Against All Odds!

I’ll never forget meeting Jenny Orozco. With a twinkle in her eye, a happy smile, and a contagious laugh, she made even a visitor feel welcome and immediately at home. As we wove through Managua, Nicaragua, rush-hour traffic heading toward a section of town called René Polanco, I sensed her love for this place and for the children and families who walk these streets.

It’s not easy growing up immersed in an environment of violence, addiction, abuse, and poverty. Jenny and her (late) husband Pastor Luis Ampie longed for something better for their then 5-year-old daughter, Josseling, and her generation. So they dared to dream big. They dared to envision the presence of a safe haven in an unsafe neighborhood, an oasis in the desert, a light in the darkness.

In 2004, against all odds, Jenny and Luis founded The Messiah Free Methodist School. I say “against all odds,” because all they had at the time was a physical school building, lovingly built by generous VISA teams. No experience or training in the field of education. No curriculum, no teachers, no resources. Just an absolute conviction that God wanted them to make a mighty impact in the community through Christian education. They fully believed God would make a way for them to provide excellence in academics and Christian development. The school began with 120 children.

Two years later, in 2006, ICCM teamed up with The Messiah Free Methodist School in ministering to the needs of students. Josseling was the first of 50 children sponsored. Over the years, many lives have been forever touched by the program.

ICCM National Coordinator Jenny recently explained, “ICCM plays a vital role in helping our children and youth reach their potential. The program helps us focus not only on intellectual growth but physical, social/emotional and spiritual, as well. Sponsorship has made it possible for many to complete primary and secondary education. After graduating, several are going on to university to become change-makers in their communities and society.”

If you would have asked me in 2003, “Is it possible to open the school in such a short time?,” I would have said, “Absolutely not!” But God had other plans. Jenny was right in tune with those plans and today she joyfully leads a team of educators in ministering to the needs of 450 students in grades Pre-K through 12th. Jenny returned to school and earned a Master of Education degree. Thanks to sponsorship through ICCM, boys and girls are not only surviving but now thriving in their community in Managua, Nicaragua.