What started out 14 years ago as a Christian school for missionaries’ kids in Managua, Nicaragua, has grown to include a major Bible training center for Central American leaders.
And thanks to the Timothy Project, the ministry has a new home on an 8.7-acre campus strategically located just outside the Managua city limits.
The Timothy Project is the brainchild of Cal Walstra, Steve Westra, Jim Bulthuis, and Rick Bulthuis, all participants in a Partners Worldwide Builder-to-Builder Group in the Chicago area.
Two years ago they formed a corporation in order to purchase the land outside Managua for $165,000. They named the venture the Timothy Project, after 2 Timothy 2:2: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”
That’s exactly what happens on those 8.7 acres. The Nehemiah Center trains pastors, Christian school directors, teachers, deacons, development workers, and businesspersons to bring Christ-centered transformation to their spheres of influence. The center is a collaborative effort of many Christian mission organizations, including Christian Reformed World Missions, the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, Partners Worldwide, and Christian Schools International.
That collaboration is what attracted Wal-stra. “That is why I got so immersed in this,” he said. “It’s all about creating bonds; that’s the magic of what’s going on here.”
All of that ministry takes place alongside the original Nicaragua Christian Academy, a school that has grown to 225 students, the majority of whom are Nicaraguan. And a second school has been launched, allowing Nicaraguans with lower incomes an opportunity to give their children a Christian education that would otherwise be unattainable.
With donors funding the entire $165,000 land purchase, the Timothy Project was able to gift the property to Partners Worldwide, which in turn transferred it to the Nehemiah Center and the Nicaragua Christian Academy in December 2005.
While the funds were being raised, volunteers and local contractors began developing the land. The new school opened a year ago, and plans for an additional high school are on the drawing board.
The Nehemiah Center is developing the rest of the land. The final phase will include a Leadership Development Center that will also serve as headquarters for the regional staffs of CRWM, CRWRC, Partners Worldwide, and the other partners in the ministry.