March - April 2008 Newsletter
It has been very hot here! For Nicaragua that is saying something! This is the hottest part of the year, the tail end of dry season right before the rains come in May. The approach of the rainy season has held our feet to the fire to get some building projects done before the heavy rains. We have been working on the site in Granada putting up perimeter fence. The work got a good start with the group from California in early March and we have been working to complete the fence on the entire front and back sides of the property. Security is always a concern here and so having a good fence helps us maintain control and makes parents feel more comfortable sending their kids to the pre school there. The next project we have to tackle on the Granada site is the entrance road to the property. Every rainy season the road floods and makes it hard for folks to get to church. We have always just put up with the situation, but now with preschoolers coming and going daily we have to figure out a solution. Flooding on these dirt roads in the barrios here is a common problem as these neighborhoods spring up with no urban planning or thought to storm drainage.
We are happy to announce the start of operation of the children’s outreach ministry at the church in Masaya. 30 of the poorest grade school kids from the neighborhood surrounding the church come there after school to get lunch and help with homework. It is the second of these small projects to get off the ground. One of the differences this year with our kids projects is an attempt to make them more based on volunteers from the churches than on paid staff. In Masaya a young lady named Yessica is in charge. With the group of children that Danira Sanchez has in Managua and the new preschool in Granada our targets projects for children’s ministry this year are up and running.
In early April a group came from the Harvester Christian church for a trip out to the tribal areas in the Atlantic Coast. We spent three nights in the villages showing evangelistic films and passing out New Testaments. We were blessed with good weather and good reception in the villages. Presenting the Jesus Film in the tribal language is always a good way to open doors in these remote areas. Many of the villagers have never seen television at all, much less something in their own language. The curiosity factor draws out a lot of folks that have never had the chance to hear the Gospel. For the Christians in the villages it is a great evening of teaching and encouragement. One of the group, Dennis Dowdall stayed behind to do some teaching in the churches. He ended up teaching in five congregations and with one group of 80 preachers and leaders. He taught on sexual purity and really gave the whole topic a solid Biblical base. One of our hopes with the new Bible Institute is that it will give a framework for people like Dennis to come down and use their skills and ministry specialties to train leaders here.
We are thankful for the shipment that got out of customs here in late March. The donated computers, school furniture, tires and other items have mostly been distributed to the several ministries that were to benefit. Thanks to all the folks who donated and to those who helped pack the container!
We would like to ask for prayers for a couple of areas. First we are continuing the paperwork for the official licence for the new school in Granada. Right now we are functioning with a temporary permit from the government but really need to final permit to allow us to offer first grade next year. Now that high school is up an running in Tipitapa we are considering options for the coming year to expand the pre school there. We turned down 40 preschoolers this year due to lack of space and we would like to see if we can expand next year. It would be best not to build any more classrooms on the present site so we are looking at options for buying a couple of houses nearby to move the preschool off site.
We would also ask for prayer for a new co worker, Ami Wilson. She is a college graduate who is coming to teach English at the high school in Tipitapa. We specificly need to pray for her preparations and transition.
Marcus, Ann, William and Amelia Pearson