January 2010 - The Harvest Center in Nicaragua
The New Year Begins
The Year of our Lord 2010 started off with the visit of a group from the Morningside Church of Brookings South Dakota. They worked in Tipitapa at the Little Benjamin School and also organized a Soccer clinic/tournament in conjunction with the church in Tipitapa as well as a new church plant in the Barrio Cristo Rey. Since school is not in session this is a good time to do activities with the young people. The trip was led by Dennis Dowdall and Paul Rupp, some parts of Dennis report are mentioned below.
Danira Sanchez and her husband Pedro have been helping us get the shelter ready for the beginning of the school year in the new settlement “Jorge Salazar” (sometimes known as KM 34) This is a really needy area as thousands of people flock in from the countryside looking for work in the capital nearby.
It is very common in the developing world to see these cities of shacks spring up around large cities. For ministry it is very important to be a part of the community from the very beginning. Right now the area lacks water, sewer, electricity and other basic services. The residents are rebuilding their lives here so it is also a real opportunity for church planting. Our strategy is to establish the preschool first since that was our commitment with the leaders.
In the process of starting and running the school we will gain contacts and credibility in the area. Soon we will begin to offer home Bible studies leading to a new church plant.
Also in February we are planning to start the site work for a permanent mission base on property we purchased. The goal for this year is to construct basic housing for volunteers and a small warehouse. More on this project in the next newsletter.
The poverty in these new barrios is really overwhelming and we are thankful to have an opportunity to reach out in Christ’s name.
Dennis Dowdall’s Report (excerpts)
“I learned more about myself and the God I serve. I always warn people: If you don’t want to be changed, don’t go on a mission trip. I guarantee you, if you go on a mission trip you will be changed: and it will be a change for the better.”
“Sunday afternoon. First day of the soccer clinic. Organized chaos! While the whirlwind of dust engulfed whole groups of people, the whirlwind of activity, right in the center of many watching eyes, shifted and zigged and zagged, on the field from station to station. We were having fun, but unfortunately, locals who arrived to find their soccer field occupied and unavailable to them, were not so happy.
Threats of “we will go home and get our guns” could be heard floating through the air. Group huddle: O.K. we have this information (threat), now what do we do with it? Discussion. We are not here to wage physical war with these people. We have no grudge against them. We do not hate them. We want to have a relationship with them. Conclusion: What is going on here is not a physical war, but a spiritual war. We need to engage in spiritual warfare. Solution:. We decided to walk the perimeter of the field before every game and pray over every inch of soil, every wall, every gate, everything within the walls, everyone within the walls, and everyone who would be watching the activities from outside the walls. Everyone prayed their own silent prayer. In addition, Paul Rupp was constantly negotiating with key leaders of the street league: gently trying to compromise with them, to diffuse their anger and convince them, we were there for the good of the little kids; the kids that get left out of most activities. The power of prayer and reaching out in love, ultimately worked. Gradually the tensions lessened and eventually we were at total peace with the street league. In the end, we even gave them a soccer ball as a token of our appreciation for their cooperation with us.”
To read the full report, visit the Volunteer Page.
Pearsons on Furlough in USA
Hard to believe that three year have passed since our last extended stay in the US. We are thankful to be able to take a one year home leave to visit family, friends and supporters. We are based in St Charles MO and look forward to seeing as many of our friends as possible. I will have some responsibilities at our home church Harvester Christian Church. I will be making some two week visits to Nicaragua to oversee construction projects. The first of these trips is scheduled for 18 Feb- 6 March. Other goals for this year include working on Master’s degree and repairs to our house. Our phone # here is 636 219 8365. During our stay here the projects in Nicaragua go on as usual under the direction of the directors and evangelists. We are blessed to have dedicated and capable co- workers who carry on the work.
Little Benjamin School Tipitipa - 400 students K-Sophomore
Arco de Bronze, Granada - 54 students
New Church and Community Preschool - Ciudad Sandino
Atlantic Coast Miskitu Outreach
New preschool and home Bible studies - Barrio Jorge Salazar
Housing and warehouse on Mission Base Site
Water Projects in Polo Desarollo and Betel