Civil Unrest in Nica

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Pray for Nicaragua!

As many of you know, Nicaragua has been undergoing some civil unrest in the past few weeks.  The protests and marches against the government began on April 18th, after President Daniel Ortega announced a reform to social security in which taxes were increased and pensions for seniors were decreased.  The protests and civil unrest are not only due to this reform, but as a result of things that have been boiling up for a while.  The reform was the last straw and the people have made it known that they are unhappy with their government.

There have been many dead and wounded, but the people are not backing down.  Protests and marches continue to unfold daily.  Most have been peaceful, but just last night in the area of Masaya, there was more violence and wounded as the peaceful protesters were attacked by the police and the Juventud Sandinista.

There are several marches and gatherings planned for this week.  The people continue to wait for a dialogue that is to take place, where many are hoping, a peaceable agreement will be reached.  Things are very uncertain at this point, but we are looking to the Lord and interceding on behalf of our beloved Nicaragua, asking God for a miracle.

As many of you know, the Lord led our family to return to California for a few weeks.  We have been here for two weeks now and are asking that you join us in praying for God’s leading for us.  We are eager to return and our hearts long to be with those we love in Nicaragua.  Would you take some time to intercede with us on behalf of Nicaragua and for our family as we decide when we are to return? We appreciate you and thank you for your prayers.

 

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VBS: Nueva Guinea & Managua

Recently, in our kids Sunday evening study, we covered Mark 10:13-16, where the little children were brought to Jesus.  This passage is always a great reminder of how special kids are to our Savior.  Jesus is “greatly displeased” when the disciples “rebuked those who brought” the children to Him.  He tells his disciples, “Let the little children come to Me, and DO NOT FORBID them; for of such is the kingdom of God” (emphasis mine).

Working with children can be tiresome and even challenging…but never a waste of time.  Jesus took time to minister to them and invest in their lives.  So, it is a joy that we have been able to do that often, and even more so in the last two weeks.

VBS Nueva Guinea

Last week, we had the opportunity to take the 5 hour drive along the country side to the small town of Nueva Guinea. Over the last 6 months, we have been blessed in getting to know the missionaries who serve at the Calvary there, and they have become dear friends.  We were able to come alongside them and the church body to do a two day VBS-type outreach for the children of the church and the community.  Our time there was fun, rich and a great blessing.  We got to spend those days with about 40 kiddos each day.  Our time with them consisted of Bible lessons, music, crafts, games and a lot of hugs & laughs.  Would you pray that the Bible truths, songs and love poured into each of their little hearts would produce lasting fruit?  Many of them come from very rough backgrounds (which is the sad reality for many children of Nicaragua in general), so our desire is to bring the hope of Jesus into their lives, in the midst of the difficulties and hurt many of them face.

Along with the children’s outreach, Mike had the opportunity to teach the Wednesday evening Bible study.  We are grateful for our friends who are faithfully serving Jesus and the community of Nueva Guinea.  If you would like to see more of what the Lord is doing in Nueva Guinea, you can check out their website: http://graceministriesint.com

VBS Managua

This week, we had the privilege of having a team of parents and their teenage children from  Christ Journey church in Florida minister to our kids, here in Managua.  They too did a VBS-type outreach with the kids from our Sunday evening study and an additional small group of students from the school (Club Cristiano La Esperanza).  The kick off took place on Sunday evening, where they shared with the kids about Palm Sunday.  Then, the Easter story was continued the following morning, along with songs, crafts and games.  On Tuesday, we culminated our time with the kids by getting on a bus and driving out to Ruby Ranch, which is about an hour outside of Managua in the country.  At Ruby Ranch, we had a fun day full of games, water slide, horses, bikes, and so much more.  We are so grateful for the team of Christ Journey Church who poured the love of Jesus into the lives of the kids we’ve been ministering to for the last 9 months.  Not only did the children have a blast, but they tangibly experienced the love of Christ.  Please pray for these kiddos as well; That God would do a deep and life-changing work in their lives…so they would in turn make an eternal impact in their families, communities and country.

Happy Easter

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

We hope you have a wonderful Easter, celebrating our risen Savior!  He has conquered and our lives have been eternally changed.  That is worth celebrating!

One more thing…

If you or your church are interested in coming down to Nicaragua, please feel free to contact us.  Summer is approaching quickly and now is the time to begin planning!

Blessings to you all and as always, THANK YOU for praying and reading.

Bluefields Missions Trip

On Monday, March 12, we set out at dawn to make our way to Bluefields Nicaragua by motorcycle.  We finally arrived at our destination by 4:30pm, after a long journey across the beautiful country of Nicaragua.

Bluefields is a coastal city, which is known for fishing.  The people of this region speak Creole, which is an English based language, so it makes it made it easy for us to communicate.

The initial plans for the trip were for us (Brinson Buzbee, Greg Brakensiek and I) to join a medical team as they made an exploratory missions trip up the river and visit some of the communities in the region of Pearl Lagoon.  When we arrived to Bluefields, we were told that the plans had changed.  The medical team was no longer coming and that this was now “our” missions trip.  Although the medical team was no longer coming, our plans didn’t really change much.  We had always planned on going into the communities to share the Gospel, teach the Word and pray for others.  But now, the time and focus of the trip was going to solely be focused on doing this.  God’s plans are always greater.

On Tuesday, the 13th, we set sail and made our way up the river with the end goal of making it to the community of “La Fe” by the afternoon.  On our way, we stopped by Haulover where we were able to say hello to a dear friend named Margarita.  We had a sweet time of prayer and then made it to La Fe early that afternoon.

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Brinson and Margarita

What happened at La Fe was such a God-ordained time.  Within moments of arriving in this little town, we were sharing the gospel and praying with people.  I talked to an older gentleman and mentioned our passion to share God’s Word and that we would love to do this in the community.  He said, “If you invite people, they will come.”  So we did just that. For the remainder of the afternoon we spent time getting to know the community.  We visited homes, continued praying for and ministering to the families and children that followed us around.  As we made our way through the community, we met Pastor Alan, a local pastor.

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Pastor Alan

Pastor Alan pastors a church in this little town called “GoKing,” which means “God’s Kingdom Come.”  He is a very sweet and hardworking man.  I asked him what were some of the major needs for him and the community, and his response blew me away.  He said that himself and the other pastors in the surrounding communities have no one to train them and pour into them.  They do the best they can to pastor, but they do not know how to do it.  Immediately, my heart was stirred.  He also mentioned that there was a need for a Christian drug and alcohol rehabilitation ministry, and that La Fe would be an ideal place to set one up because it is the only community in the region that does not sell alcohol.

Would you join us in praying for Pastor Alan and the pastors in that region?

That evening, at 7:00pm the people we had invited to come out to the center of town showed up with their chairs and began to sit around.  Within moments, a worship service had begun!  We sang some songs that were familiar to us and then they sang songs that they knew.  It was such a beautiful scene.  One of the locals that went with us on the boat shared with the group about what it means to sincerely follow Christ.  After, I got to share on Romans 13:11-14 and Ephesians 6:10-17.  Included in the message of encouragement and exhortation, I also shared the gospel.  At the end, I gave an altar call.  At first, they were very timid, but eventually one lady raised her hand to pray to receive Jesus.  Then, many others followed her example. That time was like nothing I’ve ever experience before.

The next morning, Greg and I decided to go spend time with Pastor Alan.  We were able to meet with him a few times throughout the day.  We spent some time ministering to him and we got to take him through the Inductive Bible Study method.  It was neat to sit with Pastor Alan, open up the word and study it together.

On Thursday, we made our way back down the river and stopped by another community called “Kukra Hill.”  There we passed out some gospel tracks and shared with people.  We got to share the gospel with Danny, a motorcycle mechanic.  After some time talking with him, Danny prayed to receive Jesus.  Praise the Lord.

Thursday evening, we made it back to Bluefields and early on Friday, we made our way back to Managua. We thank the Lord for his protection and for His perfect plans.  Truly, this trip was incredible and we will continue praying to see what the Lord has in the future.  We know He loves these people, sees their needs and is already at work in this beautiful region.

Thank you so much for praying and please continue to do so.  God is faithful.

Looking ahead…

Greetings everyone!  We hope the beginning of 2018 has been pleasant for you.  A month ago, we returned home from our visit to California.  Our time there was rich, full and FAST!  We thank the Lord for allowing us to see so many of you and for the time we got to spend with family. We were so blessed!

A Night to Shine

A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to serve at  “A Night to Shine” event that took place for the first time here in Nicaragua.  If you are unfamiliar with a Night to Shine, it is an event funded by the Tim Tebow Foundation for children with disabilities.  It is a night where they get to go down the red carpet, enjoy a meal and have some fun.  Most importantly, it is a night where they are loved on and are reminded that they are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).  We had a great time loving on these precious kids.

 

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

Proverbs 16:9

MARCH

As we approach March, we wanted to share some things we are praying through and planning to do as the Lord leads.  We want the Lord to be the One who directs each step and so we ask that you join us in praying for that.

First of all, Mike is praying about possibly going on a mission trip to an area of Nicaragua, called Bluefields.  Him, along with a friend and a missionary from CC Nueva Guinea will travel to Bluefields and then take a boat up an inter-coastal route, through a series of bays and canals to get to the region of Pearl Lagoon.  The purpose of this trip is to see what ministry opportunities are available to share Jesus with the communities located along those areas.

Next, we are planning on going to visit our friends of CC Nueva Guinea and doing a small children’s outreach while we are there.  It will be a two day VBS-type of event for the children of the church and the community.  We appreciate your prayers as we prepare for this exciting outreach.

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Map of where Nueva Guinea and Bluefields are located (Managua, where we live, is the blue dot)

APRIL

We are really excited for April! Not so much about the weather, since it is the HOTTEST month of the year…but we do look forward to receiving our firsts guests of the year.  We have our friends, Pastor Daniel and Matthew Chavez coming in the beginning of April, as well as our friend, Pastor Mike Sternad (Mobile, Alabama).  We anticipate for what the Lord will do during their time in Nicaragua.  During their visit, we will be doing a men’s fellowship night at CC Managua.  Please pray the the Lord would draw the men out and that they would be encouraged by His Word and the fellowship that takes place that evening.

THANK YOU

Once again, thank you to all who read, pray and give.  We love and appreciate each one of you.

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Thank you for praying for us!

Saying Goodbye to 2017

Hello! We hope you all had a joy-filled Christmas in company of family and friends.  It has been so sweet to be reunited with family and enjoy this holiday season with our loved ones.  We are cherishing every moment and are so thankful that we were given this opportunity.

With all the busyness of ministry, traveling and holidays, it has been challenging to sit down and write an update.  The weeks prior to our California visit were rich and full, and we thought you’d like to hear about a couple of those things that took place.

Mini Vacation Bible School

The month of December started off with a mini VBS at Club Esperanza.  The school year ends at the beginning of December so it was a perfect time to minister to the kids as they begin their summer break.  We had an incredible time singing, dancing, doing crafts and most importantly, learning about God’s unending love.  Our theme verse for the week was Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  The kids (and adults!) had a blast and we are so delighted and humbled by the opportunity we have been given to love on these little ones.  We look forward to doing a bigger scale VBS in the community and sharing Jesus with as many children as possible.

Women’s Christmas Tea

We celebrated our Savior’s birth at Calvary Managua with a women’s Christmas tea.  We had a special time reflecting upon our Savior and learning more about who He is: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Our evening together also included worship, delicious food, games and sweet fellowship.  It was a blessing to gather together as women and begin the Christmas season with the correct perspective.

Wrapping up 2017

It’s hard to believe that the year has come to an end.  It was a big year for our family and as we reflect on all that has taken place in 2017, all we can say is God has been faithful.  We have seen Him work in incredible ways and His loving hand upon our lives has been so evident.  We look forward to 2018, knowing that He is in control and has every detail prepared.  We thank each and every one of you for your continued prayers, support and encouragement during these past 9 months (the time we have been in Nicaragua).  As we step into this new year, we look to the Lord for guidance and continued direction for ministry.  We appreciate and thank you for praying along with us.  We wish you and your family a wonderful, blessed and fruitful 2018.

Our First 6 Months

Hello friends!!!  We haven’t posted an update for a while, so this is long overdue.  We have had a busy season and are excited to share some of the things that have been happening here in Nicaragua.

First of all, can you believe that we have been here for HALF A YEAR already?!?  Sometimes it seems like we have been here forever, and other times it seems like time has flown by!  Looking back on these six months, we rejoice in seeing God’s faithfulness in every detail of our lives.  He has sustained us through the challenging times and He has blessed us in ways we never imagined.  Our heavenly Father has been so good to us!!!

These last few weeks (and last few months) have been full in various ways.  We’ve had some “not-so-fun” things to deal with like: flooring problems, plumbing issues and visa renewal challenges.  We are grateful that all of those have been resolved for now. We reached out to many of you for your prayers regarding our visa renewal.  In our first attempt to renew, we were denied.  They asked that we bring more documents, which we were able to gather and return the next day.  Praise God we were granted another 3 months, so we are good to go until December!  Thank you for praying through that with us.  Since our next renewal is in December, we are praying about visiting California for Christmas and the holidays.

Now, onto the more exciting stuff!

Pastor Cal from CC Managua and Mike got to go and visit Calvary Chapel Matagalpa a few weeks back.  They spent the day with Pastor Josue and his family and got to see some of the ministry that is taking place in Matagalpa.  Below are some pictures from their day at CC Matagalpa.

We recently hosted our first women’s fellowship night at Club Esperanza.  We had over 40 ladies come out that night and Rocio got to share a message on Mark 4:35-41, which is a passage of Scripture that the Lord has used to encourage Rocio many times in the last year.  It was a blessed night, and we look forward to seeing how we can continue to build relationships with the people of Via Guadalupe and impart Christ’s love for them .  Please join us in praying for this community.

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Women’s Fellowship Night at Club Esperanza

Just this week, we were blessed with a visit from the mission’s pastor of Revival Christian Fellowship (Menifee, California).  Mike, Rob (Mike’s dad) and Pastor Cisco started off their trip by visiting the missionaries and church body out in CC Nueva Guinea (6 hours from Managua).  They enjoyed seeing all that the Lord is doing there and were blessed with wonderful fellowship.  Please pray for the missionaries (Greg, Angela and Lucy) and Pastor Carlos, who are faithfully serving Jesus and the people of Nueva Guinea.

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Pastor Cisco, Rob, Mike, Greg and Angela in Nueva Guinea

Once the guys returned to Managua, we hit the ground running and got to serve in various ways.

We had an opportunity to do an emergency training class with the teachers and staff of Club Esperanza.  Pastor Cisco, who has emergency medical training, was able to equip the teachers with some basic training that enables them to better respond in case of an emergency.  Not only did they learn about being first responders but they also heard about Jesus and His heart to help those in need.  The staff was so grateful to have this instruction time because it is something they had been wanting for a while.

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The staff at Club Esperanza, learning how to respond in emergencies.

Pastor Cisco also taught at CC Managua and at our Sunday evening Bible Study in Via Guadalupe.  It was an encouraging message reminding us about the heart of being a servant, based on John 13.

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Pastor Cisco sharing at CC Managua

As always, we are so encouraged, blessed and thankful for your prayers!  Please continue to pray for the beautiful country of Nicaragua. Pray that we would continually hear and be obedient to do all that the Lord would want us to do here in Nicaragua…and most importantly, that many would know Jesus.

 

Thank you for reading!  We send you our love from Nica!

 

 

Great Things HE Has Done

 

“Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart;

for consider what great things He has done for you.”

1 Samuel 12:24

The Lord has done and continues to do great things for His children.  It is such a privilege that we get to serve our great God!  We continue to see and be amazed by God’s faithfulness toward us as we serve Him here in Nica.

The month of July flew by!  We had our first visitors come this month.  It was so nice, so encouraging and so fun to have friends here for a week.  We got to explore a little bit of Nicaragua with them and they got to do some of our weekly ministry activities with us.  We are so thankful for their time here with us!

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Our friends Barbs, Ana and Siera visiting us from California.

 

We have a testimony to share with you from our Sunday afternoon Bible study.  A young guy named Isaac has been attending the study regularly.  Mike initially met him while walking in the neighborhood with a missions team.  He (Isaac) approached the team because he has an interest in practicing English…so, seeing a bunch of North Americans seemed like a great opportunity to do just that.  But God had greater plans than just practicing English.  Mike told him about the Bible study and he actually showed up!  As they studied the book of Mark, the topic of repentance came up.  After the study, Isaac shared with Mike that he wasn’t ready to repent yet.  He wanted to “fix” his life before coming back to the Lord (he used to go to church some time ago).  Mike explained to him that we do not need to “fix” our lives before coming to the Lord and continued to minister God’s truth about salvation and repentance over the next few weeks.  A few Sundays ago, Isaac did not show up.  His mom told us that he had been beaten and robbed.  The next time we saw Isaac, he talked to Mike for a while and shared with him that God had used this incident to shake him up and to make him realize that what he had been learning was true: he didn’t need to wait any longer to get right with God.  God’s Word does not return void!  This young man recommitted his life to the Lord and we are so excited to see what the Lord will do in and through Isaac!!!  If you think of it, pray for him and his renewed faith and hope in Jesus.

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Los niños from our Sunday afternoon study.

 

Ministry Sunday

Los adultos from Sunday afternoons.

 

Mike has also been sharing a weekly devotional with the students and staff at Club Esperanza the last few weeks.  It has been a great opportunity to share God’s Word and His love to these precious people.

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The hardworking staff of Club Cristiano La Esperanza

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Mike sharing a devo with the students and staff

We’ll wrap it up with that.  Thank you for reading and thank you for praying!  Enjoy the remainder of your summer friends.  WE LOVE YOU!

 

Some Firsts: Birthdays and Bible Studies

Hello Everyone!

Can you believe we are already in the month of June?!?  Hope you are all enjoying the beginning of your summer.  And for all of you 2017 graduates, congratulations!!!

We wanted to share with you all about a few “firsts” for us in the last few weeks.  Both, Mike and I celebrated our first birthdays here in Nicaragua.  I was wonderfully surprised by Mike and the staff at Club Esperanza with a fun fiesta! Mike’s birthday was celebrated at home with a little cake.  Here are a couple of pictures on our birthdays:

 

We have also started a few Bible studies in the last few weeks, which is something we have been praying about for a while.

The first Bible study is for youth kids whose parents are missionaries here in Nicaragua.  Here is a picture of our first time with them.  We had games, worship, snacks and a study in God’s Word.  Please join us in praying for this group of youth.

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MK’s Youth Group

It is exciting for us to share with you that we have also begun a Sunday afternoon Bible study for adults and children at the school site (Club Esperanza).  We have been given the freedom to use the building on Sunday afternoons so that we can share God’s Word with people all of ages.  In preparation, we purchased some Bibles for the adults to use and some crayons for the kids.  Our first study took place last Sunday.  We had two ladies and 8 children show up.  We are at rest knowing that God will do what He wants to do through this.  For now, the adults will be going through the Gospel of Mark and the kids will be studying the life of Jesus by going through the gospels.  Here are a few pictures of us setting up and of the children coloring after listening to their Bible lesson.

 

In other news, Mike has been enjoying leading worship on Sunday mornings and Wednesdays at Calvary Chapel Managua.  He also got to teach on a Wednesday evening service.  It has been a blessing getting to know Pastor Cal and his wife Jessica. Continue to pray for the work the Lord is doing through CCM.

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Mike teaching at CC Managua

 

PRAYER REQUESTS:

First of all, THANK YOU all for your prayers and encouragement. We love to get emails, texts and phone calls from you all.  We are incredibly blessed.

1-Please continue to pray for the Eleazar, Belen, Shaylyn & Mario (kids who lost their parents) and their grandma Maribel.  They continue to adjust and adapt to the new normal.  Mike was able to visit them today and bring some food that was donated.

2-VISA RENEWAL: Our visa expires in a few weeks (it has to be renewed every 3 months).  For that reason, the three of us will be traveling to Costa Rica for a few days in order to renew our visa.  Please pray that things would not be too complicated and for protection and provision as we take this little trip.

3-Pray for the communities we are reaching out to (Via Guadalupe & surrounding areas).  Pray that their hearts would be receptive to the gospel and that the Lord would use this little Bible study to bring many into His Kingdom.

“But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.”

Jeremiah 20:9

“…And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully…”

Jeremiah 23:28

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Sharing Jesus

Hello Everyone!

We want to share a few stories of opportunities Mike has had to share Jesus here in Nicaragua.  Please read about these individuals and join us in praying for them.

 

ALVIN

Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem.  And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”  But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.”

Acts 9:13-15

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Two days ago I was standing outside the club/school. I glanced over and saw a man waiting for his daughter. I went over to speak with him and he began to tell me a story. He began by saying, “My refrigerator use to be a small thermos that I would occasionally fill with ice to keep things cold. My bed use to be an old door that I would lay flat and sleep on. My stove use to be three rocks and some wood. My shower use to be three pieces of plastic hung up to block people from watching me bathe. My source of water use to be me walking to fill buckets and bring them to my house….” Alvin went on painting this picture of what life use to be for him when he lived in the dump. He said he use to have to rummage through the trash to find things to sell and things to feed his family. As Alvin was talking something in me began to say, “I think I know this guy?” So I asked him if he knew me, and he said, “Of course I know you, that’s why I’m talking to you.” I said, “Did you use to live in the front of the dump on the left hand side?” He said, “ Yes.” It was then, I knew I remembered him for sure. I said to him, “It must have been 10 years since I last saw you.” Alvin corrected me and proceeded to say, “No, it’s been eight years.” He then went on to tell me, “Of course I remember you. You saw me getting rotten left over chicken from the dump and taking it to serve it to my family. When you saw that, you told me not to eat the rotten chicken. You gave me money and told me to feed my family with real food.” Alvin began to share that since then the Lord has done amazing things in his life. Alvin described how he use to stab and shoot people and how he use to be in a gang (at this point he pulled up his sleeve to show me the tattoo). He said he use to drink, smoke, do drugs and fight. But a radical change had occurred. He said that the Lord had completely changed his life. At that point, Alvin invited me to come see his house, so we hopped in my truck and drove to his place. He showed me his wonderful new home in the new community. He showed me how the Lord has blessed his life in so many ways since he decided to give up his sin and follow Jesus. We sat down for a moment and began to talk about the Lord. I grabbed my Bible from the truck and we began to have a Bible study right then and there. It was such sweet fellowship. I can see that Alvin is hungry for more of God’s word. At the end, he asked me to come back and do this (Bible study) again.

Alvin’s testimony made me think of Saul/Paul. He had been a murderer yet when Jesus touched him, his life was radically changed.  The same God who delivered Paul is the one who has delivered Alvin and is working through his life.  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).  Please pray for Alvin and his family. That they would continue to grow and be a light in the midst of their community.

IS GOD REAL?

This week, there is a missions team from the U.S. serving at the school.  One of the team members is a young youth guy.  While working with him, I sensed the need to ask him, “Why are you on this missions trip?” His response was that he wanted to help people. I asked him if he was a Christian and went to church, to which he said, “No.”. He said that he believed that there was something out there, and that we didn’t just come from nothing, but he didn’t know what/who that was. I then went on to ask him, “Do you want to know who that Someone is?” And he said, “Sure.” I was able to talk with him for about 30 minutes sharing who God is and assuring Him that God loved him. I shared about the history of redemption and gave him the gospel message. Later on I found out that this young man had talked to his parents about the conversation we had. That evening, his dad thanked me saying, “You were able to do more for my son in a few minutes than we have been able to do in 4 years.”

Please pray for this young man–that as he goes back to the states he continues to seek Truth with an open heart and that he would give his life to Jesus.

WILLIAM

I was standing outside the club last night. This middle-aged man came stumbling up to me asking me for money. He was holding an open bottle of alcohol in his hand and halfway spilling it on the ground. He asked me for money to which I said, “No.” He began to explain to me that he was gay and that people beat him some times because they think its funny. I began to firmly explain to him that nothing in this life will satisfy him. I told him that he could keep searching and looking in all the wrong places for satisfaction, but that nothing would ever meet that need in his life, apart from God. I shared the gospel with him and asked if he knew where he was going when he died. Tears rolled down his eyes and with his slurred speech told me he did not want to go to hell. He explained that he was dying of aids and was drinking away his sorrow. I asked him if he wanted to know 100 % sure that he would go to heaven when he died and he said yes. He kept motioning for me to talk quieter for fear of the people around, but I told him this was nothing to hide or be ashamed of. I asked him to pray with me. He lifted his head up with his eyes closed and arms lifted up and prayed to receive Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. A minute later we were talking amongst a few of the “gringos” from the mission team that was visiting. This man William still had the bottle of alcohol in hand and began to take a large gulp with it dripping down his face. I loudly told him, “This alcohol is going to taste bitter now, because only God will satisfy.” He began to cough over and over and over again. I kept telling him that he needed to throw it out, get rid of it and be done with it. At that point, he chucked the bottle on the ground and everyone around clapped for him.

I ask that you please pray for William. Pray that God would bring the gospel message to remembrance when he is sober and that his life would truly be changed for eternity.

ANGELITO

Last night as I was arriving home, there was a young boy sitting near the guard shack at the entrance to our community. The boy must have been about 12 years old. The guard began to explain to me that the boy had just been robbed at knife point, and had no money or way to get home now. I was able to give him a ride home and share the gospel with him, and explain to him how much God loves him and wants to comfort him in this crazy time of his life. He was super shaken up, but received the encouragement well.
Pray for Angelito and his family, that this incident would lead them to Jesus and that they would know how much He loves them.

These testimonies are examples of how important it is to share the truth of God’s word and His love to those around you.  We cannot compromise those moments where the Lord says, “Please share my love with this person; tell them all about Me.”

There is an incredible need here in Nicaragua (and worlwide!).  God is stirring up my heart immensely for those that I am meeting. His gospel must be preached and His word must be taught. Pray for wisdom and clarified vision. Pray for strength and protection. We love you all.

Settling In…

Greetings from Nicaragua! We made it!!! Getting to Nicaragua was an adventure (our flight was delayed several times and we ended up leaving a day after our original flight!).  And the adventure hasn’t stopped. These past couple of weeks have been full of…”surprises.” 🙂

We hope you all had an wonderful Easter celebrating JESUS with friends and family.  We missed being with family and loved ones but we enjoyed worshiping the LIVING God with our brothers and sisters of  Calvary Chapel Managua.

We wanted to give you all a quick update of what has been taking place the last couple of weeks since arriving to Managua.  In a nutshell, we have been running around non-stop doing the necessary things to get us into our home.  It is with overwhelming joy and gratitude that we share with you that God has provided for our kitchen appliances (stove, refrigerator, etc…), beds, a washing machine (yes!!!) and even transportation.  Thank you to all who have so willingly and lovingly given to us.

stove and fridge

Our stove and fridge.

 

Now, getting all of these items and moving into our house, has been quite the process. Nothing here is quick and easy.  What you think should be simple and quick…well, that’s not always the case around here.  There have been challenges, tears, frustrations, and long (and sweaty!) days; but all of this is part of the adaptation process we are undergoing as we learn to live in a new country.

We have now been in our house for 5 days and are getting familiar with our neighborhood and surrounding areas.  As the dust begins to settle, we look forward to diving into the ministry opportunities God has opened before us, and moving forward as He leads.

We ask that you pray for us as we continue to adjust and step into ministry.  In my  (Mike) time in the Word, I came to Isaiah 30:21, which sums up the prayer of our heart:

‘Your ears shall hear a word saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”  Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.’

We look forward to walking in the ministries He leads us to.

We love and miss you all.