It’s hard to believe we are already planning our trip back to the U.S. for this year, but here we are, writing down schedules, finding routes, looking for airline tickets. This yearly trip is two-fold:… More
Most who know us know that we are in the midst of building a home for our family here in Nicaragua. Our family thought about living here for many years before we made the move and we are incredibly excited about this next step of having a home to raise our kids in here.
We currently live in one of the small, round houses on the camp. It has certainly been interesting to have the six of us in a little over 600 sq. ft. for the past year and a half. We have found creative ways to make the most of the space we have and it has been an adventure! The biggest struggle we have faced is in homeschooling and Phillip’s administrative work. We do it all (school and Phillip’s office work) in our small living room and often find ourselves frustrated and tripping (and sometimes yelling) over each other. Needless to say we are very excited that the new house will have a separate space for Phillip’s office and the kids’ school.
The house is coming along great. Most of the lower level is built (no floor yet) and they will be finishing the floor of the second story next week. Next, they will be building the walls of the second story. We do, however, need to raise some more money to keep the construction going.
We still have a way to go before we are able to spend our first night under its roof. After they build the walls of the second story we still need the following: a roof, cement floor on the lower level, a fine cement finish over all the walls (this will allow us to paint), windows (we don’t run AC during the day so we need good windows to keep us cool!), electricity, plumbing, tile floors throughout, completed bathrooms, completed kitchen (cabinets and counter tops), a drop ceiling and paint on the walls.
If you would like to be a part of the construction of this house you can donate through PayPal or send a check to the Way of the Cross (address below). We are so thankful for all the people God has put in our lives to support our family as we serve the Lord in Nicaragua.
All donations sent through the ministry are tax deductible. Please put a note on the check indicating its purpose.
Way of the Cross Ministries 224 N F St. Harlingen, TX 78550
If donating through PayPal, please indicate the purpose of the money either through PayPal or through an e-mail sent to email@example.com.
It has been a while since our last update, so this one will be full!
Our Kids Camp was amazing. We had such a great time with about 80 kids over 4 days. We played games, put on dramas, made some pretty cool crafts and even better friends with the kids. Many of them didn’t want to leave and we frequently see the kids wearing their tie-dye shirts and Gospel necklaces they made during the camp.
We are now preparing for a busy summer starting in about 2 weeks. We will be doing a “Big Feed” in Nicaragua instead of our usual Granada Crusade, and we are very excited about the new area and the thousands of people we will be ministering to.
In the midst of preparing for summer we are continuing with our weekly ministry projects. Our staff here are working in local churches two or three days a week, teaching them to reach out into their areas with the Gospel. Our weekly Bible study is growing even more, and we now frequently have around 40 kids plus 20 or so adults coming every Saturday. Phillip taught a lesson two weeks ago on the parable of the sower and the kids had a blast digging in the ground and having a watermelon seed spitting contest. Emma taught the lesson this past Saturday, and we were so proud of her as she told the story of Moses crossing the Red Sea, applied it to the kids lives then led them in a craft and game.
We have been talking about our travels back to the U.S. for a while now. We got invitations to speak at churches, we told family and friends we would be coming their way, we planned our driving route, we worked on budgeting and we sat down at the computer ready to buy the tickets…except we didn’t. We struggled with the decision but ultimately felt like the Lord was leading us to give up the trip this year. We are in the midst of building a house for our family here in Nicaragua and when we looked at the cost of the trip we knew the money would go a long way in the building of our house. It is never easy to have to suddenly change your plans, especially when those plans involved so many other people. We apologize to those who extended an invitation for us to visit their church or stay in their home. We will truly miss seeing everyone and the encouragement that comes from visiting the body of Christ, but we look forward to seeing many of you here in Nicaragua. Hopefully we will be able to have you over to our house for a meal or cup of coffee or just to sit and chat about the blessings of the Lord.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we serve the Lord here in Nicaragua. The kids have about 2 weeks left of school and we are all excited to have a time away from the books as we serve the Lord this summer.
Here are some videos that will give you a better idea of what we have been doing and we will be going into this summer. As always, we would love to have you or your group join us on the mission field anytime!
We have a lot going on in the ministry here in Nicaragua these days. I thought I would take a moment and give a brief update on the things we have coming up. If you are interested in being a part of any of these events, or want to help support them, we would love to have you join us in the work of the Lord.
- Kids Camp: April 25th-28th- Our third Kids Camp is coming up soon! We are excited to work with about 80 kids from a new school. We will be teaching Bible stories and how they apply to our lives today, doing crafts such as tie-dying shirts, playing games and a lot of other fun activities. Our greatest need here is for financial donations to buy supplies and a children’s bible for every kid that joins us.
- Summer Crusades: Various Dates- It is hard to believe summer is just around the corner. We have three planned crusades- Granada (staying at our base camp in Masaya), Jinotega (in the mountains of Nicaragua) and the Ironman/MASH (on the river of Nicaragua). Our biggest need here is for people to come and join us on the mission field. Check out this video if you would like to see what a crusade is like: La Dalia Crusade Video
- Construction Projects: Various Dates- We have been blessed to be able to help a near-by community receive new homes. We have built 2 homes already, with the third one starting next week. We have had many Sunday school classes and churches raise the money to build a house and later this year our first groups will come to help build a house and do children’s ministry. If you would like to know more about these projects click here.
If you would like more information on how to get involved please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a personal note…
Our family will be visiting the U.S. in August this year. We love the partnerships that God has given us with the church and the body of Christ and we find great encouragement and strength through building those relationships. We also have a great passion for what we do and love any opportunity to share what God is doing here in Nicaragua and how others can get involved. If you would like us to visit your church/Sunday School/small group please e-mail us here: email@example.com.
And because I couldn’t post without a cute picture of the kids being very excited about our new house that is being built in Nicaragua….
…we’ll have more on that later.
We recently returned from spending a week in the mountain city of La Dalia, Nicaragua. With a group of 4 from Oklahoma and some of our staff here in Nicaragua we ventured into cooler temperatures, “rustic” living and mountain hiking to take the Gospel message into 17 schools. Many of the schools we visited were out of the way, requiring us to hike up and down the mountains and drive an hour or more over dirt roads to reach them. This was something we loved though, knowing that those children rarely had people visit them.
We teamed up with a local church who brought in many of the pastors in the area to go with us and share the love of Jesus. We spent some time on our first day there training them and the church members joining us on how to share the Gospel message with the EvangeCube (a little tool we like to use). Training others is very important to us, as we know that they are the ones who live there and they are the ones who will have the most impact in the future.
As we went into the schools we shared testimonies, the Gospel, had some laughs and handed out a few gifts to the kids and teachers. We were especially proud of our kids as they boldly stood up and shared the Gospel time and time again. The pastor of the church, Benancio, addressed the church on the last day, saying in his 40 years of being a pastor he had never seen such young preachers (Emma & Paige). He even asked Emma if she would share the EvangeCube for his congregation, so that they could be encouraged to share the Gospel message as well. Emma usually doesn’t like to share in front of adults but she agreed and did an excellent job (she told me later that her legs were shaking).
The trip was full of adventure, trials and beautiful wonders of God. I could go on and on telling you about it but instead I’ll just share a video and let it tell you the story.
Click Here to see what our week was like!
The pastor also let us know that there were many, many more schools who wanted us to visit. If you or a team would like to join us to continue taking the Gospel message in this area, please let us know.
In a previous post I mentioned how Way of the Cross is building a house in a very poor community, where we do weekly Bible studies. The house is small by anyone’s standard, but it is a beautiful blessing to the family who will soon be living in it.
The family receiving the house, and literally all of the families living in the community, currently live in shacks built of tarp and old pieces of tin. They are living on land gifted to them by the government but have no means to build a secure home for themselves. Many of them are hard working but jobs pay so little that they simply cannot afford to put money into a house when they must feed their families. They fight the wind and rain that blows through the tarp and threatens to take what little possessions they have.
So now there is a family, thankful for their new house that will keep them safe and secure. Here we are, thankful as well, for the sweet couple from Tennessee who decided to forgo things they want so that they could donate the money to have the house built. We see God knitting together the body of Christ and we find ourselves most thankful for allowing us to be a bridge of sorts: connecting people from different cultures and languages across thousands of miles and numerous borders to impact them both for the Kingdom of God.
What a privilege it is to serve the Lord!
*If you would like to fund a house or even come to Nicaragua and be a part of building, please let us know and we will get you more information!
We had an amazing experience here at the WOTC base camp in Nicaragua last Thursday and Friday. We had close to 600 kids from the school down the street in our church (about 300 on Thursday and 275 on Friday), listening to the Gospel message and teachings on how to stay strong in the Lord.
You might be thinking this was another one of our planned events, but it wasn’t. Last week the director of the school came to us and asked if we could come to the school and pray over each classroom then bring all the kids to our camp to share the Gospel and talk to them. He shared with us that some of the kids had been dabbling in witchcraft, and he wanted us to teach them what the Bible had to say on the issue.
Wow. We have all been incredibly humbled, blessed and astonished by this opportunity. They didn’t ask for gifts or money, just the Word of the Lord to be spoken to the students. We shared a skit (the sin box) and the Gospel message then some of our former Missionary Training School students shared their testimonies and some advice concerning witchcraft. We ended with a teaching on the armor of God and encouragement for them strive every day to seek after God and His ways.
It is amazing to see God being invited into the schools and into the lives of these children.
We have been staying very busy and it is hard to believe October is coming to an end. This month Way of the Cross has been hosting its second Missionary Training School at our base camp in Nicaragua. We have 28 students living on the camp with us as they participate in the very rigorous school. They are up at 4:30 am to pray and from there they do chores, eat breakfast and attend classes until lunch. After lunch we go out into local areas to share the Gospel.
Phillip and I taught classes on marriage and family in missions and how to know your audience when sharing the Gospel. We really enjoy getting to be a part of the students’ lives and watching them grow in the Lord throughout the month.
On Saturdays we have been going down to a very poor area where the people live in homes built of plastic tarp and old pieces of tin to hold a Bible study. I lead the kids in a Bible story, verse memorization (they get a small prize if they remember the verse from the week before), and a game or activity. We have been working to get to know the kids better and our own kids have had a blast participating as well.
We are excited that the funds have been provided to build the first house in this area. One family will no longer have to live in a make-shift house that barely provides shelter. We hope to begin building this week and our prayer is that many more houses will be built in this area in the near future (stay tuned for a post on these housing projects).
God is moving here in Nicaragua and in our family and we truly appreciate all the prayers and support for our family!