community Center Inauguration Weekend

Mar 26, 2014   //   by molly   //   Blog  //  No Comments

 

This weekend we had an amazing time celebrating the dedication and inauguration of the Community Center!  We had several people come from the US and around Mexico to celebrate along with us!

Friday evening we began the festivities with a Multicultural night with the focus of Raising Up Servant to go to the Nations.  All of the staff dressed up as people from different Countries from around the World.  Then several people shared about their country and culture.  We also enjoyed a traditional Mexican Dance from the children of Esperanza Viva.

Saturday morning even more people joined us for the Official Inauguration Celebration.  We took time to thank God and all the people that helped make this dream come true!  The last 20 years, the children have been eating breakfast, lunch and dinner in a tent and sharing their meals with the weather, dust, and bugs.  Now they are inside their beautiful new cafeteria!!

During this time, we cut the ribbon, saw more dances from the kids, heard their testimonies, and got a tour of the new kitchen!

Saturday evening was a BLAST!  The children and staff of Esperanza Viva and some leaders from church put on the play “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and it was spectacular!  If you have ever seen the play before, you know that it is made to be quite funny, and the kids did NOT disappoint.  Especially when you know all the actors, it makes the “hamming up” that much more funny!  To add to the laughs, they even did “Red Carpet Interviews” of the actors and producers before the show.   The entire night was full of laughs!  Isaiah was excited too, because he manned the Spotlight for the entire show, and he did a great job!

Sunday evening we finished our weekend with another unforgettable time; Mexican Night.  The children of Esperanza Viva dressed in traditional Mexican clothes and we enjoyed a couple more dances and testimonies.  Jerry also shared about the next step, which will be the building of the Integral Education Center!!  Again, for the last 20 years the children have been attending school in tents and braving the weather, wind, and noise from the other classrooms.  This school building won’t just be a shelter from the elements, but will also include a library, science lab, offices, storage, as well as the medical/dental clinic! 

As the evening and weekend came to a close, we all went outside to light some Chinese Floating Lanterns!  It was so beautiful watching them all light up and float off!

CLASS of 2014

Mar 14, 2014   //   by molly   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Meet Esperanza Viva’s Class of 2014!
Even though their lives began as unstable and insecure, they now have found hope in Jesus and their lives and futures have been completely transformed! Their passion for Christ and zeal for life is inspiring to all who have the privilege of knowing them!

Ana Luisa- 18 years old plans to study Medicine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susana- 19 years old plans to study either music or computers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graciela- 19 years old plans to study accounting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Gerardo- 18 years old plans to study gastronomy

Iztapaluca Youth Group

Feb 24, 2014   //   by molly   //   Blog  //  No Comments

 

This last Saturday, we were able to host a youth group from a church in Iztapaluca, which is a town a couple hours away.   Although, we host a lot of short-term teams and many groups for just the afternoon, this was one was a little different.

The youth group leader, Tina, is another missionary, who has been serving in Iztapaluca for a few years now.  Tina and I, met at a women’s retreat a couple of years ago, and had a lot of fun together!

Over these last two years, we have been in contact trying to find a time that would work for her youth to come out, and it finally came together this last Saturday.

They were an awesome group of “kids,” with willing and open hearts to serve and play with the kids.  They prepared all sorts of games and activities, a really cute skit about Daniel and the Lions’ Den, and then even more crafts and snacks.   The kids at Esperanza Viva had a BLAST with the youth!

Click here to see more pictures of their time

THANKSGIVING!

Dec 2, 2013   //   by molly   //   Blog  //  No Comments

 

We were blessed to be able to host Thanksgiving again this year with our “extended” family here in Mexico!  We ended up having 45 staff and families from Esperanza Viva (Living Hope) join us, including 18 kids all 13-years and younger!

It was a wonderful time as we shared a sweet time of fellowship away from the offices and the told stories of our most memorable Thanksgiving and also our hopes of what we will be Thankful for next year.

The kids also kept VERY bust running around playing, jumping on the trampoline, or making edible candy turkeys.

Click here to check out more pictures!

FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!

Sep 12, 2013   //   by molly   //   Blog  //  No Comments

 

Today we celebrate FIVE year back in Puebla, Mexico! 

As with all anniversaries, we thought it would be a great time to look back and see what God has done in these last five years.  We actually looked back at all our newsletters we have sent out since our return and are amazed at what has happened over these years.

First of all, we see pictures packing up our truck with our kids just 2, 4, 6, 8 years-old!  Then we talk about homeschooling and preschool, and getting involved in swimming and soccer.

Now here we are with a TEENAGER in Jr. High, and our “baby” is seven and in second grade!!   They are all attending and very involved in their school!  They are no longer swimming and playing soccer, but involved in Martial Arts and Football!  As we look back, we can see how God has helped each of them to grow and mature, and adjust to living here in Mexico.  We are so proud of them!


Also, our roles have changed sligthtly.  Ryan is in fully living out his passion and seeing the fruits of the construction of the Living Hope Community!  His role in the construction, the landscaping/ground-keeping, and maintenance of these facilities are vital to providing more and more kids with a safe and healthy environment to live!

Molly began as a full-time stay-at-home mom; homeschooling 2, then 3, then 4 kids.  And now, with all four kids attending school continues to stay very busy keeping up with school and activities, and even has found time to get more involved in the ministry too!

 

We have also seen some incredible changes and growth in the ministry through these last five years that we are blessed to have been a part of!  Ryan’s vision and calling here at Living Hope has always been about the Construction of the Living Hope Community. And since we have been back, we have been a part of:

– The purchase of the Land

-Building the Surrounding Walls

-The construction of a Warehouse

-Breaking Ground, Construction, and Inauguration of the FIRST DORM!

-The BIG Move! The ministry moving onto the land

-A large drainage/Waste Water Treatment Plant Project

-Breaking Ground, Construction, and Inauguration of the Vina/Visitor’s        Building

-Building a Playground for the children

-Breaking Ground and Construction of the Community Center

And other smaller projects like the landscaping the 11 acres of land, building a retaining wall with short-term missions teams, building the Garden of Hope, a basketball court, and more!  God is GREAT!

 

Finally, the reason we do it all, is for the CHILDREN that we serve here at Esperanza Viva.  In these last five years, we have witnessed changes and growth in many of the kids!  We have seen kids work hard on their education, and graduate from High School!  We have seen families restored and children able to return to their families, in now a healthy, stable home.  We have seen kids come in broken and hurt and watch how God heals and restores their lives, and gives them a HOPE for the future.  We have built relationships with these children and rejoice with them in their triumphs!

 

However, if we are honest, we can also look back and see that these years have also been full of struggles and challenges too!  We have had difficult challenges as a family; health issues, deaths, financial struggles, and challenges as we raise our children.  We have had conflicts, issues, and set-backs in the ministry.  And we have seen some of the children continue to wrestle with the hurts and pains of their past and we have seen some leave under less-than-ideal circumstances.

 

But despite the trials and triumphs, we have always seen the faithful hand of God in every situation.  And we want to THANK each and every one of you who have been there to rejoice with us in the good and grieve with us in the bad and lift us up in prayer and support our family no matter what!  It really is because of you that we continue to press on.

 

When we think of you, we are often reminded of Philippians 1:3-5

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now…”

 

Here’s to another FIVE years Serving in Mexico!

 

It’s Official!

Aug 26, 2013   //   by molly   //   Blog  //  No Comments

It’s OFFICIAL! 

A few of weeks ago we began the process to import our truck and now we have our Puebla license plates!  Our truck is now Mexican, and soon we will be too.  OK, not really, but closer.

 Last week we began the process to become “Permanent Residents” of Mexico.  It will take several weeks, but we are on the way.

 We have had some questions about this, and it can be a little confusing to attempt to explain.  So in short:

 For the last five years, we have been serving with Missionaries Visas that needed to be renewed every year.  The cost was fairly minimal at around $30 per person per year.  Now, under the new law, it will cost $300 per person per year to renew!! 

However, at this point, we can choose to change our immigration status to become “permanent residence,” for a similar, one-time fee.  It is going to cost about $350 per person to become “Permanent Residents,” and it we will never have to renew again!!

So basically, we chose to change our status due to cost and convenience.

Will this change our citizenship in the US.?

NO!  it does NOT change any of our citizenship, rights, or obligations in the US at all.  We are still 100% citizens of the U.S.

Are the benefits in Mexico?

Yes.  One as mentioned above, we will no longer have to renew our Visas every year, which will save us money and time!  Also, we are looking into other potential benefits.  We have been told that we may be able to apply for social medicine and other things, but we are still looking into those options.

Minnesota Trip

Jul 12, 2013   //   by molly   //   Blog  //  No Comments

 

We had another great trip to Minnesota this year! 

We started out our time with an Open House at Molly’s parents’ house, and even though the weather didn’t cooperate we thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone who was able to make it!

This year we really tried to keep our schedule at least a little less crazy, but we still got in plenty of visiting.  We spent a lot of time hanging out with our family; enjoying barbeques, parks, pools, and more together.  And, of course, we couldn’t leave out all our friends, so there were more nights of bonfires, bikes, more barbeque.

One of the sweetest times for Ryan and I was we were able to get away for two nights without the kids!!  On June 19th, while we were in Minnesota, we celebrated our 15 year anniversary.  So to celebrate, we went to the North Shore of Lake Superior to the same place where we honeymooned 15 years ago.  The trip was very relaxed and a much needed break.  We couldn’t really remember the last time that we spent a night out of the house and away from all the kids.

We also had a couple opportunities to share with our supporting churches this year.  The weekend of the 15-16 we had a quick spotlight at Woodland Hills where we shared an update with the congregation.  Then the next weekend, we participated in the Missions’ Weekend at North Heights, and were blessed to have Ryan share the message at three of the weekend services.

No matter how busy these trips back can be, they are always such a great time of reconnection and refreshing for us.  We want to continue to thank each one of you for the friendship that we have; a relationship that isn’t defined by distance or time apart, but by history and genuine love and care for each other.

Please check out the photo page to see pictures of our trip!

Blessings to ALL!

Fifteen Year Anniversary!

Jun 24, 2013   //   by molly   //   Blog  //  No Comments

 

This last week, we celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary!   These last 15 years have been full of ups and downs and we are so grateful to have each other to ride along on every crazy minute.

To celebrate, we left the kids with grandma and grandpa for a couple nights and went out of town!!

We went up to the North Shore of Lake Superior to the same place we stayed at 15 years ago for our honeymoon; Cove Point Lodge.   We realized how much “older” we are getting, because we really just enjoyed relaxing and hanging out together in quiet.  J  We walked the shore, sat by the fire,  but did find some time for some Frisbee golf and mini-golf too.

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