Spring 2016 Nica Update #2 – Up and Running
Teaching English at the School
Melanie, Tommy, Luke, Jordan, and Michelle spent Tuesday at the school teaching basic conversational English to seven classes throughout the day. The little ones in the morning were cute and loved seeing and hearing from some Americans. The older children in the afternoon were bright and picked up the concepts well. They asked a lot of questions about our everyday lives and are anxious for us to come back. Kids are universally fun and curious. Pray that we will be able to share more of ourselves and God’s love with them in the coming days.
At the Bible Institute we are moving through the genres of the Bible at what seems like lightning speed. On Monday Melvin and I gave a basic introduction to the course and a survey of the structure of the Bible. Yesterday Jim started with a bang teaching about narrative literature and Melvin did an excellent job teaching how to interpret the legal literature. It was fantastic to seem Jim separate the class into the army of the Philistines and the Army of the Israelites and reenact the story of David and Goliath. (David wins with the power of God. You can read about it in 1 Samuel 17.)
Jordan delivered an excellent lesson on the sacrifices that was a perfect illustration of how to interpret the legal literature. Attached you will see a picture of Jordan teaching and then the aftermath as he became the prime target of “please may I take a picture with you?” Just so you will know that I am doing something, I have also attached a picture of me teaching as well. I taught on the importance of understanding the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 15, 17) and the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7, Psalm 89). Melvin taught on the Palestinian Covenant. They all had hand motions – I’ll teach them to you later.
I want to ask everyone to pray for something specific. The needs here are immense, but we really want to find strategic ways we can get involved in the community in a way that will leave a lasting impact for Christ. Over the next few days we need to have some important conversations about how to proceed in the future. Our involvement in the school is good but it may not be the most strategic place to get involved. Michelle will be having some important discussions about the possibility of a medical team coming down at some point in the future. Tommy and Melanie are currently talking with Pastor Tommy about how we might partner with churches in evangelism and inviting people to their churches. Gringos will be a real asset in sharing the Gospel because we are rare in this area. We have seen only two other white people all week. We know that there will always be opportunities to bring work crews down to do repairs at the school and Bible Institute. Pray that God will make it clear how we need to proceed and begin to pray about whether the Lord would be opening your heart to come down and be a part of ministry here.
Spring 2016 Nicaragua Update # 3
The team that is down here exploring Compassion Ministries for future trips is having a profitable time. Some of that is finding out what we know will not work and then having some great discussion with Pastor Tommy and his wife about what will work. The big Pow Wow (not a Nicaraguan word) happened today. Melanie has been instrumental in helping us understand the culture and the needs and even the power structures in place down here. She has also been great at listening for where the real needs are and what will be most strategic in advancing the cause of Christ down here in the best way. I am attaching a picture of the “meeting under the tree” today. The best direction we have right now is assisting individual churches in smaller communities and barrios with evangelism and then helping with training children’s teachers. A Gringo sharing the Gospel will open doors that could not be opened any other way. Sharing the Gospel followed by an invitation to an event at a church has been successful in building churches in other communities. We think it might be helpful here as well. Another need that has been expressed very strongly is to train those who work with the children. Ministry focused on children inside the church is almost non-existent in this area.
The final option we are exploring is to do something related to medical care in some way. This has a lot of potential and could go many different directions. Continue to pray that our eyes would be open to see what God would want us to see down here.
Moving through the Bible
Wednesday was a fast paced day at the Bible Institute. We are having over 100 people consistently and the pastors are very appreciative of the training we are giving. Interestingly, many of the Misquito pastors speak better English than Spanish. The influence of the British has left a much more Caribbean feel on the Atlantic side of the country. After Jim finished up a section on the importance of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31) Melvin taught on the Principles for Interpreting the Prophets in the morning. This is a very important topic for the pastors down here where the charismatic influence has led to many people feeling like they are apostles and prophets. To understand the true biblical role of prophets is very helpful. I followed Melvin by teaching on the Wisdom Literature, giving an introduction and then a summary of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and of course Song of Songs. That took us up to lunch. I finished the Principles of Interpreting Wisdom Literature after lunch, and then Jim taught on some specifics of working with the Psalms, and I concluded the day teaching on the principles of working in Proverbs.
Tomorrow we will finish the week at the Bible institute with a little more on the Proverbs then I will deal with the Gospels and Epistles and Jim will teach on parables. It has been a great week, and I am looking forward to coming back again and developing deeper relationships with the pastors here.
As we finish up, please pray for our health (a few people are not feeling 100%) and that our travels back would be safe. Also pray that our ministry will continue to have an impact long after we are gone.