Over the 13 years we have been working in Nicaragua we have had the blessing of regular articles and information about the mission in the Christian Chronicles. Erik Tryggestad has done many articles about the work in Nicaragua and recently had an article about the efforts to help the people affected by the rains this year. If you are not familiar with the Chronicle it is a newspaper for our fellowship reporting the news of the church around the world. If you and your congregation are not receiving this publication I would encourage you to contact them today to receive a complimentary subscription, you just need to send your name and address to email@example.com.
In November we continued our efforts to respond to those affected by the rain in the areas of La Concordia and Wiwili with food, medicine, garden seed and emotional and spiritual support. We received a container of food from which we were able to distribute food to more than 1,250 families directly affected by the rains. Since September we have served over 2,200 families affected by this year’s rains. We were blessed to have two women from Florida, Theresa Steele, who worked with our mobile clinics helping those needing medical attention and Marian McClaren, who is a teacher. Marian held a seminar teaching our teachers how to help children who have been affected by the trauma caused by the rain and also she held Bible classes for the children at the mobile clinics. After her seminar one of the teachers told her that they had never had any kind of training in this area. Having seminars for our teachers with visiting educators is a great benefit not only for our teachers but also for our students. Mike Faris was here to help with the distribution of the food. We are expecting a second container of food in Jinotega the first week of December. Our efforts to respond to those in need because of the rain will continue into 2011. Please be in contact with us on how you can help with the continued effort to the serve the needs of the people in Northern Nicaragua.
This month we meet with the new Minister of Health for the region, Dr. Canales, and the new Minister of Education, Antonio Valle, to finalize our working agreement with them for 2011. The mission is blessed to have agreements with so many different groups as we work to serve the physical needs of the people. But the real blessing is that these men and others we work with in Nicaragua know that we are in Nicaragua first for the Spiritual needs of Nicaragua. Recently at a community meeting I spoke about the mission working for the Spiritual and Physical needs of the people and Dr. Canales spoke after me saying how much he agreed with me that the spiritual was the most important need to address.
In November evangelistic campaigns were conducted in Wiwili and in Matagalpa. The one in Wiwili was part of our efforts to support congregations in the department (like a county) and also was done to follow-up in the community affected by the rains. This was our fourth effort in the region this year. The effort in Matagalpa was done in conjunction with the World Bible School group in Managua. In March we had a similar effort in Matagalpa working with BICA. These campaigns are part of our effort to “Keep the Main Thing, the Main Thing.”
We finished another successful school year in November. We ended the year with 24 schools and 1,080 students. Alberto and Edwin do a tremendous job working with our schools. In our meeting with the Minister of Education he had the following requests of us as we look to school starting in January:
1. To open more schools. He estimates that 12,000 children do not have a school in their area. $6,500 the cost for us to build a two room school ($3,000 will build a one school), $350 a month for operations, $20 a month sponsor a child to go school
2. We are looking for someone that would be willing to come to Nicaragua and teach English in the High School for the 2011 school year? And to help develop an English school for the mission.
3. Food for the schools in the rural area. Many of the children's only meal of the day is when they come to school.
When people come to Nicaragua they get to know many of the Nicaraguan staff that serve with us here, especially those that work directly with the mission in Jinotega: Jimmy, Harvey, Sergio, Alberto, Edwin, Marina, Miguel, Efrian, Ismael, Porfirio, Dra Pena, Maria, Angletia, Marwell, Luis, Luis, and Jose. But there are a few that you may not have come to know: Yesica, Tania, Lester, Leo, and Arturo. Their work does not have them working directly with our groups. So over the next couple of months I want to introduce you to all our staff for they are the ones that do the work in Nicaragua. This month we will start with Yesica (left-she has been with mission for seven years, starting as the cleaning lady in the clinic) and Tania (right-she started with the mission three years ago as a translator) who serves in our accounting office. They work hard to make sure that everything that comes to Nicaragua has been correctly accounted for and this month they finished a government audit of our records.
During the month of November we had what we called a “Medicine Cabinet Drive”. This was an effort in the Panhandle of Texas to secure over the container medicine for our Community Health Promoters. Thanks to Eunice Lee, a Texas Tech Medical student, who had the idea and thanks for the support of folks from Lubbock to Sunray over $4,000 of medicine, was collected to send to Nicaragua. This medicine will be used to fill the bags of our Community Health Promoters and to provide a First-Aid cabinet in each of our schools. Let us know if you can help promote a similar drive in your area. Jesus speaks about making a difference with just a cup of water; the same can be said about just an aspirin.
On the 29th of November our first container of “Smiles” arrived in Jinotega and distribution started the next day. Thanks to all that made this possible and especially to the Highway congregation in Judsonia and the Westgate congregation in Dothan for serving as shipping points for the containers. Our total “Smiles” for 2010 is 7,050. Complete report on Smiles-2010 in December’s newsletter.
Mike and Ann returned to Nicaragua on the 27th to help with the “Smiles” distribution and for group planning for 2011. Our first group arrives in Nicaragua January 1st and second groups arrives January 8th, and our third group on January 28th and our fourth group on February 5th, what a start to a new year.
As we look to the New Year we would ask your consideration of the “List” for possible year-end contribution or support for a specific area for 2011. Your support of the mission can be sent to Misión Para Christ, 700 Garland Street, Plainview, TX 79072 or you can make a donation through our website: www.misionparacristo.com using Pay-Pal.
1. $8,000 to cover the shipping of one additional container to Nicaragua this year.
2. Continuing response to the rains.
a. $5,000 for additional mobile clinics.
b. $1,000 per house to provide basic shelter.
c. Support for two food container, one in January and one in February.
3. To help us open additional schools in 2011.
a. $6,500 to build a two-room school, $3,000 to build a one room school.
b. $350 for the operation of the school.
c. $20 a month to sponsor a child.
4. Help with the monthly cost of medicine for the clinic in Jinotega…thanks to new agreement with Accion Medica we have been able to reduce our monthly medicine cost by more than $500. $890.00 purchases a month supply of the basic medicines needed for the clinic to see 1,200 patients.
5. This month we receive an $8,000 commitment for our efforts on the Rio Coco, an additional $12,000 is needed for us to be able to expand the work in that area and allow us to have continued connection with the area and what has been accomplish over the last five years.
6. $ 1,500 is needed to purchase additional equipment to add Video Classroom for our Institute for Preparation Worker. This equipment will allow us to do additional training for our Bible Institute but also for our Teachers and Community Health Promoters.
7. $18,500 is needed to purchase an additional van
8. $3,600 is need in 2011 for us to add Character First material to the curriculum in our schools. We have been given permission for free use of the material; the cost is to cover the printing of the hand-out material for the children.
9. Plans are being made to plant three new congregations in 2011: San Juan, Yali and Naraja. There is also the possibility of additional new congregations on the Rio Coco. Contact us today about the support needed for these new congregations.
Thank you for being a part of this mission for Christ in Nicaragua. For without God’s blessings and your support we could not do what we do.
Because of Him:
Benny and Donna Baker