Bonded by a Photo and a Prayer

It all started almost three years ago when a photo of an Adelante Mujer student was sent to each person on our mailing list. The student’s first name was printed on the photo with the request for prayer for her. The responses received from several recipients were gratifying. “I have her picture on my refrigerator and pray for her often.” “I love to see her smiling face on my dresser.” “Her picture is in my prayer book so I remember to pray for her each day.”

A year or so later we put out a plea for prayer for Katia, one of our medical students who was seriously ill at the same time she was mourning the death of her beloved father. A donor sent an email to report that she had received Katia’s photo and yes, she definitely would pray even more and harder for her. The donor asked if I would keep her posted about Katia’s progress.

Well, the progress was not positive. Katia became weaker to a point where she was hospitalized in Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas and later flown to a Managua hospital. Katia’s sister stayed with her and periodically reported her condition to our Adelante Mujer On-site Coordinator in Bilwi. Despite the discouraging news, the report always had the positive message from Katia. She intended to get better and resume her medical studies. She had no doubt that she would be a doctor some day.

In December 2019 during our regular semester visit to Bilwi, Katia came to the class meeting. She said she was stronger and would resume classes in February though she would be a year behind her fifth-year class. When I inquired if that would bother her to join another class she confidently stated, “No, they already welcomed me into their group. I’m a social person so it will be fine.”

The donor who treasures the photo of Katia and feels a strong connection to her rejoiced in the good news. Again she asked me to keep her updated.

Sadly, Katia was not as well as she had hoped she’d be. She was again hospitalized, received dialysis, contracted Covid-19, and when flights resume operation across Nicaragua, Katia and her sister will return to Managua for further treatment and to search for a kidney donor.

Katia’s pray-er called one day to ask about Katia. Both of us lamented the sad developments. Within my report I mentioned that Katia would need the air fare to Managua. It was just part of the update yet the caller said, “I don’t have a lot of money but I must send something for that young woman to get to Managua as soon as she can.” And she did. When asked if I could tell Katia who her “angel” is, the donor absolutely refused. “Just your first name?” I suggested. “No,” she insisted, “just tell her it is from a friend in Wisconsin.”

When the money was given to Katia she sent deep gratitude to a donor she’ll never meet. And she also stood for a photo taken the day she was given the airfare from a “friend in Wisconsin” who has been praying for her since 2017.

                   Sister Diane, CSA ~ October 2020

The Beautiful Blessing You Are

Semester Two of 2020 has begun for the students of Intercultural Medicine at URACCAN University. Each student submitted the required grade report from the first semester and we are so very proud to announce that 49 of 51 Adelante Mujer students have qualified for funding. Below are just a few of the email messages thanking you for your financial assistance that is essential to their success.

Very good morning! I am very glad that I have qualified so that I can benefit from this scholarship. I thank you, the donors and Sister Ann (may she rest in peace) for this great opportunity. I will continue to work hard to be a doctor with excellent grades so that both you and donors can be proud of me. Many thanks again and have a beautiful day. Laisha C. Year 2

Thank you very much to each one of you for your support. You are like angels of God for us. Receive greetings and a big hug and my best wishes. God bless you always. Sherly  Year 3

Hello. Thank you very much. I am very grateful that you give me support to be one of the beneficiaries of Adelante Mujer blessings. And I will be on the lookout for all the support that God keeps giving me and protecting me.  Andrea  Year 2 

Thank you very much for continuing to help me. I am very grateful for the support of the organization of Adelante Mujer in the face of this pandemic. God bless you tomorrow and always.  Judith  Year 6

I am grateful with all my heart for the support you continue to give us and, although Sister Ann is no longer with us, all the people who are part of Adelante Mujer continue to fight to give us that support so that we can be good doctors. I know that it has been difficult since this pandemic caused many problems but I am so grateful to all those people who collaborate every day so that we can continue with our study. I promise to strive more every day to achieve that dream of being a good doctor and being able to take good care of my patients. Blessings to you and the whole family of Adelante Mujer.  Fanny  Year 3

I’m very happy to be benefited by the funding from Adelante Mujer. I give thanks very much to Sister Ann who from heaven blesses us and to the donors who make it possible to fulfill my dreams of being a doctor. Thank you very much for all this. I am very excited and happy. Thank you and I ask that Almighty God will keep you and bless you for your great hearts.  Geiny  Year 3

I am fine, thank God. I thank you enormously for what Adelante Mujer does for us. All of you are a great help to us who study and work in the hospital and polyclinics. May God keep guarding and caring for you always.   Alcira  Year 3 

The Board of Directors and I join the students in thanking you for your continued support. Without our donors, most of these students could never afford medical school. You are a blessing to each one.

Sister Diane, CSA  ~  September 2020

And the Board Works On

Due to the current pandemic, our regular meeting room was closed the day before the March meeting of Adelante Mujer Board of Directors. Our gathering had to be cancelled. Voting on important issues was conducted by email responses and business pretty much continued as usual. Then, before the Annual Meeting scheduled in July, it was agreed that an in-person, half day session was less than feasible and, besides, the facility for the meeting was still closed to outsiders. This time a 3-hour meeting by Zoom was scheduled and, gratefully, it proceeded without a hitch. The important ministry of Adelante Mujer goes on without an office to work in and without a meeting room for nine devoted women to discuss business in our familiar space.  Continue reading “And the Board Works On”

How Students Apply Their Learning

Semester One of 2020 will soon be history for Adelante Mujer students in the Intercultural Medicine program of URACCAN University in northeast Nicaragua.  In addition to attending classes, doing assignments, and helping at the hospital, our students often do volunteer work by providing health care to family, neighbors, and needy people in the area.  Below are ventures of our sixth-year students.  Continue reading “How Students Apply Their Learning”

The Legacy She Left Us

                                                                        As I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing: I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission. I am running toward the only goal that                                                                               counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed. — Philippians 3:13-14 (Source: The Voice) 

 The quotation above is not Sister Ann McKean’s, but it well could be. Anyone who knew Sister Ann can attest to the fact that, as foundress of Adelante Mujer (Advance Woman,) she “put everything on the line for this mission.” Whether it was the welfare of the students, the success of the doctors, the pursuit of grants, the wisdom of investments, the caliber of the Board of Directors, the succession after her retirement, Sister Ann gave total energy and attention to each aspect of her mission. Someone jokingly said, “No matter what we’re discussing, Ann always manages to weave the conversation to Adelante Mujer!”  Continue reading “The Legacy She Left Us”