Thanks to this education I will be able to improve my well-being but, more importantly, the well-being of my entire family. You see, I am the oldest of 4 brothers, and I would like to see them go forward and give them the same opportunity that now God is putting in my path.

Also thanks to the education I can be a person of benefit for society and thus be able to reach out to other people who need it.

Through this program, I am strengthening my principles and values and avoiding the bad paths that life here in Alajuelita presents to young people. In this way, I want to be an example to my brothers and other children so they will also start on a right path. 


I thank God and the people who have collaborated to this day to help me get ahead in my education, and also, because of them, I have strengthened my relationship with God.  

                                        Christopher Gonzales Muños



Building Better Lives for Children and Their Families . . . 

2017 Year-In-Review

There are not many places in Costa Rica where almost 300 kids get a message from God daily.  Since we serve in a community that reflects the diversity of God’s Kingdom, students from many different backgrounds attend our school.  And we know that most of these children are not in church on a regular basis to hear the power of God's word.  As one parent said recently, "Love At Work International Christian School is an embassy of heaven in Alajuelita."  We know this is bringing a great harvest for the Kingdom of God now and in the future.

On December 14, we celebrated our fourth student graduation at Love At Work International Christian School.  Someone once said, "History is written by the winners."  These, our students, are winners.  And they are writing history. 


Kids are awarded a diploma for completing one of Costa Rica’s four “cycles” of education: preparatory, 6th grade, 9th grade, baccalaureate (HS), and degrees from Love At Work's music academy, technology and English programs.  We will now have 12 students in university!!  

Education -- We will now have 12 students in university!!  

"Go Build"

Jesus was the son of a carpenter and a builder (Matthew 13:55).  It’s almost certain that these skills were learned by Jesus too.

At Love At Work Ministries, we're privileged to be builders too, not only of houses, but of families, lives and hope.  We focus on “building better lives for children and their families” by addressing the needs of education, health and nutrition, economic opportunity, social and spiritual development as well as housing. 

The Best Testimony

We know a quality, Christian education can be a huge factor in breaking cycles of injustice, poverty, and violence.  But perhaps the best testimony to this comes from the students our program is helping . . . students such as Christopher , who just completed his second year in university:  

Love At Work Ministries Is Truly Unique

Of the 85,000 Christian nonprofits registered with GuideStar, the world's largest data source on nonprofits, there are three things that make Love At Work Ministries truly unique.


  • We work in the world’s urban slums.
  • We provide options. We provide opportunities (a “hand up”) that families & children simply do not have – access to quality education, decent housing, good health care & nutrition, economic opportunities. spiritual nurture.
  • We help children find hope.

Each week, hundreds of kids pour through the gates of Love At Work International Christian School. They laugh, play, eat, cheer, learn and feel valued, safe and loved. These precious children are finding hope . . . hope of a better future, the hope of reaching their God-given potential through Jesus Christ.

They come from places where they’re not always encouraged to help or care for their neighbor. But at our school, they’re learning and understanding that they can make a significant difference in someone else’s life and, like Christopher, they want to give back.  

Summary

We are encouraged by our progress and continue to look for ways to do even more to help children and families find the hope of being loved and not forgotten, the hope of a better future and, most importantly, the hope that comes from hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In the midst of everything going on, we are trying to hear God’s voice and direction.  Please join us in praying for the wisdom to know God’s will for our ministry and the courage to be obedient.  And thank you for your continuing support.  We could not do this without you.

Sincerely,
Larry and Carole​

"Nothing Good Ever Comes Out of Alajelta" --WE'RE CHANGING THAT!!


There is a saying that "nothing good ever comes out of Alajuelita."  Well, we're changing that.  Music is vital in every area of life, but Alajuelita does not have a serious program focused on classical technique.  Children in the school begin to read music in the first grade.   We believe we can have the best Musical Arts program in the country, and it will make a HUGE difference in the lives of these kids!  
 
We're committed to establishing the highest level program in Costa Rica in the execution, not just theory, of instruments . . . starting with wind instruments - saxophones, flutes, trumpets.  Kids are intensively studying classical music and learning to play these new instruments.  This is a radical social project in which children, often living in unthinkable circumstances, are given the chance to punch through the poverty cycle - with the help of skills learned through music.

​​​We classify expense in three primary categories: program expense, fundraising expense and management/general expense.  


Program Expenses.  “Program expense ratio” is how much of our total expense went directly to the charitable purpose. In 2017, program expenses represented 92.1 percent of total expense. The average of the top 100 charities in 2016, according to a Forbes magazine study, was 85%.  


Our program expenses help achieve measurable results in four key areas:


  • Quality of Life:  projects that increase access to nutritious food, water and health care for vulnerable populations; protect children from abuse and neglect; remove barriers to economic self-sufficiency; equip people with life skills that lead to increased independence.
  • Healthy Neighborhoods and Communities:  addressing such challenges as providing safe, affordable housing and support services; increasing the safety of residents; improving physical spaces for community benefit; engaging residents in community-building and progress; and creating opportunities for young people to become productive citizens.
  • Education:  scholarships which allow children in poverty to attend Love At Work International Christian School and one day have the opportunity to go on to university or trade school. 
  • Area of Greatest Need:  undesignated funds which enable us to respond quickly to help the most vulnerable children and families in the areas of education, housing, health and nutrition, economic opportunity, spiritual and social development, community and neighborhood enrichment. 


"When we help people in need, they hear the good news that Jesus loves them . . . and not just hear,  but also see it in a practical way."


We consistently look for programming, service opportunities and partnerships that will assist children and families in building a better life . . . in Costa Rica and back home in the United States.  This includes projects that increase access to nutritious food, water and health care for vulnerable populations; protect children from abuse and neglect; remove barriers to economic self-sufficiency; equip people with life skills that lead to increased independence and address such challenges as safe, affordable housing and support services.


One such program is the Good Samaritan's Network of Hamilton County, Indiana, who, working with agencies, churches, businesses, individuals and organizations like ours, provide a "hand up" for children and families when they have nowhere else to turn.  This year we participated with the Good Samaritan's Network through the Woodland Christmas Club for Needy Children in providing Thanksgiving and Christmas for 215 families, including 531 children and more than 800 people.  It was a reminder to us all, "When we help people in need, they hear the good news that Jesus loves them . . . and not just hear,  but also see it in a practical way."


This has been an amazing year for Love At Work Ministries, and we want to take time to say “thanks” for the things God has done.  Because He alone is the architect, builder, owner and Lord of Love At Work Ministries.​


Our 2017 Financial Highlights


Love At Work Ministries practices good stewardship with all funds entrusted to our mission of providing life-changing solutions, a hand up, for children and families living in poverty.   Using funds wisely allows us to serve more children, families and communities.


Although our contributions were down in 2017, we managed this by controlling expenses.  The result was that our net operating income increased.  To do this in a year when revenues are down is a major accomplishment.  It allowed us to (1) eliminate all prior debt associated with the buildout of the Love At Work International Christian School; (2) strengthen our balance sheet; and (3) establish a “Living Legacy Fund” with an initial investment of $30,000.  The principal and all investment earnings of the Living Legacy Fund are restricted for education of children to build their confidence and ability to complete their education.  In addition, significant progress was made in advancing the self-sustainability of Love At Work International Christian School in Costa Rica. 



​​​Fundraising Expenses.  An organization’s “fundraising efficiency” is the percentage of donations left after subtracting the costs of getting them.  The average for the 100 large charities in the Forbes study was 89 percent, meaning that it cost 11 cents to raise $1.  Love At Work Ministries’ “fundraising efficiency” was 98 percent, meaning it cost 2 cents to raise $1.


Management / General Expenses.  For 2017, management and general expense represented 4.9 percent of total expense. This includes costs necessary to provide appropriate financial management and oversight, process financial transactions, general insurance and infrastructure costs such as computers and software.