January 2006 Newsletter
I am down here in Nicaragua escaping from the cold weather in the Midwest and working on the various projects in progress here.
The first week was spent working with the project directors putting the final touches on their budgets and helping resolve a couple of issues with personnel. The elementary schools and street kids outreach are well administered by the Nicaraguan staff but it is good to always be checking up since they still depend heavily on funding from the USA to carry out their ministries.. With administrative housekeeping out of the way we were able spend time with Harvester Christian Church staff member Mike Merold bringing him around to the different areas to teach about the biblical concepts of elders as leaders in the churches. His teaching was well received and I heard lots of good comments on his sermons at the weekend services in Managua. I like to translate for Mike because he is well prepared and straightforward in his presentation. Through the course of the year we hope to bring other speakers like him to Nicaragua to teach, time and resources permitting.
The morning that Mike left for home I left for the Atlantic coast region with a crew of 5 to go out and show the Jesus film in some of the communities located along the Prinzapolka River. On this trip we were able to get all the way down to the mouth of river and show the film in one of the most remote parts of the region. It takes a big chunk of time to get out this far but it is always worth it to really present the story of Jesus in such an attractive way. My goal is to present the film in all 17 of the larger communities in the river basin, by my count we have done 8 so far. Every time we go there are obstacles, bad roads, equipment failures, tribal politics but they always seem to be overcome so that we can go forward.
Since our return from the coast I have been dedicating my time to planning for the future. Ann and I hope to return to Nicaragua for at least two more years in Jan 2007 we are very interested in forming a leadership training academy here specifically oriented to encouraging the planting of New Testament churches. When I write next I hope to have some concrete ideas to tell you all about as feel that I have collected on this trip some good information and hopefully have a consensus with the leaders and elders of the existing churches. Please pray for open doors for this new thrust forward.
The big things that remain to do on this trip are to officiate at a wedding on 4 Feb. Valeria Lopez, former director of the Tipitapa school is getting married to one of the members of the Managua Church and we wish them the best. It will be my first wedding here in Nicaragua, so we will see how it goes.