Thank you to everyone who gave towards Christmas in Nicaragua this year! The children and their families are so thankful for this blessing. For many of these kids, this was the only present toy that they received this year.
Maria and her daughters (Milena-left) chose to stay and enjoy Christmas with the church in Masatepe before returning to Boaco.
Apples are a very special Christmas treat in Nicaragua.
Pastor Emilio presented the message of Jesus' birth at each of the celebrations. The children from Iglesia Bethania in Masatepe, the new church in El Menco, and Iglesia Gran Comision in San Antonio participated in the Christmas programs.
The elderly received food baskets for an extra special Christmas dinner. The graduating preschool class all have new uniforms and are ready for the first grade, which begins in February, thanks to The Peak at The Summit Church.
2016 in review
It has been an amazing year of change and growth! We hadn't fully realized just how much God did in 2016 until we sat down to lunch with some of you and started listing it out. We have so much to be thankful for and you all are the reason it was possible in the first place.
1. There is an incredible group of new young leaders taking over Impact Nica and we love it! We are beyond proud of the young people from Iglesia Bethania who are called to reach out to their own people. They are the reason that growth is happening so quickly.
2. The vocational building is finally complete! The second floor looks as great as the first floor now (painted classrooms and all), there are doors, windows, electricity, and even machines in the carpentry shop.
3. An enormous feeding center has popped up in the past year. It is complete and ready to meet the needs of hungry children in our neighborhood.
4. Through Project ECS-FIEMCA/CHE we were able to rescue a starving woman from the mountains in Boaco. She is now a healthy weight and walks miles a day. She will be returning to her family this coming week. Her girls have begun their education and plan to continue in school now.
5. Community development continues in the remote communities on Ometepe Island. We opened a new community, Santa Teresa, this year as well.
6. The new church in El Menco received a well this year and now has a continuous supply of clean water, thanks to "Drops of Grace". They also received the money to build an actual church building and will start the construction very soon.
7. The church in San Antonio has grown beyond just Sunday morning with a new a youth program on Saturday and a dynamic and interactive Bible study program on Wednesdays.
8. A third church plant was established in the community of San Marcos and is being led by Gretchen and Wilmer Sanchez. They received a well and an endless supply of clean water as well.
9. The carpentry classes added welding to their curriculum this year. The students in the carpentry classes are not only learning about how to make things, but also being discipled. Three of Cory's students were baptized in November and dedicated their lives to Christ.
10. The preschool is gaining more and more students each year because they more room to expand. We now have 6 teachers full-time (not including Stacy as the English teacher). The impact this is having on the families in our community is huge and we can't even measure how far it reaches yet.
11. Internet and computers at the church have opened the door to many students and put a world of information at their fingertips. We have young entrepeneurs teaching themselves how to make things from DIY videos on YouTube and successfully marketing their new products.
12. The Saturday craft, English, and Bible classes for youth now reaches over 50 students!! These students are coming to learn how to do things that will improve their economic situation and we are able to reach kids who would never otherwise set foot in the church.
13. The youth group at Igesia Bethania has grown under the leadership of Joel Urbina, Caleb's younger brother. We believe it's because Joel is so much younger and hipper than his brother ever was. Whatever the reason, it's a huge victory for the church and we are celebrating it!
14. Gary Howland, a retired dentist from California, now spends the majority of his year in Masatepe with us. He is giving dental health education classes to the parents of the preschoolers. He has also become an unofficial science teacher to anyone who stops and talks with him. Who knew that the poisonous caterpillars became beautiful giant moths?
15. The first team of doctors came last year and helped us reach over 1000 patients in rural areas. They left behind medicine which has been helping the sick people in our community ever since. Several of their patients gave their lives to Christ as a result of the clinics.
We have a lot of exciting ideas for 2017 and absolutely can't wait to see what God will do next.
Please join us in praying for the monthly projects that are still awaiting sponsorship. If you are interested in supporting one of these for a single month or as ongoing monthly partner, let us know! We have received support for all of the individuals who were featured on the list, gracias a Dios!
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)