Future Presidents of the World

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Sometimes working with kids can be hard. They are squirmy, loud, messy and have incredibly short attention spans. We try to teach them life lessons and all they want to talk about is pizza and the latest cartoon. It can be a challenging, up-hill battle, but it is one worth fighting.

You see, this year is election year for both Nicaragua and the United States, and a crazy one at that. Don’t worry, I’m not going to get into politics, but it doesn’t take much digging to discover the crazy I’m talking about in both countries. It is in times like these that I think of children. No, I’m not talking about the way politicians act. I’m talking about the future of our country and our world.

Those dirty faces and tiny hands that so often get overlooked today will be the leaders of tomorrow. They will be the teachers, doctors, missionaries, and yes, even presidents in the not-so-distant future. What a great opportunity before us: to be able to look at the world in all it’s suffering and realize that we have the power to change that through the hearts of the little ones today.

IMG_1970At the end of April we will be holding a Kid’s Camp here in Nicaragua. We want to take the time to minister to the children here. Yes, we will play games, act silly and get messy, but we will do it all in a way that points them to Christ, who is after all, the hope this world needs. At the same time, we will be teaching around 20 of our Missionary Training School students to lead children’s ministry. It is going to be exciting and we would love for you to be a part of it. Would you join us here on the mission field for one week to minister to the future of this country? Would you sponsor a child to be able to attend?

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I encourage you, whether at home or abroad, take the time to pour the Word of God into the children around you. I promise, it is time well spent.

Waiting on the Lord

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For the past month Way of the Cross has been hosting a Missionary Training School at our base camp in Nicaragua. We have had about 45 students who have been going through intense classes and hands-on learning. Phillip and I were excited to do a two-part class talking about marriage and family in missions and we have been having fun pouring into the students, especially our small group of 12.

Most afternoons we venture out with our group of 12 to do an outreach. We started off teaching them to minister one-on-one, picking small areas where the houses were dotted down dusty roads. We then moved into more populated areas, where the kids run out to greet us and people gather at the chance of receiving some rice and beans. We taught them to invite people to a bigger service and to work together to present the Gospel. It has been a blessing to watch them grow, get past their nervousness and step out of their comfort zones to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

With the school coming to an end the question of “what’s next?” is running through the minds of many. Both the students and the staff of Way of the Cross are seeking the Lord as to what is next in these future missionaries’ lives. Will they serve full time with Way of the Cross? Will they continue serving in their areas and churches? Will they venture into other countries? Only the Lord knows but I must say it is an exciting precipice to find yourself at: with your heart full of wonder and excitement as you wait on the Lord for what is to come.

It’s been many years since Phillip and I have been where the students are; first starting off on our missionary journey. We recently celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and we found ourselves beyond thankful for the years God has given us, not only together as a couple and family, but as missionaries for Him. We now find ourselves at a different precipice, as we are becoming more full-time in Nicaragua. It is a big change but as we wait on the Lord to see what He has in store, we find ourselves excited and eager to serve where and how He calls, much like the students. We are currently two months into our seven month stay in Nicaragua. We are excited about the new work happening here and the work that will happen in the coming months. We desire to be fluent in Spanish, so that we can minister more effectively. We long to minister more, to disciple more and to become more established in Nicaragua.

Please continue to pray for us as we live and serve in Nicaragua that we would clearly hear the voice of the Lord, that we would stand strong in the face of trials that are sure to come, and that we would press on towards the goal that He has set before us.

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Nicaraguan Life

I first titled this post “Nicaraguan Adventures.” We certainly have been on many adventures since coming here, but to be honest it is everyday life that has touched my heart the most.

For the first month of our time in Nicaragua we were busy with groups, work and a lot of evangelism. We had a large medical team, a construction/well drilling team and a police training team in that time. It was our usual M.O. and we were so blessed by all the teams who gave of themselves to help us reach the people of Nicaragua for Christ

It wasn’t until after the first week of February that the rest of the WOTC staff returned to the States and we were left to continue life in Nicaragua.

Life…

Kids, school, cleaning, cooking, shopping, church, work, friends, ministry and more.
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Life with stumbling tongues and joy-filled hearts as we have conversations and build friendships in a new language.

Life with less things and more people.

It isn’t the same, this life in Nicaragua.

Today Phillip took me to see a house, just for the fun of seeing it. It stuck out like a sore thumb. It was a large place that looked like it had been plucked up out of the United States suburbs. All I could think was, why?

Why did someone feel the need to bring the United States here? Could they not have been comfortable within the walls of Nicaraguan architecture? Not that it really mattered. After all, it was just a house. Maybe, though, a part of me has been like that house. Striving with every trip to be in Nicaragua without actually being a part of Nicaragua as I hold tightly onto my culture, my comforts and my language.

I pray that in the coming years we will have more opportunities to be a part of Nicaragua and to live life side by side with the people here.

Speaking of life, in the midst of the every day our lives have been busy planning and preparing for an upcoming Kids Camp happening mid-March. We will have a group of 16 people from Chicago joining us to minister into the lives of a little over 100 kids. This will be the first team to stay at the new Way of the Cross base camp, which, by the way, is awesome.

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We are so excited about this base camp. It is located in the little town of Las Conchitas near Masaya. I look at this camp and can almost see the people coming and going, learning, sharing and praising; all for the glory of the Lord! I see opportunities previously unavailable, now open to us. Opportunities to minister deeper, longer and more steadfastly into the hearts of the people.

We can hardly wait.

A Different Type of Ministry

Ministry comes in all shapes and sizes. We aren’t always out on the “front lines” preaching the gospel or aiding the poor. Lately I have been thinking about these “slower” times (that really aren’t that slow) the Lord gives us, and wanted to give you a look into the ministry that happens in our family during these times. Right now we are in the preparation phase of ministry. We are seeking the Lord and putting together plans for upcoming events. Phillip spends much of his time in his at-home office, doing a wide variety of administrative work.  We are so thankful to have Phillip around during most of  the day. He often takes the time to check in on the girls work and the girls tell him all about what they have been learning in school while we eat lunch together. The girls and I home school Monday through Friday, and we are truly enjoying our new curriculum.

For this year we  switched our curriculum to Five in a Row, and we are loving the simplicity and depth combined in this curriculum. Every week we read a short picture book, then dive into the subjects we find within that book.  Last week we have been “rowing” Madeline. From this cute, poetic story we have learned about topics such as France, having order (and order found in the Bible), symmetry,  poetry, health and how the body works,  how to have sympathy, how we should “smile at the good and frown at the bad” and how to learn about what is right and wrong before God. We use a separate reading and math curriculum as these topics aren’t covered extensively in FIAR. We all had so much fun doing projects to help us learn the topics. Here the girls are with their human body projects:20141017_152633

They certainly didn’t turn out fancy (or proportionate) but we had fun making them and it helped the girls to learn a little more about the body (they especially like blowing air into the “lungs”). Here is Paige with her Eiffel tower built out of sugar wafers and frosting. This was all of their favorite craft of the week (of course). 20141017_111305

We also created morning routine cards and hung them up in their room, painted symmetrical pictures and cut out 12 cute little girls to act out some scenes from the book and learn a little math along the way. Our week was full, but I feel so blessed  to be used by the Lord in this way. I have begun getting up early to have more time with the Lord and time to prepare for our day before the kids wake up. Logan is such a good baby and he makes it easy (most days) to stay active with the girls. IMG_9723 The more years Phillip and I spend as parents, the more we realize that our family is the biggest ministry God has given us. The people within our household are those we spend the most time with and the ones we have the most impact on in the world. IMG_9748 IMG_9719

Of course, we are very excited about the “field” mission work that is coming up! Phillip (and the rest of the WOTC staff) have been working very hard preparing for upcoming events such as the Celebrate Jesus Festival (Brownsville, TX), the Big Feed (Mexico), Med-Fest (Nicaragua) and many, many others.

Our family is especially excited as we are planning on being in Nicaragua for a good portion of next year. We will be staying at the ministry’s new base camp and we are working on some very exciting missions opportunities (including a first ever Kids Camp!). We will continue to keep you all updated on these things as more details come up. Thank you all for your prayers for our family as we minister into the lives of many, in many different ways.

It’s Been A While

Yep. It has been a while since I have put out an update here and a lot has happened in that while. It is hard to put into words how God has blessed us, but the thing that stands out the most in our lives is our children, and we recently added another one to the bunch!

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Logan Arthur was born on June 2nd, 2014 weighing in at 9 lbs 11 ounces! We had another wonderful water birth and he came in a quick 2 1/2 hours.  Of course his sisters just adore him.

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All four kids are growing so fast. Paige celebrated her 4th birthday at the end of May and we are coming up on Olivia’s 2nd birthday and Emma’s 6th. We recently started a new school year after a short break; Emma is in first grade and Paige is in pre-school. We love homeschooling and both girls are excelling!

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Our family is also very excited about some upcoming mission trips that we will be a part of. No matter where we are in life we always have a passion for sharing Jesus with the world. Stay tuned for some posts abut these upcoming mission trips!

A New Year

It is a new year and with it comes new adventures! A lot has happened since my last post. Our family went on a month-long vacation where we had the opportunity to relax, have fun, visit churches, friends and family. We found out we are expecting our fourth child. Our family took part in the Big Feed in Mexico where (despite the cold and tons of mud) we cooked chicken, played games, handed out gifts and shared the Gospel message. We then found out that our fourth child will be a boy!!

Right now we are in Nicaragua. We had an awesome time serving the Lord during Med-Fest last week and even our girls got involved! We set the girls up in little school desks and invited people to come have their nails painted. They diligently painted the nails of many, many girls and women. Even Paige stayed focused the entire time we were painting nails. We also played water balloon games which was a huge hit with all the Nicaraguan children. Med-Fest was three long and hard days but it was so worth it to see so many people come to know the Lord and to see my whole family engaged in serving Him.

Emma painting nails during Med-Fest.
Emma painting nails during Med-Fest.
Olivia was soooo tired.
Olivia was soooo tired.
Paige painting nails during Med-Fest.
Paige painting nails during Med-Fest.
Olivia hanging out with Daddy.
Olivia hanging out with Daddy.
Olivia helping with the water balloons.
Olivia helping with the water balloons.

After Med-Fest we had a few days of rest and we got to enjoy some swimming and some naps. We then worked with a team from Chicago putting a roof on a church and doing a children’s discipleship program. Phillip and I have been working on putting the discipleship program together for months, but this was the first time we put it into practice in the field.  It was so exciting to get to spend time with kids and teach them more about the Bible and how to draw close to the Lord.

The local kids learning how to use the EvangeCube.
The local kids learning how to use the EvangeCube.
Kids hanging their sins on the cross in the childrens' discipleship program.
Kids hanging their sins on the cross in the children’s discipleship program.
Washing feet in the childrens' discipleship program.
Washing feet in the children’s discipleship program.

I know there is a lot going on in this post, but there is a lot going on in our lives right now. We are so excited about what the Lord is doing. The ministry has a new base camp in Nicaragua and recently completed the church on the property. Construction will soon begin on small staff houses, a kitchen, dorms and a warehouse. We are looking forward to spending some more time in Nicaragua and at the new ministry base camp later on this year. Please keep the Zinck family in your prayers as we continue to serve Him wherever He may call us.

Building a Team

If you follow us on Facebook, you already know that we are trying to build our ministry team. We want to get 100 people who will be committed to praying for us and giving $10.00 a month. You may be wondering why we chose these numbers. When Phillip first suggested it, I said “you know that would mean 100 different checks every month, right?”. It seemed a little impractical to me, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense.

You see, we believe that every Christian is called to be a missionary, though not every Christian is called to the profession of a missionary. Every person who has Jesus as Savior is called to share Jesus with others, whether it is with the person checking you out at Wal-Mart or the poor in a foreign country, we should always have the Gospel on our heart and lips. Many Christians have a desire to minister to those living in extreme poverty in other countries, but simply cannot travel to make that possible. By us partnering with so many all those people become a part of the ministry we do and in fact become missionaries themselves. We could not do the work God has set before us without those ministry partners.

Paige handing out Gospels of John in a classroom in Nicaragua.
Paige handing out Gospels of John in a classroom in Nicaragua.
Emma handing out pens in a class.
Emma handing out pens in a class.
Phillip helping Emma & Paige walk in the mountains of Nicaragua.
Phillip helping Emma & Paige walk in the mountains of Nicaragua.

To be honest, we don’t like raising support and have never actively gone after it (other than sending out a letter now and then), but God is impressing on us that it is something we need to do, and something that He will bring to fruition.

So, here we are, laying ourselves bare and letting you know that we need your help.

Help with groceries and gas. Help with school supplies and bills. Help to keep our family going every day so that we can devote ourselves totally to the work God has set before us.

We know that even $10.00 a month is a big commitment for some and we want you to know that we will do our very best to use it in a way that glorifies God and allows us to serve Him more. We will also keep each and every one of our ministry partners up-to-date with what is going on in our family and on the mission field. You will be a part of our team and a part of our family.

Over the next few weeks we will be updating this blog with more information about our family and this campaign. If you would like to go ahead and commit to support us please send us a private message on Facebook, via e-mail or in the contact form bellow with your address and we will send you one of our prayer cards by mail.

God is doing great things and we are excited about what He has in store for us (there will be more about what is in our future in the next blog post coming soon!). You can also read more about why we raise support here.

Nicaragua Adventure Summer 2013

To be honest, I’m not sure how to start this post. Words seem to escape me as I try to portray what our time here in Nicaragua has been.

To start, I should apologize for not posting more often. I had every intention of keeping everyone updated often, but things got busy and many times we simply didn’t have internet. I found myself lost in this beautiful country with little desire to make my way back to the world of technology.

We have been here since the beginning of June, and have only a week left. My heart is heavy to think about leaving, though I am eager to get back to a more relaxed schedule. We have been busy ministering throughout Nicaragua and have had great adventures as well as some difficult trials.

Our first crusade was in Rivas and we had an amazing time with an awesome group of pastors who really blessed us. In La Dalia we got a taste of the jungle and we even had to cross a river by foot to reach people living out in mountain villages. El Rama was called the Ironman trip and it turned out to live up to its name. We ministered up and down a river on a small boat with nothing more than a board to sit on. My body is still sore from that trip but it was worth it to be able to minister to people in such remote areas. Masachapa was our last crusade and the whole family loved being right on the beach. I was especially blessed by the young children we had working with us on our team and the desire they had to serve the Lord.

In La Dalia, Nicaragua
In La Dalia, Nicaragua
Crossing a river by foot in La Dalia to share the Gospel!
Crossing a river by foot in La Dalia to share the Gospel!
Paige riding down the river.
Paige riding down the river.

In between the crusades we’ve had some fun family times. We celebrated Emma’s  5th and Olivia’s 1st birthdays. Emma and Paige had beautiful princess dresses custom-made. We’ve been swimming, saw a few waterfalls, explored beautiful areas and made lots of new friends.

Emma, Paige & their cousins Riley & Madison looking out over the Pacific in Masachapa on Emma's birthday.
Emma, Paige & their cousins Riley & Madison looking out over the Pacific in Masachapa on Emma’s birthday.
Sight-seeing at a waterfall.
Sight-seeing at a waterfall.

I feel so blessed to be able to serve the Lord with my family. I think some of the best parts of our trip was watching our girls share Jesus with the Nicaraguan children through songs and verses. Sure, there were a lot of times when they were tired, grouchy and even sick, but the Lord used them just like He used Phillip and I.

Of course the absolute best part of being here is sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with the Nicaraguan people. There is nothing better than sharing the greatest love that ever was and ever will be and seeing it change the lives of so many.

Nicaragua for Jesus (from the eyes of a missionary family of 5)

In case you haven’t heard, we are in Nicaragua.

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I know, I haven’t been good about posting, but recently I’ve had a good excuse: we haven’t had internet. To be honest, not having internet has been quite enjoyable. Now not having AC has been a bit more of a challenge, but who said being a missionary was all fun and games? (ok nobody, I’m sure).

Phillip with all three girls.
Phillip with all three girls.

We have been based out of a newly leased house in Granada, Nicaragua and we are travelling to different cities throughout the country to do crusades. We are currently in Rivas and are enjoying a very comfy hotel with a beautiful lake/volcano view and two wonderful swimming pools. Of course we aren’t really here for all that (doesn’t hurt though, does it?). We are here to tell people about Jesus.

Emma & Paige outside our hotel
Emma & Paige outside our hotel

Spreading the Good News can happen in so many different ways. Even Jesus worked differently from one city to the next. Sometimes He used words, sometimes he did  things that turned a few heads (did He just spit on that person?!), other times he didn’t have to say or do anything, simply letting the faith of the people produce miracles. So I think it is important to remember that being witnesses for Him doesn’t always happen the same way every time.

For us, we have been going into the Nicaraguan schools (yes, public schools) and preaching the Gospel using the EvangeCube. It is a method that we have found quite effective. We love the simplicity and effectiveness of the cube in delivering the Gospel. It is always a joy to see so many children eagerly listening to the Gospel message, and so many accepting Him into their hearts to be their Savior.

But, to be honest, my favorite part of the trip so far was when Emma (almost 5) said that we should share a little card she had found (it told the salvation message through colors) with some little kids standing nearby. My heart leaped as she asked me to go share with them. I asked Annette, one of our fellow missionaries and translators, if she would help Emma out and she happily did so. Emma used fewer words than, well, anyone I’ve ever known (thanks Annette, for helping fill in the gaps) but the Lord still used her to preach His word and many of those little kids prayed to ask Jesus into their hearts.

Emma & Annette sharing the Gospel.

I know that a lot of people will probably scoff at this, and many other salvation stories we share. How could people come to know Christ so quickly? Certainly they are just raising their hands to be polite or probably already know Jesus. Yeah, it is possible. A matter of fact I talked to a group of kids today (after the EvangeCube had been shared with them) and they ended up blowing me away with the bible verses they knew. There is a good chance that those kids already knew Jesus and still raised their hands for salvation. You know what? That’s ok. The “count” isn’t important to me. The only thing that matters is that God’s word goes out, that people hear it and that lives are eternally changed. We cannot see into the Kingdom of Heaven or into the hearts of the people we minister to, but we must have faith in God’s word. Just as the mustard seed is tiny but grows to produce wonderful things even the smallest word or action can change the world for Jesus.

So as long as I have breath in me I will declare the love of Jesus to the world, and right now, to the people of Nicaragua. Life is too short and too precious to spend in fear of what people may think or how hard the journey might be. You have to just throw your trust wildly into the arms of the Lord and be willing to go, do and say anything He asks of you.

I can’t wait to find out what He will ask of us next…