NicaraguaI know it is a little belated but I wanted to provide a report on how our trip to Los Cedros, Nicaragua went. Thank you all for your prayers and support, the trip went very well, and it was obvious that the Holy Spirit was at work.

We arrived in Managua late on Saturday the 19th of April and then traveled about 40 minutes outside the city to the town of Los Cedros. Part of Sunday was checking to make sure everything was lined up for our upcoming week. Church in the community is often late in the day which allowed for some preparation early in the day. It was Easter and one of our team members was requested to give the sermon. He gave a beautiful resurrection message which the local protestant Churches are not accustomed to. We were all welcomed into the community with open arms from everyone we met.

Nicaragua 0Monday through Wednesday was our building project in the nearby city of Reyes Norte. We were able to complete all of the major work on the new church, including digging and building a new outhouse. Most of the remaining work like the door on the outhouse and finishing wall coverings on the Church, will be easily accomplished by the locals. We made sure a few of the locals were in charge of the construction so they would take ownership of the project and see it through to completion. This worked very well and we had plenty of willing workers. There were a few issues with the 100+ weather during the construction, but everyone kept themselves hydrated and protected from the sun.

Several years ago baseball was introduced as a means of interacting with the local men. We Nicaragua baseballcontinued this by taking some additional gear down to them and holding a practice/game. Baseball was certainly not new to them, but using it as a means of fellowship was. That was a lot of fun and provided a nice break between the construction and the upcoming conference.

Nicaragua Men's ConferenceFriday and Saturday was our Men’s Conference. The focus was on marriage and specifically the husbands role and how to treat his wife based mostly on Ephesians 5.

Wow, God is awesome; we had over 110 men show up both days! From past experience we weren’t expecting much participation in small groups, but were surprised to say the least. Some of the men were from the town of Reyes Norte where we worked on the Church.

Sunday was our last full day in Nicaragua and we attended early Church at the newly opened church at Reyes Norte. The place was packed, including men that the Pastor had not seen at church before. One of the older men at Reyes Norte was also at the conference and made of point of letting us know that after the conference he wrote a letter to his wife apologizing for his past behavior. One of our team members gave the sermon and another gave the sermon back at the host Church in Los Cedros later that afternoon.

I am very thankful that God could use me on this trip. I was blessed by the kindness and hospitality of the local people. What we provided was a small thing, but God can use this to touch so many people. Thank you all again for your prayers and support.

Kirk Grim

From Michelle –

As a side note here – many Protestant churches in this area of South America typically don’t recognize Easter.  In an effort to disavow the idolatrous practices of Catholicism, Protestants have in turn totally ignored Easter altogether.

The mission our church went on had several focuses if you will. The people there don’t need food and aren’t starving, but they are malnourished when it comes to the word of God and embracing all of what God’s word provides historically and spiritually. Thus, the mission trip was to provide a living example of how Christians can pay homage to and honor the hope of our faith (i.e. Jesus’ resurrection) without turning it into an idolatrous event.  Easter was celebrated – praise God!!!

As Kirk mentioned another focus was to build a new church building in the town of  Reyes Norte. This particular church without a building had been there for awhile, but no men were attending.  And when I say no men, I’m serious!  So the team asked for and subsequently enlisted local volunteers to help build the new church building hoping this would prompt local men to attend.  Because God ALWAYS provides, the service was filled with men, women and children. The guys who helped build the church attended and indicated they’d be returning. Praise God!

It was another manifestation that Jesus keeps His promises!  Matthew 16:18.  In this area of Nicaragua people show up with their own chairs or two boxes with and a piece of wood for makeshift benches and they all cram into one little area to worship God.  It’s an amazing display of how the Lord works in all cultures and tongues no matter the scenario, after all, He is omnipresent!