Nica news 01/10

You would have thought that climbing up the mountain yesterday to Cacoa and worshipping up there with them would have been the pinnacle of the week – but you would have been wrong! Today was very clearly the pinnacle of the week.

While our friends had freezing rain in Roanoke, we went out into dry, dusty 93 degree weather after devotions and breakfast. We took the passenger racks out of the rear of the truck (our ever-ready ‘burro’!), then went down the lane outside of Casa de Shelly and filled it with all the trash we could pick up along the street.

This is how Christ asked us to love our neighbors today.

Then a few of us drove to the garbage dump for Somotillo and unloaded the garbage – and handed out Manna packets to a number of the children who were working through the trash. Near the end, some of their mommas also came out from behind the garbage mounds and we gave a box of Manna packets to them to distribute to some of the others who did not come out to the truck. (I know I was tired today, but it was easier to cry today than any other day.)

A little later, because the local jail gave us permission to speak to the prisoners, we were able to tell them about the love of Jesus as we prepared a pot of soup for them. They are almost completely at the mercy of their family and friends to provide for them; we got the impression the jail would not be giving them very much. As I shook hands with all of them and prayed for them, my closing comment was, “Don’t lose heart; trust the Lord to be able to change the trajectory of a man’s life.” A few of the men literally burst into tears when I encouraged them to not lose heart. There was woman who was being held in a separate cell who had been picked up the night before and our women were allowed back to talk with her. She responded to the gospel. We gave them multiple bowls of soup but still had extra so … back to the garbage dump to hand out the rest of it. Mostly children and one mother were on hand to get a hot bowl of soup.

Our final service opportunity was to drive about 20 km up to the village of OJoche. This is a charming, well-ordered village with good leadership and a strong church. We spent the remainder of the afternoon loving on these people, playing volleyball, stickers and fake moustaches on the children, talking with everyone, serving soup and playing a good, long game of “Cato, Cato, Pero” , a verison of our “Duck, Duck, Goose.” O yeah: and we had a difficult time changing a flat tire which Don says is only the third time in all these years that they’ve had a flat while out on mission.

Our hearts were overflowing as we drove back to Somotillo and I think we unloaded an awful lot of love in each of the last items of clothing and candy that we gave out along the road.

Sometimes God said, “It was good.” But today, “It was very good.” It was a very good day to be on the mission field! Thank-you for your prayer coverage of all that we did today.

Nica News 01/09

We began our day with a wonder devotional on the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). It is truly our privilege to be a part of God’s plan and to be a part of what HE is doing. We then we spent some time in group prayer lifting up several individuals we have come in contact with this week as well as for the events of the day. After breakfast we headed to the base of Cacao and began our ascent to the top. Armed with candy and oranges, we engaged with local residents throughout our journey. Once we reached Cacao we spent time playing and engaging with the children. We then shared a wonderful time of worship with the community and Pastor Santos while Pastor Tom Oster shared the message. Pastor Santos then blessed our team and the entire congregation shared their love and appreciation as they embraced each of us individually. It was such a sweet special time that we shared with them prior to our descent. After a few mild tumbles and minor sweat bee stings we made it to the bottom. Dirty and dusty but blessed beyond belief from the events of the day. Looking at our dusty feet at the end of the day I was reminded of the example Christ set by washing the feet of his disciples. I would imagine the dirt and dust that would accumulate on their feet was very similar to today. After our devotional this morning, it all wove together beautifully. We serve an amazing God that demonstrated his love for us in the most sacrificial way possible. God doesn’t need us-He allows us to be a part of His most wonderful plan.

Nica News 01/06

After a long travel day yesterday and a good night’s sleep at Casa De Shelly, the missionaries woke up ready to serve today. After morning devotions and a great breakfast, we all loaded up into the back of the big white truck (praise God for the repairs!) and headed out to Pascuala where we continued upgrading and painting the homes of the village. As usual, we had help from the people of Pascuala at all 3 homes and lots of work was done in only a few short hours. The team also got to engage with the kids playing a variety of games including: frisbee, football, duck-duck-goose (or as we called it here, “gato-gato-perro”), bubbles, stickers, temporary tattoos, fake mustaches, etc. All in all, it was a great morning spent being the hands and feet of Jesus. We returned to the mission house for a quick lunch and then some team members rushed off to the radio station where we have been asked to do radio broadcasts each day at 12:30. Steve, Sam, and Tasha all shared very different but equally powerful testimonies that people in parts of 3 countries must have really enjoyed. When they returned from the radio station, we were off again to spend the afternoon in another village known as La Fragua. We were very busy all afternoon as the mission team divided and conquered with each person using their God-given gifts to engage and serve God wherever they could. For instance, we set-up a medical station and the local doctor as well as a doctor on our trip treated dozens of children with a variety of ailments. Others served by helping cook a big pot of chicken stew that fed the entire village of ~200 people. Others painted fingernails, played games, and handed out bags of food. At the end of the day, lots of people in Nicaragua (and everyone on our mission team) was touched by God who used His people to draw us all closer to Him.

Nica News 12/30

Nica News 12/31

Happy New Years Eve! The team kicked off the holiday with a second visit to Principe de Paz radio station. Our two youngest members shared scripture verses and reached listeners in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras. Three other team members shared their testimonies and all in the radio station and at Casa de Shelly joined in on a beautiful rendition of “How Great is Our God.”

The team returned to Pascuala in the morning, getting the chance to reconnect with many of the villagers from yesterday. Work continued on the houses, with many participating in painting and reinforcing concrete board. While some were working on the houses, others engaged the children with games of Frisbee, duck-duck-goose, and follow the leader. The team also painted nails, coloring pictures, and did puzzles. The team enjoyed the fellowship with one another and the community.

After a hot morning, the team gladly returned to Casa de Shelly’s air conditioning and Mama Maria’s world famous chimichangas. Team Leader Mark Tanis was especially excited for this delicious treat! It was a great chance for our team to take a break, rest and recharge, before heading out for the afternoon.

The team loaded up on candy and black bags full of clothes to distribute and began the nearly 40 minute journey to the village of San Francisco. Once we arrived, practiced hands set up the necessities for cooking food, seeing patients in the medical clinic, and unloading 50 Manna bags. These nutritious bags were given out and will feed a family of six for a week. The recipients were overjoyed at the gift, and this met a huge need within this community. Our clinic saw more than 70 patients, mostly moms and babies. Many were well and just wanted the reassurance that they were healthy. Those who needed medication were provided with free medicines.

While food was prepped and patients were seen, Team Leader Tamalyn engaged the children with a beautiful skit about the need for Christ in our busy world. Using children as actors she challenged a blindfolded boy to pick out the voice of another children representing God. The challenge: all the other children are shouting his name, as well as God. The boy cannot hear God’s voice amidst the noise. Tamalyn gracefully described the need for Christ to bridge the gap between God and man. After a lot of laughs and a powerful message, the children prayed together.

The ride home from the village allowed team members to distribute items to the outlying community. Many came to the roadside as the gringos drove by, full of smiles and expectation. Clothes and candy were passed out, and the team returned home with an empty truck and full hearts. It was a great way to spend the last day of the year!

Nica News 12/30

After a great breakfast, some team members shared their testimonies and a song on the local radio station. It was a true blessing to the locals as well as the other missionaries and all who listened enjoyed hearing about what God has done in everyone’s lives. The mission team then spent the morning in Pascuala and the 14 missionaries and 5 interpreters all stayed very busy. Some fixed and painted homes in the village while others engaged the kids of Pascuala with frisbees, footballs, fingernail painting, stickers, coloring, kids’ jewelry, and lots of fun. We used all of these activities as opportunities to share the Good News whenever possible. After lunch, we headed back out and made a 45-minute drive to a new village called “Sweet Name of Jesus” where we spent the rest of the afternoon. In addition to more fun and games with the boys and girls (you could hear their laughter and joy from all around), we took a doctor with us to do medical and many children were given the medicine and vitamins that they badly needed to treat malnutrition and parasites and other ailments. We also cooked a hot meal for the entire village in a huge pot full of fortified rice, vegetables, and chicken. After Donald used a Man/God/Jesus skit with 3 boys in the village to explain how we all get everlasting life with God, we fed the 150-200 villagers. On our dusty ride back to Casa De Shelly, we distributed lots of donated clothes and shoes and hats and stuffed animals and other goodies – as well as lots of candy – to the Nicaragua people on the roadside. Christo te ama!

Nica News 10/10

Today was a great day on the mission field. We bagan the day with Radio and the whole team sang Ten Thousand Reasons. Like the song states when my strength is failing I will keep on praising. The team is growing a bit weary but it has been a great week. After radio ministry Richard and Mike and David Clark our missionary from Living Stone continued to use their welding skills to help a young couple in need of security doors and windows. The ladies went to the special needs school which is always a treat for us. We shared the gospel message through song, salvation bears and a scratch craft. While waiting for lunch we walked through the new clinic building which will be a blessing to so many in the near future. After lunch we ministered in a village which was new to Suck Spring Church. The village name was La Perla . This was indeed a real jewel with very sweet people some of whom walk miles to attend Prince of Peace Church. The doctor saw many sick children. Rose painted nails and engaged the children. We distributed necklaces and bracelets. Jordyn and Michaela entertained the children with balloons. Donald gave the salvation message and several ladies prayed to receive salvation. We made stew, handed out food packs, oranges and caramello. The rain held off and it was a great day on the mission field. With sad hearts we leave Somotillo until we meet again.

Nica News 10/08

Today started off beautiful in Nicaragua. The guys went to the village of Pascuala this morning to finish a house, while the women cut vegetables for the stew. After the vegetables were cut up the women went to a school in town. There were a lot of kids there today. Patti delivered a wonderful message about Paul and gave out crafts to the kids. Patti does a great job arranging crafts and sharing with the kids.

In the evening, we went to the village of Pascuala. The house is complete now and looks amazing. The doctor went to the village with us to see the little children. We painted nails, face painted, and threw water balloons at the little children. A pot of stew was cooked and served to the starving people once again of Nicaragua. On the way out the village, we threw out oranges, packs of rice, candy, and things from the throw bag. Kids and adults were lined up on the side of the road waiting and running after the truck, hoping to get things. It’s always a wonderful feeling to see the happy faces when they receive gifts.

Nica News 10/07

We started the day off with radio ministry. Rose and Pattie gave their testimony and Richard sang two songs including I am redeemed. Donald delivered an inspirational message that was concluded with the GOSPEL. The men worked on windows and doors for a house in Pascuala. .Mike got to use his welding skills. In the afternoon we went to the village of Cayanlipe the rain held off until we cooked stew, played soccer, face painted, did nail polish entertaining the children while the doctor saw many sick babies. We delivered the word in small groups knowing God’s word never returns void. God is good and he is blessing us every day as we walk the scripture as stated in Acts1:8. Looking forward to what God has in store tomorrow. We are blessed.

Nica News

Today we visited the Village of Esperanza and the Special Needs School. Lots of tears and emotion have been poured out today. Our hearts were full with sadness, humbleness, and laughter. In the Special Needs School we performed a skit called Mrs. Happy and Mrs. Sad. It explains how Mrs. Happy became happy through the love of Christ in which she shares this love with Mrs. Sad and they become sisters in Christ and both VERY happy! After singing "He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands" and "Father Abraham" in English and Spanish we got down on our hands and knees and created a craft that explained how God has each and every one of His children in His hands. Then much to the teachers’ dismay, we passed out recorders (flutes) and had a concert making a JOYFUL NOISE unto to the Lord! While we were laughing and serenading the men where building a new casa in the village of Pasqualla. The men have truly enjoyed working among the local men and watching the rarity of the community coming together to build this home for their brothers and sisters. Then everyone returned to Casa De Shelly for a team favorite of Mamma Maria’s famous Chimichanga’s for lunch. We love Mamma Maria!

Later in Esperanza we started out the afternoon with a fun hearted water balloon fight with the children. Most of our team, local pastors, and much of the village walked down to the river to witness 8 locals and 1 self proclaimed "Guapo Gringo" (Missionary Trey) be baptized. All nine were fully submerged into the river as they publicly acknowledged their commitment to the Lord. It was a very moving experience and an honor to share. Our visit was interrupted by a torrential down pour but no missionaries were lost or melted! Praise God! However, the local people still received their hot meal, BWCM Chicken Stew.

As we close this issue of Nica News and our day here in Nicaragua, we ask that you keep a very special set of twins who celebrate their birthday October 5th in your prayers. Thank you to those of you who keep us in your prayers and are with us in heart! May God bless and keep you always!

19 September, 2013 20:18

Another amazing day of experiencing God’s blessing here in Somotillo! We started early today and DJ (a fine 19 year old young man) led us in morning devotions – Corinthians 15: 57-58. As we are winding down the week (and honestly as it begins to wear us down as well), his choice hit many of us where we are and encouraged us, just as Paul meant to encourage the church in Corinth. “Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (v 58).

After breakfast half of the group went to Radio Pracipe de Paz (Prince of Peace), where 5 of us shared our testimony over the radio. This was broadcast into three countries. We are prayerful that someone was touched and made the first or next step towards Christ through this broadcast. We then returned, picked up the rest of the team and went to the special needs school, where we sang songs for and with them, colored and just spent some time interacting, and encouraging them as they prepare to compete in the Special Olympics in ten days.

We then stopped at the Somotillo Hospital to pray with Marta, a young woman from Pasquala who we learned earlier in the week needed an emergency appendicitis and didn’t have the money to afford it. Within a few hours God made a way for Marta to get that money and we are praying for her successful surgery later this week.

This afternoon, we drove out to the village of San Francisco to engage with the people there and cook and feed them a meal. Like every other village, the people are so friendly and the children are eager to just play and have fun. With a storm rolling in, we wrapped up quickly and headed back to Casa de Shelly. This was our last village visit of the week, and looking around the truck there was a similar look on many faces. It was a somber and contemplative look. We have seen and shared so much here this week. Amongst the lows of seeing abject poverty, suffering and many people spiritually lost, we have had joyful moments with the Nicaraguans we interacted with here, as well as our mission team. We’ve laughed, cried and done everything in-between as we have grown closer as a Christian family – working together to be the hand and feet of Jesus. There is so much to do and so many people in need that it seems overwhelming at times. Which brings me back to the devotion this morning and the comforting knowledge that if we are being obedient to God, our work for him is not in vain.