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.
Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not.
How sweet it was visiting the little children at the school, Dulce Nombre de Jesus, The Sweet Name of Jesus, where part of our team visited with a message and supplies for healthy teeth, songs, and salvation. Three of the students prayed to accept Jesus as their personal savior. The other part of our team had the opportunity to serve at Casa de Shelly by landscaping, and digging a trench for electrical purposes. After lunch the team headed to Las Mesas to engage the children, provide medical attention, and food. Upon arrival the team bounded out of the trucks and became the hands and feet of Jesus. Children gathered to challenge members of our team in a friendly but competitive game of soccer, to adopt a balloon animal (lots of giraffes are now residing there), and get wet during the water games. Joy was the theme for the visit, joy…compliments of the sweet name of Jesus.
We count this as a blessed day, a kingdom growing day, and a day that we truly rejoiced in. Praise God!
Today we visited two elementary schools. We made salvation bracelets with the kids and had a great time singing and dancing. The chicken dance was a big hit! We spent time driving up and down the road to Villa Nueva, distributing clothes and stuffed animals. After lunch, the team headed to the village of Pascuala where we painted fingernails, blew bubbles, played with beach balls and made food. We did a skit about hearing God’s voice and how Jesus is our bridge to a relationship with God. We also served everyone in the village food and distributed more clothes and stuffed animals on our way back home. The team wrapped up the afternoon with a hike up the Mountain of Prayer, where we were blessed with a beautiful view of Somotillo. We were then given a tour of the farm and medical clinic back at Casa de Shelly. Great week of Kingdom Building…..Thank you LORD for allowing us to serve you
Greetings from Casa de Shelly! This has been perhaps one of the busiest days ever on the mission field. We began at Sonrisas Felices, the local special needs school, where we were blessed by their tremendous spirits. We painted nails, blew bubbles, and shared the Gospel thru a skit. We were also so blessed to meet Ana Rosa, a 16 year old girl who is competing in some sprint events at the national Special Olympics in Managua this summer. All the students there were truly amazing. From there we visited another school in San Miguelito. We rolled up to the greatest ovation ever of 200 kids screaming “The gringos are here!” (in spanish of course). Once again we had the opportunity to share the gospel through a skit. We spent the next hour playing lots of different games with the children and had our own “fishes and loaves moment” when we started handing out bracelets and the line kept growing and growing and growing. In the end, we had enough for everyone… an answered prayer indeed. After a quick and delicious lunch, we reloaded our bags and trucks and headed out to San Franciso Sur. On the way, we distributed lots of clothing and other blessings from the truck despite an afternoon rain shower that dampened everything but our spirits. Once in SF, we divided our group and some played games and shared the Good News with everyone in the village while others worked to cook a hot lunch of chicken and rice. After a great afternoon of exchanging smiles, God fed the entire village of 250+ with our pot of chicken and rice stew. Again, God blessed our efforts and everyone got to eat. We drove back to Casa de Shelly and thought we were done for the day but we still had an hour before dinner so we decided to head back out for one more quick trip. We went to Somotillo Baptist School and again shared the Good News with a few classes of eager kids 1st to 3rd graders. We colored pictures and handed out some toothbrushes and toothpaste and other goodies before calling it a day. Overall, it was a great day on the mission field and we thank God for our many blessings and we thank God for blessing us as we did His work.
Today we visited Corinto to have a volleyball clinic with a local team. While we were there the team engaged the volleyball teams as well as students who visited while on break from the school day. We discussed the salvation bracelet and handed one out to each student, explaining the significance of each color. They had all heard the gospel before since they attend a Baptist school. After praying with them we played frisbee, keep away, and painted fingernails. They all seemed to enjoy the fun activities. The volleyball group was able to share the gospel with the players and also ended up on the local news, explaining that we are here to spread the word. We also handed out balloon figures to children who passed by on the streets. We shared the salvation bracelets and prayed with them as well. We were blessed to be welcomed by the town of Corinto and the people there.
Today has been great! We spent this morning cleaning up trash from the Casa to the clinic while others finished weeding the garden. Today was probably the hottest day of the week. After we finished with the work at the Casa we went to visit schools. It turns out that today was a teacher work day and the children were not in the school. But missionaries have to be flexible so we came back to the Casa and gathered some soccer balls and crafts and headed to the city park in Somotillo. The playground was under construction but we played soccer and did a craft with a few kids. Cesar got the opportunity to share his testimony with the guys that were there. It was a great opportunity since the guys were older. Many were touched by his story and then they prayed together. After lunch we headed to the village of Ojoche and did a craft and played some soccer. I got to see Jenni talk to a teenage girl and share the gospel and give her a bible. Then Jenni shared the Parable of the Lost Sheep and we all helped the kids do a sheep craft. While leaving the village we threw out clothes, flip flops, and candy which is always a blessing. It is such a joy to see people of all ages run for the most simple things.
Today started with "radio time" at the Casa. We have been sharing our testimonies with each other at Casa de Shelly because the radio station is down because of lightening. It is always such a blessing to hear everyone’s story. Next Mike and Don did another day of pastor training while the team walked through the street just outside of Casa de Shelly picked up trash to bless the people in that community. Some of the ladies enjoyed handing out bottles of children’s vitamins to the moms. Then we worked on the farm for the rest of the morning. We weeded the corn field, shoveled rocks and cleaned up garbage. After lunch we drove to Cayanlipe and played with the kids and cooked food for everyone. It was so amazing to look around the village and see everyone on our team engaging with the kids and sharing the gospel. Luke and Oliver were able to share the gospel with a group of teenage boys and adult men. Eight of them made decisions to follow Christ. It is such a blessing to see Luke and Oliver able to engage a group that is often hard to reach. When we got back to Casa de Shelly we were tired but couldn’t resist the smiles of the kids at the gate that were waiting on us to come out and play. We took soccer balls and water balloons out and had fun with the kids before dinner. After a great night of God moments we called it a day here in Nicaragua! Pray for our team as we take every opportunity of our last day on the mission field.
Another blessed day of sharing God’s love with the Nicaragua community! The day began with a great devotional from Pam, “The Steps of a Good Man are Ordered by the Lord”. Our bible reading was from Psalms 37:23. Then we had some amazing testimonies from three girls in our group, and as always we had wonderful music provided by Abi & Luke. After preparing vegetables we visited two schools and shared the story of the “Lost Sheep”. As usual the children were a highlight of our day. After returning for lunch we headed out to a small village that was welcoming and willing to receive God’s word. While at the village we painted nails, played soccer, played games, colored, and gave out food to the families.
On our way back to Casa de Shelly we stopped for some yummy ice cream, which was a nice break from the heat. We have become quite fond of the children that live just outside the gate of Casa de Shelly and they apparently are excited to see us as well. We spent another late afternoon playing “futball” aka soccer, kickball and also used the parachute to play games with the children. We are starting to remember the children’s names and them ours which puts smiles on our faces. This journey has enriched each life in the team. The fun memories, laughter, joyful tears and overwhelming love that our Lord as given us during this trip will also be in our hearts.
Don and Mike continued the Pastor training in Somotillo and thirty pastors showed up for training. It was a great day of teaching. The devil must not be happy with our trip, because we keep having to change plans. The truck continues to break down and we have encountered several setbacks, but with each challenge, the team has been able to find a new way to reach out to the community here and share Jesus. Everybody is doing great and we ask that you continue to pray for our week of ministry.
Hola, Buenos Dias/Buenas Tardes/Buenas Noches, (We are all now fluent in greetings)
We started the day with sharing a quick devotion. Since the radio station is down, we had our own little session of sharing our life stories with each other as well as a time of worship.Today we visited a special needs school called Sonrisas Felices. It turned out to be a lot fun and the kids were incredibly sweet. We shared the parable of the lost sheep and it was translated from English to Spanish to sign language. Each person at the school required a little bit of a different approach in order to communicate, but it was obvious that each one of them really enjoyed our being there. We went in with hopes of blessing them, and in return, they blessed us and we were happy to hang out with them for the morning.
Luke & Abi
Don and I went to Choluteca, Honduras Monday and Tuesday for pastor training. Almost thirty pastors and leaders from churches in the surrounding area attended for training in theology, Bible, preaching, leadership, and pastoral ministry. With the help of Domingo, our translator, we taught through the books of Galatians, and 1 & 2 Thessalonians. One of the highlights each day was hearing the sermons prepared by the local pastors. They are learning the importance of correctly interpreting the Biblical text, and then preparing sermons based on the text. To me, this has been the highlight of the trip. By working with the local pastors, Because We Care Ministries is ensuring that the communities and churches will be changed long after the mission teams have left. It has been exciting to see the change from last year to this year in the pastors. They are eager to learn, and their knowledge and skill is increasing. Please continue to pray for them. They have a hard life, and their job is not easy. But they are faithful in their calling.
Also, one more prayer request. We have one of our team members who is a little dehydrated today. Please pray for a quick recovery.
Pastor Mike Morris, Cornerstone Community Church