With over 1300 students in seven communities along the lower Coco River, and a team
of 38 teachers, carpenters, and administrators, the monthly financial needs are great.
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“Project Ezra” (taken from a famous Biblical educator-Ezra 7:10) was initiated in 1986 during a time of war in Nicaragua as a response to a desperate refugee situation. A war that erupted in 1980 along the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua between the Sandinista government (their Cuban teachers, Soviet advisors, Bulgarian soldiers, and other atheistic/communist elements) and the local indigenous population of Miskitos, Suma, Rama, and Creoles resulted in over 40,000 refugees fleeing to neighboring Honduras. Theses refugees settled along the Kruta River, and the Honduran side of the Coco River, which is one of the most remote corners of the Western Hemisphere, accessible only by air, boat, and foot. By 1986, most of these refugee children had been without education for five or more years. It was then that Augusto Vicente, a refugee teacher, asked us for help in starting a school for the refugee kids in Sawa. We supplied them with notebooks and pencils, and together with Sofia Borst, Augusto began teaching classes in Sawa. That year, Sharon and Earl Washburn arrived in a Honduran village name Auka near the Nicaraguan border where Truman Cunningham, Michael Bagby, and others had set up a relief distribution center to help Miskito Indian refugees from the Sandinista war in Nicaragua. They spent a month training four adults, and established schools in four villages. Michael travelled to Tegucigalpa to find school books. There he met Victoria Palacios, a professor of education at the National University, who volunteered to help train the “Project Ezra” teachers. With Victoria’s curriculum and training help, along with invaluable assistance from Earl & Sharon, Ron Bross, John Freyer, Debbie Cash, Elia Mejia, and others, Project Ezra expanded over the next year to include 12 villages and employ 24 Miskito Indian teachers. Damacio used a blackboard, and Victoria Palacios textbooks to teach the first and second grade. A few years after this photo, Damacio was bathing in the ricer when he was bitten by a fer-de-lance snake, which is one of the most deadly venomous creatures in existence. Damacio’s wife took his place teaching, and continues to teach in Sawa today! In 1990, the war ended in Nicaragua, and Humberto Belli, the new Minister of Education, invited Project Ezra o become part of the Nicaraguan public school system. We accepted, and now Seek The Lamb has official charge of education in seven communities along the lower Rio Coco. Our school project employs over 50 teachers and administrators, teaching grades K thru 12, in one of the most remote corners of the Western Hemisphere. Yet our students have achieved academic levels equal to or better than most of the students in Nicaragua! This is because of our constant supervision, teacher training, and most of all the spiritual emphasis of our curriculum. We begin each day teaching the Bible in the native language, Miskito. In addition, our teachers have a personal interest in this project as over most of our teachers began their education as first graders in Project Ezra schools in the 80’s and 90’s! This year, Project Ezra is educating 1286 students, grades Kinder thru 12th. This is all possible through many prayers, and financial support to Seek The Lamb through donations, sponsorship of children and teachers, and profits from Rio Coco Bean coffee sales. Our Project Ezra leadership team is well educated, tri-lingual, and well traveled.
Mentioned from left to right. Tom Keogh is a professional educator who had worked with the Miskito culture since he arrive in Honduras in the late ’70’s as a Peace Corps workers. He is linguist who has translated significant works into Miskito. His wife Nutie is an award winning recording artist and worship leader from Maui. Onofre Zamora is a professional educator who has attended the Haggai Institute on Maui. He trains teachers and pastors, and hosts a radio show three nights a week. Maik Bagby is a Bible teacher, historian, aviator, coffee roaster, and photographer. His wife Laura is a Social Workers who began our child sponsorship program in 1989. Truman Cunningham is the project director, and also been an elected concejal to the Autonomous Regional government of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. He carries a lot of influence in our communities. Danilo Cunningham was educated in ministry in Jerusalem Israel and Maui Hawaii, and is a professional educator who trains teachers and pastors. Augusto VIcente serves as superintendent of school, and is a worship leader. Rodolio Cunningham holds a college degree in computer systems, and handles administration. Carlos Zuniga is a certified teacher who doubles as our mechanic. is wife Leskia also is a teacher who helps with administration. With the exception of Rodolio, Carlos, & Leskia, all have attended courses on Biblical culture given in Florida and Israel by Dr. Randall Smith, one of the best Bible teachers/archeologists.
Please consider joining our team by sponsoring a child, a teacher, or purchasing Rio Coco Bean Coffee.