As we walked up and down the rough terrain of mountainous roads and trails doing home visits with our Nicaraguan hosts, the Scripture in Isaiah came to mind, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news” (Is 52:7). In each home we listened to people’s stories and prayed for them, bringing the hope and peace of Jesus.
What a joy our team had as we travelled to Central America, taking the good news of Christ to Nicaragua, through Merge Ministries, a terrific organization. We partnered with Pastor Asael and La Luz Divina church in a rural village of Samolali in the north western part of the country.
We engaged in a variety of ministry events including a Pastor’s Seminar, women’s gathering, vacation Bible school, youth outreach, nightly church services, local feeding programs for children and much more. Through it all our number one goal was investment in people. Ministry tasks come and go, but the souls of people last for eternity. With that in mind we did our best to adapt to the culture, understand the language, ask questions, hear their stories, come along side and be the best Jesus we could be to each person we encountered.
Here are three things that impacted me the most.
- I was thoroughly encouraged to invest in Santos, a young man who was one of our translators. God bonded our hearts together. He’s a fairly new believer and prayed a couple months ago, “Lord, teach me how to study the Bible.” Afterwards he got a call to be a translator for our trip. During the week I spent much time teaching him how to study the Bible, share the gospel and prepare to teach a Bible lesson. God answers prayer doesn’t He?
- I saw the great need for encouragement and biblical training among rural Pastors, Evangelists and church leaders. When we asked Pastor Asael about his resources for study he said, “I have a love to learn, but have very few books. When I get one, I read it, and then pass it on to others.” Another person told us when they have money their choice is to either eat or buy books.
- I was struck by how much differently the Catholic Church is in the United States verses Latin America. In the U.S. Protestants and Catholics can be friends, in and out of each other’s homes, and have a relationship together. In the rural areas of Nicaragua we were told the Priests are divisive and controlling. They tell their parishioners to not let Protestants in their homes and have nothing to do with them. Likewise, they tell Pastors to stay away from their people. These reactions come from the huge losses the Catholic Church is experiencing, as some experts say over 400 Catholics a day are leaving their parishes in Latin America.
God is mightily at work in Central and South America. Hundreds and hundreds of churches are being planted, thousands of souls coming to Christ and a revival-like spirit is sweeping country after country. It was a great joy to go and see what God is doing there.
Thank you for your encouragement, prayers and financial support that allowed me to go. As you read this, hopefully someday you’ll consider going to another culture and sharing the good news of Christ with someone.
President & Evangelist