My mother always said that it was never too late to say thank–you or your sorry. So I start this update saying thank you for your continue support of the mission and to say I am sorry for not having Updates to you for the last three months. Many of your know that I started 2014 in the hospital in Jinotega, then Managua and returned to the states for open heart surgery the 14th of January. Thanks so much to so many for your notes, prayers and encouragement. Special thanks to the folks at Grapevine who were there for us in so many different ways over the six weeks we were in Dallas. And I have to thank the greatest nurse in the world, my wife. We are back in Jinotega and thanks to Jonathan, Sheila and all our staff, they are the best. 

December was highlight by our “Smiles” distribution and graduations at our schools. Thanks to you we were able to distribute 11,350 “Smiles” and from sharing some 400 “Smiles” and other supplies we are trying to give to an additional 1,000 plus children on the Rio Coco. Thanks for the congregations at Highway in Judsonia and Westgate in Dothan for their effort in getting the containers shipped to Nicaragua. That is big task. 

Graduation is always an exciting time with the children dressed up and celebrating moving to a different level in school. In our schools we have the preschool graduation and the primary graduation and this year we had the special privilege to be part on the graduation at the Special School. The Special School does not count as one of the mission’s schools but we work with them throughout the year including providing three of their teacher’s salaries.

Also in December we had graduation from our Institute for Preparation of Workers. We ended the year with over 200 students in six locations. In 2014 plans are for that number to increase and add a new location in San Jose Bocay. 

2014 started with our first Texas Tech Medical School group here the first week of January. This year we will have four groups from Tech and a number of students doing 30 day rotations with us. Part of their week they provided additional training for our Community Health Promoters.

Also the first week of January we had a group lead by Dr. Doug Steele, Harding University. One of the purposes of the trip was Dr. Steele is doing an evaluation and study on the benefit of Physical Therapy and Short-Term Medical trips.
Schools started in February and we start the year with 30 schools we are working with and over 2,000 children. We also continue working in partnership with One Child Matters to develop the capability to serve an  additional 200 children in two Child Development Centers we are opening in Jinotega and Apanas.
Our third group of the year came in February lead by Larry and Jan Cruse. Larry and Jan having been coming to Nicaragua and working with us since 2007 when they came and stayed a month. Now they bring others with them in February and stay for two week.
They are many exciting things that have been started here through the years but nothing that is more exciting than the work with the Casa Maternas. Janese, with support from Becky Brown and Rebecca Molina, are doing some very special things with the involvement of the ladies of the church in Jinotega participation with the centers in the location in Jinotega, La Concordia, Yali, Pantasma, and San Ramon.
The efforts of Hope4Life continues to touch the lives of many. They now have helped families build over 150 water filters for their homes. Now they are adding to water helping families with raising chickens.
All the things we do in Nicaragua are very important; the medical, the children, providing food, places to live, the work with the ladies and the list goes on. We are in Nicaragua to serve people but most importantly we are here for the name of our Lord to be proclaimed and people given the opportunity to respond. When they respond that is an exciting time.
-  Your prayers as we maintain an on-going evaluation of the mission in Nicaragua and how we can serve and share in ways that best serves and that reaches the most people in the name of our Lord. God has blessed us to do some very good things in Nicaragua but what we did yesterday may not be what we need to be doing today and tomorrow. And all we do we want to do that which bring honor and praise to His name.
-  Can you help us help just one more child? There are children that need you to be their sponsor. Contact us today to be a blessing to a child. Would you be willing to make a presentation at your congregation?
-  We have the opportunity for another container of soup but we need your help to cover the shipping cost. The soup is free but the cost of shipping and distribution is $9,500: that’s 3 cents a serving. The soup mix is one of the best things we are able to provide to families to improve nutrition for whole family.
- Your prayers for the development of a specialty medical clinic as part of our Medical Outreach. The clinic would include: pain therapy, advanced physical therapy, vain therapy, cataract surgery, and women heath (PAPs). These additions, with our recent expansion of our dental and eye ministry, allows us to provide service that is limited in our area to most Nicaraguans. Contact us today on more information and how you can help develop this exciting addition to our ability to serve the people.
Thanks for all your support and encouragement. 
Because of Him:

Benny and Donna Baker

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

The Update is loaded with more pictures on all the things going on around the Mission. Download the PDF version to see more pictures.