March 2010

In 2003 a group of 8 students from Harding University came during their Spring Break and since that first group in 2003 we have been blessed with college students coming each spring. In addition to Harding this year we also had groups from Abilene Christian and Lubbock Christian. We had a total of 67 university students with us over the first two weeks of March. We also had with us three from Wisconsin that were in Nicaragua supported by the Rotary club to develop some new projects of service. March also marked the first trip for Ben and Susan Brooks in their new role with the mission. Those coming to Nicaragua each continue to be a blessing to what we do in sharing Jesus as we serve people. (Special note: we were blessed to have three of our grandchildren with us in March: Isaac, Maryella and Julianne.)

The development and work of the Harding group was a little different this year in that 18 of the 24 received course credit for their trip. They started in January developing their projects and came to Nicaragua to put them into actions. Phillip Holsinger lead part of the group with a direction in communication on how we can better communicate the work of the mission and also will be developing a report on the need of children and child care in Nicaragua. Andrew Baker, our son, lead the others in a direction of mission and service. Through the week the second group was involved with just about all aspects of the mission; our schools, Casa Materna, medical outreach, the Special School and all in all just being a blessing.

The three from Wisconsin came with some specific purpose involving Rotary. They were here for two weeks and worked with all three groups in everything that they did. One goal they set to help Jinotega was to secure a garbage truck for the city. Those who have been to Nicaragua know that trash is a problem. In a meeting with the mayor of Jinotega he wants to start a campaign to clean up the city but until he has a better way to pick up the trash he says there is no need to have a campaign. John, Claire, and Chelsey went home to find away to help him. All the Nicaraguans took notice of John; he stood at 6’10”.

This was our third year to have a group from ACU and LCU and what a blessing they were. ACU’s group was made up of mostly pre-med students and much of their focus being medical but that didn’t keep them from being involved other projects of service, especially the touching of children. LCU was involved with the special school, painting and other projects around the mission; their group leader said they just came to serve as needed. We should say that everyone that was with us in March had that same spirit about them.

One aspect of the mission has been that of development. Not development in raising money (even though it is something very important) but in the development of people for them to be able to help themselves. Many of you have bought coffee, some the pottery, and the crafts. In our area agriculture is our main industry and we knew it could be one way to help. We have been distributing seed for gardens for a couple of years. Over the two years Dr. Mark Barker has come to help the preacher in Yankea with his farm. One goal has been to establish a farm co-op in Yankea. A special thanks to Mike Faris, Porfirio Molina and Reynaldo Rizo, the preacher in Yankea, and the support of a brother in Texas. It is because of their efforts that co-op is now a reality. The first official meeting of the co-op and the first training session with Magfar (Ministry of Agriculture) was March 15 and 16. I had the privilege to address the group which is made up of 35 families and give each family a Bible. Reynaldo will serve as the president of the co-op.

Donna and I have the privilege to serve as Wardens for the United States Embassy for Jinotega Region with one other couple. On March 5 we hosted at the mission a Town Hall meeting with Ambassador Callahan and other embassy staff. The meeting was informational meeting of over 40 United States citizens living in the region. This is the second time we have had a visit from the Ambassador in Jinotega.

We returned to the states on the 19th to be in Searcy, Tulsa, Durant, OK, and Garland before coming to Texarkana on the 30th for Donna to have her second knee replacement (the other knee). Thanks for your prayers; her goal is to climb to the cross on December 29th that will be the anniversary date of her first surgery. A special thanks to the Dr. A.D. and Sharron Smith and for their hospitality and support during her recovery.
Because of so many pictures that we could have added to this month newsletter I encourage you to go our website and click on PHOTO GALLERY and see all the pictures Mike has posted for March. Almost everything the mission and the church do or have done can be found there in pictures that tell the story much better than words.

The “List” for your prayers and consideration:
- Donna continues to recover from her surgery and her plans are to return home to Nicaragua on May 6.
- A prayer of thanksgiving for Mike and Ann Faris and for the work they do. Also for Ben and Susan Brooks and their coming to work with the mission.
- The Haitian Children Project, we have received permission from the Haitian government for this project. Please contact us on details of this project and how you can help. Most of all please keep it in your prayers; many more things must come together for it to be a reality.
- We have seven areas that we could use additional workers (full-time translators, one person with Agriculture and Bible training, and additional evangelist, there is just a lot to do, please prayer that God will raise up workers.) Could you help with $300 a month to help secure one of those workers.
- Construction teams, we could use a couple of construction teams to come in the fall. See if you can find 5 or 6 to join you and come this year.
- Contact us about the project in Pantasma, this will be the largest construction project ever for the mission with the building of a Casa Materna, a school, physical therapy area for handicap children and place of worship for the congregation there. We have funding ready to start the project but not for the completion.
- Could you help with “Just One More…” student or school? $20 a month helps a child, $350 supports a school?
- Contact us today on how a Bracelet can make a different in three different places in the world. It is amazing what $10 can do.
- $200 a month for printing of Bible material for the children in our schools and congregations.
- We need $2,600 for the funding of Bible Bowl for 2010.
- $5,000 is needed for the National Youth Day (Uplift) scheduled for July. The day also serves as the finals for Bible Bowl.
- We need $4,000 for the starting of the new congregation in Matagalpa. This will build a temporary location for the church to meet and other supplies for the new congregation.
- We need support for two containers that are ready to come to be shipped. One out of Global Samaritan in Abilene that will have the first shipment of medicine from the new agreement with MINSA, Bible material from Spanish Literature and other supplies. The second from HungryPlus, Plainview, TX, of food supplies.
- Please contact us today for a complete “list” of ways you can be part of this Mission for Christ.

Thanks for your continued support, for without it and God’s blessings none of this would be possible.

Because of Him; Benny and Donna