Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Serving in Nicaragua - Part 1
July 23, 2014


It has been a week since our team arrived home from Nicaragua.  I wanted to chronicle the trip immediately upon my return but got a bit sidetracked by Montezuma's revenge, and then some. Here are some highlights so you can get a glimpse of our time there.

We arrived in Esteli on July 4th and almost immediately got to work, meeting with the leaders of Saving Grace Presbyterian Church.  It was a pleasure to meet with brothers and sisters, both old friends and new:  Richard Fuentes, Emerson Wilson, his wife Martina and daughter Xochil, Juan Reyes and Marbley Diaz.  What a blessing it was for our team to hear how God is working among and through these partners.  Early the next morning, I began teaching a session that would assist our partners in establishing a Presbytery for the newly formed Presbyterian Church of Nicaragua (PCN).  This meeting, originally scheduled for 45-60 minutes, ended up lasting 2 1/2 hours because they were so interested in learning all they could about moving forward.

The rest of the team had been scoping our the construction site for the new church building.  We met them and gathered outside with several of our Nicaraguan friends to sing songs of praise for this new chapter in the church.  What a beautiful time as we raised our voices to our Lord and Savior, thanking Him and worshiping Him for what He has done and what He continues to do to redeem a people for Himself.  It was such a privilege to pray over the land and ask God to bless this work of building His kingdom.  We asked God to use the service and works of all involved to soften the hearts of many in the community, have them get involved in the worship and work of this new church, and hear and respond to the saving message of the Gospel. We laid the cornerstone and asked Christ, the true Cornerstone, to come and bless His Church mightily, allowing many new believers to be recipients of His unending grace, and allowing us to experience and witness that joy.  Many in our group were moved by the presence of God's Spirit as we again lifted our praises to Him.

Our first of two outreach activities was targeted to low income children and adults.  We sang with the children, teaching them new songs.  The puppets came alive, singing and performing a Gospel skit that had the crowd laughing and cheering.  This was followed up with crafts, balloon animals and face painting.

Our second outreach a few days later was similar, with two exceptions.  First, many of the children in this community were not receiving regular nourishing meals.  When supplies were available, the local school provided lunches.  To assist them, we blessed them with a 100-pound sack of beans.  The principal of this extremely rural school was very grateful for our gift.  The other surprise was Randall, a young boy who showed his puppet ventriloquism skills.  We didn't understand all the Spanish skits he performed, but it was obvious that the crowd did, and Randall kept them rolling.  The greatest part is that Randall is the son of another new church planter and he is using his puppet skills as a way to evangelize in the new community where they are planting a church.

To be continued...
Part 2 - coming soon.

Written by Mark Diener



For more information on our Global Missions program or upcoming short-term missions trips, contact Mark Diener, Global Missions Director at mdiener@covenantpalmbay.org.