2011 continues to set a pace as one of the most productive years in the history of the mission in Nicaragua. Already in the first three months we have been blessed with seven groups including two medical teams, construction of two new schools, increase in our schools to over 2,700 children, 62 additions to the family of believers, this was done with the continuing daily work of the church and mission. Now let’s us tell you about April.
Coming the same week with FWC was Jonathan Holland who is helping us develop an eyeglass ministry. He has started a ministry called “Sight for Sore Eyes,” www.sfseinc.org. This was written on FWC’s blog by one of their group working with him: “The day, if done justice, is characterized by the looks of those who had waited in line for hours for that very thing that changes lives, and had found it. It is a look that cannot be matched—the look of one seeing clearly for the first time. To think that I got to share that look with 50 people today, that first time glow, is a thought that will change my perspective, I hope, for a long time to come.” A total of over 450 individuals walked away with that glow.
Renee Rocha, the evangelist for the congregation in La Dalia, who serves as the chaplain of the Rehab center between Matagalpa and La Dalia reported this month an addition of 21 more to the family of believers. God continues to bless Renee’s work with those that are looking to change their lives.
This month Dr. Jessica Jackson returned to Nicaragua and worked with Teethsavers for a week. Dr. Jackson is a dentist from Arkansas and a member of the congregation at Pleasant Valley in Little Rock. She came last year with the group from PV. She now serves on the board of Teethsavers.
Donna and I had the opportunity to attend a conference at the United Nations in April. The conference was concerning the Universal Access to Education. We were there at the invitation of Dr. Sherry Dingman; she is a professor at Marist College, north of the New York City, a member of the church there and was one of the organizers of the conference. We had met her at the Medical Mission’s conference in Dallas in January and she asked us to come for the conference. Pray for the contacts that were made there and the doors that were opened that would allow the mission to expand our efforts in the education of the children that are part of Las escuelas de Misión para Cristo. There is still over half million children in Nicaragua with limited or no educational opportunity. Over 14,000 of those are in the Jinotega Department. Many children are in school with no desks or basic school supplies.
While in the states for the conference we were in Florida for Donna to speak for a Ladies Day at the Mericamp Road congregation in Ocala. We were also able to visit with congregations in Saint Petersburg, Orlando and Melbourne before returning to Nicaragua.
We returned to Nicaragua the end of April for Donna to speak at a Ladies Day in Jinotega, May, and to start planning for a very, very full summer ahead. Our interns start arriving the end May 1. Our first groups arrive June 2 with the last group leaving on August 9th. Please keep our summer in your prayers. We still need a couple of construction teams to come in the fall. Contact us today on dates available and how you can help.
GOOD NEWS JUST RECEIVED: We have just received word that our “Smiles” for the children has started for 2011. The Pleasant Valley congregation in Little Rock, the first of May, has put together 901 “Smiles” for the children this year. A great start to our goal of 11,000 in 2011.
The List for your prayers and consideration:
- Eden Brooks, granddaughter of Ben and Susan Brooks, as the doctors continue to work to resolve her health issues in Little Rock, AR.
- Dra Judith Pena, our Medical Director. Please keep her in your prayers as she continues to go through physical therapy. She still has not been able to return to work.
- Maria Valle, one of the ladies that works with mission, she will be having surgery on Monday, May 9th.
- For the last few months we have mentioned the need of an additional van. With summer coming, and a group here every week from June till the first week of August, that has come to the top of the list. $18,500 is needed to secure a 15-passenger van. We have $6,000 toward that cost; could you help us find the reminder needed?
- We have from the Ministry of Education requests for an additional five schools for us to help/support. $350 a month supports a school with 35 to 45 students including a teacher, supplies, food, parasite medicine and vitamins. $20 supports an individual child, 18 individual supporters’ covers one school. We also have the request for the need of construction or the remodeling of schools in a number of communities: new construction cost $6,500 and the cost of remodeling is $3,000.
- Most of the congregations we work with meet in rented locations. The communities of Wiwili, Matagalpa, and El Cua have given the congregation in their community land to build. The church in Jinotega has purchased land in the south part of Jinotega to start a new congregation. It will cost app. $6,500 per location for a 6x12 m building. The congregation in Tersisita in Matagalpa needs some classroom space; $2,000 is needed to finish that for them.
- 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. We have some of the funding but additional $25,000 is needed.
- CONSTRUCTION TEAMS---could you help by putting together a team of 6 – 10, building location for the church to meet mentioned above, the Casa Materna, another school, or a house that is needed to be built.
- We need the funding for two additional containers. One of the containers has Spanish Literature material, parasite medicine, vitamins, and a new baptistery for the church in Jinotega. We also have confirmed the offer of 40,000 pounds of food (soup mix). $8,000 is needed for each container.
- Bible Material: Ann Faris has developed our material for our schools, with over 2,700 students and over 500 children in the congregations we serve; we need $250 a month to cover the cost of the printing of the Bible material. Can you partner with us to tell the story of Jesus?
- Plans are being made to plant two new congregations in 2011: Yali and Naranja. Contact us today about the support needed for these new congregations. $300 a month is needed for each of these new congregations.
To say we are little overwhelmed, might be an understatement, by the opportunities we are being given to share the message of our Lord as we serve people. But most of all we stand amazed at God’s gracious provision provided by your partnership with this Mission for Christ in Nicaragua.
Thanks for your continued support and encouragement….please continue to keep us, the mission and the church in Nicaragua in your prayers. As Mike say, “we are here, because you are there.”
Because of Him:
Donna and Benny