Being introduced to One by One was an answer to my prayers. I had been working with other ministries in Nicaragua since 2011, but by fall of 2015 needed a more stable connection. A friend of mine suggested that I check out the website CTEN.org (Commission to Every Nation) to see what other missionaries served in Nicaragua and what ministries they served with. Finding Dan Quigley and Yeril & Katie Lozano there is what connected me with the One by One website, and that was a life-changing website visit!
I loved the message of faith it professed without being preachy or dogmatic. I loved the fact that many staff members were Nicaraguan. I knew then that I needed to get in contact and learn more about One by One International. Phone calls and emails with One by One staff were helpful, but what sold me on wanting to be a part of it is what waited for me on the steps of the building when I first visited.
There sat a group of kids, talking and waiting for the bus. One of the teachers was asking them math questions and joking about how much more studying some of the students needed to do. The kids were laughing. There was student/teacher respect; there was also a sense of trust. I had observed other educational programs in Nicaragua where the student/teacher relationship was more like that of a drill sergeant and cadets. Meeting with Katie Lozano and learning more about the formation of One by One and the future plans was nothing less than a confirmation that this was the place for me.
In the last three years I have considered it an honor to work with some amazing mission-teams who are just as excited about working with One by One as I am. It has been so encouraging to see staff members adjust to the changes in the lives of the children and to the changes of life in Managua. The political crisis in 2018 caused other ministries to shut down, but One by One continued and adapted.
I suppose that is the reason why I look forward to continuing my work with One by One. People are here for the long-term. Some have been here since the foundation in 2009. The one thing many children in the Monseñor Lezcano community need is stability, and that it what we offer. Some look at statistics and dream of solving the equations given, but the staff here know children by name and serve and pray for them.
The staff here offer what they can to the simple problems like a shoe breaking, or the tragic ones like a death in the family. What One by One has taught me is that long-term, holistic ministry is worth the cost. I have watched lives change. I have watched children grow in their faith. These last three years have been life-changing for me, and I look forward to see what is yet to come.
Naomi Evers joined One by One’s staff in 2016, serving as the Teams & Internship Director and in the development of church relationships. She passed away unexpectedly in January 2020.