About Misión Para Cristo
Misión Para Cristo (Mission for Christ) is an international development mission in the Jinotega (Northern) region of Nicaragua focusing on the spiritual and physical needs of the people. The mission was started by Benny and Donna Baker in 1997 and continues to be directed by them. For the last 13 years the mission has been serving the people of Nicaragua by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ through opportunities of service. The mission accomplishes this goal by helping the church meet three basic needs: Body, Mind and Soul.
The work began in October 1997 with 1 evangelist and 12 members in the church. They opened a medical clinic in Jinotega as a community outreach of the church. Initially Benny and Donna traveled to Nicaragua several times a year while continuing to work in local ministry in Arkansas and Louisiana. In 2005 they made the commitment to move to Jinotega to afford them the opportunity to work more closely with the mission. God has blessed this work richly. Today the mission works with 24 congregations, 15 full-time Nicaraguan preachers and 4 part-time preachers.
Working through the church Misión Para Cristo serves in the following areas:
- Serving the church: In 2009 we expanded our Institute for the Preparation of Workers thanks to Sunset International. Also in 2009 thanks to Spanish Literature, Big Three Bible Bowl and World Bible Translation Center the mission started a Spanish Bible Competition for the youth. Each year the mission sponsors a national youth day “Uplift Nicaragua” thanks to Uplift at Harding University. The mission also works with Spanish Literature to get their material into Nicaragua in container shipments. “Smiles” is the mission’s annual project for a “Smile for a Child at Christmas.”
- Educating Children: The mission operates 20 schools with over 1,000 children. All schools are certified by the Ministry of Education. Because the mission operates the schools, the Minister of Education allows us 15 minutes a day of Bible study for the spiritual training of the children. Director: Alberto Lopez, Spiritual Director: Edwin Martinez
- Medical Needs: Over 40,000 people are served each year with a full-time daily clinic in Jinotega; parasite treatment and vitamins for over 10,000 children thanks to Childs Meds First; work with Casa Maternas (a place for ladies to come and be close to medical care for the birth of their baby); facilitating the training of 82 Community Health Promoters and supplying them with medical supplies; a new medicine project to “Extend the Shelf Life of Medicine” in an agreement with the Minister of Health, Blessings International, UNAN Pharmacy School and Labratory; mobile clinics; a Dental Prevention program for the oral health of children partnering with Teethsavers International; and Olive Branch Ministries that brings three groups to Nicaragua each year sees around 9,000 patients. Medical Director: Dra Judith Pena
- Prison Ministry: Vocational and spiritual development in the Waswili Prison. Director: Luis Prada
- “Esperanza del Rio” (Hope for the River): Serving the indigenous river region that borders Honduras. Director: Alberto Lopez/Sergio Salazar
Keeping the Main Thing, the Main ThingThe mission’s motto is “Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing”. To do this we incorporate evangelism into every service we provide. The only condition the mission insists on before it starts a work in a community is that they allow us to share the good news of Jesus Christ. When we coordinate with government and community officials we insure they understand we are not a humanitarian organization but a spiritual organization that does humanitarian work. In 2009 David and Kim Romero began working with the mission with the church in Matagalpa and in helping keep the main thing the main thing.
The mission has a staff of 65 personnel. All of the direct work of the mission is done by Nicaraguans. Each aspect of the mission has a Director, as listed above. All but 6 of the staff are Nicaraguan nationals and most are Christians. Mike and Ann Faris came to the mission in October 2007. Mike is serving as the Deputy Director with Ann developing Bible material for the schools and congregations. In January 2010 Daisy and Serigo Salazar joined the mission staff. Sergio will serve as Assistant to the Executive Director and Daisy, who has a pharmacy degree, will serve as the coordinator with MINSA for the new program to retest and extend the shelf life of medicine. Also, in January 2010 Ben and Susan Brooks joined the mission staff. Ben will serve as the Deputy Director of Finance/Development and Susan will work in our education program and our Smiles program. Misión Para Cristo has strong working relationships and agreements with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health, Education and Family and is presently developing a new agreement with the army to help us serve in remote areas. The mission also has working agreements with 10 Mayor’s offices. Each year over 20 groups (approximately 225 – 275 workers) come to Nicaragua to help in all aspects of the mission and most importantly develop life long relationship with the Nicaraguans.
Benny and Donna have been married for over 34 years. They met at Lubbock Christian College and were married in December, 1974. Benny and Donna have been in local ministry throughout their married life. They have four children and 8 grandchildren. Benny is a native of Corinth, Mississippi and Donna is from Plainview, Texas.