His parents were thieves, so Teddy put himself through college. Now he works 100 hours a week, earning $125 a month and still shoulders college loan debt.
“Scott I have some problems, and I want to know if you can help me,” Teddy said in English.
“What’s up?” I replied, grateful to have a Nica friend who can speak English.
“I have college debt,” he whispered, “a whole year’s worth.”
I groaned, wondering how many thousands of dollars he was asking for. “How much?”
Teddy nodded, intimating to me he knew how serious that number was.
“Teddy, how much money do you make as a church guard?”
“About $125 a month,” he replied.
“Where do you sleep?” I asked, looking around for a bed. He pointed to a roughed up table nonchalantly as if that was how everyone slept. “On the table?” I asked in disbelief, searching for the non-existent blankets and pillows.
He nodded, trying to see where I was going with these questions and whether or not I could help him.
I would have asked him why his parents did not help him, but I already knew: Teddy, not yet out of college, had already moved out on his own because his parents were professional thieves. As a Christian, he refused their support, but still tried to educate himself at the local university. To support himself he guarded the church 100+ waking hours per week.
“What do you do while you are at church?” I asked. Teddy whipped out a weekly schedule. Every day was packed
I could easily believe he studied English many hours a day because he was almost fluent, a nearly impossible feat without living abroad.
“Well, I can’t promise anything, Teddy, but I’ll talk to some people and see what we can do.”
Teddy nodded thankfully and we went on to talk about the rest of his life. He desires to be a preacher someday, though he made me promise not to tell any one in Nicaragua because he is afraid they would chuckle at the thought since he is young, poor, and merely a church-guard.
Teddy is just one of the many Nicaraguans we would like to see in a leadership role in the church.
Good news: The men of Scott’s discipleship group were able to help Teddy with his college debt. He was and continues to be enormously thankful. He has also begun a meeting with non-Christian friends to talk about life and study the Bible.