July 2009


What is the song? I haven’t sung it in years but the words came to my mind today, "I stand amazed in the presence…and wonder…oh, how marvelous…oh, how wonderful…" As we look back on July 2009 (really as we do all of 2009) that is the way we feel in ways that He has given us the privilege to continue to "Share Jesus as We Serve People," in Nicaragua.

We started the month with the Grapevine and Summerville congregations returning to Nicaragua for another year. They were followed by another group from Grapevine. The first group was made up basically of adults and the second group was mainly youth. Following the second group from Grapevine we had a Windsong in Little Rock, 4th Avenue in Franklin, TN and Hampton Road in Texarkana, TX. These three groups made our largest group of the year. Our groups for July ended with the Pleasant Valley church in Little Rock with us for another year. These groups came to be part of our on-going process that allows the mission and the church in northern Nicaragua to do more than we ever thought possible. It is our groups, connecting together, being part of the process by coming each year that make the greatest difference the extra things we are able to accomplish. Without the groups we would not be able to do what we do, in the way in which we do it. Each group worked basically with our medical, our schools and the mobile Library, the Casa Materna, construction (two schools, bathroom and a house), painting and just taking the time to touch the people. Photos from the groups can be found our picture site: photos.misionparacristo.com or through our website www.misionparacristo.com. A special thanks to each and every one of them that came and those of you that helped them make their trip possible.

The highlight (if you can set just one) was Uplift/ Tazón Bíblico (Bible Bowl) on July 11th. This was our 5th year with the help of Harding University to host a Youth Day in Managua. The day had a time of worship, Bible study in smaller groups, and afternoon was set with different sports activities. Also in the afternoon we had the final of our first year of Bible Bowl. (We will be giving out next year’s Bible Bowl material in September. Again a very special thanks to Spanish Literature and Big Three Bible Bowl helping us with the material).
"Encouraging Water" has been our effort for clean water in our region over the last couple of years. We have been able to give Water Filtration Pots to families in communities, Water System in some our schools, and secure microscopes for clean water education. Thanks to those that attended Uplift at Harding this summer we were able to drill our first water well in the community of Yankea. The community only had one shallow well that was dry during several months of the year. Please continue to keep this effort in your prayers. Contact us on how you can help provide clean water for a community in northern Nicaragua like Yankea. A special thanks to Ryan Groves who was with us from Wishing Well Africa.

Last November the preacher we work with started a campaign effort with different congregations. Over the last seven months they have had efforts in Matagalpa, Jinotega, La Concordia, Apanas, San Jose Bocay, El Cua and this month they were in La Dalia working with the church there. The preacher in La Dalia is Rene Rocha. The next effort will be in Pantasma in September. A special to David and Kim Romero and their work with these efforts.

In our last newsletter we talked about the new relationship with "Teethsavers," to expand our Dental Prevention program. This month we were able to meet with all the department heads of the Ministry of Health in the Jinotega region and Dr. Jack was able to present the scope of the "Teethsavers" program and how it has worked in other countries. That day we were able to sign an agreement with the regional Minister of Health to start the project and the opening of the training school called: "The Sixth Year Molar School." The first classes will be in August with 12 to 14 students from across the region. With this new project for the children we are striving to secure 50,000 toothbrushes for the next year. It is estimated that we will need 1,000 toothbrushes a week. The project will first focus on the children in our school for screening, prevention and treatment where necessary.

In July we had a small group on the river traveling to Pankanwas, Esperanza and San Andres. Part of the trip was for the distribution of parasite medicine, vitamins, boots, and chairs for the church. In Pankanwas there were six baptisms. On the trip were Phillip Holsinger and Lloyd Taylor that have been with us this summer working on a documentary of the mission especially focusing on our schools and the river. Please keep the river and the opportunities and challenges there in your prayers. We have two trips scheduled for the river this fall as we strive to move through open doors.

In your prayers and considerations:

- We ask you to continue to keep Donna’s knees in your prayers. We will be looking for her to have knee replacement surgery in the fall or spring.

- To help secure 50,000 toothbrushes.

- We need to secure an additional truck for delivery of supplies for construction, schools and medical.

- We need school support for two new schools. Construction is almost complete. $300 a month.

- Contact today on ways to help us expand the spiritual outreach of the mission: congregation support, Bible Bowl, campaigns, etc.

- Summer time is always a challenging financially; we would ask your consideration of a one-time contribution.

- "Smiles" for a child at Christmas…t is that time a year again. Please contact us today on your participation of this exciting project. Our goal for 2009 is 10,000. Last year God blessed us to send over 7,000 to Nicaragua

To say the least June and July have been our fullest and most productive months in our 12 year history of ministry in Nicaragua. We thank everyone that has made that possible. Those that came, those that gave for those to come and for those that support this mission monthly faithfully, without all of you we could not do what we do. Thanks again for all your support and encouragement.

Because of Him: Benny and Donna Baker
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