We are back in Nicaragua after 6 long weeks in North Carolina, Michigan, and Florida. It always refreshes us so much to spend time with our church family and ministry partners in North Carolina. All of you support us emotionally as well as financially and we couldn’t do what we do without that support.
We made so many wonderful family memories in Michigan and Florida. The biggest one was when Gavin surprised us by announcing his engagement to Dayana Flores. We couldn’t be happier for them both. She is an amazing girl and we are so lucky to be able to add her to our family. The big day is still a year and a half away and that will give us time to get used to the idea that we are old enough to have a kid get married!
Noella was given early acceptance and a scholarship to go to Kendall College of Art and Design (Cory’s alma mater). Again, we have a year and a half to come to terms with sending another child away even though we are so excited for her as well.
While we enjoyed being back in the U.S. and eating all of our favorite foods again, we were homesick for Nicaragua from the beginning. Every year, it becomes a little harder for us to leave and even sweeter to return. We know that this is exactly where God has placed us and where he wants us to stay for a long time to come.
We like to use our time away to brainstorm about ideas for the coming year. Here are some projects Impact Nica will be adding in 2018:
Marriage mentorship program:
There are so many young couples in need of marriage counsel in our church. This is a country where 15 is an acceptable age to get married and the infidelity rate is around 75%, even among Christian couples. These couples work hard and have almost no free time, live with extended family, and must always put their children’s needs first in order to survive. It’s not a surprise that they have very little time left to care for each other. We want to create a time for young couples to come together (without kids), have a fun meal or movie, and study what the Bible says about relationships. We want to offer counseling to those who are struggling and walk alongside them in order to create healthier relationships.
One of our favorite parts about serving outside of the Masatepe area is the enthusiasm of the Bethania youth to serve alongside of us. We want to take these fired up youth to a orphanage in Tipi Tapa. This is a government run orphanage and the kids there don’t receive any benefits from nonprofit organizations, which means they also don’t get to hear about Jesus. Once a month on Saturday, we will take a break from our classes and youth service, pile the youth into the backs of our trucks, and serve at this orphanage instead.
Ultimate Journey Bible Study:
We are bringing the Ultimate Journey Bible Study to Nicaragua this year! This will be life changing for so many. Our leaders will participate in the study first and then we will open it up to others in the church.
Bethania Iglesia Mission House:
We are converting the old preschool into a team housing center. This means that groups can stay right on site at the church now and all of the revenue can be invested back into the church programs. This space will also be useful when people come to stay from our other churches whether it is to attend training seminars, celebrate church events with us, or have medical tests done. The March team from The Summit Church will be the first to try out our new team center.
We are praying earnestly about a dream to buy a large farm and begin a agriculture program. More information will be available in the coming months, but pray with us about this God-sized vision for the future.
-Church growth in our 4 “daughter” churches (or church plants)
-The new students who will be entering preschool-we want to make a difference in their lives and their families as well.
-The new youth entering our Saturday classes-we want to teach them more than just the tangible skills they are signing up to learn.
There are still some items left on our Christmas wish list....
-20 new plastic chairs for the preschool ($100)
-Carpentry shop tools ($100 and up)
-Washing machine for the new mission house and feeding center. ($350)
-Monthly sponsorship of gas for Caleb to travel to the new church plants. ($200)
-Monthly sponsorship of medical exams for the sick and elderly. ($50)
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is his faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23