Summer 2015

It is August and our summer is coming to an end.  As we look back over the last three months, we have been blessed. Our first summer group arrived the 15th of May, and our last group left August 19th, with four 4th year Texas Tech medical students staying some extra days.  Our first fall group comes in October. We did have one week in June that we only had 19 guests with us but also had two weeks that we had over a 100 here with us.  Total for the summer was 27 groups with around 500 visiting missionaries with 54 of them staying more than one week.
     So much was accomplished by the groups that came to touch the lives of so many with Bible Adventures, Casa Materna, Construction, Mobile Library, community days and the list goes on. Other activities that had a tremendous impact on so many:
  • Texas Tech Medical students did a two-day seminar with medical students from UNAN and UCAN in Leon.  Their first week here was with Olive Branch Ministries.
  • 11th Uplift Nicaragua this year had over 1,800 youth from 70 congregations together thanks to the support of the campers at Uplift at Harding.   
  • Harding’s Leadership and Ministry group finished their summer here with a trip on the Rio Coco. 
  • We opened our third location of One Child Matters in Yali. Contact us today on sponsoring a child in Yali.
  • New agreements signed with the Mayor of Jinotega, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education.
  • With Texas Tech and Harding Pharmacy, we did continue training with two two-day seminars for our Community Health Promoters.  Tech also did training for the teachers at the Special School.
  • Lynette Thetford and Carri Baker did a one-day reading seminar for our teachers.
  • We had four major Medical Brigades:  Olive Branch Ministries, Harding Pharmacy School, Sylvan Hills and Texas Tech (2) which provided care for over 6,000 patients.
We write so much about the groups in our Newsletter in the summer but the on-going work of the mission never stops:  the work of the church, medical clinic, eye clinic, dental clinic, schools and One Child Matters.    Groups just allow us to do more for more people when they are here and if it were not for the groups we would not be able to do the other as effectively as God has blessed us to do.
            It was great to have Mike and Ann back with us this summer helping with the groups.  Ann taught the Saturday Ladies’ class in July, and Mike taught in IPO and preached on Tuesday night.  Mike taught in IPO in August before they return to the states the first of September and will return to Nicaragua in November to help again with groups and to teach in IPO.
            This summer we had four tremendous interns:  Jamie Capri, Jamey Grimsley, Ben Tinsley and Logan Price.  They were a blessing. Colette Price continues her great work with the mission in so many different ways, what a blessing she is to Nicaragua.  She will continue to be with us until at least the end of the year.
            Jonathan and Sheila continue their work with us and with their ministry of Sight for Sore Eyes. Jonathan recently gave the number of 5,995 children who have received eye screening but, that number does not include the adults they have screened and fitted for glasses.  Jonathan’s work with the children’s Bible class in Jinotega and Apanas continues to grow.  In addition to studying the Bible he is also helping the children to learn to speak English. Please continue to keep their adoption process in your prayers. It is a long process with sometimes limited communication with Managua. 
            The Henniger and Brown’s work with Hope4Life continues as they are reviewing the impact (spiritually and physically) of the water filters (over 500 to date) with the individual families and communities they are working.  We still all miss the Counts, who are doing well in South Carolina.
In August, Janice Davis returned to the states.  Her work with the Casa Materna has seen that ministry grow. We are now working with seven locations: La Concordia, Pantasma, San Roman, San Rafael del Norte, Wiwili and two locations in Jinotega.  Rebecca Molina, who has been working directly with Janice, will now have the responsibility of Casa Materna.  Janice made her first trip to the mission with Olive Branch in August 2004.  A special thanks to all that have supported Janice and her work with the Casa Materna. The church honored and said thank you to Janice with a special activity.  At that activity was Janice, Donna and Dr. Patterson, these three ladies find themselves in Nicaragua with all three have family roots with Garland Street congregation in Plainview, TX.  Garland Street was our oversight congregation for eight years.
In June, we added a new ministry staff person to the mission, Edwin’s wife, Gema.  Gema will be focusing on a number of different areas with the church and mission. Her ministry will work especially with Casa Materna, mothers of the children in OCM and the ladies and children that come to the clinic for Medical Care.  She is a blessing.  
The highlight of the summer for the Bakers was having three of our four children and seven of our nine grandchildren with us at different times this summer.  That was special.

When the mission started in Nicaragua in 1997, the congregation in Morrilton, AR was supporting the preacher, Mario Roque,  in Jinotega.  The connection to Morrilton was with one of the Elders Ray King, who made his last mission trip with us to Nicaragua after Hurricane Mitch.  We were blessed to have this summer for the second time his wife Dot and his daughter Karen.  We are thankful for their continued support of the mission in Nicaragua. 

One special occasion this summer was having with us Dr. Patti Patterson.  Dr. Patterson and her husband Scott Zapalac were the founders of Olive Branch Ministries which we have been working with since 2004.  Patti is also a professor at Texas Tech Health Science Center and the connecting point for the mission with Texas Tech.  Her June trip here marked her 50th mission trip she has taken since 1987.  With over 20 of those trip coming to Nicaragua.  It was a great night of celebration and honor to Patti for her service to the Kingdom.
We finished August with Donna being part of a Ladies Day in Texarkana on the 15tt. The 19th I returned for a six-state, three-week trip.  God continues to open doors to tell of His work in Nicaragua. 
Over the last few years, we have talked a lot about a Specialty Medical Clinic.  Thanks to the Decatur congregation we have funds available to start but have been delayed by MINSA approval.  We have met with the new Minister of Health, and we have started the final steps for the approval of the clinic with his support.  Please keep this in your prayers that the delays are behind us. We also met with the Ministry of Education to discuss ways that we can better serve together. When the discussion of teaching Bible came up the delagate from MINED said that the spiritual development of the child is critical to their education.  We are excited about future working with both MINSA and MINED.

We have started working with the National Television Program, Nicaragua Para Cristo, to provide them literature and Bibles for Distribution.  The program is aired on Saturday evening at 6:00 on Claro channel 90.  Part of the literature is the new World Bible School lesson that has been personalized with contact information for Nicaragua.

It is August, and that means Smiles-2015.  Last year thanks to so many we distributed almost 13,000 Smiles to over 120 congregations, 31 schools, and our two OCM locations.  Brochures for “Smiles” can be found on the front page of our website. Can you help us reach our goal of 15,000 plus one for the children in 2015:
The List:
1. BIBLES…we continue to try to raise the necessary funds to purchase 10,000 additional Bibles for Nicaragua.  Cost per Bible is $3.  Our goal is to ship in October. We have half of the needed $30,000 but need your help to finish the project.
2. Continue to pray for Jonathan and Sheila and the adoption process.
3. Contact us today on coming to your congregation to make a One Child Matters presentation.
4. We are already starting to schedule group dates for 2016. And it is promising to be another great year.
5. Can you help us do at least one more “Smile” in 2015?
6. Please keep Janice Davis in your prayers as she transitions back to the states.
7. It is time to retire our white van; help is needed in purchasing its replacement.  It will cost $24,000 to replace it with a used van like the green van.
8. Prayers for the final approval of the Specialty Medical Clinic. 
9. Contact today for other ways you can pray, encourage and support this Mission for Christ in Nicaragua.

Thanks for your continued support.  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 not have done apart from each other.
Because of Him:  Benny and Donna
The Summer Newsletter is loaded with pictures for this edition. Please open the PDF version to see more pictures and read about all that is being done.