July 2010

0n July 31st our final group of the summer left Nicaragua. Our first interns arrived on May 28th with our first groups arriving on June 3rd. There has not been a week we have not had some in Jinotega, in fact we have three interns still in Jinotega that will not finish their summer until the 10th of August. Last month we tried to tell our story with pictures, this month we want to use words. Pictures can tell a story of that which has happened but it cannot express our gratitude for those that gave of themselves and traveled to Nicaragua to be a blessing. And for all that is being done to “Share Jesus as We Serve People in Nicaragua.” For a complete photo story of the summer go to our website www.misionparacristo.com and clink on the Galleries tab. A special thanks to Mike for keeping the galleries updated.

July started with the group from Summerville finishing their time here. The group from Summerville arrived on June 24 with most of the group leaving on the 30th but some staying till July 10. During their time here they made blocks, conducted VBS at mission congregations and started a new school building in a community called San Gregorio. On their way to work on the new school they passed a family living in horrible conditions. A family of 7 (mother, father, 4 girls, all under the age of 10, and the husband's brother) living in a 12' X 15’ house of plastic and a little wood. They did their cooking on three rocks (a campfire) in the corner of the house. The Summerville group was so moved they wanted to build a house for this family. That house, with the help of North Atlanta, was finished on July 10th (one week after it was started). The family is now dry, warm and safe in their new house. This is what Christian love looks like. We are very excited about the possibility of a new ministry with mission La Esperanza de Vida (Hope for Life). This is a new project being developed by the Henniger and Count’s family of Summerville. The project involves goats and will start with the new Ag Co-op in Yankea. David Henniger traveled to the Philippines last March to observe this program that is in place there and has started planning to implement a similar program here. We continue to try to find ways to help people help themselves. Be watching for details as this new project is developed. SPECIAL NOTE: In this group was Zachary Counts, age 6. We credit him with being the youngest person we have had to climb to the cross.

The second week of July we had the group from the North Atlanta congregation for their first trip to Nicaragua. The group arrived on the 3rd of July and departed on the 9th of July. While they were here they made blocks, conducted VBS at mission churches in the area, continued work on a new school at San Gregorio and helped complete the house for the family of 7... They also found time to go to a day care center to sing and play with the kids and then to a nursing home and sing to the residents there. What joy they brought to both groups.

July 10th the group arrived from the 4th Avenue congregation in Franklin, TN. This is their sixth year to bring a group to Nicaragua. Their week went much like the others with the continued work on the school, visiting our schools, VBS and building another house in two days in the rain. One of the children at the house had a birthday and so the group decided she needed a party. One of the girls said to us they had never seen someone cry over a simple birthday party. It is amazing how the little things can mean so much to those that have so little.

July 17th we hosted in Managua the 6th Uplift Nicaragua with 1,558 in attendance from 84 congregations. Also the 17th we had the final of the second year of Bible Bowl (Tazon Biblica), there were 75 congregations participated in the regional competition in May with 15 teams advancing to the final. The winner this year was the team from Ciudad Sandino and Jinotega placed 3rd in the finals. A special thanks to the support of Harding University, Walnut church in Texarkana, Big Three Bible Bowl, Spanish Literature and the church in Farwell, TX that helped make these two activities possible.

Harris and his wife Kate were here, they were to be here for Uplift but flight problems caused them a delay. Harris is an illusionist, he shares a unique brand of magic to communicate Satan’s greatest tool of destruction, deception. They were at Uplift at Harding this year. We hope to have them back next year for Uplift. They were able to do programs in Apanas, Jinotega and Jinotepe.

Because of having a group each week in June, we had to move the Bible Institute to July, with both classes in session the week of the 18th. We presently have 36 students enrolled to prepare them to better serve in ministry. Thank to Luis Prada, Alberto Lopez and Angel Vallecillo who serve as Directors of the Institute for Preparation of Workers (IPO). Also a special thanks to Marina, who is responsible for the food preparation for the institute and for our groups. Thanks also to the other ladies that work with her Angelita, Maria, and Estella.

July 24th had the arrival of our last group of the summer from Pleasant Valley in Little Rock. This was their third year to be with us. The first thing PV helped with was planning and preparing for the staff party here at the mission. They did construction as they completed a retaining wall for the day care at Sandino (this will help reduce the flooding in the back yard where the kids play). This is the day care they rebuilt two years ago. They also completed the shower at the water well at Yankee and started work on our Alberto's mom's house. This is one of our Housing Needs projects. One of the activities that seemed to impact the group most was singing at the Nursing home and the day care. At both places the singing was well received. Also with the group was a dentist who worked daily with Teethsavers. The group worked with energy and enthusiasm and the week just seemed to fly by. The PV group was a great way to end the summer.

On July 26th we had our annual summer ending staff appreciation dinner. We are blessed to have a tremendous staff working with us in Nicaragua. We just could not do what we do without them. Everything we do is done by the Nicaraguans and we wanted them to know how much they were appreciated. We like to have these times of fellowship with the staff in a different setting and to acknowledge and show our appreciation for their hard work. Our interns did a great slide show highlighting each one with a picture. Presently we have a staff of 64 working in Nicaragua thanks to your support. Also, a special thanks to PV for helping make the evening such a great success.

This report would not be complete without some words about our interns this summer: Kate and Jacob Martin (Harding), Haley Phillips (ACU), Stacy Sanchez (ACU), Mark Membreño (OC), Emily Hale (Searcy), Lacey Butler (Harding), and Ashli Roussel (Harding). We cannot say enough about how they worked, gave of themselves and was one of the main reasons why this summer was such a great success.

Another reason for our summer success is the work of Mike and Ann Faris. They will be returning to the states for a quick trip before returning in September. We could write a lot about both of them but we will simply say thank-you for their work and their commitment to the church, the mission and the people of Nicaragua. We also had the blessing of their granddaughter, Megan, coming back this month.

Every other month we have scheduled an Outreach Campaign with one of the congregation we work with. This year they have gone to Matagalpa (that helped start a new congregation), Las Laureles, Pantasma and this month they were in Yankea. On Thursday, as part of the campaign, the group did VBS with the congregation there with over 150 children in attendance. This VBS program was designed and implemented by Jacob and Kate Martin and has continue after they returned to the states.

With August comes time for “Smiles-2010, A Smile for Child a Christmas.”
Last year we were able to send 7,836. We need your help to reach the goal of 10,000 for 2010. Contact us to today for brochures and to be part of bringing a “Smile” to child at Christmas. You can download the “Smiles” Brochure from our website …

The LIST for your prayers and considerations:

  • We are only a little over the half way mark of 2010 but we already planning and scheduling groups from 2011. Please confirm your dates to be with us. We need your help.
  • Our search for the new Nicaraguan Director. We also have seven areas where we need additional workers; full-time translators, and additional evangelist. There is just a lot to do, please pray that God will raises up workers.
  • Be a supporter of “Smiles-2010”. Contact us today…
  • Please keep the Hennigers and Counts in your prayers in the development of La Esperanza de Vida (Hope for Life).
  • Support is needed for the bi-monthly Outreach Campaigns. $500 is needed for each effort.
  • Funding is needed for additional container of supplies that includes food, medical supplies, Bible material, and more. $6,000 is needed for the container.
  • Housing needs…thanks to so many that have responded to Mike’s request of Housing Needs. The rains this summer have shown just how many people don’t have a dry place to live. Your help is needed in finishing the first planned construction, in funding additional construction and also bringing groups with the sole purpose of helping a family have a dry place to live.
  • Pray for the church in Nicaragua that it can be all that God calls His children to be.
  • Thanks for all the prayers for Donna and her recovery. She is doing much better but still not a 100%.
  • Be in touch with us so that we can arrange someone to come to your congregation and share the message of this Mission for Christ in Nicaragua.

    Reminder, go to our website www.misionparacristo.com and click on the Galleries tab for a complete photo report of the summer.

    Thanks for being there…as Mike’s says in his reports: “You are there so that we can be here.”

    Because of Him:

    Benny and Donnakjg Baker