Father Rick Frechette Visits Seattle

By Samuel, NPH Mexico (Class of 2015)

I remember since I came to NPH, almost everyone talking about “Father Rick”, I was always curious about him. Then, years later, in one of our NPH international meetings I met him, well!  Well, I just met him by sight, at least it was something but that was not enough for me, I promise myself that someday I would meet him, not just sight, also talk and share with him and hear his stories and experiences about his life.

Now, after years of waiting, he was here, in front of me, I need to admit I was a kind of nervous, then he said me “so you are the guy who is going to sing, I hear you can play a lot of instruments, I can play mandolin and guitar as well!” these words increased my confidence and I started to talk with him.

That day, also, we had a diner with him and some sponsors, I will tell you, that house where we had the diner was huge and something I liked about It was that it had a room with a huge collection of guitars (some of these were autographed by celebrities), I felt like a kid in a candy store.  Anyways, that day Father Rick shared with us some of his experiences in his life and actually about the work he is doing in Haiti, I realized that Father Rick has always a busy agenda, he don’t have enough time for himself, he is used to working 24/7, something that is hard to do for me!  I complain just because I have school and I don’t need to work, and I feel like I am doing a lot.

Then, the next day we had a Mass and he also shared another story. From Father Rick I learned that it is not about trying to do our best, no, we need to do, share and give the best. Because if we just try, it may not be sufficient, but giving the best thing is the key to achieve, inspire and succeed.

Now, I’m really glad to have met Father Rick, he has been one of our gold coins in NPH; he has been a good model for people, kids and also for me, I hope he will continue working for our brothers and sisters in Haiti and keep teaching us that everything is possible.

Thank you for all Father Rick, It was an honor to meet you. 

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Thank you for all Father Rick, It was an honor to meet you.

“I would do it again in a heartbeat” ~ A Reflection on Hosting an NPH Student

By Cheryl Goodwin

When we agreed to be a host family for one of the Leadership students this year, I knew that I would be glad I had done it. My family has been involved with NPH since 2007, when my oldest daughter worked at the regional office. She invited us to a Faces of Hope event that introduced us to NPH, its founder and the children who are part of a large, loving family.  Shortly after that we sponsored our first godchild from Guatemala, and then a second one.

I have been a Table Captain at numerous events, volunteered in the office, and am currently serving on the Regional Board.  This past summer, I visited the home in Guatemala and was able to meet my godchildren and see first-hand that everything that I had heard about NPH was true. I remember clearly driving through the entrance of the grounds and being brought to tears by the beauty of it all, especially in contrast to the poverty we had passed through on the trip from the airport.

During this trip I was able to visit with several of the young men and women who had been through the Leadership program in the past few years.  It was good to see them living out what the program was aiming for – providing leadership and support to their sisters and brothers at NPH. I was also introduced to Luisa, who was planning to come as one of this year’s students.

Paul and I have always opened our home to others.  Our children’s friends were (are) always welcome, extended family members have lived with us for several months, holiday gatherings are frequently at our house, and we have had weekly meals with a  large group of friends for nearly twenty years.  However, in recent years, I kept feeling the call to show “hospitality to strangers.”  We had been asked to consider hosting a student the prior year, but for several reasons had decided it wasn’t the right time.  The idea had stayed in my mind, however, and my visit to the home in Guatemala made everything so much more real than it had been before.  So, when Kara King asked us to consider it again this year we said yes.

To be honest, even after saying yes, I was nervous and uncertain about whether or not it was a good idea. Our student, Magda, is from Honduras and she spoke very little English.  Since neither my husband, my mother, nor I speak Spanish, I was worried about how we were going to communicate.  The first couple weeks were a bit of a challenge, communication-wise.  The translation programs on our cell phones were a life-saver, allowing us to at least get the basics of what we were trying to say across. However, we were able to laugh as we fumbled our way through unfamiliar words and as Magda’s English skills increased and we learned a little Spanish, communication became easier.  We now have long, detailed conversations with only the occasional look-up of a particularly difficult word.

I had also worried that we wouldn’t be exciting enough for her – we don’t have kids at home, we aren’t soccer players, and are pretty busy with work commitments.  But we can, and did, provide an opportunity for her to be part of our family, with all of our quirks and goodness. Our friends and church family have loved getting the chance to get to know her.  I was rather surprised at how quickly Magda began to feel like another daughter to us.

As I mentioned earlier, I knew that I would be glad that we had agreed to be a host family and that it was the right thing to do.  What I hadn’t counted on, however, was the joy I would experience in the midst of it.  I love introducing her to our family’s traditions, taking her to our favorite restaurants, participating in holiday activities, spending the evening watching a movie at home, and even helping her with her homework.  I am humbled by the fact that she has been willing to share her life story with us and that she trusts us to love and care for her.  I am blessed by her generosity and kindness towards her brothers and sisters at the ranch. I am impressed with her hard work to learn a new language and a new culture. I know she will take a piece of my heart with her when she returns to Honduras at the end of June, but am comforted by the knowledge that I now have another reason to visit the NPH ranch there.

An added benefit of being a host family is the opportunity to get to know the other five students and their host families. Each of them, Luisa, Samy, Lucre, Florine, and Nelson, are wonderful individuals who challenge and bless me.  As I near the end of this year, I am saddened by the fact that I will miss them all and so very encouraged by the good work that I know they will all do in the future.

I am grateful that I have been able to play a small part in their lives. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

GIVE MEANING TO YOUR LIFE BY SHARING WITH OTHERS

By Luisa, NPH Guatemala (with a little translation help from host mom, Karen)

JUBILEE WOMENS EXPERIENCE:

The first thing that impressed me was when we were received with joy by Emerald and Sam. They gave me positive energy that made me understand the word SHARE. Sometimes we think we deserve a smile and to be happy, but when we go out of our comfort zone we need to understand that everyone needs a smile to continue with their purpose of life, we are not the only ones with a broken heart.  Then I understand what our purpose as human beings is to help each other as JESUS said,  “Blessed are those who give without remembering. And blessed are those who take without forgetting.”

Then came the hour of delicious lunch and all came with a different look and then their cheerful smile that says thank you. Sometimes you plant seeds of hope without realizing. I felt part of them because when visitors come to NPH, I feel hope to continue living – but now I gave a sign of hope to these women who struggle every day to be someone in life.

During my time here in Seattle I realize that everyone has their own economic problems, but I’ve learned that no matter what, people help regardless of anything in return, one of the things that Father Wasson taught is to SHARE without seeing who you benefit, you just have a smile that marked your life.
Brief history of JUBILEE CENTER SEATTLE:
JUBILEE is an organization that helps women who do not have a home. Jubilee provides the women safe, affordable community housing and educational resources to help the women become independent. It was founded by three Sisters of St. Josephs of Peace.

DALE SENTIDO A TU VIDA COMPARTIENDO CON LOS DEMAS

Lo primero que me fascino fue cuando nos recibió con alegría la encargada, ella me transmitió una energía positiva es lo que me hizo comprender la palabra COMPARTIR A VECES pensamos que solo nosotros merecemos una sonrisa y ser felices, pero cuando salimos de nuestra línea de confort es necesario entender que todo el mundo necesita una sonrisa para poder seguir con el propósito de la vida, que no somos los únicos con el corazón roto, entonces entiendo cuál es nuestro propósito como seres humanos, es ayudarnos unos a los otros como dijo JESUS Bien aventurados los que dan sin recordar, y los que reciben sin olvidar. Luego llegó la hora del delicioso almuerzo y entraron todas con una mirada diferente y fue entonces aquella sonrisa tan alegre que te dice gracias, a veces uno siembra semillas de esperanza sin darse cuenta, me sentí parte de ellas porque cuando llegan las visitas a NPH, me siento con una esperanza de seguir viviendo pero ahora me toca darles una señal de esperanza a estas mujeres que luchan día a día para ser alguien en la vida Durante mi tiempo aquí en Seattle me he dado cuenta que todo el mundo tiene sus propios problemas económicos, pero he aprendido que no importa eso aquí, la gente ayuda sin importar nada a cambio, una de las cosa que nos enseñó el Padre Wasson ES COMPARTIR sin ver a quien beneficias, simplemente has una sonrisa que marcara tu vida.

Breve historia de JUBILEE CENTER SEATTLE JUBILEE es una organización que ayuda a mujeres que no tienen un HOGAR, factor económico y sobre todo a trnsformar a estas mujeres en futuras empresarias. Fue fundada gracias a tres mujeres el Capitolio de la Arquidiócesis de Seattle.

Editor’s Note: One Saturday each month, the leadership students accompanied by friends of NPH spend the morning cooking lunch for the women of Jubilee!  We look forward to continuing to build this new partnership!  Jubilee’s executive director, Cheryl, has supported NPH with leadership development for many years and each year offers her advice and teaching to the Seattle students as well!  To learn more about Jubilee’s great work: http://www.jwcenter.org/

An Evening with Sonia Nazario

By: Nelson Alvarez Hernandez

(written in English by Nelson!)

What can I say? This experience started in one of our leadership meetings.  I said something about an article that I read on Univision, and it talks about a social issue, migration.  I was surprised by this article because this media shows quite relevant numbers about migration especially highlighting the children that every year cross the borders to find their mother that left them when they were 5 years old or less.  So when Kara asked me if I wanted introduce a writer, the main question that I had in my mind was “who is Sonia Nazario?”

And immediately I said yes.

Then my host family gave me a brief biography on Sonia Nazario.  A few days later my host family bought me “Enrique’s Journey”.  When I started reading the book I did not want to stop reading this wonderful book. My experience reading Enrique’s Journey has been one of the most important in my life because this book talks about a reality that we are living now in our Central American countries, where thousands of children are traveling every year, crossing the borders to find their mother in the US, and we see that our governments do not do anything for these people, but I know that people from other countries are working hard for us.

December 4th, 2014: I will never forget this day because it was when I met Sonia Nazario.  When I met her I remember that I was reading my speech and she came in front of me and I said “I cannot believe it”.  I could not believe what was happening in this moment because it was all so fast, but then I realized that I was talking with Sonia Nazario. Something that I always remember is a question that she asked me when we were talking before the conference, the question was: “Are you orphan?”.  And at the beginning I was laughing because of the directness of her question.  But my answer for her was, so I do not have mother and father, but I found a new family and this family is NPH. I think that NPH is my family because it always has supported me, always been there in my difficult and in my happy moments, and given me so many opportunities.

When I was in the podium introducing her, my first three minutes I felt nervous but then I felt comfortable because meeting her before the conference helped me a lot.

This experience for me is one of the most important in my life, because I met a brave, courageous woman who is fighting for the people who do not have A VOICE IN THIS SYSTEM and the poorest people and I realize that there are people working for those people.

The experience of reading “Enrique’s Journey” definitely changed my way of thinking about this social problem, and I realized the poorest people who do not have a lot are often the people who share the little that they have with each other.

This book connects to my life in many ways, first because the boy who she talks about is Honduran. Second because since he was a little boy his father abandoned him besides his mother and in my case was the same my father abandoned me and my mother died when I was two years old, so both of us were abandoned by our fathers. It is why I say I, like Enrique, could have been one of the thousands children traveling every year crossing the borders.

Posadas

It was over three years ago that charter class graduate, Emir Ricaño (NPH Mexico), turned to me at our weekly meeting and asked “when are we going to do the Posadas?”.  I am now so grateful for his question and for how the Posadas have become a tradition here, allowing our NPH students to offer a gift of their culture and tradition to their family in the Northwest.  It also gives them an opportunity to practice leadership and intercultural skills – as they must find a way to integrate traditions from their various countries and then explain the tradition to folks here.  Doing all of that in your second (or third) language is no easy task!

This year, as we have for the past three years – we gathered to enjoy the Christmas Posadas.  This year’s group decided to include a short skit, which was both funny and a good reminder of the first Christmas.  The crowd participated by joining in the singing of “We Three Kings” and later “Feliz Navidad”.  After the Nativity Play, it was time for the piñata which was homemade according to NPH tradition.  The youngest guests had a great time swinging at the piñata, even as Cesario and Dennis pulled it barely out of their reach.  Even the youngest (2 years old) was able to participate!

As guests lingered over a potluck dinner, the sense of community that surrounds these young people was palpable.  Thank you to everyone who participated, and to the students for putting on such a wonderful evening.

Merry Christmas and blessings for the New Year!

 

Opening Mass

This past Sunday, we celebrated our Fall Mass, thereby officially kicking off our third year!

Father Tom celebrated Mass with about 40 people gathered at the home of Linda and Victor in West Seattle.   We sang and prayed in English and in Spanish, met the new leadership group (who introduced themselves in English!) and praised God for bringing so many wonderful souls together.  The leadership students and their host families all shared thoughts and observations from their first weeks in Seattle.

After Mass, Father Tom blessed Linda and Victor’s home as well as the new Leadership Van!

Finally, we had a communal dinner and time to catch up with old friends and/or get to know each other better!

Please continue to hold these students and their host families in your prayers!

Helping Hands

This Spring, Celson visited St. Anne’s School in Seattle to share the NPH story and the story of NPH Nicaragua’s outreach program to the local garbage dump.  Inspired by both Celson’s talk and pictures from his Dad’s trip to a clinic in Haiti, one of the students began his own campaign to help our NPH family.

Since then, Brendan, a 13-year old student from Seattle, has raised more than $1,000 for NPH!

Joe Cotton, Celson’s Host Parent and Brendan’s 7th grade religion teacher at St. Anne’s Catholic School, has focused on instilling a sense of social justice in his students. He encouraged Brendan to turn his passion into action.  Brendan decided to focus his fundraising efforts on our programs in Haiti.

He hosted a community bake sale and school movie night with the goal to provide food for the children in the Father Wasson Angel’s of Light Program in Haiti.  Both Celson and Jacinto attended on behalf of their brothers and sisters in Haiti.  The students responded with overwhelming support to help raise money for NPFS Haiti by purchasing baked goods and attending his movie night- admission was a donation to NPH.

St. Anne’s Catholic School recognized the efforts of its students by matching all of the donations to Brendan’s projects!

Esta primavera, Celson visitó la Escuela de Santa Ana en Seattle para compartir la historia de NPH y la historia del programa de divulgación de NPH Nicaragua en el basurero local.

Inspirado por tanto hablar y las imágenes de viaje de su padre a una clínica en Haití, uno de los estudiantes comenzaron su propia campaña para ayudar a nuestra familia de NPH

Desde entonces, Brendan, un estudiante de 13 años de Seattle, ha recaudado más de $ 1,000 para NPH

Joe Cotton, Padre adoptivo de Celson durante su estadia en seattle y profesor de religion de Brendan un niño de séptimo grado en la escuela católica de Santa Ana, se ha centrado en inculcar un sentido de la justicia social en sus alumnos. Alentó a Brendan convertir su pasión en acción. Brendan decidió centrar sus esfuerzos de recaudación de fondos en nuestros programas en Haití

Brendan organizó una venta de pasteles en la comunidad y la escuela y una noche de cine con el objetivo de proporcionar alimentos a los niños del Programa Ángeles de Luz en en nph Haití. Tanto Celson y Jacinto asistieron en representación de sus hermanos y hermanas de Haití. Los estudiantes respondieron con un abrumador apoyo para ayudar a recaudar fondos para NPH Haití mediante la compra de productos de panadería y asistir a la noche de cine y los ingreso fue una donación para NPH

La escuela Católica de Santa Ana reconoció los esfuerzos de sus estudiantes, haciendo conocer todas las donaciones a proyectos de Brendan.

 

 

Closing our 2nd Year

Yesterday we said goodbye to Jacinto, Celson, Doris, and Rodolfo at SeaTac airport.  I know they began their own journeys home with the same flurry of emotions that was moving inside me.

I felt sadness at saying farewell to young people who have deeply touched my life, challenged me, and shared their hearts with me.

Excitement in picturing the welcomes they will receive at Rancho Santa Fe, Casa Padre Wasson, Casa Sagrada Familia, and Casa San Andres.

Gratitude for their willingness to step completely into the work here in Seattle, which is not easy, and to grow through it.

Grief over the stories of pain they have endured in such short lifetimes, and awe at how good is being pulled and drawn from tragedy.

Laughter.  Because, well sometimes it just helps to laugh together.

Relief when each packed suitcase came in just under 50lbs!

Happiness in seeing their readiness to return to their NPH family and their home countries.

Wonder and curiosity about how they will use their lives to serve and love others.  How will God continue to work through each of them?

Worry over their re-entry, knowing it is yet another in a long string of transitions.

Love and Hope.  For each of them.  For their families of origin.  For our NPH family.  For Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

And even, through them, a glimmer of hope for the broken world we live in.

My gratitude and love to each of you: Doris, Rodolfo, Celson, and Jacinto.

Blessings,

Kara

How can a mini-van help an emerging leader? We are so glad you asked!

Use your old mini-van/suburban to contribute to NPH’s future!

The NPH International Leadership Institute in Seattle is growing!  Next year, the SIX participants will no longer all fit in Kara’s car presenting lots of logistical complications!

At least once a week all the students engage in a service project or attend a workshop, class, fundraiser, worship service or other event together.  We also have several retreats throughout the year that we get to by car.

Being able to transport all the students in ONE vehicle is a huge blessing!  We hope to be able to continue that as the program grows.

To that end, we are looking for a donated vehicle with at least 7 seat-belts (6 NPH students, 1 driver).  If you or anyone you know is ready to downscale (kids off to college?), will you consider donating your vehicle to these emerging young leaders?

In reality, we are also going to need extra help to pay for licensing fees, taxes, and gas if anyone would like to help with that too!

Sorry for the very direct plea, but we are realizing how needed this will be come September 8th, 2013!

For more information, please contact Kara at: 206-949-0792 or kking@nph.org.

Thank you!!!!!

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