March 29, 1992   -   September 6, 2002





(With his favorite wrestler)                       NICOLAS                        (With his favorite mom)




G               reetings and welcome to The Nicolas Project.  We are Pastor & Rhonda Massad.  This site is dedicated to the memory of a very beautiful little boy who was, and still is, so very  precious to us.  If you are viewing this website it is because you would like to know more about this project.   In order to help you understand the purpose and future of the project, allow us to back up, give you some history and tell you a little bit about Nicolas.



     Nicolas and his entire family came into our lives in Massachusetts in 1993 when his family became involved with our ministry.  After a short time with us, his father, Nick ended up raising the five children alone as a single father.   Our church rallied around him to help support his

(Nicolas’  Father, Nick)


effort and give him some needed breaks from the daily strains of single fatherhood.   Along the way my wife and I ended up getting very attached to the children and became almost another set of parents to them.  Over most of the last decade our family had simply grown to include all of the children.  In fact, on several occasions, some or all of the children would come to live with us.   Basically we ended up loving them, helping Nick to raise them and even raising them as our own children.


      Friday September 6, 2002, our faith was brought to the ultimate test when tragedy visited us.  That precious little boy who we have loved so much, Nicolas, died. He and all of his other brothers and sisters had been living with us for most of the last year.  Jonathan continues to live with us, as we are adopting him.  However, in August their father, Nick, picked the other kids up and took them to Florida to live with him. They had just moved into a new apartment in September.  Nicolas had built a “fort” in his closet.   That Friday was his sister Nicole’s birthday.  Nicolas had been playing in his “fort” for about fifteen minutes.  Nicole went to get him.  She found him tangled up in things in the closet and was not breathing.    911 – Police – Ambulance – Hospital … but they could not revive him.  He was pronounced dead.  We can not tell you the shock, horror and grief that hit us.  You're just not supposed to have to bury ten year olds!  We can't ask why any more.  We can only rest in, and on, our faith.   We can take peace in knowing where Nicolas is and who he is with!  Yet, he truly has been a son to us and we just miss him SO VERY MUCH.  


“The Nicolas project”


    Telling Jonathan that Nicolas had died was the hardest thing that we ever had to do.  As we told him, you could just see the shock hit his precious little face.  He shook his head from side to side and said “No sir! You’re kidding!”  When we assured him that it was true he just burst into tears.  A couple of days later he was going to bed, on the bunk bed that they had shared.  I was talking with him before we prayed.  I asked him what he was thinking about.  He replied “Nicolas”.  Then I said “Are you thinking about playing video games or basketball or ridding bikes with him?”  He looked down and just said “No” very somberly.  I asked him what he was thinking about.  He replied “How much I miss him” with his little lip quivering.  That just broke my heart all over again.  Right then we decided to do something very positive in Nicolas’ name.  And we launched it Christmas 2002.  Allow us to explain.  


     Nicolas was a little boy who was full of life.   Every waking moment he wanted to play.  If he was around, you knew it.  When he walked into a room, you knew it.  When he was playing, you knew it.  We want to build a living memorial in his honor.  We had several thoughts and have settled on one that will not only be a memorial to Nicolas but will also bless the lives of hundreds of children for decades to come. 


     Two of the teachers that we have teaching here in Missouri, at our school, Higher Ground Bible College, are John & Libby Moritz.  They are from upstate New York and teach a class here, called Compassion.   John & Libby are uniquely qualified to teach this class.  Ten years ago, three weeks after Christmas, their children were in a car pooling accident while on their way home from school.  The car skidded on ice and was struck by a truck in the opposite lane.  All three of their children were killed instantly.  Having just gone through the loss of Nicolas, I cannot fathom losing all three of your children!   You can almost believe that there is no recovery from that!   That, however, was not the case with John & Libby.  To make a long story short, they chose to accept the loss of their children and to regard them as seeds planted into God’s work here on earth.  The Bible says:


“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat
fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if
it die, it brings forth much fruit”.  (John 12:24)


     John & Libby decided to “offer” the death of their children, to The Father, as seeds planted into His kingdom.   They now have opened up orphanages around the world in memory of their children!   They take care of 275 children, collectively in those homes.   They are giving the gift of life, to children who would have no future, in memory of their children!  These people have turned unimaginable tragedy into triumph … that makes them our hero’s.

     John called me two days after Nicolas’ funeral.  I shared with him what had happened and the idea that was taking shape in our minds for a living memorial.  I asked him if we might work with his orphanages and build a room or something, a place where more children could be “loved on”, in Nicolas’ memory.  He was very open to the idea.  We have concluded that we would remodel a large room as an activity room for the children at their orphanage in Mexico.  We will call it   Nicolas Hall.  They take care of fifty-two children there now.  If we could provide a recreation center for them it would make their lives much more pleasant.  Since Nicolas absolutely LOVED to play, Nicolas Hall seems like just the right memorial.   Aside from being a place where children can play, it will also be a place where Jonathan and the other kids can go in years to come to “love on kids” in Nicolas’ name.  I know that this will help to have an enormous healing effect on them with every missionary trip they make there.  It will help them by letting something positive come out of such a sad, horrible thing.


     If you would assist us by donating to THE NICOLAS PROJECT, we will be able to put the recreation room on the Mexico Orphanage.  The total cost of equipping the room (mostly with games and furniture) will be $7,500.  Part of the reason that we are working with John & Libby Moritz, is because we know them personally.   Though they live in New York, they travel several times a year to the homes to personally be involved in running them.  We know them to have extraordinary integrity.  Theirs is truly a labor of love.  It is a work that is dedicated to the memory of their children and they insist upon the highest standards in all areas and at all times.


     Please consider assisting us with this project.  Perhaps a special “present”  for a child you and we don’t yet know, but who is still precious in the eyes of Our Father.  We are not asking that any of you give a million dollars.  We don’t even know what will happen as the years go by.  Perhaps one day this project will grow.  Perhaps one day Jonathan or the other kids will push it to be something great. Who knows.  All we know now is that we want to build a recreation room, to bless some very deprived orphans, in the name of a beautiful, precious little boy, who was and is so very dear to us.

     In keeping with the high level of accountability, we have asked four people to sit on the Board of Directors of THE NICOLAS PROJECT.  They are Attorneys Pamela Massad and Suzanne Benoit.  The other two people are Paul Zine (Nicolas’ favorite wrestler) and my brother, Douglas Massad.   All four of these people have been chosen for their high levels of personal integrity and professional reliability.  They will have total control over this fund.  We, along with John & Libby Moritz will sit only as advisors to the board.  To further assist with the overall integrity of the fund, all donations are tax deductible and shall be sent to:                  



c/o Commerce Bank

386 Main Street

The Nicolas Project Lockbox

Worcester, MA 01610


     We would give anything to have five more minutes with Nicolas to hold him and hug him and tell him how much we love him,  just one more time.  But absent of that, we will settle for loving the children in this orphanage, in Nicolas’ name.    Though we have suffered a grief unspeakable, we are determined that it will not be in vain.   Though the devil meant to cripple us with an unbearable pain, we shall bear the unbearable and turn this tragedy into triumph.  


     God Bless and thank you for all of your help. 


Pastor & Rhonda Massad


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