I remember when we were working in Nicaragua part-time and every time we returned to the states Donna and I would say this was the best trip every. It’s hard to explain how things just keep getting better but that is how it seems to work. As we reviewed 2010 I have to say that it was the best year ever thanks to God’s gracious provisions. And now as we come to the end of the first month of 2011, I have to say it has been one of the best months ever.
On January 1st a medical group lead by the church in Ocala, FL arrived in Nicaragua. The group was divided into three groups: two medical and one construction. One medical group went to San Juan, north of San Jose Bocay, while the other served three communities outside Jinotega. The construction group rebuilt the school in Asturias. This will become our 26th school with the start of the school year on February 15th. The communities were served with food, seed, medicine and spiritual care.
As the Ocala group was leaving Nicaragua, a group from the church in Kilgore, TX was here working in a number of different ways: they finished the rebuilding the school in Asturias, delivered vitamins, provided by Mannatech, to the school they have adopted in Tomonynuca, food, book bags and schools supplies. One member of the group worked in the clinic and the rest did what Mike had for them to do. We were also excited about the decision of the Kilgore Elders to purchase a baptistery for the congregation in Jinotega and a portable baptistery. Plans are for a group from Kilgore to return in June.The third week of January was our first session of this year’s Institute for Preparation of Workers. With the start of the New Year we have added our third class of students. This year we start the year with a total of 40 students enrolled in the three classes.
Also during that week Donna and I returned to the states to be at the Sunset Workshop and to attend the Medical Mission Seminar in Dallas. We are thankful for the support we have received from Sunset for the institute and for IHCF hosting the seminar in Dallas each year. One of the blessings of the seminar in Dallas this year was visiting with Dr. Harold Harder of Blessing International telling me about the possibility of securing a large quantity of parasite medicine. On our return to Nicaragua Dr. Harder put us in contact with Kingsway in Bristol, TN and we have secured a shipment of over 200,000 tablets of parasite medicine.
When we returned to Nicaragua Jill Counts along with Tommy and Becky Brown were with us to continue to make plans for the Counts, Hennigers, and Browns move to Nicaragua in September. Go to their website www.1hope4life.com to learn more about their plans to help the mission in Nicaragua to share Jesus as we serve people. We also had another guest, Shike Keene, here visiting with us before traveling to Managua to work with Health Talents annual medical team that comes to Nicaragua.
Teethsavers started their second class in January with 14 students. Two of the students came from Predisan in Honduras. Also, two of the graduates from last year’s class went to Honduras to work for a couple of months at Predisan, thanks to Kyle and all at Persidian for making this possible. Dr Bismarck, Dra Pena and Alan have been working hard over the last couple of months in recruiting and placement for the students who graduated last year. They have developed a plan for us to do joint ventures with mayors’ offices and Health Centers in the region. We presently have agreements either signed or to be signed with five in the Jinotega Department.
The month ended with the arrival of Olive Branch Ministries’ first trip of the year to Nicaragua. It was to be a trip on the Rio Coco. In September they came and the river was too high, this time the river was too low. So at the request of Dr Canales, the regional Minister of Health, the plans were changed and the group went to El Bote, about hour and half north of El Cua. Complete report of their trip will be in our February Newsletters.
I continue to give thank for Mike and Ann Faris for all the work they do in Nicaragua. They returned to Nicaragua on December 28th and will not return to the states till the middle of February. Also thanks to Ben Brooks who came and was with us for the first two groups this month.
So three groups coming, four visitors, IPO, and a trip to the states truly has made January 2011 one tremendous month reaching for our goal of Sharing Jesus as we Serve the People of Nicaragua.
THE LIST FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND CONSIDERATION:
- Eden Brooks, granddaughter of Ben and Susan Brooks, who continues to battle major health issues in Little Rock, AR. Their daughter, Beth, had adopted Eden from Ethiopia last summer.
- Dra Judith Pena, our Medical Director, who has had continuing health issues over the 18 months, has recently suffered two strokes. Please keep her in your prayers as she goes through physical therapy and doctor strives to stabilize her condition. The Health Centers authorized her daughter, Maria, to work in the clinic for her.
- Also prayers for Daisey Salazar’s mother and for the mother of Luis Prada. Both their mothers are in critical condition.
- We have the opportunity to open a temporary location for a Casa Materna in Pantasma. The mayor’s office is providing a location for us to use until we can secure all the funding necessary for a permanent location. The building needs some remodeling but we can take care of 10 to 12 ladies as they wait to have their babies in a safe location.
- In Pantasma we have been asked to help a family who has six children, four of them are severely mentally challenged. The parents and their two other children work hard to keep them at home. There are no placement possibilities for them in Nicaragua. I visited with the Dr Canales about this last week. There is not much we can do for the children but we can do something for the family. Build a kitchen ($1,800), concert all floors in the house to help keep the children cleaner ($600), help the two other children with their education (that was their only request) ($50 a month for both), purchase a manual washing machine ($200) and help with the support of the mother so that she does not have to leave the children and go to the streets to sell food ($80.00 a month). I decided not to put pictures in this newsletter but if you desire to help and would like to understand more about the situation then we will provide additional details and pictures. All the help we are giving to the family is being coordinate by Angel, the minister of the church in Pantasma.
- We received an email confirming the offer of food (soup mix) containers but we need the cost of shipping and distribution, $8,000 for each container.
- As we start the new school year, Alberto has an additional five schools for us to strive to help. We will start school, February 15th, with 26 schools with more than 1,200 students. $350 a month supports a school with 35 to 45 students with a teacher, supplies, food, parasite medicine and vitamins.
- $18,500 is needed to purchase an additional van.
- Character Compass…$3,600 is needed 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.
- Plans are being made to plant three new congregations in 2011: San Juan, Yali and Naranja. Contact us today about the support needed for these new congregations. $300 a month is needed for each of those new congregations.
Thanks for your continued support and encouragement….please continue to keep us, the mission and the church in Nicaragua in your prayers as we move into 2011.
Because of Him:
Benny and Donna
None of this would be possible without God’s blessings and your partnership… by you doing something, we doing something and God putting it together we can do something we could have not done apart from each other.
I Cor. 12-13/Philippians 1:3-5