Dr. Melba Barrantes Monge serves as Project H.O.P.E.'s full-time medical doctor. She travels to rural areas outside of Nicaragua to visit with families that do not have access to medical facilities. In many instances, she will be able to tend to the needs of a family without them seeking other medical assistance. If the issue is more severe, Dr. Melba will work with the family to secure the proper medical attention.
Project H.O.P.E.'s children's ministry is lead by Eduardo Mejia Urbina and assisted by Freddy Sandoval. The children's ministry visits local schools and communities sharing the Gospel with the children. They perform puppet shows, sing songs and interact with the children. By teaching the children about God while they are young, they can change the future of Nicaragua.
Jerson Gonzales is the staff pastor in Nicaragua. He serves as a mentor to pastors in the area. He holds several pastor trainings throughout the year. One of Jerson's objectives is to teach them to become a pastor to their church members instead of a "preacher."
The great divide between the rich and poor is magnified once again in healthcare. If you have the resources, excellent healthcare is available in Nicaragua. However, those without the resources, (which would include the majority of Nicaragua and those served by Project H.O.P.E.) must depend on inadequate public health care. In this instance, the patient will receive treatment only as they can pay for it. Many are left in the hospital with little hope. Jerson is currently working as the hospital Chaplin providing hygiene items to help comfort them physically as well as offering them prayer and encouragement.
Marvin Sanchez runs the Furia Santa ministry, primarily working with recovering addicts and gang members. In the United States, "rehab" facilities are easily accessible and most families provide support to their loved ones while in recovery. In Nicaragua, where families struggle to provide the basic needs to survive, a family member with an addiction or associated with a gang weighs down the already struggling family. Marvin meets up with these men when they are rock bottom and have no family support. While most are ashamed and feel completely unworthy of any good to come to them, Marvin teaches them about Jesus and his unconditional love. In the Fall of 2011, a housing facility was built for the men of Furia Santa. The program is structured so that the men will turn completely from their old lifestyle while they grow in their relationship with God. While at Furia Santa, they will also learn vocational skills to provide them the ability to secure a job when they leave the program.
In most Nicaraguan churches there is little to no talk about sex. This includes the importance of abstinence. Under the leadership of Jerson Gonzales, Project H.O.P.E. hosts separate abstinence retreats for boys and girls each year. During these retreats, the children learn why it's important to God to abstain until marriage, the effects having sex can have on your emotionally, and the risks of diseases and pregnancy.
We all know the old Chinese proverb, "If you give a man a fish, you will feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you will feed him for a lifetime." Through donations, Project H.O.P.E.'s agricultural program provides families with fresh fruit and vegetable producing gardens.
Before each family receives a garden, they will complete a series of classes led by agronomist Kidderleng Sotela, director of the agricultural program. In this class, they will learn how to care for their garden to ensure its success. Upon completion of the class, each family will work with Kidderleng to plant the vegetables, fruit trees, and plants.
This program provides families with much more than fresh food, it gives Kidderleng and the staff an opportunity to share God's love with each family. Kidderleng will visit with each family on a regular basis to check on their garden and discuss their spiritual growth.