July Update

Dear loved ones,

Greetings to y’all from the jungle in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The only one who is true One hundred percent of the time, and the One who cares more about us then anyone else in creation, because He is the One who created us!
Giving y’all an update is what’s on my mind, but where do I start? So much has happened in the last few month that it will be impossible to cover everything, but I’ll try to hit on a few.
Our trip to the States was good! It is always interesting to see how God works things out while we are there. Besides the normal going to our regular churches and sharing, it seems that God always has a special task for us to do besides. Different from last year when the Spirit prompted us to make an unexpected trip to southern Colorodo to minister to one of Leah’s cousins, who ended up surrendering her life to Christ, this year was no less interesting. We made an unplanned trip to southern Arkansas to minister to a group of people who had been enslaved in a cult. The cult had just fallen apart, and many of the people scattered in all directions, but there were many families who are still meeting there trying to figure out what is really true about God and what is not. It was incredible to be able to share with them and lead them through some of the same struggles we had when we were excommunicated from the Amish cult we grew up in.

Things here in our village are far from pleasant the last few month. The crowd that has been trying to stop the work of the gospel in various ways finally got enough people stirred up to come against the good leaders of the village that God had raised up to help us. The leaders finally got overwhelmed with it all and stepped down from leadership, which is exactly what to trouble makers were trying to do. Then they immediately took control of the situation and tried to get themselves put in as leaders, which didn’t work out for them that day.
But after a week, and forming a self made committee,  they put themselves in as the new leaders. They had everything already planned out before they became the leaders, how they are going to put pressure on us and require us to pay a monthly fee to them for the right to stay here in KrinKrin, and many more things of how they were gong to put laws into place and require us to shell out money to them. They had everything figured out and there was going to be no way out for us.
If I would not have had confidence in God, I would have been sure that this was going to be it for us here in KrinKrin. But I knew it was God who brought us here, and it was God who is still in control, so I knew He would somehow make a way, even though I couldn’t come up with plan or an idea of how it’s going to work.
And did God ever have a plan! A plan I would have never dreamt of. A couple days before these trouble makers put themselves in as leaders, a troop of military guys who is stationed upriver a ways to keep the peace, came through our village. They stopped at our house for food and a place to sleep, which isn’t unusual. As we visited, the captain asked how things were going in the village for us. So I told him a little of what was going on, and he immediately became unsettled and said, “no, we will come back the day they will have that meeting to make sure they don’t do anything bad.” I told him that I didn’t tell him with the intent to have him get involved, but he insisted that he will be here, so all I could do was thank him and leave it at that.

The morning of the meeting the whole troop of military guys walked for three and a half hours to our village. They didn’t actually go into the meeting, but were around our house and walking around close to the meeting. The captain talked to several people during that time and found out that what I had said about their plan was true, so after the meeting the captain came to our house again to talk about the whole thing. After a short discussion he sent one of his men to bring the new chief (judge) to our house, and had me explain to him how our ministry works as far as the money, and that any kind of pressure will not produce money for them, because all the money we have was given for a purpose, and we can’t do something else with it. Then the captain also talked to the chief and told him that he had given me his personal number, and if they try to put any kind of pressure on us, I have orders to call him right away and he’ll come quickly and take care of the matter. Because everybody along the river knows how much we are helping with the fiscal needs and teaching the way of God in many villages, so they are not going to just stand by if someone tries to cause us any harm.
With that God put a fear into the heart of the new chief and his clan, and they dropped all the plans they had so carefully crafted on how to get rich off of us. We were just in awe of God! He has saved us out of many traps and evil schemes since we’re here, but this was the ultimate plan with every escape route covered by the enemy.

But as far as preaching opportunities,  God has done some amazing things, and made it possible to get into churches that were closed off to our teaching before. And the people are starting to pay more attention to our teaching, since they have seen and heard about so many things God is doing through this ministry, and how He has delivered us from every evil thing that people have tried to do to us, physically and spiritually. They have never seen anyone who could just keep on going unharmed, even with the most powerful witch doctors (in Nicaragua and in Honduras) casting their spells on us, and the best hit men on the river being hired to take me out. They are starting to believe us that it is God’s Spirit Himself who is protecting us, and not just some bigger and more powerful evil spirit.
With them starting to believe that, it is opening their minds to receive the truth. But even the idea of living a sexually pure life itself is so foreign to them that they can’t seem to wrap their minds around it. It’s a pretty regular thing that a young man or woman comes up to us and says, “I want to become a Christian, but I need some of those pills that yall use.” And even after explaining to them that we don’t use any pills, and its only by the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in us that makes us able to live a pure life, they think that God must favors us more than them.

Ministry is hard here, but we praise God that He has sent us here to feed them the truth, however slowly it might be, because I am convinced that there will be a breakthrough and a harvest. Thank yall for your continued prayers for our perseverance, and for understanding in the minds of the Miskitu people. There are some big decisions ahead of us as far as one of the churches that I will try to give some details later, but this is getting too long,  so I will close it down for now. I will try to do a better job of keeping yall updated than I have in the last 8 or 9 month. We appreciate yall a lot! Eli Lee and the team.

We updated the needs list for the ministry on our ministry needs page @  http://www.religiontorelationship.org/ministry-needs/ for those of you who want to know how you can help financially. Thank you!

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Accomplishments in the first 3 years

Religion to Relationship Ministries
Material Accomplishments in Nicaragua 2013, 2014, and 2015

• Built our house in the village of KrinKrin.
• Finished a new well that provides clean water for over 500 people in the village of KrinKrin. (Which caused the sicknesses in the village, caused by dirty water, to go from 200 @ month to 15 @ month)
• Treated over 7,500 people from 19 villages along the Rio Coco at our house by giving medicine, suturing cuts and caring for broken bones before there was a nurse.
• Provided 152,952 Cordobas ($5665.00) worth of medicines for the clinic in KrinKrin after MINSA sent a nurse to the village, in the times there wasn’t sufficient medicines.
• For three consecutive years, for a period of 9 weeks in the “skinny season” when there was a food shortage, we provided a total of more than 21,240 prepared meals in the village of KrinKrin.
• Bought more then 60,000 pounds of food and took upriver for KrinKrin and the surrounding villages, and sold it at cost so people could better afford it.
• Donated 72,200 pounds of rice to families in various villages where their crop was lost because of flooding and other causes.
• Organized several medical clinic days for medical professionals and dentists to come to KrinKrin and provide medical attention to many.
• Transported or provided finances to take 94 people from along the Rio Coco to a hospital or clinic for medical attention.
• Donated food and other resources for 14 funerals.
• Bought a rice huller machine and hulled more then 400,000 pounds of rice, so the people can get a better price for the rice they sell, and cut out the strenuous work of manual hulling for food.
• Bought about 50,000 pounds of rice at harvest time and stored it, then sold it back to the people at affordable prices when they need it.
• Rebuilt 3 widow’s houses and donated nails and other resources for 24 new houses in KrinKrin and other villages.
• Built a new house for a family who lost everything, due to a serious medical condition.
• Provided daily food rations to 10 families; widows, old people, and people with physical problems who can’t raise enough food for themselves.
• Started two experiment gardens to find ways to grow more food in the area, with more sustainable practices.
• Got construction well underway of a safe home for up to 30 children who have no one to provide for them or are seriously abused.
• Fed and nurtured five children every day at our house who have no other provider.
• Provided funds to pay teachers for school in KrinKrin from 4th through 8th grade the last part of 2014 and for the year 2015. (government provided through 3rd grade)

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April Update

Dear friends,
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I will try to find enough time to write an update again. I know it has been several month since I’ve sent one.
These last four month or so have been extremely trying and difficult here. It has been a time when we have had to continually choose to keep our focus on Jesus Christ for everything, from general direction, short term direction, daily work, Spiritual discernment, teaching, preaching, and interaction with people in general.
It has been a time that it was hard to not become discouraged. Ministering and teaching has taken on a different form from what it was to start with. Most of the people in this village have heard the truth now, so they are no longer ignorant, and they have had to make a choice. The choice they had to make was not an easy one. It was whether they were willing to leave their life of sin that they and their forefathers had always lived in, or continue on like they had always done.
After all,  their preachers over the years had always taught them about God and about Jesus, and they had always told them that guys and girls sleeping together was Ok, because that is the way God intended it to be. In fact if a young couple wanted to get married before they had lived together for six or eight years, the preacher almost refused to marry them, because they don’t even know if they can get along yet.
And if a preacher went to another village to preach, it was common practice for him to sleep with a young girl of his choosing, and if the girl wanted to refuse (because she was only 12 or 13 years old) she would likely get whipped and beat by her father until she gave in.
And they also preached that if someone is sick, you pray for them and then go bring the witch doctor in to do his medicine. So our teaching that the two can’t work together, seems like rediculasness to them. They tell their people that the bible says to seek and you will find, so praying and not going and seeking help from what they know is stupid and will never end with good results, even though they have seen God miraculously heal a few people who have chosen to put their faith in God alone.
Unfortunately almost all of them have made the choice to go on like they have always done. But because they are no longer ignorant, but have heard the truth and have chosen to not believe it, or just don’t want to leave their life of sin, God has taken to teaching them with the full consequences of their choices. And when they make that choice to not follow after God, it’s like that opens the door for Satan to enter their life and destroy them. They believe Satan’s lies and therefore make horrible every day choices that leads to their destruction.
Several that were more closely connected with us as far as work have also chosen to not obey God’s teaching, and have taken on the role to destroy us and the work that God is doing here. But by the grace of God all their scheming has been in vain, and God has taken all those things and made an example out of them. Through those trials, people all along the river are hearing about how God is saving us from these evil schemes and the traps of the devil. There is much talk about what kind of power we have. Some say it must be from God, while others say that we have learned the deep levels of witchcraft.
It is awesome to be a servant of the most powerful being that exists! Even though we know we have nothing to worry about, being a human being in the midst of all the things that come at us and are thrown at us, it’s sometime hard to not look at the the things around us.
Thank you for your continues prayers and support! Please pray that we will be able to keep our focus on Jesus no matter what, and not get side tracked by all the earthly garbage around us. We appreciate y’all!  Eli Lee

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Rouel

“If you are a man come and fight him! Fight! Fight! Fight!” bystanders urged on the little boys, hoping to see something interesting for the day. A small disagreement between two young boys, Sinclair and Rouel, spurred on by aunts and uncles, looked like it might be an all-out fight. Chris happened by just in time to break up the fight between the boys and tell the adults that they should be ashamed of their behavior.
Rouel was from a refugee family that had just moved into an old schoolhouse building on the top of the hill, fleeing the fighting between the Spanish and Miskitu people due to land conflicts. Word of the arrogant 11-year-old boy did not take long to spread all over the village. Picking fights, teasing girls and cussing like a sailor was Rouel’s reputation. Since our house is close by, Rouel would come by nearly every evening to thump out rice for his family’s supper, many times testing our patience with his constant boasting and cussing. We soon found that Rouel was a child abandoned by both his father and mother and left with his grandparents: unwanted, unloved, undisciplined and hungry for love and attention.
After time Rouel began attending children’s Bible class that Karen gives three times a week where she shares with the children both Bible stories and basic principles of life. We soon began noticing differences in Rouel’s behavior from how he acted when he would come to play ball to the way he respected us when we said something. Every time in Bible class he would ask his teacher for a Bible verse to memorize, but when the next Bible class came, he never had memorized his verse. Since he is not able to read, and had no one to teach him. The more and more he started hanging out at our house, the gifts for the other children who said memorized Bible verses caught his eyes. He began to ask Eva to teach him a bible verse so he too could receive a gift, since the reason he had not been able to memorize them before is because he cannot read and also had no one to teach him. Eva in her great patience spends hours teaching him Bible verses. This time spent has not only helped him learn Bible verses that could make an eternal difference, but also has made him feel like he has some self-worth, which has totally changed his behavior. Rouel is no longer known as the cussing fight-picking kid as before, but as a sweet fun loving little fellow. We are all very proud of him as he memorized and quoted twenty Bible verses last Monday.
It is easy to become discouraged when many make a definite choice not to follow God, but the difference in one of these little ones is worth it all. Please be praying for Rouel and others like him to continue to make the right choices and let God’s Spirit begin to work in their lives to make an eternal difference. With much love, Sarah Lee

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