The church and the mission were blessed by 202 people coming to Share and Serve in June. They came from Fort Worth Christian, Harding University, Highway in Judsonia, Olive Branch Ministries, Argyle-Jacksonville, FL; Las Cruces, NM; Ocala, FL; Highpointe-Mckinney, TX; Central-Johnson City, TN and New York. This 202 does not include the 35 who arrived June 30th from North Atlanta, Summerville, SC and Franklin, TN.
- Over 4,000 were served medically thanks to the help of Olive Branch, who worked with six different communities, and Ocala, who worked with 4 communities.
- Hope for Life continued construction on what they want to become a training area in Yankea.
- A new congregation was established in San Ramon (north of Matagalpa). This was the ninth congregation established as the result of a medical brigade with Olive Branch. The first Sunday worship in San Ramon was June 24th. Bernardino Jarquin and his family will be serving the new congregation; Bernardino is a graduate of BICA.
- In June, the Lord blessed us with 36 new brothers and sisters in Christ. Twenty-seven of those were results of the new congregation in San Ramon.
- We continued construction of our fourth school/classroom this year. Part of the funding for the school/classroom projects comes from a USaid grant.
- The first Saturday, our groups helped the four congregations in Matagalpa with a Children’s Day, and all the congregations came together for a combined worship that Sunday. Both of these activities were a first for the church in Matagalpa.
- Each group helped make blocks. It seems that everyone goes out trying to set the record for blocks. I think the record is now set at 369 in one day.
We had 65 of our Community Health Promoters in a two-day training provided by the Medical Students from Texas Tech, led by Dr. Patti Patterson and two other Texas Tech professors. Dr. Michelle Drew from ACU also helped with training. The focus of the training this year was on Women’s Health and midwife training. Part of the funding for this came from a USaid grant we are receiving for Women’s Health.
- We continue soup distribution in twelve communities. Thanks to Feeding the Nations, a group out of Alaska who covered the cost of the shipment, and Global Samaritan, another container of food was loaded and shipped in June.
- This month we began a project for our groups working with Ismael to plant gardens.
- Mobile library, parasite treatment, Special School, Bible Adventures and Casa Maternas continue to be a regular part of the regular group activities.
- The USAid grant for Women’s Heath also helped us provide additional supplies for the new Casa Materna in Pantasma. We will be receiving additional funding for construction, school supplies and Women’s Health effort supplies in July.
God continues to support and encourage us in so many different ways but so much with the people that come each year. One of those is Louise Clites from Central congregation in Johnson City, TN. Louise wrote us after her trip that because of the need to care for her husband her trip to Nicaragua was going to be her last international mission trip. She has been doing medical mission for 32 years starting in 1980 with Health Talents International. Thanks Louise for the blessings and encouragement you have and continue to be to us.
Many of you know the influence of the work of Rick and Sherry Owens had on us being in Nicaragua. The congregation from Las Cruses, NM who came with OBM was the supporting congregation of the Owens’ mission in Mexico.
Ismael Olivas continues to work with Aarron Morales in Chinandega establishing the Institute of Preparation of Workers-West, which now has 24 students working with 8 different congregations. Aarron has been a student in the Institute in Jinotega and last year helped Ramon in the starting of the new congregation in Yali. They are working with 11 congregations in that area.
Working with Efrain Perez, we are developing ways to help 8 congregations in the Estili area west of Jinotega. Preachers from those congregations helped teach evangelism at the medical clinics with Olive Branch and some also joined at the Promoters Training in June. The first thing we have been able to do for them is Bibles and food for their congregations.
The List for June:
1. Led by Pedro Batres, we met with leadership from a few Managua-area congregations concerning the problem some Nicaraguan preachers are having in meeting their families’ basic medical and nutritional needs. We are working with them to develop a plan to help these families. Our goal is to present a plan at the National Meeting of Congregational Leaders, September 15th. One thing we were able to do immediately was provide several barrels of soap mix for distribution.
2. We are finishing the distribution of our second container of soup mix this year and have a third coming to Nicaragua in July. Our goal is to secure at least 3 more containers this year. The soup is free, but we must cover the cost of shipping and distribution, which is $8,500 per container. In 2011, we distributed more than 2 million servings; our goal for 2012 is more than 4 million servings. Please contact us on how you can help with these costs.
3. Global Samaritan in Abilene has another container of supplies ready for Nicaragua. This includes school and medical supplies, Bible material, etc. David and Esther said it is a very good container for Nicaragua. Funds are needed to cover the cost of shipping.
4. Bibles. We continue to ask you to consider helping us secure an additional 15,000 Bibles for Nicaragua. It costs $3 per Bible.
5. Glasses. One of the most exciting new things around the mission is “Sight for Sore Eyes,” a vision ministry developed by Jonathan and Sheila Holland. To expand this, we need more glasses. Please contact us on how you can help with these efforts.
6. We are still looking for a few more construction teams this fall. We are starting our fourth school construction project for the year and have two more planned.
7. “SMILES”—it is the time of year to make your plans to be part of “A Smile for a Child at Christmas.” Last year, because of your help, over 9,500 “Smiles” came to Nicaragua.
This year our goal is “Just One More…” You can print a copy of the “Smiles” brochure with all project details at www.misionparacristo.com, click on “Smiles.”
Benny and Donna