May 2009

We arrived back in Nicaragua on the 30th of April for Donna to be able to attend the Annual Ladies Day on May 1st. The last three years Donna has helped secure the funding for this day but this year they made no request for help. They gave a special recognition to Donna for the help she had given the program in the past. One of the speakers for the day was Maria who is a member of the church in Jinotega and works with the mission full-time. She was also on the planning committee for this year’s program.

May 2 – 9 Olive Branch Ministries made their first of three trips to Nicaragua in 2009. Part of the group was lead by Dr. Doug Steele and he spent three days in Managua working with the Rene Palencia medical clinic with Physical Therapy students from Indiana. They came to Jinotega on Wednesday to join the rest of the group. In Jinotega the brigade set up in Apanas in the location of the church and school. On Wednesday part of the group did a mobile clinic in La Laguna. The school has been in Apanas since 2005, the building was opened in December 2007. The church started meeting there in January 2009 when Sergio Castro and his family moved to Apanas. During the week over 3,000 adults and children were touched in some way: Medical – 1,585, Dental – 152, Eyes – 826, Children Bible classes- 836, 17 counseling sessions and 14 preachers shared Jesus in the community and surrounding area. God blessed their efforts with 12 baptisms. OBM next trip is on June 13th working in the community of La Concordia about 45 minutes north of Jinotega.

Stephanie Wayne, who was part of this team, has written a report of the trip and you can read that report on our website on the Home page under the heading Trip Reports.
We were blessed to have three from California, Robin Blair, Pat Hill and Roy Blair, come to do mobile clinics for three days in the Jinotega area and three days in the Bluefield area on the east coast. Dra. Pena worked with them and they saw over 900 patients in the 3 days in Jinotega.

A dream came together in May. Three years ago Donna had the dream of Spanish Bible Bowl. With the help of Spanish Literature, Big Three Bible Bowl-John Kimbrough and World Bible Translation Center material was translated printed and Bibles distributed. On Saturday, May 23rd the first Spanish Bible Bowl Competition took place in Nicaragua with over 150 youth participating. There were many things that were special about the day but the most exciting was the youths’ smiles as the dream came together and they started taking their tests. A special thanks to Alberto Lopez, our school director in Jinotega, and Julio Ruiz, preacher in Managua, which took the lead in the organizing of this day. The next competition will be held in conjunction with Uplift Nicaragua on July 11.
On May 27th we had the first of our Interns come in for the summer. At different times we will have a total of 10 with us this year. With their arrival we started finalizing plans for a very full summer. The Highway church in Judsonia starts our summer on June 4th; we have 10 groups coming to join us this year. God is good.

In your prayers and the list:

* As the world continues to deal with the Swine Flu concerns, Nicaragua now has it first cases. We are working with the Ministry of Health with supplies and help for the focus on prevention.
* Please pray for our summer teams and their safety and the efforts of those coming. Especially that our Lord is shared with Nicaragua and relationships are developed.
* In May we received a gift of $10,000 to help finish building three new schools. Support for those schools is needed when construction is completed.
* "The Field of Dreams" project in Pantasma. Construction continues to be delayed. Please pray that the last hurdles can be removed and construction can begin.

Please check the website for updates and current list. As we say every month, thanks for your support and encouragement. For without that and God’s blessings this "Mission for Christ" would not be possible.

Blessings in His Name: Benny and Donna Baker