Spiritual Battles

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, from where all blessings flow. First off I want to thank yall for your prayers and giving after the last update on facebook about needing medicines! I was able to buy a big box of medicine and send it up, and there is enough to buy more! Thank you!

As I have communicated before about the importance of prayer, it seems like every day we are reminded of how much we need the power and protection of Christ and the Holy Spirit. As we are able to speak the language better, our work is becoming more and more Spiritual as well as physical. And it has not gone unnoticed by the enemy, and the spirits of darkness.

As many of you know, the first young man (Orly, 24) who has been coming for bible study in the mornings has accepted Christ as his personal Lord and Savior a few month ago. He has been growing quickly in Spiritual knowledge and truth, and his life and behavior are showing a big difference. He has also suffered much persecution from the ones who used to be his peers.

Through the change in his thinking and lifestyle, as well as his responses to the ridiculing from his peers, all have noticed. Please pray for Orly, that God would give him strength to continue following what is right, and not loose heart from all the pressure he is under, but to continue to grow in the Spirit and in God’s wisdom.

A while back widow Alma’s oldest son (Roymer, 14) started coming for the bible studies too. Then a few month ago another one of the young men came to me and said; “I have been watching you guys and Orly, and I see how Orly has changed and become a different person since he is studying the bible with you guys. I want to know more about God and the bible, would you mind if I come for the bible studies in the morning?”

My response was of course yes, even though I knew that this would cause us a lot of challenges in the future, because his father is the bad witch doctor in the community, and his mother is also an evil witch that when she gets angry at someone, will cast a spell on the person on the spot, so the rest of the villagers keep their distance from them as best they can.

This young man (Marti, 18) is so hungry for the truth! When we got him a new bible he got so excited, he gets all giddy when he picks it up in the mornings, and hugs it and kisses it. (he keeps it at our house for safe keeping) He just drinks in the word like a thirsty sheep. If he doesn’t understand, he asks what it means, and once he gets it, he gets so excited that at times he can’t stay seated as he explains what that means to him and how that applies to different situations of every day life.

Then after he leaves our house it’s not uncommon to see him at someone else’s house for a while telling them with excitement what he learned that morning. It is so exciting to see how the Holy Spirit is drawing him to God and teaching him the truth. Please pray for him, that he would soon come to the point where he will understand God’s grace, and accept salvation. We believe he has already been called to be an evangelist, because if he understands something good, he can’t keep it to himself for very long, but wants to share it with his friends.

Right now his parents are ok with him coming to our house to study the bible, but we know that the Holy Spirit and Satan’s spirits cannot live in the same house in peace, so we expect trouble from his parents at some point. So would you please pray for this family? That God would give Marti strength to endure the persecution when it comes, for the father and mother that the Holy Spirit would draw them and let them understand God’s love for them, and for the rest of the children to come to know God as well.

 

As Satan sees the kingdom of light spreading and his kingdom of darkness being pushed back, he is striking back with his evil forces. Recently there have been several attacks on our family, but God has always come through with power and not allowed lasting damage. But so many things we do, the presence of evil is always there trying to hinder the progress.

A few of the young women in the village have gotten demon possessed recently, and we heard that a few guys from another village are trying to get the information on our girls that they need to be able cast a spell that causes them to become demon possessed. We know that with time they will find out the information they are looking for, but we know something that they don’t. We know that if someone is born again and the Holy Spirit lives in their heart, the evil spirits cannot enter into that person and posses them. So we don’t worry about it, because God is the one in control of our lives, and He is the only one who is able to keep us safe.

 

We really appreciate yall’s prayers so much, because we know that the real battles are not fought by us, but in the spiritual realm. And God has promised to hear the earnest cry of His people, so that’s what we rest in.

The souls of these people are so precious! I just praise God that He has allowed us to be a part of such an incredible work! He has worked things out and put us in a position where we are able to one by one, point and lead them to Jesus, who is the author of salvation. How incredible is that!!

 

It looks like our Pastor is making a way for a few of us to come to the states after all. We will probably be there through May and the first week in June. Thank you pastor David for making that possible! We love yall, and hope to see many of you soon! Eli Lee

Categories: Nicaragua | 1 Comment

Update from Sarah

Dear Friends and Neighbors

Greeting in Jesus holy name. I hope this letter finds you all well and of good health.

We are all doing well here. Chris has recovered well from his sickness and spends his days working at the rice huller.

The rice huller is up and running. Chris is working there full time along with a few of the local men, teaching them how to manage and run it. We hope that in a week or so they will be running it by themselves. The rice huller saves the women much daily hard work. Before, they shelled enough rice by hand for two or three meals a day. This is not easy work! This will not only save the ladies much hard work but it also helps build the economy. With two men working full time it puts more money in the community.

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It has been really amazing to see the economy grow over the last year. There are many ways I see it all the time. For example, at first when we would go to the river to do laundry there were very few people that even had soap to wash their clothes. But now you find few people at the river with no soap. Salt is another thing that was hard to find in people’s homes a year ago, but no longer so. I also find it very fascinating how when we pay someone to do some work for us, it will go from hand to hand and many times we will receive the same bill back from Solomon when he sends for stuff for his small store.

We have been working with Solomon, one of the locals here, to get his Venta (small store) up and running. It has been amazing to see the little store quickly move from a tiny bedroom into a new lean-to on the house. I have had the privilege of spending many hours there helping him set up after Dad brought up a new load of stuff. Helping him put prices on that will still be affordable for the people, yet where he will still also be able to run his business. There are constantly people coming to buy a pound of sugar or a packet of spices, and even occasionally someone will save up enough money to buy a cooking pot or plate.  It has also made our work so much easier, not having to put so many hours in seeing after the needs of the people. Being able to teach someone from here and then send the people over there has taken a huge load off my shoulders.

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This past month we have had people carry sand for making blocks for the construction of the children’s home. At this point we have over 3000 buckets of sand here. Getting it here is also no easy work. Taking a dugout canoe up the river a little ways, loading it full of sand, then carrying every bucket up the river bank and down to the house. One bucket of sand isn’t even quite 50 cents, yet they nearly fight for a chance to work that hard for a little bit of money. We plan on starting to make more blocks, and moving forward with the children’s home as soon as Dad comes back upriver.

04The dry season has started, drying up some of the mud but also causing the river to go down. With the river down Dad will be pulling our boat out of the water this trip and be back to traveling with the slow boats until the rainy season starts again in July.

Hopefully this trip down river Dad will be able to have all the board members and the lawyer sign the papers so we can get them turned in to the government to get our ministry registered. When this is all done it will be a huge blessing. We have been blessed greatly with great local ministries to work with VERBO MINISTRIES (Bilwi) and CENTRO DE FE EZPERANZA Y AMOR (Managua), but we pray the Lord will work it out to where we can be registered with the government soon.

Since January we have been blessed with many friends who have come here to share in God’s work with our family.  It has been a blessing and an encouragement for the people here and for our family.

The first of the year my brother and sister-inlaw came to visit. Having not seen them for over a year it was a great time even if it was only for a few days.

After they left, the Long family, along with a missionary friend working in Honduras, and a young Christian girl from Managua came. During their time here they blessed us by doing small construction projects around the house, as well as teaching soap classes, playing with the kids, and just encouraging our family.

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Next were four men from our church. They blessed a widow by building new steps and another widow by building a new outhouse for her and her family. Along with a few other construction projects.11

Next a group of five came from our church. This team was able to distribute a gift box to every family in the village, donated by a group from the states. Each box was filled with many different necessities. The appreciation of the people is amazing for me to see. They just can’t stop talking about how much the people that donated this must have a great love for God, because it would take each person about three years to buy this amount of stuff if they worked really hard.  There was also a nurse along who was able to help administer emergency medical care to an injured young man.14 (1)

A few weeks later two doctor friends of ours came and blessed every pregnant women in the community with an ultrasound and prenatal care. As well as provided more education for Mary and Eva.17

Everyone was unique in their own way and blessed many different people. We were blessed with great groups willing to adapt to whatever was set in front of them.

Medical has increased more than ever. Many days Mary and Eva are both busy full time handing out medicine and tending to the sick. Many more are coming from villages up and down the river, sometimes more than fifty in one day. With the medical increase, we are having a problem keeping enough medicines for the demand with the funds we have. It is hard to say no to a mother with a sick baby, but recently this has been the case frequently due to low funds.

The papers for the clinic building are still in process. The exiting news is a group from the States has already told us that they want to raise money and then come fix the clinic up. It is sometimes hard for me to grasp how the Lord provides and sends people even from places you never expected.

As far as the farming project it has sorta taken the back burner due to lack of time and also because of the neighborhood pigs. But we are hoping to find time to start working on that again.

Everybody plays an important role in keeping things running here. Chris is full time busy working on this and that, Eva and Mary on medical, Dad just never has time to sit down much, and my time is consumed in the business side of the ministry. But many times the ones that run the house and keep things flowing smoothly seem to go unnoticed, But I must say Mom, Katie, Lizzie and John play a big part of this ministry, Cooking three meals a day for fifteen plus people. Mornings and lunch we feed and care for many children and many times adults will spend evenings here. Cooking, cleaning the house, and doing chores is a full time job. They make what us others do, possible.

Devotions every morning are my favorite part of the day. It is the time of the day when after breakfast our whole family sits around and reads a chapter out of the bible then we have discussion time afterward. It has been amazing how our family has formed here. There are the four children who we care for, and this month four more as their parents went down river to the hospital to have a new baby. And then Orly a young man who was searching and began coming over mornings for devotions, and now has been saved. The widow Alma’s son has taken Dad to be his father figure and now comes over for Devotions. And recently another young man seeing the change that Orly has made decided he wants to know more about this, and now has also started coming here every morning for Devotions. Devotions are very unique, because we read in three different languages. English, Spanish, and Miskitu. English for the family, Spanish because some of the young men understand the Spanish bible better, and Miskitu because that is the native tongue and the language the children understand. It is also fun and interesting when teams are here with us.25

There is so much work to be done here. The Lord is moving in mighty ways. Pray that we can continue to be his hands and feet.

With much Love, In Christ,

Sarah Lee

 

Categories: Nicaragua | 3 Comments

Update About Chris’s Sickness

Greetings to y’all in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. What an amazing God we serve! I want to just do a little note for now, and when I come back down river have a better update for y’all, because I don’t have the photos that I want to share with the stories of how God used the teams that came to encourage us and to help the people of KrinKrin.
  I will try to give an account of what happened which Chris in this last week. He is doing a lot better now, and if things continue to improve, he should be out of the hospital in a few days. Thank y’all so much for praying for him and us in this difficult time. For those of you that haven’t seen on Facebook, he got really sick with malaria, so we got him on the meds, which helped the malaria, but he kept having a reaction to the meds. Every time he took them the reaction got worse and on the third day after taking the pills he got so sick from them that he almost died. After fighting with death for over three hours trying to keep him alive, he finally threw up violently a few times and got rid of the poison in his stomach, but his whole body was poisoned by this time, so almost every part was in trouble. His liver felt like it was going to burst, all his muscles went into cramps, his whole insides were in extreme pain, had a splitting headache, and had a fever of over 104 for more then three hours.
  To complicate things even more, Mary and I were in Puerto Cabezas from taking the last team to the airport, so our fast boat wasn’t there to take him down river. Our family communicated through a radio from our missionary pilot friend, who relayed the messages via cell phone to us. The next morning we decided to put him on one of the local boats and make the three hour trip upriver to a village that has an air strip for the pilot (Clint) to pick him up and bring him here to Puerto Cabezas to the hospital. By that time there were people praying for him all over, individuals and whole churches in numerous states, South Africa, Argentina, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, and possibly more. image-5
  We were in a dilemma; because the malaria test was positive when we started, the doctors were planning to give him some more medication. We tried to explain to them that he had a serious reaction to the meds, but they said if he has malaria, they have got to give him the medicine, because three days isn’t enough, so if they don’t he will die. We knew that if he takes another dose of the meds he will probably die too, so we didn’t know what to do except pray and ask people to pray. They took blood tests to check everything from malaria, dengue fever, and several other things.image-6 It was about 6:30 to 7:00 when his fever broke and he started to feel a lot better. And about that time the blood tests came back, and everything they checked for was negative, including the malaria. So they didn’t give him the malaria meds after all.
  He did pretty good that night and the next day, with just little bouts of fever here and there. That day they did chest x-rays and an ultrasound, which showed an enlarged liver and a pocket of fluid around the gall bladder, which are both indications of either malaria or dengue fever. So they did the tests again and everything was still negative, so there’s only speculation from there.
  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the time that his fever broke and the tests came back negative was at the time when there were whole churches around the world pleading his case before the Almighty. God knew that which ever way the doctors decided to take about medicine or no medicine would mean death, so he intervened and took the germs away. And he didn’t just take them away from Chris’s body, but also from the blood sample that had been drawn a few hours earlier. For some reason God chose to not completely heal him on the spot, but I’m convinced that He had His reasons. Somehow He will get more glory out of it this way.
  Since then his body is on the mend. Every day he keeps improving a lot. We are hoping to be able to take him out of the hospital either tonight or tomorrow, and within a few day head upriver to the rest of the family.1779097_3952499587476_594131381_n
  A thank you can not describe our gratitude to y’all for taking praying seriously. I know that the healing comes from the Father, but His children play a big part with intercession. It makes me worship my Lord all the more when I see how he cares enough about us and His work here that He has brought such a great team of believers around us, to pray for us as we shine His glorious light in this dark place, and attack the forces of evil who have kept these people suppressed for many years. We believe this was an attack from the enemy, trying to take out a powerful warrior on the front line, but God said “no you don’t.” Thank you for being willing to be a warrior in the Lords army. We love y’all and appreciate you very much. Eli, Leah, Mary, Eve, Chris, Sarah, Katie, Elizabeth, and John
Categories: Nicaragua | 4 Comments

1/1/14 Update

Dear Friends,

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

 

                 Nigocio Pulaia

“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

Categories: Nicaragua | 2 Comments