Several of the team members talked last night about things the people would ask, like a little girl in Esperanza asking if we were cooking today. Sadly we weren’t. We were there to work on the church. Don said that was an indication they are still hungry. How often do the villagers wake up and wonder if the missionary will come today? As I understand it, Because We Care Ministries has 25 villages they work with. That means they don’t get around to each one very often. It had been several weeks since the last visit to Pascuala, the village we cooked for yesterday.
We’ve been to Esperanza a few times this week working on the church and providing for the village. It is so amazing to see the same faces a few times and be able to put a name to them. To be able to take the memory of certain faces home with us will be so powerful. It looks and feels like a pressing crowd everywhere we go, but after being here this week, it isn’t a faceless crowd.
When I almost created chaos by giving out band aids to the little kids the other day, I remember one little boy’s face. Even as the number of hands increased, stretching up to me, I had a sense of who was there the longest. I saw several times as I was trying to get the band aid to the children the look on this boy’s face. I saw how with each band aid I gave out his face became more and more hopeless. The hands increased and the band aids were running out. I intentionally found his hand among all the rest and pressed my last band aid into the palm of his hand. I saw a look of surprise for an instant before he closed his fingers around the band aid. It felt like such a personal connection. It just seemed that he knew he had been picked out of a crowd.
I found myself being very reflective yesterday. This week has flown by. I wanted to think back over the week and burn in some memories and details.
It dawned on me that we will leave soon and it won’t be like leaving from vacation. We will actually leave people we’ve come to know and appreciate. We have built bonds with the missionaries Don and Pam, interpreters Needia, Tita, Domingo, Joanna and Roberto, Reynaldo the paster to a number of the villages, workers like Angel and Nahum and the kitchen staff. We’ve come to truly care for the Nicaraguans. We have one more mission day and it feels almost somber at the thought of what we’ve been able to do but also how much there is to do.
Blessings from Casa De Shelly…….Great day of Kingdom building as our team from North Main Baptist in Danville VA has truly come to Somotillo with a servants heart. This morning we divided into two teams. The first team left at 8:30 to go to the city stadium and hold a “football” clinic with a local high school team. About half way through their clinic 2 baseball teams show up. One of our team members engaged the 2 teams and before you know it, he’s sharing the GOSPEL. Second half of the team headed to Villa Esperanza to begin digging footing for a new church building. We were all very thankful for the locals coming to our rescue and the job was completed. Tomorrow we will haul sand, tie steel and get ready to pour the footing on Thursday.
This afternoon we traveled to San Miguelito with Dr in tow to serve the people and simply be the hands and feet of Jesus. To God Be the GLORY.
Blessings from Casa De Shelly…….Great day of Kingdom building as our team from North Main Baptist in Danville VA has truly come to Somotillo with a servants heart. This morning we divided into two teams. The first team left at 8:30 to go to the city stadium and hold a "football" clinic with a local high school team. About half way through their clinic 2 baseball teams show up. One of our team members engaged the 2 teams and before you know it, he’s sharing the GOSPEL. Second half of the team headed to Villa Esperanza to begin digging footing for a new church building. We were all very thankful for the locals coming to our rescue and the job was completed. Tomorrow we will haul sandy , tie steel and get ready to pour the footing on Thursday.
This afternoon we traveled to San Miguelito with Dr in tow to serve the people and simply be the hands and feet of Jesus. To God Be the GLORY.
Today was our final day of service in Somotillo, Nicaragua.
We began our morning at a small village named Tejar. Upon our arrival Pastor Purvis met a gentleman named Julio Cesar. Julio lives in a tiny run down abandoned shack on the corner of the village. He serves as the church watchman for the village but he is also in desperate need of a house. After conversing with the man, Pastor Purvis committed to building him a house. “To whom much is given much is required”.
Inside the village we were greeted by dozens of precious little children. We gave out dresses, played football, jumped rope, styled hair, painted finger nails and colored. In fact, the children mobbed Lady Kim for coloring pages. The kids couldn’t hold their excitement just for a chance to get one coloring sheet. It proved that its just the simple things in life that can bring a smile to a person’s face.
Later in the day someone had a bright idea of climbing a live volcano. (Pastor Gillette) He told us we could wear our flip flops! (Another bright idea) So we did. The whole time our feet were on fire! It was blazing out there! We were hopping around on our tip toes trying not to step in a hot spot. But it made me realize how we trusted Pastor Gillette. We trusted his word and we all came back safely with our two feet. That’s how God wants us to be. To trust His Word no matter how bad or hot the situation may look.
We ended our day with a visit to the Pacific Ocean. We took a few moments to breath in the fresh air and admire the scenery. When it was time to leave our feet were so dirty that Pastor Purvis washed all of our feet. This kind gesture reminds us of Matthew 20:28….that the son of man didn’t come to be served but to serve others.
This entire mission trip has been a wonderful fulfilling opportunity to serve Gods people. On behalf of DWC, we thank Pastor Gillette,
Mrs Pam, Uncle Kim, and Aunt Paula, for allowing us to come bless the people of Nicaragua. We truly enjoyed our visit. A special shout out to Momma Maria and the ladies in the kitchen, our translators Tita, Nidia and Roger. We are a part of your family and you are a part of ours. We promise that when we leave here we will never be the same. Dios te Bendiga!
The bible teaches us in Matthew 28:19 to “Go ye therefore and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost” This scripture is so popular that the great gospel songstress Shirley Caesar turned it into a song adding an extra verse saying “If you love me, really love me, feed my sheep.” Today Pastor Purvis and the DWC team did just that with Because We Care Ministry! We began our day with a long, slow walk up the steep “Mountain of Prayer”. Each of us climbed the mountain under the sweltering Nicaraguan sun taking each step carefully, praying not to fall. After 20 minutes of climbing we all reached the top and witnessed God’s glorious work! We could see as far as Honduras with the naked eye. After marveling at God’s beauty many of us tucked away quietly to whispered small short prayers.
Afterwards we took the message of Jesus Christ to the airwaves of 94.9 “Juventud”. It look like something out of a movie. We pulled up to the radio station and just walked into the building like bold Christian disciples…we just took over the place! Could you imagine listening to V-103 in Atlanta and bobbing your head to Beyonce one minute and then all of the sudden a local preacher just takes over and starts preaching the word of the gospel? You would think that something was seriously wrong with the management at V-103. But that wasn’t the case here. The local DJ gladly gave up his microphone for 45 minutes for us to spread the GOOD word of Jesus Christ to ALL of Somotillo, Nicaragua. We sang songs of praise and gave testimony of how God has changed our lives. Then Pastor Purvis preached a sermon about a man named “George”. George committed suicide. His friends found a note that he left behind stating that no one loved him, and no one cared. The lesson of “George” was to remind everyone that God cares for you no matter who you are or what you’ve done in life. God loves you no matter what and he’s willing to accept you as you are. Pastor Purvis & Pastor Gillette then offered salvation for all to hear. It is our prayer that some sinner man, woman, boy or girl, heard this message and will give their life to Christ.
After our station visit, Lady Kim made a special delivery. She took care of God’s sheep today by purchasing a mattress for a young woman named Marta. Lady Kim met Marta yesterday when she helped to paint her house in Pascuala. Lady Kim was so touched by Marta and her meager dwellings that she wanted to help her. Marta and her small children didn’t have a bed. They slept on springs (coils), along with the chickens and the pigs. Lady Kim, acting as God’s hands and feet, went to the local market and purchased Marta a mattress today and took it to her. And more important than the mattress was the fact that Marta asked Lady Kim to pray for her…and that was a GOD MOMENT!
Because Christ has no hands but our hands
To do his work today.
He has no feet but our feet
To lead God’s people on His way.
He has no tongue but our tongue
To tell God’s people how he died
Our lives are the only means to spread the gospel wide.
Ever wanted something so bad that you could taste it?
You were hungry for it?
You would do anything to get it?
You were down right desperate for it!
Those were the questions that traveled through my mind today as we were leaving La Carreta. We spent the afternoon in the village playing jump rope with the children, painting their cute little faces, and letting the little girls pick out beautiful new dresses to take home. As my pastor says “Love is a verb” and today we spread love to the people of LaCarreta.
A special moment occurred as we mounted our missionary trucks and pulled out of the village. I was riding in the car behind the missionary truck with Pastor Gillette so I had a visional vantage point that my teammates couldn’t see.
As the team was throwing candy, clothes and shoes off the back of the truck children came running from every direction…hoping just to get anything, something that would make their day. Among the children was one little boy. I couldnt see his face but he had a number 3 on back of his jersey. I’m sure he was no more than the age of 10. What caught my attention is that the little boy kept running behind our missionary truck. He wouldn’t stop. The faster the truck went, the faster he went. No matter how much dust the truck kicked up in his face, the little boy kept running. He kept his focus. Nothing would stop him from getting what he wanted. He didn’t slow down, he didn’t trip, he didn’t stumble, he didn’t fall. The further the truck went, the further the little boy went. His skinny arms pumping fast. His feet dared not skip a beat against the gravel road. And I’m sure his heart was racing a mile a minute. But he wanted something off that truck. He could taste it. He had to have it. He was so close that giving up was not an option. He was desperate for it! His run reminded me today of how we need to be, desperate for JESUS! Hungry for him. Running to get closer to him. Not stopping until we get what we want from Him. We encountered this little boy at the end of our day. I barely saw his face and I will never know his name, but its his actions that will stay with me for life.
“Lord I’m running trying to make 100 because 99 and a half won’t do!’
Blessed are the poor at heart for theirs is the Kingdom Heaven.
Today was a Kingdom building day at Villa Esperanza. Destiny World Church joined Because We Care Ministry to spread the word of the gospel in the village and to deliver much needed food, clothes, and medical supplies. When we arrived little children from near and far came running in jubilee to greet us. They were so happy to see our faces…and little do they know we were just as thrilled to see theirs. Some of the children had no shoes, some had no pants bottoms and it was evident that some of them hadn’t eaten a healthy meal. But it was our love, generosity and attention that they seeked the most.
We started the afternoon by playing jump rope, braiding hair, and painting finger nails with the little girls while the men in the group played sling shot with the young boys. The moment that really captured my heart was seeing the mothers standing in a long line desperate for medical attention for their babies. Babies with pneumonia, and other illnesses were able to get medical treatment today because of God’s outstretched arms. God used his people to help his people. After several minutes of play time, and medical care Pastor Gillette and Pastor Purvis led the villagers in prayer. It is our desire that after reciting the sinners prayer that some man, woman, boy or girl would come to know Christ as their personal savior.
We ended the afternoon with what could arguably be the closest thing I’ve ever seen to Jesus feeding the five thousand. We witnessed dozens upon dozens of women and children lined up with a simple bowl and spoon in hand. Some bowls were dirty, some were worn down and raggedy…but it didn’t matter. These villagers were hungry and desperate to get a dip of chicken noodle soup. What may seem like something quick and easy out of a Campbell’s can soup in America, it was much more than that today. This small simple meal may have been the only meal these villagers would get for the day. This meal meant peace, this meal meant there is hope, this meal meant I love you, this meant “I can press on just another day”….this meal meant “There is a GOD.” Today not only did the people of Villa Esperanza see God…But I saw Him too!
Time is valuable on the mission field, with little wasted. This morning we were up early and ready to serve the Lord. We washed the bus and cleaned the new building. Then we went to Cofradia and engaged the residents to share the gospel by doing crafts and other activities. We distributed clothing, dental hygiene supplies, and other toiletries. After lunch, armed with clothing, food, and God’s love, we headed to La Villa Esperanza. We were glad to have such a large crowd to minister to. There were water games, soccer, older teens, and even younger adult males joined in the fun. We laid hands on the sick and prayed for the village. Esperanza means hope and we feel like that’s what we left them.
Psalms 139:14 teaches us we are fearfully and wonderfully made . We discussed God’s ever reaching love for us this morning as we started out our morning together as a group. After enjoying another of those wonderful morning meals prepared for us by Mama Maria, the ladies of our group set off down the road picking up trash along the road in the community. It was hot, but we knew we were expressing our love to our neighbors so it was fun to do. The guys were left back at Casa De Shelly shoveling, digging, and raking gravel. Mid morning we stopped our labors to go to a local radio station, Radio Juventud 94.9 FM, whose owner had graciously offered Donald the opportunity to use his station to minister the word, while Because We Care Ministries radio station is temporarily inoperable, in need of repairs. After lunch (Chimi Chungas, oh so good) we went to the village of La Flor to share our love by playing with the children, sharing small gifts, cooking food and ladling it into their containers of all sorts and sizes they brought with them from their homes. The medical team went along to help with current health issues in the village. Everyone was cheerful, friendly, showing great gladness to have us there. Especially pleasurable was a little girl, about 4-5 years old, who sang for us a complete seemingly complicated praise song as often as we asked her to. I would tell you more but Donald will not let me write a book, just a note.
Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. To the north it is bordered by Honduras, and to the south by Costa Rica. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, partly because of the long civil war of the 1980’s and the devastation caused by hurricane Mitch in 1998. The vast majority of the five million inhabitants live in abject poverty with many suffering from severe malnutrition and starvation.
Here is a link to download a video file that you can show in your church to introduce our ministry and share about the work we are doing in Nicaragua. Right-Click here and choose save to download the video file to your computer. The video is also located on Vimeo.
This ministry helps people meet their chief need for a Savior, while also helping to meet the critical physical needs of hunger, poor substandard housing, shortage of water, lack of schools and education, lack of churches and pastor sponsorship. We offer general economic, healthcare, and emergency relief. To date we have helped feed tens of thousands of hungry people with hundreds of tons of food.
Download our Mission Trip Prayer Journal
We have developed a mission trip prayer journal to use during your trip. We encourage you to print this out and review before the trip, and then use as a journal during your trip.
Download the PDF
Who Can Volunteer?
Anyone with the desire to minister to hurting people in another culture can volunteer! Experience is helpful but not required. The ability to speak Spanish would be a plus, but we always have interpreters who assist in our work. Each team spends about a week in country ministering to the Nicaraguan people in some of the more remote villages.If you are interested in learning more, please contact us to discover if you can become part of this wonderful work.