January 2008

God blessed us to end 2007 with a positive like none other we have had over the 10 years working in Nicaragua. To Him be all the glory. 2008 has started where 2007 left off with God’s incredible blessings.

The first two weeks of January were spent in the states starting with the Medical Mission Conference held each year in Dallas sponsored by International Christian Health Foundation (African Christian Hospital). We hosted with World Bible School and Olive Branch our Partnership Breakfast at the conference. We were excited and encouraged to have so many different ministries represented at the breakfast. Each table had a ministry representative that we could say their encouragement had helped us to continue to serve the people of Nicaragua. A special thanks to Tom and Fleta in the work they do getting the conference together each year. We receive many blessings from attending the conference but most of all to be able to see the exciting things happening in the name of Lord all around the world, people being served and the message of our Lord being shared. We are thankful that we are able to have a small part in what is happening.

While in the states we were able to visit and say thank-you to many of you that helped us with our Annual “Smiles” project. Please contact us on how you can be a part of this year’s project to touch the children at Christmas. Donna-- donna@misionparacristo.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / Karen- momc4him@yahoo.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We returned to Nicaragua on the 15th being able to move into a different place to live. For the last two years we have lived in an apartment at the mission but found a house a couple of blocks away. We look forward to you coming to visit our home this year.

My first meetings on our return were with MINSA and Director of Customs. There is no question that there are new challenges being given us on our ability to serve by the new government. Not really new laws or regulations but in what was fairly routine now has become very time consuming, especially with paperwork, in all aspects of what we do. Everyday it is something a little different. Contact us if you would like a copy of the regulations for Medical Groups coming to Nicaragua.

As we started to bring our first groups in for 2008 we found things changing on us. The price of rooms in Managua and Jinotega is up 20%, the cost of fuel continues to rise, etc. Groups coming to Nicaragua are very important to what we do, so please keep us in your prayers as we strive to find ways to keep the cost in reason.

The month has been full as we started of a new school year, continue training in the Community Health Promoters, developing a water project for the Northern Region from Wiwili to Puerto Cabeza, and our first group of the year on the river.

NEW SCHOOL YEAR… Classes start on February the 4th. We will start the New Year with 14 schools with over 550 students. This month we named a new Director for the schools, Alberto Lopez. He is a member and leader of the church in Jinotega. He is responsible for all aspect of the schools. He is the one on the left.
We also added a new position this year of School Evangelist, Edwin Martinez. He is pictured on the right. Edwin has been working as an evangelist with us for three years. His first responsibility will be to work with the teachers with their Bible Material lessons. Ann Faris, the wife of our Deputy Director Mike Faris, has developed a new basic Bible curriculum for our schools. He will also be responsible with follow-up with families of the students with the local evangelist. He will also be working with Fernando Castillo, one of our co-directors, as we look at church planting in areas where there is no congregation in the community of the school. The third change is in our administration of our schools and Donna's role. She will work with Alberto and Edwin in regards to the funding request, supervision and accountability. More about the schools in February Newsletter.

COMMUNITY HEALTH PROMOTERS…In 2007 we trained 27 promoters. In January, Dr. Pena led a group to San Andres on the Rio Coco and to Amak on the Rio Bocay and trained an additional 46 promoters. This efforts probably has the greatest ability to impact the spiritual and physical health of the river region than anything else we have every done.

PARASITE TREATMENT CONTINUES…Victor Linscomb from Tulsa lead a group to the Rio Bocay to start our Parasite Treatment for 2008. In 2007 we provide parasite treatment for over 10,000 children and our goal to expand that in 2008. Victor and his group provided treatment to 1,650 children. Fernando traveled as the evangelist with this group and was excited two groups of people he studied with and is looking to learn more about God’s Word. Please, keep these two groups in your prayers.

is a new project we are developing in conjunction with Harding University, Rotary clubs and others interested in providing clean water. You have heard the phrase before, “Water, Water everywhere but not a drop to drink...” That phrase is so true in the Rio Coco and Rio Bocay in northern Nicaragua. The project will involve Water Pots, Sand Filtration Systems and education on water health in conjunction with our community health promoters. According to the United Nations, nearly 2.2 million people die each year from water-related illnesses. Contact Mike for more information on the development of this project ... mikeatmpc@verizon.netThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

INSTITUTE FOR PREPARATION OF WORKERS…Our Bible Institute started its new school year in January with 27 students in Jinotega and 120 at the prison. The students at the prison are those involved in basic Bible study and preparing for specific service. Tomas directs the effort in Jinotega and Luis at the prison. We are thankful to the Highland Church in Texarkana, AR for their support of the institutes.

EQUIPMENT TO THE PRISON…A number of different pieces of equipment were delivered to the prison for the carpentry program. They can use any working wood equipment or hand tools that you are not using in your workshop, etc. The carpentry program at the prison started in 2000, and is the second longest project the mission has worked with.

Over the next month our website www.misionparacristo.com will be going through reconstruction. A special thanks to Ivan Wilson who gave all the effort in the developing the original site. If you would like to see current pictures Mike has posted go to http://mpc-works.smugmug.com. Also thanks to Katrina Weatherly the mission now has a “blog” to help in communication among those that work with the mission in different ways: http://www.mpcnicaragua.blogspot.com. I like what she says on the blog, “in the words of those that make this mission possible.”

1. A truck. We need to replace both the truck and one of the vans. The first replacement needed is in a truck. $15,000 is needed to replace the truck. Our first group arrives in March.
2. We were blessed at the start of the year with additional funds for medicine but that continues to be one of our greatest needs. With the training of additional Health Promoters the challenge is even greater. We need to increase our Medical Outreach Budget $3,000 a month to meet the challenge for medicine and medical supplies.
3. The Spanish Bible Bowl Material is finished and the first 1,000 lessons are ready for shipping and distribution. With the material we need to secure 1,000 Bibles. For the Bibles, distribution and follow-up we need to secure $3,500. A very special thanks to John Kimbrough who allowed us to use his material and Spanish Literature for translating and printing the material.
4. Funding for the National Ladies Day, May 1. This is the 3rd year for Donna to help with this special day. This year plans are being made for over 1,000 ladies in attendance. Also on April 30 there will be another day schedule for special training day for 500 ladies to serve in crisis situations. Mikal Frazier and Linda Henry will be the speakers for both days. Half of the funding for the day has been secured, if you could help with the funding for this day, contact Donna at donna@misionparacristo.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
(These are our top four needs on our list, please contact us today for a complete list of challenges and opportunities facing the mission.)

A very special thanks to all you for your prayers, support and encouragement. Without this Mission for Christ would not be possible....

Blessings in His Name ....Benny and Donna