March 2009

March can be summarized very quickly, full. We can break the month down in three major aspects: Groups, Medicine Opportunity and Evangelistic Campaign. That doesn’t include the on-going work of the church and the mission with the Medical Clinic, 18 Schools, Prison Outreach, the work of 25 congregations and other things that continue while our groups are here and with special projects.
Groups: The first three weeks we had four different groups: The Southern School of Optometry in Memphis, Harding University, Abilene Christian University and Lubbock Christian University. These groups were a blessing with their participation in all aspects of the mission. The optometry students were able to screen and fit glasses for all our students in our schools, a couple of congregations and at the Special School. They were able to help over 900 children and some adults. A special thanks to Dee Horn, a former Harding Spring Break Campaigner to Nicaragua, who made the connection between the school and the mission. Medicine Opportunity: A few years ago some of your may remember that we were working with the Ministry of Health on the extending the shelf life of medicine. Dr. Harold Harder from Blessings International and his wife Linda along with Dr. Jim Norris, a long-time friend from Arkansas, came to Nicaragua to take another step with this possibility.

Along with Dra Pena and Agustin we all meet with Dr, Gonzales, the Ministry of Health in Managua. He then approved a meeting with the Pharmacy Lab at the University in Leon. The next day we returned to Ministry of Health for a meeting with the Director of the Lab, Sub-Director of the University, Director of Special Projects from UNAN to meet with Dr. Jarguin, MINSA’s Director of Health Services, and Dra. Ortega, the MINSA’s Director of Regulations. The meeting was scheduled by Dr. Gonzales. The end results are that we have medicine in the lab in Leon for testing and are working to finalize an agreement with the Ministry of Health to extend the shelf life of medicine. Please keep this project in your prayers as it can provide a great volume of medicine for Nicaragua.
Evangelism and Encouraging Congregations: This year we want to do more in 2009 to help congregations in the north. David and Kim Romero are working in this area with the churches. The week of March 15, a group traveled to El Cua and San Jose Bocay, evangelizing from house to house and holding gospel meetings in the evenings which resulted in five baptisms and many new contacts for the church in those communities. One of the baptisms was Ricardo, he has working with us over the last month as a translator, who traveled with the group just to be help and then made his decision to be baptized. Praise the Lord. Our next effort will be with the new congregation in Apanas, Olive Branch will also be here to do their first Medical Brigade of 2009. The congregations in both El Cua and San Jose Bocay were started with efforts with Olive Branch.

For your prayers and consideration:
1. Donna’s continued recovery from knee surgery the 3rd of April.

2. The mission has been approached with the possibility of Child Care Project for our area as a part of the mission. Please keep this possibility in your prayers as we evaluate the need and opportunity.

3. Please keep in your prayers the Agreement being finalized with MINSA concerning medicine.

4. We still could use a couple of construction teams this year especially that could come in the Fall. Other times are possible depending on the date.

5. We have funds for the construction of two additional schools but need the monthly support of each school ($300 a month) to move forward with the construction.

6. $8,500 is needed for the construction for the location of the church and mission in the prison. Hope to be able to break group on the project at the Day of Evangelism at the prison on April 14.

7. The boat we had made for the river project is completed. We have a motor but it is too small for the boat. The cost of a larger motor is $2,000. The new boat will save us $400 a trip.

Thank you for your continued to support and encouragement. Know we only are able to do what we do in Nicaragua is with God’s blessings and your support.

Because of Him:

Benny and Donna Baker