Nica News for April 5th

Pastor Mike Morris, Cornerstone Community Church
It’s amazing how quickly we can travel around our world. Saturday morning I was in the comforts of my own home, and Saturday night I was in a hotel in Managua, Nicaragua. I’ve spent the last few days working with Because We Care Ministries training pastors in Choluteca, Honduras and Somotillo, Nicaragua. These men are my hereos. They serve as pastors in small villages around northern Nicaragua and southern Honduras. They live a tough life, and nothing about their life is easy. One of the pastors in Honduras had to walk over three hours in order to take a two hour bus ride so that he could be at our 9am pastor training. That’s commitment. The excitement these men have for learning God’s Word is contagious.

I don’t have to tell you how easy we have it in the United States. The poverty and struggle that we see here is humbling. And yet the problems they face in their churches are very similar to the problems we see in the North American church. We are challenging them to serve their communities and to lead with a Holy boldness. Will you join me in praying for these men as they are studying and learning this week.

We return to Managua tonight (Thursday night) as I get ready to return home and Don and Pam await the arrival of the Student Ministry Team from FBC Roanoke, Virginia on Saturday. Then it is back to Somotillo for another great week of ministry

Our New Facebook Page
We have created a new Facebook Page for Because We Care Ministries. You can find it at http://facebook.com/becausewecareministries This will be a great place to share your pictures and stories from the mission field. We will also use it to help spread our Nica News newsletter. Be sure and go to the page and like it and share it with your friends. Also, you can tag Because We Care Ministries in your pictures. It’s just another way to let people see how God is moving through this ministry.

Nica News March 15

Sun goes up, sun goes down, another day on the mission field. This morning started a bit different than the previous few. As goes with technology in Nicaragua, the radio station was incommunicado, but members of the team still had the opportunity to share their testimonies and lead the team in worship within the comfortable air-conditioned walls of Casa de Shelly. After a good time of fellowship and sharing, the team headed out to two schools and the local clinic in Somotillo.
    At the first school, the team jumped right out of the truck and went straight to work. We combined the kids from two classrooms and made a station for the man, the legend, Doctor Anderson. With all the kids in one room, team members Jess and Sarah shared the gospel with all the kids and gave them an opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as their savior. Next, the team engaged the kids through numerous activities including soccer, football, jump rope, coloring, and chalk drawings. The kids were sad upon our departure, but it was no fewer than a couple minutes that the team was at it again in another school. Our time was limited, but we were still able to give food to the school teachers and share the gospel again with the children. The team’s next stop was the local clinic in Somotillo. We split into two groups and went around to different rooms praying over the patients and giving them a small bag of caramellos. The team was happy to be able to minister to these people. Back at the Casa, a young two year old boy arrived with an extra finger on each hand and an extra toe on each foot. Doctor Anderson completed the first of four surgeries in removing one of the boy’s fingers and stitching him back up. With the help of Doctor Anderson, he will be normal in no time. 
In the afternoon, the team journeyed to the village of San Francisco South. The team was able to engage the kids again through finger nail painting, soccer, jump rope, and coloring. Doctor Anderson was once again hard at work, attending to the medical needs of the people. Sarah redeemed herself in passing out the parasite medication with Cheryl to over 100 of the villagers. The team cooked another hot meal, and it was obviously appreciated as the villagers could be seen flocking to the pot with containers in hand. The team saved their best for last performing a drama and a rap to share the Word of the Lord. The small kids and even some of the adults were entertained while still learning about original sin in a drama and Jesus feeding the five thousand through a rap. Soon enough it was time for the gringos to depart, and the team was at it again distributing resources to the Nicaraguans on the way back to the Casa.
On the team’s last day, they had the opportunity to see the new radio station on top of the Mountain of Prayer. With this new location, the station will be able to broadcast even further giving future teams the opportunity to share their testimonies across an even greater area. The team marveled in God’s creation on top of the building looking out across Nicaragua and into Honduras. Upon completing the steep trek down from the radio tower, with some taking a small tumble along the way, the team ended their journeys through Somotillo.     
What a great job team LU and US Naval Academy did in serving the people of Nicaragua and honoring our Lord.
Once more let me remind you to load up and use your BWCM/Kroger gift cards and support the work of ministry here in Nicaragua.

Dr and Mrs. Donald M Gillette
Because We Care Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 21806
Roanoke, VA. 24018
WWW.BWCM.ORG

Nica News March 14

This morning, a few girls shared their testimonies and a song on the radio. Donald announced that we would have pastoral training at the Casa on the radio, and the pastors and their wives arrived shortly thereafter. Many of these husbands and wives spent hours traveling to us today. The way they earnestly seek the Lord and ministry preparation is inspiring and such a good example for us to follow. It was evident that they were burdened for their people, their families, and for the gospel to be spread. They were tired but eager to learn how to further their ministry and expand the body of Christ.
Donald taught the pastors about Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. Dr. Anderson cared for the medical needs of the pastors and their wives. A couple of us taught the pastors’ wives about Biblical manhood and womanhood from Genesis 1-3, 1 Peter 3:1-7, and Titus 2:1-5. The ladies had an amazing time of prayer—lifting up requests to God by prayer and petition with thanksgiving! We ended our prayer time in praise to God for who He is and what He is going to do through the various church families and communities the women represented today. Through praying with the ladies, many voiced their needs, and we were able to provide the funds for them to seek further medical attention. This was a huge blessing for the women and for us to have the opportunity to give cheerfully, being led by the Holy Spirit! After lunch, we pampered the wives of the pastors by giving them manicures, pedicures, and massages. Please pray for these men and women who are boldly proclaiming the gospel in hard to reach areas—they are tired but desire to endure and persevere!
                Once the families headed back home, we got ready to head out to another village. We spent some time in San Miguelito. The time spent in this village included medical care, food distribution, a warm meal, and coloring, nail painting, and playing with the kids. The children here absolutely loved taking pictures, playing soccer and Frisbee, blowing bubbles, and jumping rope. The guys met a man who lived in California for work for a few years but moved back to Nicaragua. He was eager to learn English while in the States and wanted to learn more, but he did not have anyone to teach him. He professed faith in Jesus, and that he was teaching his children to believe in Christ and was devoted to training them in the Lord. However, he was frustrated because he was not able to read his Bible due to his understanding of English. He is still eager to learn English in order to read his Bible and grow as a Christian. Please pray for this man named Hosman!

Dr and Mrs. Donald M Gillette
Because We Care Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 21806
Roanoke, VA. 24018
WWW.BWCM.ORG

Nica New March 13, 2012

KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!!! “Wake up, Debutantes!” So starts our second day here at Casa de Shelly.
The day began when three of our team members, Jessica Berry, Sarah Singer, and Sarah Kilgore, went to the radio station to share their testimonies and sing. Following this experience, the entire team set out to a special needs school, Sonrisa Felices, where they were able to interact and share the gospel with the children. Many of these children suffered from physical and mental limitations. One of these girls was a beautiful and brilliant child that lacked the ability to hear and speak. When she was younger, she had hearing aids, and during this time she was able to not only hear but speak as well. However, as she grew older, she outgrew her hearing aids. Now that she no longer has these devices, she can no longer hear or speak. She must resort to signing in order to communicate. There were a number of children with down syndrome, blindness, and learning disabilities. Just being with these children was both heartbreaking and such an incredible blessing. The minute we entered the school, we were met with hugs, greetings, and smiles. In spite of the children’s disabilities, they were so full of joy and excitement! They were enamored with the puzzles, balloons, and coloring books that we brought. But most of all, they just wanted our attention and love. We also shared the gospel with these precious children, although it was difficult to know the level of their reception based on their disabilities. However, we trust the Holy Spirit to touch their hearts and shed His light as only He can. 
                Later this afternoon, we piled back into the truck to head out to the village of El Ceibita. Again we were met by women and children and a few of the men. We helped Dr. Anderson hand out medication for parasites, painted the girls’ nails, colored pictures and played games. During our time at the village, our wonderful translators gathered the children and sat them down on a white tarp. Sarah Singer then proceeded to share a story with the children about Jesus which was a perfect segway into sharing the gospel. The children were enraptured by the story and engaged in the interactive gospel presentation. Our team was also able to bless the village with a meal. We fed 200 people a nutritious mean of chicken, rice, vegetables, and vitamins. For many of these people, this will be the best (and maybe only) meal of substance for a long time. We also handed out to the mothers in the village nutrition packets which feed around 6 people per packet. These food packets are filled with vital nutrients that otherwise these people would not receive. On the way to and from the village, we threw out clothes and candy from the side of the truck, yelling, “Cristo te ama!” which means, “Christ loves you!”
                Upon arriving at Casa de Shelly, we were able to bless the people here by helping to build a rock wall around the goat enclosure. I guess rocks are an understatement, since they were more like boulders! We will be sleeping well tonight! We unfortunately missed out on the bulk of the work, since three of us were called in to the air conditioned room to write this letter. What a shame.
                Please keep praying for the work being done here in Somotillo and the surrounding areas. Pray that the Gospel will be proclaimed with love, clarity, and boldness, and that the people will receive this life saving Word!

Dr and Mrs. Donald M Gillette
Because We Care Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 21806
Roanoke, VA. 24018
WWW.BWCM.ORG

Nica News March 12, 2012

After traveling all day yesterday, this morning we took a 3 hour drive to Somotillo. This drive was really incredible because we got to really see the beauty of Nicaragua. After eating an awesome lunch made by the cooks, we left for Villa Esperanza. Since this was our first village, we were not sure what to expect. Some of us rode in the vans and some in the back of Donald’s truck. While on the way to the village, we got to throw out candy and clothes to the people on the streets. When we threw these goodies out, we said “Christo te ama” to make sure they knew the reason for our gifts to them. When we arrived in the village, we got to have a lot of one-on-one time with the villagers. As we played futbol, brushed the girl’s hair, painted their nails, and played with the younger kids, we took advantage of their attention and shared Christ with them through our interpreters. Dr. Anderson also cared for the physical needs of the people in the village. We had the opportunity to pray over a 5 month old that had been abandoned by his mother. His Grandmother was struggling to feed him and he was suffering from malnutrition. After only being there for a short amount of time, we were able to connect with the people almost immediately. It’s an honor to feed their hunger for food but what we need is prayer that we can effectively communicate the gospel so that we can feed their hungry souls. We can’t wait to start the radio ministry and see what God has in store for us in the upcoming week.

Dr and Mrs. Donald M Gillette
Because We Care Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 21806
Roanoke, VA. 24018
WWW.BWCM.ORG

Nica News…A young ladies story

A Week Later
By: Jordan
It was the summer before ninth grade when everything in my life seemed to turn upside down. For most, this statement would sound like a negative thing, but for me it meant a positive life change. There was a moment where it was almost as if I had an out of-body experience. I was a typical church girl; it was the whole nine yards. I grew up in the church, accepted Christ at the age of six, and even went to a private Christian school through my elementary and middle school years. It was not until 2005 that I experienced a true-life change. I had spent my life doing the norm, following the church crowd and barely skating by. I had flown under the radar and had not completely stepped out in my faith. I would not say that I was a brat, but I was definitely spoiled. I had spent my life within my comfortable four walls in Roanoke, Virginia, naively believing that I had the same fancy life everyone else did.
            In the summer of 2005 I took a short, five-hour flight to Central America to go on mission with my church. I had no idea that this short flight was taking me into a completely new world. This was the week that changed my life in more ways than one. I spent the flight listening to music and talking with some friends. I was excited for the trip because not only was my best friend going, but also the whole youth group was basically going and there were several attractive guys that had signed up, so for the most part, my going was very superficial. At this point, I was unaware of the change that my life was about to make. Our flight landed in Managua, Nicaragua. We got off the plane and walked outside, it must have been a hundred and ten degrees and the heat hit me like a ton of bricks. We all piled onto a hot, smelly school bus and made a six-hour trek to the outskirts of the country. On this bumpy road I suddenly forgot about the cute guys, the way I looked, and even my friend. I was solely focused on the extreme poverty all around me.
            The dirty faces of children that were begging on the streets were piercing. At that moment I was suddenly face to face with starvation for the first time. I began to feel like I had never felt before. I had seen one thousand infomercials on starving children and it had never even dawned on me. I always believed that those commercials were over-exaggerated just to get my money; little did I know they were extremely under-exaggerated. My heart sank at the shacks that these people called houses, the dirty water standing around their homes and the callused barefoot feet that were running along the dirt roads beside my vehicle.
            There were so many potholes in the road that we were going slow enough to make eye contact. I could not believe it when I saw their filthy hands reach into the windows of the bus, begging for anything that I was willing to throw out. In that moment, I cringed with guilt. I began to ask myself questions. How could I have been so naïve and why on earth I had been so blessed with what I had been given? It was clear that these children had not had a real meal in days, and I was sitting comfortably with a Dr. Pepper and a Snickers bar.  Their homes were built out of garbage bags and mere sticks; the shocking fact was that numerous people lived in these shacks they called home. So much was going through my mind for these six hours, but this was only the beginning.
            Arriving at the mission house, also known as The Casa, the reality of everything hit me, I was now face to face with a different world and in that moment I understood that it was time for me to grow up. We got dressed quickly and headed out to our first village. At this remote village, I was once again surrounded by extreme poverty. I was in a village called Villa Esperanza, where I fell in love with a young boy named Hector; he was seven at the time. That day we played and took lots of pictures together. I quickly learned where he lived and his terrible circumstances. There were ten people living in what we would consider a shack not suitable for one. In that village I gave my testimony and shared with the people what it meant to accept Christ as their personal Lord and Savoir. The little boy in the back named Hector slowly raised his hand after I prayed, admitting that he had accepted Christ. At this moment I had no idea that this was the beginning of a true friendship.
            Hector taught me a lot. I went into the trip feeling guilty and came out of it realizing that the only thing that separated me from those people was that only by the grace of God was I born in America. I was suddenly aware of the fact that God loves everyone and we are all his children no matter the language we speak or where we were born. I never forgot Hector, and as a matter of fact I have been back to Nicaragua twenty-two times since that trip. He is twelve now and he still has the same special place in my heart. This process, and all that we have been through was truly ordained by God. I never knew that I would meet a little child that would change my life. Six years later, after my first trip, I have been more blessed by him that I have ever been before. I have watched him grow and through his friendship I have found a peace that I never knew before.
I can remember it like it was yesterday; there was one trip where I went to Hector’s village and he was not there. I can remember feeling crushed and I was immediately filled with disappointment, but that day I learned that God has greater plans than we can ever fathom. The next day we went to a different village 150 kilometers away from his home in Villa Esperanza and he was there with his mother. He had traveled such a long way to be baptized and his faith in this moment inspired me. This journey was difficult for them because in Nicaragua they do not just hop in a car; they had to walk on those dirt roads in the heat. That day my father was able to baptize him in the river.
            This Nicaraguan child and I have had such a crazy story; he accepted Christ when I gave my testimony, years later my dad baptized him and now he feels called to be a preacher. Their village desperately needs a pastor and I feel like God is raising him up for such a time as this. Our relationship has changed his life but I do not think he knows how much he has changed mine. That day when my dad baptized him, my faith grew immensely and in that moment I knew that God had placed the two of us in that village just for me, so I could see first hand the love of Christ.  My family has helped him, his mom, his sister and, his brother get a new home so they can live comfortably. We have taught them how to take care of their possessions and how to manage what they have.
            Through the many times that I have been to this country my heart has been left there in the hands of these wonderful people. I have learned so many valuable life lessons and going on the mission trips has truly made me who I am. My relationship with this one child truly taught me something. My relationship with Christ grew because I could see His love through this child. I knew how much He cared in the way He continued allowing me to witness Hector’s life changing decisions. It is crucial for me to see love of my heavenly Father and how much He loves me. These trips have helped me grow and molded me in my faith. Without Hector in my life I would have truly missed out on a blessing.
            Hector waits for me to come and frequently asks the other missionaries about me. It saddens me to think that he will never truly know the impact he has had on my life and the joy that he has brought me over the years. Not a day goes by that I do not think about him or pray for him and his family. It is clear that his life has been bettered through our friendship over the years; he is healthier now than he has ever been and he truly works hard in his school. He and his two siblings have a joy and spunk now that I had never seen in them, because not only do they have the love of Jesus in their hearts but also they are now able to live comfortably.
            People all over the world face relationships much like the one I have with this little boy from Nicaragua. This friendship was created by God and meant to bring honor and glory to His name. It is important to lift relationships up to God and allow Him to be at the center of everything that you are and do. This twelve-year-old boy has allowed me to grow closer in my relationship with Christ. He has no idea of the impact he made on my life and with the language barrier he probably never will know. He has become my family and I thank God for him daily. God is the only one that could have brought this friendship together in such a way to provide so much joy. It is important to cherish and build up friendships because one can never know the impact that could be made just from a simple bond or connection that is shared with a certain person.

Dr and Mrs. Donald M Gillette
Because We Care Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 21806
Roanoke, VA. 24018
WWW.BWCM.ORG

Nica News 2/8

Acts 15: 36  “And after some days, Paul said to Barnabas, ‘Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.’”
A team composed of missionaries from Bedford and Charlottesville, Virginia have been here this week  serving local villages.  Today we visited El Patanal, a village that is planting a new church by Pastor Rinaldo.  About half of the team has visited this village before.  During  our God Moments discussion, Dr. Donald mentioned that there have improvements in this village since the church was started.  Praise the Lord for His work in the lives of these people.  This is an encouragement to the Charlottesville team as this is their first visit to Nicaragua.
Pastor’s training took place at the training center today.  18 pastors from 16 different villages came to learn about how Jesus is revealed  in the Pentateuch.  The pastor’s wives were meeting to discuss common issues and to receive encouragement and love from each other and some of the pastor’s wives on the team.  The team also watched the pastor’s children and shared the gospel with them.  What a blessing to all involved!
Construction continues with the crew taking debris to the dump.  They also took food and shared the gospel there.  One seven year old on the team even shared his Goldfish crackers!   It is inspiring to see children making the connection that if there is a need they have the God given ability to fill it.
Nicaragua is doing more for the team than the team could ever do for Nicaragua!  Praise the Lord!

Dr and Mrs. Donald M Gillette
Because We Care Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 21806
Roanoke, VA. 24018
WWW.BWCM.ORG

Nica News 7, 2012

Tuesday night and another full day of service for the Lord is in the books.

Isaiah 55:10-11  “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, 
making it bring forth and sprout,
 giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
  so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty,
 but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
A wide array of work was done today, radio ministry with first time testimonies, construction work and gardening at the training center,  Dr. Chris and Dr. Bill were in Honduras for day 2 of training 22 Pastors, which will continue tomorrow with 25 more Pastors for the next 2 days.  This afternoon, we were blessed to go to El Pajuil, where we engaged the community.   The locals laughed over orange eating contests, while many played soccer and all were fed, both food and the Gospel.    All of the labor of the missionaries is simply watering the earth with the love of Christ, so that His word may not return empty and we are humbled to be here. 
As we prepare to share our God moments, each one of us will have a special moment or for most, “moments”.    You know, that moment in time when things seem to stand still, your vision is crystal clear and you are all but certain Jesus is standing by your side.  It’s sometimes called “walking in the scriptures” and it’s an amazing moment, and they happen every day here in Nicaragua.  Actually, they happen ever day; everywhere, but sometimes we are just too busy to see them.   

Dr and Mrs. Donald M Gillette
Because We Care Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 21806
Roanoke, VA. 24018
WWW.BWCM.ORG

Nica News 2/6

After 2 long days of travel to Nicaragua, our team arrived in Somotillo just in time for a hot dinner on Sunday evening!  After a good night sleep we were ready to get to work Monday morning! We have a big team from Virginia! We have a group from Portico Church in Charlottesville and from Bedrock Church in Bedford! It is so exciting to see that almost half of the team is here on their very first mission trip! So awesome to see their excitement and enthusiasm to serve the people of Nicaragua!
What an awesome day on the mission field today! Starting with a 6 am wake up call that was surprisingly quiet compared to Donald’s normal banging on the door! Pastor Bill and Pastor Chris headed out to Honduras for pastor training for 2 days. We continue to pray for their time in Honduras. We have received word that they have 20 pastors that have showed up for training! That is an incredible testimony to God’s grace! After a yummy breakfast, a group of team members headed off to the radio station to share their testimonies! The rest of us stayed at the Casa and listened as they shared their testimonies! We even got to hear part of the team sing Revelation Song over the radio! One of the younger team members shared her testimony for the first time as a first time missionary! It was a precious moment! Donald mentioned that she was no longer one of the 90% of Christians that have never shared their faith! Many firsts were happening today! I always love to hear Donald’s “Hallelujah” after each person shares on the radio! I believe it echoes what each of us are feeling as we listen!
After the radio ministry we got to work on The Training Center! With such a large team we were able to accomplish a lot today! The ladies got to work chopping the veggies for the stew, while other team members worked hard on the office building, and worked cleaning up sticks and rocks from around the property! Most of the team was covered in layer of dirt by late morning! After a quick cleanup, we ate lunch and got everything ready for the village ministry!
We headed out for Villa Esperanza this afternoon! With the trucks packed full of clothes, toys, food, candy and missionaries, we headed out with hearts full of anticipation! The whole team immediately began to light up as we threw out clothes and toys to the people standing by! The joy on their faces as they saw how much it meant to the people here was incredible. When we arrived in the village, everyone began to work together to engage the villagers! From water balloons to soccer and nail painting and coloring, we worked hard to share Jesus with the people! The doctor was able to give out medication to the sick! As always, there was our super fun watermelon eating contest! The crowd cheered as they laughed and watched the kids eat! We ended our time in the village with feeding the people a hot stew. They lined up with their bowls or pots or whatever they could find to put their stew in! We left knowing that those precious people would go to bed tonight with a full stomach, but more importantly that they had been given the opportunity to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and that several people prayed to receive Christ!
As we left today and as I write this I am reminded of Ephesians 2:10 that says “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do!” God has a plan for each of us and that plan includes good works! Whether that plan includes work in North America, Nicaragua or another part of the world, we must do what God created us to do, no matter what that is! Blessings to you as you follow Christ in whatever HE has planned for you!  

Dr and Mrs. Donald M Gillette
Because We Care Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 21806
Roanoke, VA. 24018
WWW.BWCM.ORG