February 2010

"Sharing Jesus as we Serve People in Nicaragua"

Usually when we have a lot happening during a month above the regular work of the mission and the church it is because of groups coming to work with us. February was an exception to that being the case. We did not have any groups with us during the month and February 2010 has to go down as one of the busiest and most exciting month ever. It is impossible to give a lot of detail of the individual blessings of this month, but these are some the highlights. Mike and Ann returned to Nicaragua. What a blessing they are to Nicaragua. Their return home to Virginia in December was delayed by snow and their return to Nicaragua was also delayed by snow.
  • A new school year has started with 22 schools and the student count is now 1,036. It is exciting to be able to touch that many children daily with God’s word.
  • The average attendance of the congregation in Jinotega has been over 100 adults and children Sunday morning. There have been 11 baptisms this year in Jinotega.
  • Teethsavers moved from the classroom to practicing what they have learned. The students treated over 400 children this month. What a blessing their partnership is for the health of the children.
  • Continued effort for Hurricane Ida relief: 1,140 people were served with the love of our Lord with food, clothes, shoes, parasite medicine, water well repair, medical attention and spiritual care with Bibles, prayer and study. After meeting with the group when they returned, they were ready to return to the area to continue to serve the great need of the people there. Luis said that we needed to add the area to our Hope for the River project. They came back under budget with money in hand. That might be a first.
  • The first week of our second year students was this month in the Institute. This week focused on evangelism with a campaign in San Rafael; there were four baptisms and 2 restorations to the church. The congregation is the fourth congregation planted by the mission about seven years ago. It has moved twice to nearby communities but 18 months ago the congregation moved back to the neighborhood where it started when Francisco Rivera, who helped start the congregation originally, returned to San Rafael.
  • We have received our sales-exempt for 2010 and were allowed to request refund for past years. We have given Roberto the receipts for 2009 and when he has finished we will give him 2008.
  • We continue to explore the possibilities for children of Haiti. We had a visit from the National Police at the request of the office of the First Lady to verify who we were and our work in Nicaragua. Jean Roberts has submitted the letter of request to the government in Haiti. We are waiting for this approval to have a meeting with the office of the First Lady of Nicaragua. Please keep this in your prayers so that what is needed to be done will be done for the children.
  • Seeing Abla with her arms/hands and smiles on her face. Not only Sunday in worship but when she came by the office.
  • We had our Annual Valentine Party with 12 couples; again the Nicaraguans made all the arrangements and put it all together.
  • LET PLAN BEGIN--- The 19th of February will go down as a very important day in the history MPC in Nicaragua. On that day Dr. Gonzales, Nicaragua’s Minister of Health, and I signed an agreement between us, MINSA, University of Nicaragua Pharmacy School and Lab in Leon and Blessings International to work together for the potential of securing millions of dollars of medicine for Nicaragua. Medicine that would be destroyed. Blessings and MPC will work to find lot quantities of medicine with short dates or expired date and samples of the each lot will be brought to Nicaragua for testing in Leon. After the testing and approval of the samples, the medicine will be shipped to Nicaragua with MINSA receiving 75 % of the medicine and MPC receiving 25%. Our goal is to find at least 10 million dollars a year in medicine. Estimated cost for the project $20,000 a year. Doing the math, that is a good deal. The mission will share our part with other church clinics in Nicaragua and with medical brigades that come to Nicaragua. We presently have medicine in Abilene ready for shipping that has already been tested. We should receive the approval for that medicine next week and the plan begins. Thank to Dr. Harder, founder and president of Blessing International, that without his support and encouragement this project would have never come together. Also a special to Dra Judith Pena, Medical Director of MPC, and Mercedita Rizo, of the University of Leon, it was their continued effort that brought the agreement together.
  • Students from BICA help us with a campaign with both congregations in Matagalpa and planted a new congregation in the Barrio Lucia Mantilla. David and Kim had started working with the children in this area when they were in Matagalpa. There were a total of 31 baptisms and 2 restorations during the week. A brother reached in the prison is allowing the church to use an area by his house for the new congregation to meet. The city of Matagalpa has given land for a location for the congregation.
  • We have FINALLY received all the proper paperwork on the land in Pantasma. A special thanks to Porfirio Molina and his effort to get the mission clear title for the land. Porfirio now serves the mission as our Director of Government Relations and is doing a great work for us in that area. For four year Porfirio served as the Nicaraguan Director of the mission and for the last four year was the Vice-Mayor of Jinotega
  • Bible Bowl (Tazan Biblia) material was given out to start the second year of this exciting program. This year we will have competitions in Jinotega, Managua, Leon and Jinotepe with the finals being at Uplift Nicaragua 2010.