January 2010

"Sharing Jesus as we Serve People in Nicaragua"

It is hard to believe that another year has started and we are already into February. 2009 was a tremendous year for both the church and the mission. If January is an example, 2010 promises to be a very exciting year.

First, on a personal note, a very special thank you for your prayers during Donna’s surgery and this time of recovery. She says thank you for your prayers but please don’t stop. We also want to thank Dr. A.D. and Sharron who provided us a place to stay and transportation. Donna continues to improve and is back in Nicaragua doing her physical therapy. She is scheduled to have the second knee replaced March 30.
We welcome to the work of the church and the mission, Sergio and Daisey Salazar and their son Douglas. Sergio and Daisey graduated from Baxter in December and started their work with us on January 1st. They are both from Nicaragua. Sergio will be serving as the Assistant to the Executive Director and will work with all aspects of the mission. Daisey, who is a pharmacist, will be working with our new medicine agreement with MINSA. They both will be a vital part of the church in Jinotega. Also on January 1st Ben and Susan Brooks began their work with us. Ben is a CPA and has worked as the CFO in the automobile industry and Susan is a school teacher. Ben will be working as the Deputy Director/Finance and Development of the mission and Susan with our schools and our "Smile" project. They live in Bossier City, LA and attend the Airline congregation. They will also be helping during the year with our groups. What a blessing to have both of these couples as part of our team.

This month we expanded our Institute for Preparation of Workers with the starting of a second class. We now have 45 students combined in both classes (with additional 60 Bible students in the Waswili prison.) Each class meets one week every other month (in the prison they meet two mornings a week... We are now into our second year of working with Sunset to prepare workers for northern Nicaragua. Luis Prada serves as the director of the school. This summer our plans are to add Video Classes for the students to be involved with great teachers from around the world. Over the last five years of the institute each student has received a Thompson Chain Reference Bible made available through the generosity of a family in Arkansas. The support for the institute comes from the Highland church in Texarkana and the new class is support by a brother in South Carolina.
We were able to attend the Annual Sunset Summit in Lubbock and Medical Mission Seminar in Dallas. At the medical conference we hosted with Health Talents a lunch for mostly medical or pre-medical students interested in medical missions. Both missions presented how they could be part of what we do in Nicaragua and HTI in Guatemala. A special thanks to both Sunset (partner with the mission since 2008) and ICHF for hosting these times each year. We were also able to be with Garland Street congregation in Plainview, our overseeing congregation. We are so thankful for their continued support, March 1st will mark five years they have had the oversight of this mission (partners since 2000). We visited with some of the folks from the Farwell, TX congregation (partners since 2008) and with Cindy at Child Meds First (partners since 2006). We were with the Argyle congregation in Jacksonville (partner since 2007) and we were part of the ministry fair at the Westgate congregation in Dothan (partners since 2006). We were at the Grapevine congregation who hosted a dinner meeting for the mission (partner since 2005), the Highland congregation in Texarkana (partners since 2003), and visited with a new congregation in Holly Hill, Florida. When we were in Lubbock we visited with Dr. Long of the nursing department at LCU. While in Lubbock we meet with part of the group coming Spring Break from LCU. This month we had the privilege of meeting with the Board of Director of Teethsavers who became a partner with the mission in 2009. We have now secured over 20,000 toothbrushes toward the goal of 50,000 this year… we picked up over 6,800 toothbrushes from the Heritage congregation (partner with us since 2008) in Keller and a large sports bag from Gail Goad of the 4th and Beech congregation in Durant, OK. Gail says they have two other bags of similar size already in Nicaragua and will get those to us when they return to Nicaragua in February.

The world stopped and was stunned by the tremendous tragedy in Haiti. We pray that you have given prayerful consideration to what you can do to help the people of Haiti. With the rainy season coming soon one way you may look to help is with a project out of Harding…. http//:www.tentsandtarps.org

The mission has considered how the church in Nicaragua can to be involved in Haiti. Many have helped us through years, our work in Nicaragua started the year before Hurricane Mitch. We know what we can do is limited. One of the reasons is our continued effort of Hurricane Ida relief on the East Coast of Nicaragua which we have a group traveling there now. This work of Ida relief is done in conjunction with MINSA and SINEPRED. Also with our continue efforts on the Rio Coco and other projects serving the Jinotega Region. But our desire continues to do what we can to help our church family in Haiti.

With this desire to help we have developed a plan to help 12 children from Haiti to come to Nicaragua. From the very beginning of this plan we have been in contact with the Ministry of Family and other government offices. Porfirio Molina, the Vice-President of MPC-Nicaragua and our Director of Government Relation, was the Vice-Mayor of Jinotega, has taken the lead for the mission in this project. We are working directly with people in Haiti who are also working with the Haitian government on approval of the children to leave Haiti. In Haiti we are working with, Jean Robert St. Hilaire: Delmas 43 Church in Port au Prince. We fully understand that with all the concerns of the exploitation and trafficking of children we have to do things with proper approval from both Haitian and Nicaraguan government. It is exciting to see the church in Nicaragua looking to serve the church in Haiti. We continue to ask for God’s wisdom and direction as we move forward for the children.

This marks our third year to host students as part of the PAM program at Baxter Institute in Honduras. It is through this program we were able get to know Sergio and Daisey last year. Coming to be with us for three months this year is Byron and Sandra Caná and their two sons: Diego and Derek. They are from Chimaltenango, Guatemala. This is our fourth couple to host with this program. We look forward to these students coming each year.

For your prayers and consideration:

- Please continue to keep Donna’s recovery in your prayers.

- School starts the first of February. We start the year with 20 schools and with over 850 students. Could you help with "Just One More… student or school? $20 a month helps a child, $350 support a school. Contact us today.
- The signing of the Medicine agreement with MINSA was scheduled for February 5th but was postponed till the 19th because of conflict with Dr. Gonzales schedule. The agreement has been finalized but we just need his signature. Please pray that we can finally bring this project into action.

- We presently have 15 groups confirmed for this year, we have room for you and your group to come this year, contact us today for date to come to Nicaragua.

- We need $6,000 to fund the shipping of a container out of Global Samaritan in Abilene. The supplies are ready to ship we just need the funding for the container.

- The mission's coffee cooperative (coop) is coming together. We have enough money to start forming the cooperative. However, we are still in need of additional $4,000. If you want to help or need more information contact Mike. The cooperative will start with three families from the church in Yankea. Reynaldo Rizo the evangelist in Yankea is one of the farmers. Thanks to a brother in Alabama we were able to purchase the first piece of equipment for them to use in this harvest.

- This year we need to purchase a utility truck and another van. We are bless to have the vehicles we have but this week we have had to rent two additional vehicles because of number of different directions our people are traveling to serve.

- Please continue to pray for the search for a new Nicaraguan Director.

- We need $2,600 to fund this year Bible Bowl. We will start giving out this year material on the book of Mark in February.

- $1,750 is needed for the Video Conferencing equipment we need for the Institute, this equipment will also be used for training with Teethsavers and our Community Health Promoters.

- $600 a month is needed to be able to rent additional space for the mission and church in Jinotega. Last Sunday there were 99 in attendance Sunday morning, the children in the classroom were more than in auditorium. This space will give more housing, secure parking for our vehicles, additional classroom space and additional warehouse area.

- Toothbrushes still needed…

Thanks again for all your support and encouragement. Your partnership makes the difference.

Because of Him

Benny and Donna