100 Homes in Three Years
In December we hosted a great team of folks with our ministry partner Rice Bowls. They built a new home for Regina and her children. One of Regina’s children had not been living with her because there wasn’t any room for her in the little tent they were living in. Regina was so proud and grateful for her new home because this meant that they would all be able to live together again. Imagine her joy and gratitude when she received her new home and the significance this made in her and her childrens lives.
The Rice Bowls team also spent a lot of time working in our orphanage. They painted several rooms and did a top to bottom cleaning. They also took all of our kids out for a day on the town. We appreciate Rice Bowls so much. They do so much for us. They are bringing 2 more groups in 2013 and we look forward to their coming.
In January we were blessed to have our good friends from Beach Community Church come and work with New Life. Beach Community is a church from Tamarindo, Costa Rica. We have been working with these guys for years and have developed some really strong friendships with the folks there. Joining the group this time was a group from the Country Day School from Escazú, Costa Rica.
These guys accomplished so much for the Kingdom and blessed 4 families with new homes and beds to sleep in. They built the homes using our new new home plan which is larger and built with better materials. This was our 100, 101,102, and 103 homes built in Cristo Rey. Hard to believe it, but in just a little over 3 years we’ve blessed 103 families with new homes. Thank you Lord!
You’ve heard me say this before: when you give someone a home you’ve given them life - a “New Life”. Many of these families are living in what amount to tents made out of black plastic and tree limbs. During rainy season when they get out of bed the first thing they put their feet in is a mud puddle because their dirt floors become saturated with rain waters. And that is for the ones that have beds. Many people sleep directly on the ground on cardboard or foam.
In February our missions organization, Evangel Fellowship International, held a conference for national church leaders and pastors. The conference took place at Verbo Church in Managua and Verbo Church in Bluefields. The conference was two days in each location. Somewhere between 400 and 500 leaders attended the conference. It is such a joy to see these leaders and pastors receive ministry. So many times leaders and pastors get left out of ministry. They spend all their time giving out and not taking the time or have the resources to receive ministry themselves. I am so honored to be part of an organization like EFI. They come here often, at their own expense, and put on these conferences for the national pastors and church leaders. They don’t charge for admission or resources. They even feed everybody and pay for transportation for a lot of them. They do it because they believe in Nicaragua and want to make an investment in the national leadership. They know that in order to have healthy people you have to have healthy churches and pastors. This year Pastor Phillip Miles, Bishop Frank Harvey and Pastor Tad Tankard were the speakers at the conference. My fellow EFI missionaries Bryan Hutson and Mike Havlin did all the heavy lifting with planning the conference this year. Thanks guys for all your hard work, the conference was a sucess. Also thanks go out to our EFI leadership for investing in Nicaragua and her people. These investments will pay eternal dividends.
Crisis and Opportunity
It’s rare that crisis and opportunity present themselves at the same time. At least it’s rare for us. Some might argue that every crisis is an opportunity and I couldn’t agree more. It’s in those times of crisis when we seek out God’s will and direction harder than ever and it’s an opportunity for God to show Himself strong and for our faith to grow. That’s where we are right now. Due to events beyond our control such as the economy, rising costs in Nicaragua and our daughter being diagnosed with cancer, we find ourselves in a financial bind. Normally we would make two or three trips to the states each year to speak in churches and raise funds. We haven’t had opportunity to do that in almost two years because of Lola’s illness. Praise God she is doing much better and hopefully after team season this year we will get to travel and speak again.
If you’ve followed this ministry over the last ten years you will know that we don’t talk about money and funding. Our God has always been faithful to provide us with just what we need to do what He has called us to do. Only two other times over the last ten years have I had to make a special appeal for financial help. This is one of those times. We are in desperate need of finances to keep our orphanage going. Can you please help us with a special gift this month? Time is of the essence and we need your help right away. Thank you so much for considering this request and God bless your family. Beside the financial issues the orphanage is the best its ever been. So many precious children are getting the love and care they need and deserve. Many are being adopted in to loving families. We are so grateful to the Lord for His heart for these children. Many doors are opening as we follow God’s heart and mandate to care for the orphans and widows in their distress. (James 1:27)
Many of you know that several years ago a piece of property was donated to us as a future home for the kids in our orphanage. You might remember that in 2010, that property was badly flooded and we’ve been struggling with City Hall in Managua all these years to get approval to build. Well it’s time to move on and that’s where the opportunity presents itself. We have opportunity to buy a farm with a house and apartments. It’s a beautiful piece of land with fruit bearing trees of every kind imaginable. There is lots of space with room to build about anything we wanted. It will be space where we can consolidate all the areas of our ministry and drastically reduce operating costs. No flooding, permits, environmental studies or anything else to hinder us. All of the infrastructure is in place so it’s ready to go. If you feel like the Lord has put it on your heart to help us buy this beautiful property then please contact us directly and I can give you the details.