Highlights from the start of 2016...It started early with the first group of the year arriving on January 1ST from Lipscomb University.  A great way to start the New Year…


One of the four containers of Smiles arrived in Jinotega.  Sadly as of March 1st  we still are waiting for the other three that are in customs.  Porfirio has contacted the First Lady of Nicaragua directly to solict her help in the getting the other three out of customs.  Please continue to keep that in your prayers.  Smiles still to come.  Disappointing but they will be a blessing when they arrive. 
Following the Lipscomb group we had Ted and Ellen Presley and Jim and Rachel McNiece with us from Abilene.  The main objective of the trip for was Rachel to move forward on a sewing school, hopefully taking the Reclaim idea of a few years ago to another level.  The Presleys did a marriage seminar for our preachers and their wives.  Rachel will be leading a group to come this summer.
The middle of January Donna and I returned for the Medical Mission Conference.  That time is always a blessing to see what is being done around the world in the name of our Lord.  Bill McDonald shared one      non-medical opportunity by asking us to pray for the the opportunity that is being given to the church with the influx of people in Eastern Europe.  He said there has never been a time LIKE NOW where people of the Muslim world are receptive to the message of our Lord.  Challenge always brings opportunity, prayer for those that are touching these.  We were also able to be at Sunset Mission Forum and the Lectureship at Freed-Hardeman.

We started our 14th year of IPO (Institute for Preparation of Workers). This year we have seven different locations (Waswili Prison, Chinandega, Ocotal, Rio Coco (2 locations), San Jose Bocay, and Jinotega) for IPO with over 300 students preparing for service to the Kingdom. Jinotega classes started the year off with 30 students. Please keep these students and teachers in your prayers.

We were blessed with Byran and Ann Reeves return to Nicaragua with some friends, Rachel Gardner and Carl Burkybile. Carl is the Healing Hands, Ag Director He worked with Ricardo to do a 2-day garden seminar.
In February we hosted six 4th year Medical Students doing one of their final rotations before being doctors in May.  This is our 5th year to host 4th year students.  They are always a blessing.  Five of these were from the El Paso campus and one from Amarillo.  They visited UNAN and the hospital in Leon, worked in the clinic, worked with Burelson mobile clinics, and did a training seminar with Dra.Pena for our staff from One Child Matters. It was a blessing to all.  It was also a blessing to have with us Dr. Perry and Ziva Kocher, as he continues to work with Dr. Bismarck with the children in our schools.

We had the blessing of Burelson making the first of two trips to Nicaragua this year.  This trip focused on medical with seeing over 1,000 patients this trip.  This year our mobile clinic will be reaching out more into the mountain communities by the request of the Minister of Health in Jinotega.  All locations this trip required 4-wheel drive trucks. 

The 4th year Medical Students work with these mobile clinics.  According to the Tech students it was the best part of their time in Nicaragua.

The blessings of our working agreement with Texas Tech continues with the arrival of a group lead by Amy Moore and Laura Option of nursing students.  Their week was doing one day free clinic in the Jinotega with PAPs screenings, two days (very longs days as we continue to reach out of Jinotega) of mobile clinics and two days of seminars with the UNAN Nursing School in Jinotega.  A very full week. This is the first of six groups from TTHSC to come this year.

We have the blessing to continue our medical partnership with a new agreement with University of Mississippi Medical School in Jackson, MS.  Dr. Alan Penman and she wife, Ann, were with us for a visit. Dr. Penman is the Professor of Community and Global Health at the UMMS came to see how we could partner with them in a way similar to what we have with Texas Tech. He will be returning in May/June with some 1st Year Medical Students.
One Child Matters started the New Year with the locations in Jinotega, Apanas, and Yali with over 340 children in the program.  Of that 340 we still need 40 sponsors for these three projects to be fully sponsored.  We had with us in February the Medical Director of One Child Matters, Dr. David Beyda.  Our medical care of the children in the program we feel is one of best things we do for the children.  Dr. Beyda’s review of our medical care agreed with us! Contact us if you would like a copy of his review. Thanks to Ileana, Edwin and all the staff of OCM for the work they do to be an active part of these children’s lives. Contact us today to help to have every child sponsored.  Also with the children school started in February, this year we are working with 31 schools with over 2,300 children.  Keep Felipe and Luis in your prayers as the work with the schools. Alberto who has worked with the schools for the last several years but now has assumed the responsibility of the mission’s work with the congregations and the church and mission’s efforts on the Rio Coco.

A special thanks to Rebecca Molina and her work with Casa Materna. Here Rebecca with a Bible reminding us to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing.  

Thanks to Alberto, Harvey and Marwell and their commitment to be more directly in the planning of our groups this year, here with Felipe they were planning Harding’s week.  We have the blessing of a GREAT NICARAGUAN staff.
Working with Hope4Life we are starting a new project building latrines.  Some may respond with a question of priorities but when you talk about the health of a family and community health in general the need of latrines is second to the need for clean water. (For clean water H4L has put over 800 filters in homes in Northern Nicaragua). The cost of each latrine is $1,600 but we are working to bring that cost down as we combine resources and manpower with H4L.  We plan to build the first one together with a group coming in March. 
1.Your prayers.
  •  In every mission and ministry there is always times of evaluation and directions.  As we move forward to the future please join us in prayer for God wisdom, direction and focus as we continue sharing Jesus as we serve the people of Nicaragua.
  • The Hollands as they continue the adoption process of their son.  He has now been with them for a year.  The Ministry of Family has approved the adoption; but now waiting for the final approval from the judge.
  • Donna as she continues to heal from back surgery done on February 29th.
  • Our 2016 school year started February 1st. Pray for God’s blessing for this open door to lives of the children.
  • For us to be resolve whatever continues to delay the release of the Smiles containers.  We also found out this week that we may no longer be able to bring in the soup containers.  Pray for resolve of all issues in regards to containers.  Since 1997 we have shipped over 100 containers of food/soup, medicine, school supplies, Casa Materna supplies, medical equipment, seed and other relief supplies to Nicaragua.
2.Help us build a latrine with $1,600 or come and help us build one for a family, a congregation, a community or a school.

3.Our Institute for Preparation of Workers continues to expand.  We need your support for two locations:  Chinandega and San Jose Bocay.  $350 monthly is needed for each of those locations.

4.Uplift Nicaragua.   Some of our funding for Uplift has been reduced. For us to continue to have this National Youth Day we need to secure an additional $6,000 to fund the day in 2016.  With the funding secure the 2016 dates has been set July 11.  Last year we had over 1,700 in attendance from over 80 congregations.

5.We have the need of $375 a month to continue our garden project as we work with congregations, schools, nursing home and communities.

6.We have been given another soup container to ship in May, the soup is free but to cover the cost of the container and expenses related to the container is $6,100.  Pray we find the solution to continue to bring these containers to Nicaragua.

7.40 sponsors are needed for all three locations of One Child Matters sponsored.  We are looking at the next two locations being Pantasma and Wiwili.

8.Contact us today to come to your congregation and share the message of the church and mission in Northern Nicaragua.
Contribution to the mission can be sent to Misión para Cristo, c/o Grapevine Church of Christ, 525 N. Park Blvd, Grapevine, TX 76051, or through our website using PayPal… www.misionparacristo.com.

Thank you for your continued support of this Mission for Christ in Nicaragua.  None of this would be possible without God’s blessings of your prayers, encouragement and financial support.

Because of Him:
Benny and Donna
Misión Para Cristo is under oversight of the Elders and Mission Committee of the Grapevine Church of Christ, Grapevine, TX 76051
The January - February Newsletter is loaded with pictures for this edition. Please download the PDF version to see more pictures and read about all that is being done.