Fall 2008 Newsletter
For a long time it has been our desire to begin a Bible Institute here in Nicaragua to train church leaders. We have been holding series of training seminars in various locations for a long time, but our hope has been to start something more regular and broader in scope. This year the pieces began to fit together and classes began in May. Early in the year Dr Mike Pabarcus of the Consortium for Urban Religious Education (CURE) visited Nicaragua and agreed to serve as an academic resource for the new Institute. Dr Pabarcus was one of my professors at St Louis Christian College and it is great to have his input.
The Lord led Efraim Picado and Roberto Ortiz to pitch in as professors and Nadia Vasques came on as registrar / administrator. The course of study ďCertificate in Pastoral Theology" is designed to provide a Biblical and practical foundation for local church preachers and new church evangelists. Currently we have seventeen students enrolled and classes meet in two locations, Granada and Acoyapa. At this point I am thankful to say that the Institute is up and running. Much remains to be done of course. We are slowly accumulating books and reference material for a library. The work of recruiting new students is ongoing. Our vision is to provide a generation of leaders with a solid foundation of Bible knowledge. We also want to equip leaders to creatively engage the reality of poverty here from a Biblical perspective.
The bathroom improvement project at the school in Tipitapa is almost complete. Some major improvements have been undertaken to improve the cleanliness and appearance of the bathrooms there including new bathrooms for the pre school classrooms. Chronic shortages of water in the neighborhood will be alleviated by the new storage tank and tower that are in place. The next project there will be to repair the roof over the area that will become the library and study hall for the high school. Currently the roof is still the used tin that I put up there almost ten years ago! We want to raise the roof up to allow for more ventilation and install new roofing. We are very please with the progress that has been made there and with the efforts of Ami Wilson, Alexandra Mendosa and the rest of the staff.
In other news a large shipment of donated goods got on its way courtesy of the Nice Foundation and lots of volunteers. The goods range from dental and medical equipment to 3000 brassieres! Once the shipment arrives the goods will be distributed among our projects and churches as well as several other Christian organizations that we are in touch with.
Folks, I heard somewhere that in ministry there are no two good days in a row and I know thatís right. As always there is progress in some areas and setbacks in others. The department of education here has not approved the Arco de Bronze school in Granada to function as an elementary school. This means that next year we will still only offer pre school. This is not what we had hoped for but at least with the new classroom now under construction we will be able to enroll more children.
Another big aggravation here lately has been the vehicles. The pickup truck we have been borrowing for trips out the rural areas and for construction projects has been broke down more that it has been working recently. Well, it is 26 years old after all and has had a hard life here so I can t really complain. We have had to cancel some trips and put off work because of it and now even I admit that it is going to be necessary to buy a different truck. We have been looking around and surely we will find a replacement.
Harvester Christian Church sent a group down to do some activities with children. They made the long trek up to the remote villages of Yolaina and El Seranno and did a day of teaching, activities and crafts in each. The activities were well organized and the children really enjoyed them. Churches in these areas donít do activities like these and so it was a very special time for the kids. Another day of activities followed at the Granada Church which was also well received. Big thanks to Valeria Lopez and Ami Wilson for making time to accompany as translators.
It seems that no trip these days is complete without mechanical problems and we had our share on this trip too. The truck broke down on the way out to the villages and we had to hurredly load all of us (13) and all our bags onto the public transport bus, it was quite a sight. The group got to experience being squeezed into public transport in a developing country, much different from their normal morning commute. It all worked out of course and later I joked that there was nothing wrong with the truck, I just wanted them to see how 95% of the world travels! Nobody laughed.
Thank you for all your support and prayers,
Marcus, Ann, Will, and Amelia Pearson