About Misión Para Cristo
History and Summary of Misión Para Cristo
Misión Para Cristo (Mission for Christ) is an international development mission and registered NGO in the Jinotega (northern) region of Nicaragua focusing on the spiritual and physical needs of the people. The mission was started with God's blessings by Benny and Donna Baker and continues to be directed by them. Since 1997 the mission has been serving the people of Nicaragua sharing the good news of Jesus Christ through opportunities of service. The mission accomplishes this goal by helping the church meet three basic needs: Body, Mind, and Soul.
The work began in 1997 with 1 evangelist and 12 members of the church by opening a medical clinic in Jinotega as an outreach of the church to the community. Initially, Benny and Donna traveled to Nicaragua several times a year while continuing to work in local ministry in Arkansas and Louisiana. In 2001, thanks to the support of the church in Minden, LA they were able to work half time with the mission. In 2005, thanks to the Garland Street congregation in Plainview, TX the Bakers went full-time and moved to Jinotega. This allowed them the opportunity to work more closely with the mission. On August 1, 2013, the Grapevine congregation in Grapevine, TX assumed the oversight of the mission. God has blessed this work richly. Today the mission works with 28 congregations, 18 full-time Nicaraguan preachers and 4 part-time preachers with Sunday attendance of over 1,000 adults and children.
Working through the church Misión Para Cristo serves in the following areas:
- Serving the church-- We work with 28 congregations over northern Matagalpa and the entire Jinotega region with over 1,000 adults and children in attendance. In 2009, we expanded our Institute for the Preparation of Workers (IPO) thanks to Sunset International Bible Institute in Lubbock, TX. IPO now has six locations with over 250 students. Also, in 2009, thanks to Spanish Literature, Big Three Bible Bowl and World Bible Translation Center the mission started a Spanish Bible Competition. Starting in 2004, thanks to Uplift at Harding University, the mission sponsors an annual national youth day called “Uplift Nicaragua”. Working with Linda Landreth and Eastern European Missions we have translated her material, Character for Kids, into Spanish. The mission also works with Spanish Literature to get their material into Nicaragua in container shipments. The mission now works with 8 congregations in the Chinandega region and 8 congregations in the Estelí area. Working with World Bible School we have personalized their first lesson for Nicaragua and have secured 10,000 Bibles in Spanish for distribution.
- Prison Ministry --- Vocational and spiritual development in the Waswili Prison.
- “Esperanza del Rio” (Hope for the River) – Serving the indigenous river region that borders Honduras and Nicaragua both physically and spiritually. The expansion of the work has been made possible with the support of Bread for a Hungry World, Child Meds First, Olive Branch Ministries and the annual mission contribution of the Saturn Road congregations. Director – Alberto Lopez
- Serving Children – The mission operates 30 schools with 47 classrooms with over 2,500 children. Since 2005 we have built or remodeled 25 school buildings. All schools are certified by the Ministry of Education and they allow us to have 15 minutes a day of Bible study for the spiritual training of the children. “Smiles” is the mission’s annual project for a “Smile for a Child at Christmas.” In the fall of 2013, working with One Child Matters, we started a Child Sponsor program to create Child Development centers in the congregations we serve. The program's name was changed in January 2017 to Kingdom Kids---For Kids, For Kingdom, For Eternity. We presently have four locations in Nicaragua. In January 2017, as part of the Kingdom Kids program, we accepted a partnership with the Good Samaritan School in Catacamas, Honduras. Nicaraguan School Director—Felipe Cuadra, Kingdom Kids – Directors – Nicaragua -Iliana Iris/Honduras – Tonita Pacheo.
- Medical Ministry: Over 40,000 people are served each year with a full-time daily clinic in Jinotega; parasite treatment and vitamins for over 10,000 children thanks to Childs Meds First; work with Casa Maternas (a place for ladies to come and be close to medical care for the birth of their baby); facilitating the training of 82 Community Health Promoters (42 with extra training as mid-wives) and supplying them with medical supplies: mobile clinics; a Dental Prevention program for the oral health of children and full-time Dental office with dentist. Olive Branch Ministries brings three groups to Nicaragua each year and sees around 9,000 patients. In 2012, a working agreement was signed with Texas Tech Health Science Center. Also in 2012, thanks to Jonathan and Sheila Holland and Sight for Sore Eyes, we have expanded our ability to fit eye glasses.
- Caring for the Needs…Each year the mission is able to bring 4 to 6 containers of food, medicine, medical equipment, school supplies, etc. Warehouse Director: Jose Vargas. We work with our school, nursing home, and congregation to develop gardens: Hope4Life, with 3 couples moving to Nicaragua, was started in 2011 to expand the efforts for sustainable living, building water filters and latrines. Those families: Henningers, Browns and Counts passed the direction of H4L the mission in March of 2017 --- now Sustainable Living MPC Director: Ricardo Ramirez. Reclaim was started by Sydney Clyde in our continued effort to help people to help with themselves. Director – Rebecca Molina, as she also the director of Casa Materna.
- Groups…each year the mission and church are blessed with over 35 groups coming to work with us in different ways to help to Share Jesus and Serve People.
Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing
The mission’s motto is “Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing”. To do this we incorporate evangelism into every service we provide. The only condition the mission insists on before it starts a work in a community is that they allow us to share the good news of Jesus Christ. When we coordinate with government and community officials we insure they understand we are not a humanitarian organization but a spiritual organization that does humanitarian work.
The mission has a staff of 82 Nicaraguans and all of the local work of the mission is done by our Nicaraguan staff. Each aspect of the mission has a Director, as listed above, and Porfirio Molina serves as the Director of Government Relations and Harvy Charmarro and Alberto Lopez serve as the Assistants to the Executive Director of the mission in Nicaragua. Jazmy Mairena is the mission Administrative Assistant, and Yesica Blandon is responsible for accounting and government reporting. In 2011 David and Caryn Henninger, Chris and Jill Counts, and Tommy and Becky Brown came to work with the mission developing a sustainable living project, Hope4Life. We will always be thankful for the work these three couples did.
The goal of all our North American staff is not to do work for the Nicaraguans but to work with the Nicaraguans. In 2012 to 2017 Jonathan and Sheila Holland worked with the mission as the Deputy Director replacing Mike and Ann Faris. Colette Price has been working with the mission for four years with a primary focus toward children and youth. Misión Para Cristo has strong working relationships and agreements with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health, Education and Family and is presently developing a new agreement with the Nicaraguan army to help us serve in remote areas. The mission also has working agreements with 10 mayor’s offices. Each year over 35 groups come to Nicaragua to help in all aspects of the mission and most importantly develop life long relationship with the Nicaraguans. Congregations in Dardanelle, AR, Bono, AR, Piggott, AR and Minden, LA have had part in the history of the mission. In 2005 the Bakers went full time with the mission and the Garland Street congregation in Plainview, TX accepted the oversight of the mission, on August 1, 2013 the Grapevine congregation in Grapevine, TX took the oversight of the mission and the work of the Bakers.
Time and space do not allow all the work the mission is involved in to be mentioned and explained here. To obtain more details concerning the mission’s involvement with the people of Nicaragua, go to our web site at misionparacristo.com. You can also see pictures of the work we do at photos.misionparacristo.com. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.