First of all, thank you so much for praying for us. Tuesday the rain stopped. Praise the Lord. Not only for rain stopping at the Bible Institute, which is great, but much more for the relief this has brought to this community. The rain has produced serious hardships in a number of ways in this very underserved community in Nicaragua. The fishing industry as well as farming is at least a month behind. One story illustrates the point. About a week ago six men (several of them are a part of Pastor Tommy’s church in Barrio Alemán) were so desperate to get out and start fishing to bring in some income for their families they went out into the Atlantic even though the weather was producing rough seas. The men have not been heard from and the families are very worried that a disaster has happened. With the break in the weather the seas will calm down, the waters will clear and fishing, shrimping and harvesting lobster can again provide an income for the people. Tommy, John, Melanie, Chico, Arlen, and Jim have all spent time in the Barrio. On Tuesday afternoon we were able to see several of the fisherman who came to Christ in October. They were very excited and encouraged that we had returned to see them. We also were able to check on Maven (John Ashworth, Arlen, and Tommy had prayed with her in October when she was bedridden following heart problems). She is doing much better now. The human suffering and needs are overwhelming in the Barrio so thank you for praying for us, and particularly for the weather.
Secondly, thank you for investing in the ministry hear in Puerto Cabezas. This is the fourth Bible Institute in this region (Remember that we spent seven years in Juigalpa and five years in Rivas before coming here two years ago). We have been here long enough to start developing relationships with the pastors and church leaders. We are starting to have conversations with people who are really benefiting from the training we are providing. One pastor from Honduras was telling us how much this has changed the way he reads his bible and he is seeing that much of what he has done in the past has not been biblical. The excitement in his voice and on his face is a delight to see. Another story in that regard is Pastor Oracio’s Study Bible. The vast majority of Christians here use an older translation of scripture that is a bit like our King James Version. It is very difficult for the people to understand and so many of the words in Spanish have very different meanings since it was produced over 400 years ago. In the past twenty years, many new Spanish Translations have been completed and we have encouraged the students to use them. There are also a number of good Study Bibles available. With the limited resources of the Nica pastors, an investment in a single resource is all we can really expect. So we have encouraged them to invest in a Study Bible. In order to get the momentum going in this regard we brought three Study Bibles with us to give to strategic leaders. On Monday we presented pastor Oracio his Study Bible (It is roughly equivalent to a New Living Translation, Life Application Study Bible). Since that time he has been carrying it around like it was a new born baby. Last night before I preached at his church, he read Psalm 23 and the smile on his face was so encouraging. He loves his new bible and already we have many people requesting that we bring more with us—they weigh four pounds a piece which limits how many we can bring.
Finally, continue to pray for our ongoing ministry here. On this trip we have made excellent progress in advancing the plans for our medical brigade (this is what they call it here). Pastor Oracio has introduced us to a lady from his church (Alicia) who works at the Ministry of Health here in Puerto Cabezas. We have discovered that she is the Administrative Assistant to the Director and the more we have talked with her we are learning that she knows everything (she has been there 36 years) and is going to be a great asset to the success of our Medical Ministry. Melanie has really been diligent in making sure we understand all the details of what we need to do before coming. Thanks to Melanie and Alicia, we are in great shape for having all the details in place for our Medical Brigade in October. Tommy, Melanie, and Chico went to the Ministry of Health this morning so Alicia could introduce us to the doctor in charge there. We had a very good visit with him and he was also very helpful and encouraged that we wanted to come and help. We will have a planning meeting in the near future for all who are interested in being a part of the October Medical Team.
We are looking forward to being home and sharing more stories.
Ken and Tommy for the Team
Our own, John Boles, with some of the fishermen who came to Christ back in October during our fall mission trip.
A typical family in a typical home in Barrio Alimán.
Jim and Melanie Wilson holding Coconut Water.
One of the local women, Maven, who was near death last year and for whom John Ashworth and Tommy prayed for.