August 15, 2018
God’s mercies are new every morning. No one believes this more than Gabriela*, who arrives at Nicaragua Christian Academy’s International Campus (NCAI) at 6am each day to pray for her students before classes begin.
Gabriela is the newest teacher assistant at NCAI, a Resonate Global Mission partner in Managua, Nicaragua. She works with the Students of All Abilities Recognized (SOAAR) program, which provides inclusive special education services for children with disabilities. She is also the first local Nicaraguan to be hired as part of the SOAAR team.
Gabriela needed this job—almost as much as NCAI’s students, faculty, and staff needed her.
When a SOAAR volunteer took another teaching position at NCAI halfway through the year, Andrew Ippel—Resonate missionary and SOAAR coordinator—knew he needed to fill the teacher’s assistant position immediately. Historically, the SOAAR program had been fully staffed by North American missionaries, and Andrew knew the vacancy was a good opportunity to bring a Nicaraguan on staff to help the school better connect with the community.
They interviewed Gabriela, an ambitious Christian in her 20s who was looking for a new job. Not only would a new job give Gabriela the means to help support her family, but God had instilled a passion within her to teach children with disabilities. She was eager to learn.
“Even if you don’t hire me,” she told Andrew during the interview, “I’ll still be here volunteering.”
But Andrew did not hire her.
Gabriela’s previous job had left her discouraged and insecure. Gabriela seemed nervous in the interview, and Andrew hired another candidate. But after a few weeks, Andrew discovered the candidate did not have the appropriate paperwork for employment.
The school offered Gabriela the job.
“I think that was God orchestrating it,” Andrew said. “[Gabriela] has been a huge asset to us.”
Confident in God’s faithfulness, Gabriela is warm, joyful, and optimistic as she works one-on-one with students in reading and math. She celebrates each student success—no matter how seemingly small.
“She’ll burst into my classroom and say, ‘Mr. Ippel, he remembers the letter h!’” Andrew said. “Students catch onto [that positivity.] They know she believes in them.”
Daily, Gabriela reminds Andrew and other NCAI teachers of God’s faithfulness and helps them see each one of his new mercies.
Thank you for praying for NCAI’s staff and students as they engage a Christian worldview through education.
*Name changed for privacy.