May 2013

May has been an exciting and full month around the mission. I know we say that about almost every month around here. We had three groups, six individuals, IPO, a teacher’s seminar, intern arrivals, and a trip to Honduras.
Our first group to arrive this month was from Castle Rock, CO, led by Cathy Latta. We also had a bit of a reversal from what we normally see here as three of the ladies in the group made a commitment to Christ through baptism. We thank God for the decisions and baptisms of many, but they are usually Nicaraguans. We were blessed to be a part of a decision of these ladies from Castle Rock who were here helping us serve the Nicaraguans. As one of the Nicaraguans said, “That was different.” Praise God!
This month Jonathan and Sheila had a friend from Texas, Paula Vercher and I had a cousin, Pat Huff from Washington State, come to be with us.  Both of them worked with all that was happening around here.  Pat was here with Castle Rock. Paula was later in the month and went with us to Honduras.  Also coming this month was Dr. Kevin Page from Grapevine, TX.  Dr. Page was here looking to see how he could be a part of what is happening in Nicaragua.  I think the picture might show that he is hooked.
A couple of months ago we were introduced to a child sponsorship program with One Child Matters.  In April Donna and I traveled to Colorado to visit with them.  This month Jonathan, Sheila, Paula, Alberto, Efrain, Martha, Harvy and I traveled to Honduras to visit some of the projects they have there.  After our visit to Honduras, Jack and Anna Eans came to visit us in Nicaragua.  Jack is the Vice-President of Programs for OCM.   This program would allow us serve additional children and accomplish that by working directly with congregations.  One of the things that excites us the most is OCM want us to use a local congregation model to accomplish the program targets of serving the children physically, spiritually, academically, and psycho-socially (Body/Mind/Soul) It is basically setting up Child Development Projects as part of the congregation’s service and outreach. We would not stop our current school program but it would give a new way to serve more children.  Please keep this possible partnership in your prayers.

One goal we have for our schools is to be able to give our teachers at least four seminars a year.  Our second was in May, the next one is scheduled in June.  One of the most repeated requests from our teachers is, “Help us to be better teachers.”  Last year on the river that was their second request after, “Can you get more supplies for the students, paper, pencils, etc.” Can you imagine sending your child to school without books or supplies?
Four years ago we developed a partnership with Teethsavers International out of Lubbock, TX.  This month Dr. Ron Smith, the new Director of Teethsavers, and Gene Day, a board member, came to Nicaragua to meet with everyone and see how this program can touch more children in Nicaragua.  Please keep this planning and their decisions in your prayers.

In the early 80’s two couples came to Nicaragua; Dr. Hop and Marty Paden and Dr. Bruce and Beth Smith, with their families. They stayed for 14 months working with the church but had to leave because of the conflict at that time in Nicaragua. Marty, with a group from the Airline congregation in Bossier City, LA, was here the last week of May. This was Marty’s first trip back since leaving. What a blessing to have her, Airline, and also Ben and Susan Brooks back to Nicaragua.
Sight for Sore Eyes and Hope for Life continue to touch the lives of so many.  Hope for Life has now placed over 60 water filters in the Yankea area. They were blessed with a matching grant from Bread for a Hungry World that they accomplished in May. Not only have the filters touched the lives of so many with clean water it has also touched the lives of groups that have helped with the placement of the filters. In May eye glass clinics and vision screenings were done for city employees at the Jinotega City Hall, the National Police station in Jinotega, and a home for children who live in Jinotega during the week to attend the deaf education program here. Jonathan wrote about a family SIGHT has been helping. Their daughter is a six-year-old who has had three eye surgeries to correct cataracts and glaucoma. She will receive her new glasses this week, and although they carry a heavy prescription, she will be able to see clearly. The mission and SIGHT were the tools God used through your generosity to restore this child's sight.  Vision and clean water, things that many of us take for granted, but a blessing to so many here.


On May 28th three of our 5 interns for the summer arrived:  Amelia Wood (our niece), Callie Clyde, Michelle Gibbs, Paige Walker (comes in June) and Hannah Jackson who has been with us for the last three month.  We call it “women power” this summer with our interns
This month the Institution for Preparation Workers North and West continued with a week in Jinotega, two Saturdays in both Ocotal and Chinandega, and every Friday at the Waswali prison.  Please keep this effort to prepare workers for the church in the North and West in your prayers.
  • We continue to need funding for the expansion of the Institute of Preparation of Workers. We need an additional $800 a month to fully fund all six of locations of IPO.
  • Can you help us find 25 new partners for the mission and church in Nicaragua? Please share this Mission for Christ with someone.
  • Hope4Life needs your help  to put water filters in homes and in all of the schools and congregations we work directly with. The cost of each filter is $50.
  • Please keep Jonathan and Sheila in your prayers as they continue the process of trying to adopt a child in Nicaragua.
  • In June with Olive Branch Ministries our goal is the planting of a new congregation in Abisinia.  We need funds for the location and the evangelist that has agreed to go there.  $350 a month is needed for this new congregation.
  • Funding for a container of soup in July. 
  • Please keep our summer groups in your prayers.
  • Also in your prayers the possible partnership with One Child Matters to help more children.
  • Three years ago many of you helped us secure toothbrushes. We need your help again to secure our goal of 25,000 toothbrushes for Teethsavers.
  • You can make donations through our website using Pay-Pal or by mailing your support to Misión Para Cristo, Garland Street Church of Christ, 700 Garland Street, Plainview, TX 79072
Yesterday the interns finished a new bulletin board in the office area.  The board gives an overview of the different aspects of the mission with pictures.  The board is full but we still need to add pictures.  Also yesterday Jonathan sent an email to one of the group leaders for the summer listing almost 20 different ways that groups are able to share and serve when they are here. It just makes us stand amazed at how God has blessed us with the opportunities, resources, and support of people like you over the last 15 years to touch people both physically and spiritually. This verse says it all: “to Him who does exceedingly more than we could ever ask or imagine.”

Thanks for your continued support and encouragement for efforts for Him in Nicaragua.

Because of Him:  Benny and Donna Baker
The May Newsletter is full of pictures and information on all the things going on around the Mission. Please download the PDF version to see more pictures and read about all that is being done.