October 2009


October marks 12 years of working in Nicaragua. It is hard to believe where God has blessed us to come from meeting Mario Roque in March 1997 in Ola, Arkansas and making a simple statement: "Why don’t we open a medical clinic for the outreach of the church in Jinotega." That clinic was opened October 27, 1997and with God’s blessings and your support we are twelve years later.

There were five major activities in October:
The Ocala Medical Brigade arrived in Managua, Nicaragua on Oct 3rd. The group of 12 traveled to Jinotega and on to Wiwili on Oct 4th in preparation for the river trip to San Andres on Oct 5th. They provided medical treatment to over 300 people and over 100 chiropractic treatments. They also assisted in the distribution of over 300 pair of boots to the children in San Andres. The main purpose of this trip was to strengthen the new congregation planted in September with Olive Branch’s trip to San Andres. There were daily seminars for the church with over 50 in attendance with five baptisms. Those from Florida were joined by Dr. Elizabeth Cooperstein and Dr. Kristie Witcher when Dr. Oliver was unable to make the trip, please keep him your prayers as he will be having neck surgery. You can get a complete report of their trip with video at www.gochristiango.com. One of the team members, Jacob Medley, has developed the site and wants to use it for all missions to tell their story.

Susan and Beth Brooks were in Jinotega to do a teacher’s seminar. Beth had taught school in Honduras for two years. The teachers were especially excited about supplies given them to develop bulletin boards in their classrooms. The mission now has 20 schools with over 700 students. We are also thankful for their help in getting Alba to the states.

The students in our Bible Institute, preachers and members of the church in Jinotega joined in a week long campaign in Jinotega. That was marked with three baptisms and one of the students preached each night.

We have been working for about a year to get Alba Herrera to the states for prosthetic. Thanks to efforts of many we were able to take her to the states on October 18 to Monroe, LA. She was fitted that week and is now in the process of physical therapy that will continue till first of December. There are so many to thank for this: Dr. Greg Mayfield (Forsythe congregation in Monroe) who has connected all the dots, Chris Wallace(North Brandon congregation in Jackson, MS), who designed the prosthesis and his company Methodist Orthotics & Prosthetics, who donated all that was necessary, those (Pleasant Valley and Highway congregations) that meet her and Imar (her daughter) at the airport in Little Rock, the Forsythe church and Ouachita Christian School in Monroe who are providing housing, transportation and other needs, Laurie Stickel (Jackson Street congregation in Monroe), who is doing the physical therapy, Jenessy Medina and her mother Emma (University congregation in Monroe) who are translating for Alba. I have been in ministry for over 35 years and I have never seen so many of God’s people coming together with different talents for the common good for one person. For you that don’t know about Alba, about six years ago her husband tried to kill her and as she was trying to define herself he cut off both of her hands. She has six children; one of the children, Imar was able to make the trip with her to help her mother. One special note: the day before Alba left Jinotega the ladies of the church gave her a going away party and brought snacks for her and Imar to take to the states. It was said that "Gringos" bring their snacks when they come to Nicaragua so she needed Nicaraguan snacks to take to the states.

The collection of "Smiles" boxes, at last count we were over the 7,000 for the year. The first container is to be shipped out of Arkansas on November the 6th and the second container out of Dothan, AL around the 18th of November. A very special thanks to the Highway and Westgate congregation for their help in receiving and preparing the "Smiles" for shipping and Ricky Cash who made his annual road trip through Texas to pick up the "Smiles."
We are excited to announce this month that Ben and Susan Brooks of Shreveport, LA will start working with the mission in January, Ben’s main area of responsibility will in developing of new resources for the mission and Susan will be working with our teachers. Ben and Susan both have a great heart for missions, they have been active in Honduras for a number of years. More details of this as that time approaches, please keep them in your prayers. We thank God for this addition to our mission team.

The "Detail Man" that is the title that many have to Mike Faris. Please check out a short video on the www.gochristiango.com website that interviews the "Detail Man." What a blessing Mike and Ann are to the mission.

For your prayers and consideration:
* Concerning Donna’s knees, she will be having replacement surgery on one knee the 29th of December in Texarkana.

* The selection of a new director to replace Agustin, our goal is to have a new director in place by January if not sooner.

* $500 a month is needed to add the second week of the institute in 2010 for 25 students.

* $700 a month is needed for Sergio and Daysis to come to work with the mission in December.

* 50,000 toothbrushes……could you find a 100 for the project? We have secured over 10,000 to date.

* It is time to schedule your group for 2010, there is a lot of work being planned and we need your help!

* School ends in October, consider sponsoring a child in 2010 for $15 a month.

* Our response to Hurricane Ida…check the website…or details on how you can help.

Because of Him: Benny and Donna Baker