Update from Eva

Flowers are such a beautiful creation. Almost ten years ago when we first moved to Krinkrin there were only a few flower bushes in the village, and those were defended, by their owners, with a sharp tongue. Flowers were something you didn’t mess with and you walked big circles around. Kids did not want to be caught messing with somebody’s flowers.

After a period of time we were able to plant a verity of different flowers of our own, and it didn’t take long for the word to get out the we allow people to pick flowers from our flower bushes. A young man on his way home from the fields asked if he could pick a flower to take home to his, newly married, wife. A little girl asked if she could pick a flower to put in her and her little sister’s hair, before they go to school. A little boy and girl came and asked if they could pick a small bucket full of flowers to put on their recently deceased Daddy’s grave. A young lady asked if she could pick a couple flowers to take to her elderly housebound grandmother.

They saw us picking flowers and making bouquets; and it wasn’t hard for the kids to catch on that it was special to us when they brought us some flowers to put in our hair or add to the bouquet on the table. And they were awestruck that when we put the flowers in water, they didn’t shrivel and die in a couple hour, but still looked new and beautiful a few days later. They would excitedly tell their new discovery to the other kids and adults when they came into the house, and their listener would look at them, and then at us, in total disbelief thinking we would say, “what they were saying was just their imagination,” just to find that we fully confirmed what was just said. Then some would come back a few days later to check on the flowers’ status.

So we randomly go through periods of times when the kids fill the table and shelf with many beautiful bouquets, and the girls all come around with their hair looking like a bouquet itself, and the guy’s get to tuck flowers behind their ears. But there is one flower at this time that they are not allowed to pick. The little pick rose. The bush is still small and only has a few blooms. Only Mama Tara (and endearing cultural name they call my Mom) gets to pick the roses. It’s Mama Tara’s rose.

Then there’s the little boy, that his parents haven’t been permitting him to spend time at our house anymore due to some poor choices on their part. The handsome little guy quietly slipped in the door, the other evening just before dark, and gave his Mama Tara a unique, special flower he had pick from the creek by his Grandfather’s house. Of course as any blessed Grandma would, when one of her special little boys that she hasn’t been able to spend time with recently, gave him a hug and kiss, and took the unique, special flower and put it into the small white vase with the little pick rose, she had picked earlier. When he saw that his gift got the place of honor next to the little rose his little shoulders went back, his chin up, and he quietly said good night as he slipped back out the door.

Many times it’s the small things that become the big things that we hold dear to our hearts. There may be periods of time in life when we are separated from the ones we love so dearly; but the sincere, genuine acts of kindness and love shared in our times together are not quickly forgotten and continue to hold our bonded hearts. When y’all think of it could y’all lift our handsome little guy and his siblings up in prayer. That they may be able to discern truths from lies, understand God’s true love versus hypocrisy, that God would heal their poor hurting hearts showing Himself faithful to them, and use what Satan intended to harm for His glory.

We are also blessed with the companionship of a group of young families that are hungry for the true things of God; and for the opportunity to pour into them as they begin to pour out their lives for their fellow loved ones. And we praise Him as He continues to give them the courage to take a stand for their newfound faith. It’s hard to see them being persecuted as they try to sort out what they’re experiencing. To see them struggling as they try to focus on the roses and not on the many thorns. But we keep trusting and believing they will come through victorious with a deeper understanding of God’s faithfulness and endurance because of it. He is faithful to the end!

We are also super blessed with the company and encouragement of Camille and Bryson Long this week. This is Camille’s first time back since three and a half years ago when she moved back to the States; but she hasn’t seemed to miss a beat since the moment she set foot back in Krinkrin again. It’s so encouraging for me to see how encouraged the young ladies feel from the fact that Camille came to see them again. There’s no question if they adore her; and her life is still such a strong witness to them even though they live a far distance apart at this point in their lives. The love of God is stronger than distance!

I’m excited to say, I plan on leaving in a week to go back to the States, for two and a half months, for three of my sibling’s weddings. I look forward to spending time with all my siblings and the new ones being added. Thank you all for your prayers and participation in sharing the good news of Christ across the world, and namely Nicaragua. Our God is faithful, and He honors the prayers of His people.

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you (and us) will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippines 1:3-6

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Exciting Update from the work in Nicaragua

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Glory and honor to the God most high who has redeemed us from this corrupt world. Even so, He has left us here for a time to share the wonderful news of Salvation to those who are perishing without hope. We are no longer of this world, yet we get to see and experience the effects of wicked men in control of it, who distort the truth and exchange it for a lie to fulfill their own selfish desires. As the end draws closer we see more and more of mass corruption and destruction going on, making us all the more eager to escape this earthly body that keeps us entrapped in this place. But it also reminds us of why God hasn’t taken us home yet.

It gives us who possess the unconditional Love of God in our hearts an urgency to do everything in our power to do what our Lord Jesus Christ told us to do as He ascended into heaven. Which is to go and teach and preach the Good News of salvation, making disciples of those who believe. The thought of all those beautiful people made in the image of God to not understand that their way to their loving creator has been paid for, and therefore end up in eternal punishment, banished from the presence of the one who made them and loved them enough to send His only Son to pay the price for their rebellion is almost unbearable. So we strive to do everything He told us to, and what the Holy Spirit leads us to do, saving as many from the flames as possible.

I want to thank each and every one of you who are on our team, praying for us and the Miskito people and the Amish people God called us to minister to, and giving of your resources making it possible for us to stay here in Nicaragua, as well as being able to travel back to the States every year or two. Yalls prayers over the past ten years are being answered.

This past year has been an exciting one here on the ground in Nicaragua. There are more and more of the younger generation putting their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord. So far this year in our village we have had five baptisms and two marriages, and in this next month we plan to baptize three more who have made the decision to follow Christ, and another wedding coming up soon. There are also a few from our church upriver and several from a church downriver on the Honduras side who desire to be baptized in this next month.

The Holy Spirit is doing an amazing work in these young people’s lives, giving understanding into His Word, and the courage to step out in faith trusting that God will not forsake them like many of their parents and the church people do when they make their decision to be obedient to the teachings of Christ. It is so exciting to see people who were known for years to be thieves now becoming trustworthy people. Some who have been addicts and outlaws for years have now become clean and are living a victorious life in Christ. Those who in the past were rejected because of their choosing, being rejected once again by the same people because of their decision to follow Christ.

There are also some exciting things happening in the Amish and Mennonite communities in the States. There is a widespread Spiritual awakening happening within those groups in the past few years. Even though we aren’t there most of the time, I have been able to do some long distance discipleship, and every time we go back God opens the door for us to minister to many. It is encouraging to see how God is raising people up to minister and lead those who are seeking the truth.

We have plans to go back to the States the last part of July and spend two month there. It will be an exciting time for our family, as three of our children plan to get married in that time. God is such a gracious and loving Father, and totally trustworthy. We praise Him for His goodness and mercy.

The not so exciting news is that through the political standoff the States government has with the Nicaraguan government, doing whatever they can to undermine this government, plus several ministries who were tied in with a church or ministry in the States were found to be using the money they were getting in the name of doing ministry and using it to fund anti government movements here. Naturally the government here has lost what confidence they had in the Americans, which has caused ongoing investigations into everyone and every ministry associated with Americans, which includes us. In their three year investigation of our ministry, they haven’t been able to find anything suspicious or fraudulent. So far in these past couple year they have shut down more than 600 ministries in the country who had ties to Americans, and are shutting more down every month. Only God knows how He will work things out with all that. But we rest in Him knowing that He will have His way in all of it, because this is His ministry and His work.

Thank you again for your prayers, and for caring about those who have no hope. May God bless yall richly for your generosity. Eli Lee

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Update from Eva in Nicaragua

An update from this part of the world is far past due; and we appreciate everyone who has faithfully continued praying and supporting us during this season, even in our lack of communication. 

TRUST is the word the Lord has given me for this season. Trust even if you don’t know, and may never know, all the details involved. With my parents going to the US for six months I felt tremendously blessed to have had the opportunity to serve alongside Saloma Hershberger from March through the middle of June. She jumped in running alongside me and my crazy busy days, as we reassess and try to gracefully downsize and refocus our time and energy, in many areas of the ministry, due to considerable less team members here on the ground now.    

At the end of April, Daniel Yoder (AKA Uncle Daniel) came to help out and kept blowing us off our feet with his amazing gift in wood craftsmanship. 
Right after Saloma left, when we thought things would begin to slow down, some heart wrenching events played into the scene, that caused our life’s to feel like they almost spun out of control. 
And since God always desire to draw us closer to Him, grow us in is His strength, and to a deeper understanding of His sovereignty; when we felt like we had more than we could handle and process, He allowed me to become deathly sick. While Uncle Daniel held down the fort in Krinkrin, Chris, being one of the most amazing brothers God could ever give a girl, took me to the hospital, carried me when there was no wheelchair, made me eat and take my meds on time, wiped my many tears of my out-of-control emotions, encouraged me to not quit, and countless more. 

We greatly appreciate and praise God for everyone that participated in praying for Chris and I; because by His grace, He directed us to a Doctor that was able to help and has been very good to Chris and I. This past week when I went back for a checkup and fill my precautions the Doctor restated that it will still be at least a few months yet before I can expect to fully recover. 

Chris’ health has also been on a downward slope as well with many of the same symptoms I’ve had six months ago; and the Doctor advised Chris and any other family members who have similar symptoms to also get tested. Chris did get tested and he also has the same bacterial infection, but thankfully he is able to treat it quick enough that it never got life threatening for him.  

God also sent us a ray of sunshine and a rainbow to carry us through the rain and storms. He worked it out for my sister Mary to come for a couple weeks during July. God knew that Chris and I both needed some big sister encouragement.  During my recovery I’ve had a lot of time to think, pray, and reflect back over the past eight and a half years here in Krinkrin. As I reflect back I feel encouraged beyond words with the respect that has grown between us and the younger generation, and even a handful of the older ones. And with this growing respect it is beginning to validate what we, and others such as Pastor Earl and Damaris from Verbo Ministries based out of Bilwi, have been pouring into them for so many years. When we look at the day to day it can be discouraging and you wonder if you are really making a difference. But if we can pause and take time to look at the big picture it really is beautiful and super encouraging. 

I’m also excited that, after almost three years, the family will all be together again, for a week, at the beginning of October, as we gather to celebrate the marriage of my sister Katie and Daniel Haumesser.
We serve a wonderful and loving God; and the beauty in walking in His footsteps is beyond words. Sincerely your sister in Christ, Eva

Proverbs 3:5-6Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him, And He will direct your paths.

Isaiah 55:8-9″For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Jeremiah 29:11For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for harm, to give you a future and a hope.

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An Enemy Called Religion

Please pray for an Amish couple from Middlefield Oh who have become born again. When their married children found out about it they came into these new believers home and ushered the three children still living with their parents out the door, even with the mother telling them they can’t take them, and took them to another home in the community. They refused to let the parents take their children home with them when they went to get them, so the father called the cops, who came and removed the children and took them back to the parents.

During this time the older siblings had people there telling the younger ones that they don’t want to go home because their parents have lost their way and are going to hell, and that the parents have become like the devil and were going to try to deceive them so they would also go to hell. So even though the young ones were brought back to their parents by the police, they are so scared and traumatized by all the lies they were told about their parents that they refuse to talk to the parents. They spend their time in a room upstairs with the door locked and furniture pushed in front of it to keep the parents from coming in.

The parents are so heartbroken over the whole ordeal. They haven’t even left the Amish or done anything to warrant such extreme actions. Their only crime was, they were studying the Bible and realized that salvation was only by the grace of God, and they believed it and became born again. The word got out, and that’s why all this took place.

God is pouring out His Spirit over many Amish communities, and many are seeing and understanding the truth and becoming saved, which is really awesome. This is something we have been praying for for years. But the Amish are getting very desperate to try and stop this, and in the past year more and more are taking extreme measures like kidnapping and brainwashing as tactics to try and keep people bound to their religion. Thank you for praying for this precious family, as they will more than likely be excommunicated and shunned in a few weeks because of their new found faith. Also pray for salvation for the Amish people.

July 2.

Update on the Amish family in Middlefield Oh. I talked to the father/husband this morning, and they are so broken and sad right now. After seeing that no progress has been made with their children since they were brought back by the police, (because they get up every morning and run to their married sister’s house which is on the same property, and stay there until bedtime) they decided to take the children and spend a week at the lake together. But the children refused to go along. So the children’s non Amish friends invited them to come stay for a few days. The children wanted to go, but then refused to get into the same van as the parents who had hired a driver to take them to their friend’s house on their way to the lake.

Please pray for these dear new believers. Their foundation is being shaken. Pray for strength, courage, peace, wisdom, and discernment for the parents. And pray for the spirit of fear and the spirit of religion be lose their grip on the children, and that their hearts would turn back to their parents. Pray for the situation to change with the married daughter who lives on the same property and continues to brainwash the children daily.

There is some serious spiritual warfare going on. The same religious spirit that caused the Jews to kill Christ is the same spirit that drives these Amish to do this kind of thing against Christ followers today. So thank yall who have been praying and interceding for this family. We continue to believe God will turn this around and use what the enemy meant to destroy them with, and use it to make them stronger and more on fire to follow Him with all of their hearts.

Also a big thank you to the ones who reached out to us and wanted to help. We greatly appreciate your caring hearts, but as of now it is going to take God’s intervention to first do what only He is able to do. Prayer is still our request. The father also said to tell everyone thank you for praying. For those who don’t know the back story, read the story on my wall.

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