Greetings. A few of the younger children and I are in town for a day or so to pick up our oldest son Moses and his wife Anna. We are very excited about having them with us for several days. I will try to share a progress report on a few of the projects we have going on.
Residency Permits We all have our new cards now, after a six week wait in Managua, which is good for another year. We appreciate the help of pastor Alfredo and his church (Centro de Fe, Esperanza, y Amor) in extending a legal covering for us for another year.
Children’s Home The river had gone down enough that a few people got some sand brought to us, but that night it rained a lot and for the next few weeks kept raining enough to keep the river up way to high to think about finding sand. So the project sits and waits until the sand is exposed again. The legal part (permission) is still ongoing as well. We will be working with Verbo Ministries for the home, as an extension of the home they have here in Puerto Cabezas.
Medical Mary and Eva just came back from their jungle medical course they took in the states. They have been back in the village for a week, and in that week they treated over 80 people. We praise God for making it possible for them to go get this training. It is helping them so much. The transaction of the medical building is still ongoing, so we continue to work out of our house until we have something else.
Farming Project The experiment farm has kinda taken the back burner for a while, because our time is all consumed with other more pressing things. We have been able to buy about 200 bags of rice from our village this season, which along with everybody else’s rice sets and waits for the rice huller to start up. The machine is in the village, but we haven’t got it set up yet, with us being hung up in Managua with our residency permits for six weeks. Hopefully we can get it going in the next few weeks.
We will be having several teams here from the states in the next couple month, which we are excited about. Not only about the work that will be getting done, but also about seeing some of our friends and getting to fellowship with them. There are so many things to see after and to do that we are hoping to turn some responsibility over to a few of the local people we have been working with and training to do it. I am so thankful for all of you who continue to pray for and support this work. So far it has been mostly physical work on the ground, but now that we are better able to communicate, we are able to minister more and more to the Spiritual needs as well. God is good! Eli Lee Here is a short story that Sarah wrote
“No I won’t have a store again”!
Solomon sat talking with his wife after the death of their young son.
They had worked so hard getting their small store up and running. They had saved enough money to start with a few things like flour, sugar, salt, and a few small spices and stuff people wanted. Now all the money they had been saving to continue to grow their small venta (store) was used up in funeral expenses. But a bigger fear gnawed at Solomon. There were a few people in the village that were upset at him for the way he was running his venta. He refused to give them more stuff on debt, because of the ones they hadn’t paid yet. His son had become very sick and now passed away. “They cast a spell over my son and now he’s gone”, Solomon reasoned. “Never again will I have a store or I will lose more of my children”.
When we first came there were two small ventas (stores) in KrinKrin, the Catholic Mission and then another family. But more time than not there was hardly anything in in the stores. With the cost of a boat fare down river, the cost to stay in Waspan while they shopped for stuff for their venta and then the cost for shipping their cargo back up river. With all that it was so hard to keep a store running.
Shortly after we came we began bringing 100 lbs. of flour, sugar, rice, salt and some of the basic needs of the people. We sell these to the small ventas (stores) at cost, also allowing some to go on debt as long as they are faithful in paying after they sell it in small portions to the people. We have been hoping to help the store owners to get on their feet as well as teach them how a successful business is run.
For flour, sugar and such this has worked real well. But as the people are getting more money, working on building projects and such that we have going, they are beginning to have enough money to buy some underwear for their children, cook pots, plates and spoons, brooms and such. Many times what they will have us do is instead of paying them when they work, is send a list with Dad when he goes down river to bring stuff up for them. At first that had worked real well, but as time keeps going on there are more and more people sending for stuff. This last trip alone six of us spent three days shopping, and when we came back up I spent three full days sorting things out on separate piles.
Yes it’s getting to be to much. It seems all my time is consumed in doing mostly just this. I have really enjoyed it and I love helping the people like this when I can. But my goal is to get someone else to take this over. Our family has really been praying about this, because our goal is to get the people to be able to do these things themselves with time.
A few months ago Solomon after thinking about it decided to start up his little venta again. After selling a cow and some lumber he saved enough money to get started. He has been very willing to listen to the advice we have given and been very good at keeping his debts paid. And now we are hoping to start working more with him, helping him to build up his business. We are hoping to get him to stock at least a few of the main items that the people send for most, such as dishes, brooms and such, as well as other food items.
Doing this will mean stretching forth some money on our part until he can get on his feet. We have been talking with him teaching him how on the essentials needs like rice, beans, flour and such, you only add a little price for your time, but things that aren’t such necessities the price can be put up more. And so you can make a living, as well as keeping the needs at prices people can afford. He is very happy and willing to learn more.
We believe that Solomon is one of those people who will step up to help us help the people, as well as himself, if we can stretch some money out to help him. $2500.00 would let us get him a nice supply and variety of things the community needs, and would cut back on most of the time we are spending shopping for things for the people. But right now we don’t have the money to invest in those things, so it will have to wait. God’s timing is always right. Love, Sarah
I’ll be back I assured my friends climbing aboard our boat to head down river to Waspam. My Dad, Mom, Benjiman, and a few of the village elders, and I soon reached Waspam, our boat making it in about two and a half hours. The next few days we spent in the government offices seeing after business
After business was seen after Dad headed back up river to bring the rest of the clan down to start our journey of renewing our residencies. (which we assumed only a few weeks) Mom and I stayed behind to move into a cheaper and more efficient rental house.
A few days later after Dad and the rest of the crew came, we made the six hour road trip to Puerto Cabazas (Bilwi) where we were to fly out to Managua (the capital) the next day. After reaching Port where we stayed at Verbo ministries, Dad and Chris decided to go get our police reports done for the process of renewing our residencies.
Your Father was in an accident. He and your brother are fine but the young man on the motor cycle that hit him is in critical condition and they don’t expect him to live. They are holding your Father at the Police Station, someone told me. Lord what do we do, my mind raced. I quickly notified friends all across the world to pray. Laws here in Nicaragua are very harsh especially for foreigners. After a while of praying a peace settled over me knowing God was in control. I believed God would do a miracle. But hearing the news the next morning that the Young man in the accident had pasted away, by law making it nearly impossible for Dad to get out of prison before a year or two, My faith was shaken. Turning to the Bible reading God’s promises for his people I received a great peace. Knowing so many were praying and the support from friends from Verbo Ministries was a huge blessing for me.To read more details click on the link. http://www.religiontorelationship.org/2013/11/21/dads-accident/
At noon the Family flew to Managua leaving my Dad behind. My sisters Mary and Eva flew in from the States that evening. Talk about beautiful faces, I was happy to see them. With the help of our friend Pastor Victor we started the process.
Only by miracles from God Dad joined the family in Managua a free man with a clean record on the evening of his birthday.
We continued with the process but soon found out it would take a lot longer then we had expected. We were out of money so we couldn’t go home and return, but we also didn’t have the money to stay. The owner Quest house we were staying at had helped us a lot already but even if she continued to give us a discount we still couldn’t afford it. The family sat down and discussed our options, but didn’t come up with much. When the owner of the guest house walked in we explained a little bit of the situation we were in. After talking with her husband they told us of another missions center that they had in El Crucero. (close to Managua) If we were willing to paint the house and pay a little for utilities they would let us stay there. What a huge blessing! Not only did we have a place to stay, we had something to do while we waited on the government.
We also want to say a big thanks to Centro de Fe Esperanza y Amor for covering us legally this year.
We celebrated four birthdays and Thanks giving while on this trip. Thanksgiving was a blessed day for our family. We fixed a thanks giving dinner and then everyone read a note of a few top things they were thankful for this year. We have so many things to be thankful for.
During our stay in El Crucero Dad got to go back home to KrinKrin just to assure the people that we were coming back after all that happened, and let them know we will be late coming home.To read this amazing story click on this link. http://www.religiontorelationship.org/2013/12/20/visit-to-krinkrin/
Painting the house was also a great time for our family. I can really tell our family has drawn closer together in this time.
We were also blessed with Christian fellowship with other believers from the States here on short term missions. Christian Fellowship is something that we all really miss as we don’t get much of it in KrinKrin. They really blessed and refreshed us.
On the 13 of December we received our new residency cards. On Tuesday we flew back into Port starting the trip home.
While we are gone the people will be carrying sand for the Children’s Home. And rather then being paid with money, a lot asked us to bring things for them, as there isn’t much at the little stores that are there. So while we were in Port we spent a whole day at the market shopping for clothes, dishes, ect.
Driving from Port to Waspam the bridge was being repaired so we had to wait for half a day before we could cross.
We will be staying in Waspam for a few days to get the house ready for the teams that are coming. Then hopefully we will make it home just in time spend Christmas with our friends and neighbors in KrinKrin.
It’s been a long journey and I’m so ready to go home. But I am also thankful for the many things God has taught me and reminded me of on this trip.
I have been reminded so many times how little I am in control and how much God is. And even though I hadn’t known it God knew I needed a break, a time to rest, and refreshment.
I am really excited about going home. And also that my Brother and Sister in-law will be coming right after new years. A family along with a few other friends of ours will be coming in January as well. The last part of January a team from our church will be coming to help with construction. And in February ateam will be doing a shoe box idea only it will be a family box. We are all really excitedabout seeing different friends and what God will do though these people.
Thank ya’ll for your prayers. God is doing great things.
God Bless and I hope you have a Merry Christmas.
Heading to Managua in about an hour to be with my family again, Lord willing. My trip up to our village was very good. It was nothing less then humbling to see how they responded when they found out that I was there. Because I went on the slow boat I got there late, and only a few people found out that night. But the next morning about 5:30 a few people came to see me. A few minutes later someone told me that people are waiting for me below the house, so I went down and found about 50 to 60 people there waiting to see me and hug me.
It was hard to see grown ups in this culture that doesn’t show emotions, cry as they told me how they prayed for me to be freed, and even after they heard that I was free, they thought we would never come back. So they were completely overjoyed to see me back there, because that showed them that our love for them was real. All my time that day was taken up by almost all 500 people from our village coming by to see me and thanking me for coming back.
I learned that when they found out that I was locked up, they called a meeting about it and almost all the people showed up, where they got on their knees and prayed and wept and prayed for God to somehow get me out. They talked about all going to the prison, but knew that wasn’t reality. So they decided to send the leaders to talk to the police, to see if that might make a difference. But they couldn’t figure out where they could get the money to send them, because no one was around to buy rice. They have cows, but no one to buy them, so they decided to go to another village where some people had money and sell 2 or 3 cows, and use that money to come down to see if they could help me. But just as the meeting was ending, our friend Emel got there and told them that I was released that day, which settled things down a bit.
When I left, as I was going to the boat, the path was lined with people who wanted to give me a good bye hug and tell me that they will be waiting for us to come back. It still makes me cry to think about it. God is so good, and I am so grateful to be able to be a part of His glorious plan for they dear people.