The Nichols Family-Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico

Mark 16:15 "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."

The Nichols Family-Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico

Mark 16:15 "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."

Contact NOE International

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 33152
Portland, OR 97292

Phone:
(971) 255-9140

Email:
info@noeinternational.org

Web:
https://noeinternational.org/

About NOE International

NOE International Mission

NOE International is a faith-based non-profit operating three community centers in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico. The mission of NOE International is to transform the lives of people by integrating Christ’s love and teachings into educational and recreational programs through community centers located in low-income neighborhoods.

Our Ministry Partner: NOE International

People Educated. Christ Revealed. Lives Transformed. 

People Educated
People come to the NOE Centers because they want to learn. Our name even means New Opportunities in Education. We offer accredited English programs that prepare students for college. We hold art and music classes that aren’t available in the schools. We coach basketball teams that build cooperation skills and discipline. We prepare adults to start their own business with beautician classes. Everything at NOE starts with real-life skills classes offered those in low-income neighborhoods.

Christ Revealed
NOE staff loves Jesus, and they love our students. Jesus is revealed in these long-term, intentional relationships; the students see Him in the love they receive. In addition to academic classes, NOE offers Explorers, a Bible club for grade-school children. We also invite youth to a weekly night of games and a Gospel message, as well as a weekly Bible study. Adults hear the Good News of salvation in our parenting classes, which are taught from a biblical perspective. We know that the hope found in Jesus is a true and lasting hope, able to rescue students and their families from their situations and prepare them for something much greater.

Lives Transformed
The reports are in: education and hope are incredibly transformative for NOE students. They are serving their community by giving food and clothing to families at the local children’s hospital. They are graduating: students who study English at NOE three years or more graduate high school at a rate of 86%, compared to the state average of 27%. We are seeing NOE alumni get full-ride scholarships to college. They are working in jobs that provide for their families. And two of our three center directors are NOE alumni. Most importantly, our students and alumni are living lives of light in a dark place. They are sharing the Good News of abundant life they heard about at NOE.

Meli, Romina, Valeria, Juan, new executive director for Centro NOE/NOE International

Juan Peralta Assigned Centro NOE Executive Director: One chapter ends, another begins

Reggie Nichols

“The only constant in life is change”. Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher

“When you are finished changing, you are finished”. Benjamin Franklin

Over the years, God has blessed me with tremendous guy friendships. Right now, in the middle of Central Mexico, if I had a flat and had no other choice, I am certain that I could call 1 of about 8 men in my life from the states that would drop everything, drive 2,000 miles and be here for me within 24 hours. Just like David and Jonathan’s relationship, I have loved and been loved by these men who have held me accountable, stuck with me closer than a brother, and have been used by God to help develop me and set examples for me to be the man I am today.

When the Nichols Family first landed in Morelia, Mexico on September 13, 2022, I learned very quickly that Juan is a reader. Harry Truman is famous for saying that, “…all leaders are readers”. When Elon Musk was asked how he learned to build rockets, he stated, “I read books.” Juan is well-read with a degree in economics and seminary training. He loves to read, and each time I go into his office, he has a book lying on his desk.

He introduced me to the book The Spider and the Starfish: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations. In summary, the basic premise of the book is to compare the strategies of leadership of the indigenous people who were conquered in Mexico by Spain with the indigenous people of the United States. The difference was that leadership within the indigenous tribes found within the U.S. had leadership at local levels. Power was not top down, but instead spread throughout the kingdom. So, when one leader went down, another always rose to take his place.

Juan believes in good leadership. He believes in the people with whom he serves. He trusts his team and desires to equip his teams for success through great training, accountability, with concern for the staff personally, spiritually, and professionally. His favorite quote, “We are all just spiritual beings having an earthly moment,” reveals the lens through which he sees life and leadership.

In a world of arrogant leaders that dictate a transactional approach where everyone simply does what a leader says, Juan is a humble dynamic leader whose goal is to share vision, guarantee great communication to ensure everyone is heading the same direction, and develop those around him to make them better than himself.

A few months ago, Juan and I were able to spend the day together in Guadalajara as we were awaiting the arrival of a visiting group from Portland, Oregon. During that time, I was able to hear his heart, understand his motivation, see his passion for Jesus to be made known, and for about 20 minutes sniff some great-smelling candles with him as he was doing research for his wife, Meli (a profound bonding moment, if I do say so myself). During that 18-hour timeframe, I saw very quickly that Juan is the type of man I referred to in my first paragraph. He loves. He sacrifices. He deeply desires Jesus to be in control of all he does within his family, his personal relationships, and the organization where he is now the overseer – Noe International/Centro NOE.

Kristy, Mirety, Brian, and Keila Overcast

NOE Founders Brian and Mireya Overcast to Retire in June: 31 years of vision, service, dedication, and love

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. - Ephesians 4:16

In 1991, Brian and Mireya (mee-RAY-yah) Overcast, along with another American couple, Brett and Margaret Hespen, and the ringleader, Laurie Connolly (Henkle, set out to create an organization that will bring hope and change to Mexico. From this movement, Nuevas Oportunidades Educativas (New Opportunities in Education, NOE) was born.

As a supplementary educational organization, NOE set out to offer educational programs that are usually only available to the wealthy in Mexico. In 2017, the state of Michoacán was the 6th poorest state in Mexico with 54.4% of its people living under the national poverty rate. Having had a similar ranking throughout generations, Morelia, the capital city of Mexico, was an ideal location to help urban families through new educational options.

In January of 1992, NOE opened in a small building with 34 students. Today, we have three facilities throughout the city. The longest-standing location, NOE Primero, opened in 1992, and hosts over 400 students each week. NOE Loma Libre, where Reggie and I spend the majority of our time, has been operating for more than nine years and has over 300 students. NOE Vida West opened in 2018 and has over 150 students. Our online program, created as a result of the pandemic, still has over 200 students, totaling over 1,050+ current students from ages 3rd grade through adult.

From the beginning, NOE’s English program was their most foundational program and continues to be today. We currently offer three levels of elementary school English, along with an accredited four-year English program for middle school, high school, and adult students. In August, I will be officially assuming the position of English program coordinator, where I will be training teachers, coordinating curriculum and instruction, supervising and observing teachers, and many other facets of the English program as a whole. With the incredible reputation of our program, please be praying for me as I prepare for this transition and that I can uphold its reputation!

Mireya, originally from Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico, is an incredible artist, specializing in painting. Having won various awards for her artwork, she emphasized the importance of the arts at NOE. In addition to art classes, NOE offers music classes for voice, piano, and guitar.

Brian, having always been a big basketball fan and former player, brought a basketball program to NOE and Morelia. The NOE Cougars have developed a great reputation throughout the basketball communities throughout the city. NOE has former players that went on to get basketball scholarships and havereturned as coaches or now send their children to the basketball program.

Finally, last but certainly not least, our youth group program called Un Espacio Para Ti (a place for you) and weekly Bible studies are opportunities to share the gospel and give hope in Jesus Christ through fun games, community, crazy outings, worship, small groups, learning about God’s word, and living life together on a weekly basis.

In March, Reggie and I began directing the Loma Libre Un Espacio Para Ti group with a team of teachers from NOE. We love to see how God is moving in the hearts of the students academically, but my heart swells to see them growing spiritually as we discuss the Bible and what it means to live by faith.

Brian and Mireya have always emphasized the importance of being a team throughout this process. One of the aspects of NOE that drew me to them so deeply is the obvious longevity that is evident in their staff. Hugo Bedolla, along with his wife Myriam, have been with NOE for 28 years, the entire span of their marriage. He started out working with the youth in various capacities and is now the director at NOE Loma Libre. Myriam is his lovely secretarial assistant. Juan Peralta, graduate of NOE, current director of NOE Primero, and soon-to-be lead director of NOE, has been involved with NOE for 24+ years. Erick Garcia, director at NOE Vida West, is also a NOE graduate whose family has been involved with NOE for over 18 years. It is common for former students to return as teachers, coaches, or supports of NOE in a variety of forms. Ale Moreno, future director of NOE Primero, met the Lord on the step of NOE and now brings this love of Jesus to others through her teaching and leadership. This is the organization they sought to create.

God has blessed this organization through the vision and dedication of Brian and Mireya. Thousands of people have been touched and changed by NOE as a result of their love for God and their love for His people. Thank you for support us as we journey with NOE as it continues to grow. This is the legacy Brian and Mireya have left behind but will never be forgotten.

NOE Primero - "The First"

Dream Team 2022 Highlight: Dana Zabi Días Villaseñor

Dana was one of the first NOE students we met in September. Her brother, Zuri, will also be a part of this year’s Dream Team spending 28 days in the Portland, Oregon area.

Dana graduated high school in 2020. This past academic school year, she has been teaching two elementary English classes at NOE Primero and has 23 students. In her spare time, she enjoys going to NOE Bible study, helping with the NOE Friday night youth group, helping at her church, Iglesia Sión, and spending time with her family and friends.

Dana’s dad has taught basketball at NOE in previous years. Her mother works in administration at a hospital in Morelia, and her younger brother, Jairo, also takes English classes at NOE. Dana will be taking the college entrance exam in June and hopes to become a licensed English teacher. This family, as a whole, as been such a blessing to our family!

Dana Zabdi Días Villaseñor: Dream Team 2022

NOE Loma Libre

NOE Vida West