So Much More

“Does anyone have a light,” the bowman called back to the passengers on the boat? I pulled my small flashlight out of my pocket hopeing it might help; already well after dark and the river low due to the few months of no rain (known as the dry season) traveling was dangerous. I whispered a short prayer asking God’s protection, as we headed toward the small hand dug canal for the dugout boats to pass through.

Three hours after the sun had set we finally reached Esperanza; our destination.

It had been a long day; I had gotten on the bus at 4:45 am in Puerto Cabezas and made it to Waspan by 10:00 with plans of spending the night there and finding a ride up river in the morning, getting off at Esperanza for a conference, and there meet with Chris who’s plans had been to already be there waiting for me. But when I got off the bus there was a boat leaving for Esperanza right then; so with no breakfast and no lunch I got on the boat for the trip up river.

I managed to dig my backpack out from underneath all the luggage and asked someone to take me to the Baptist Church (where Chris would be waiting for me). As I came in sight of the small church my heart fell; no lights, no genorator, no music, which ultimatly meant no Chris. I made my way closer to the church now seeing a candle lit inside. I slipped in the back door setting my backpack on the dirt floor and finding a seat on one of the peices of bamboo set up for benches.

After a short service beans were heated, coffe boiled, and by 11:00 with a full stomach I laid down to rest.

I sent word to Chris the next morning that I had arrived; despite my own urge to just go home I felt God had brought me here for a reason.

Chris, Marcos and Karen arrived that afternoon with our generator, speakers, a few micrphones, and musical intruments.

As we determined to share a few rays of light in Esperanza we conected with another servent of the Lord. Pastor Jonicio who had recently been able to take a few ministry trips out to the mountains where the Spanish live. Jonicio had heard of us and our plans to come to Esperanza and shared the news with his newly made spanish friends. The Spanish upon hearing this begged Jonicio to have us also come out and share more about Jesus with them as well. When Chris and I heard this we immediately felt the Lord was calling us to go share with these people who were so hungry for God’s word.

As news spread around the village that we had made plans to go to the Spanish in the mountains, the people became quite upset. “You are crazy, you’ll get killed, those Spanish are horrible people, ileagles living on the Miskitu reservation and they don’t count a human life worth anything, this is sure to be a trap, they will just lead you out there and have every single one of you killed,” the people of Esperanza exclaimed desperatly. But God had spoken to our hearts and we knew we needed to go.

When Dad and the rest of the family came we excitedly shared the news with them, and all felt led to go. The village leaders and the leaders of the Catholic church called a meeting hoping to stop us from going, but like Peter who asked the Jewish leaders, we asked them which was more important to obey; them or God?

 

Monday morning with two pack mules for the equipment, our family, and a few beleivers from KrinKrin and Esperanza set out for the mountains each with our feet for transportation and our backpacks on our backs.

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As I walked through the deep jungle I felt the peace of God surround me, with the huge trees towering high above me, and vines of all shapes and sizes twisted from tree to tree. We climbed mountains, stopping only for a short breath at the top, and drinking out of the small creeks at the bottom. After five hours of walking we made it to a small Spanish farm on top of a hill where they were expecting us and served us with a hardy meal.

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Unlike the predictions we were not killed or mistreated, rather excepted with open arms by a people hungry to learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

During the evenings, services were held in the small bamboo home with thatch roof; nights in hemocks and split bamboo were our beds.

After three days of services we made the treck back home. We were all happy to be home but there was no rest. The Catholic church here in KrinKrin was having a conference that weekend and as part of the community we pitched in to help.

By Monday we all colaspsed, exausted an tired. But oppertunities to share the gospel were still plentiful; after three days of rest Chris and I got on a small dugout canoe with all the equipment to go minister at another conference in SangSang; seven hours up river with the small dugout canoe.

“What is wrong,” I asked bending over Chris’s bed? Chris had gotten sick the first night and spent his days in bed leaving me feeling terribly alone. “God I’m tired, I feel so alone, God Chris is so sick, and God I’m not even getting to spend time with Mom and Dad their last few days before they go to the States for two month,” I wiped the tears from my eyes. As I cried out to God I was reminded of the verse where Jesus said, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the son of man has no place to lay his head.” But here some kind people had opened their home and given me a bed to sleep on, what was I doing complaining? God is the one who gives me strength, and with so many praying for me surely the work I was doing would not be in vain.

By the time we came back from yet another conference in Santa Isabel, a few weeks later where we had walked a day and a half to get there, I was drained physically and spiritually.

The day after I came home I became very sick, God blessed me with a whole week in bed to pray and to be filled up again by his word. Not saying that the sickness was fun or easy but God knew I needed time with him.

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Chris is sick again? Since the time in SangSang when Chris had gotten so sick it seemed this was a common question. The evening before we had gone to Santa Isabel Chris became really sick again leaving Katie and I to go alone with the other beleivers from KrinKrin; and now yet again as we prepared to go to Klìsnak he was sick again.

After some problems had acurred and the Drama group had fallen apart when we came back from Santa Isabel I had decided there was no point in me going to another conference. But as I had shared my thoughts with God he had shown me very clearly that he wanted me to go to Klìsnak; but now what could I do?

“God what do you want to teach me”, I prayed realizing Chris would yet again not be able to go to the conference. “None of my sisters plan to go and Marcos won’t even be going because he plans to go down river and I know that Dad won’t aprove of me going by myself”. But as he is so faithful in doing, God whispered into my heart, “trust me my daughter”.

Only minutes later Marcos came by the house having decided he would go ahead and go to Klìsnak; and asked me if I planned to go as well. Needless to say God worked it out to where I was able to go.

Soon after we arived in Klìsnak a group of children gathered around me checking out this strange white girl; giving a perfect opportunity to share with them bible stories. The next morning when Marcos had to leave on a quick notice I thought for a moment that I had been left alone, but then had to remember that I will never be alone, because God is always with me.

God moved powerfully in the next few days not only in the lives of the people of Klìsnak, but also in my life.

He wants so much more of my life then I share with him now. He longs to use me in ways that I can not imagine. He wants a closness that I withhold from him. He wants to take me further. Regardless if I’m close to my family or in a place where I don’t know one person I need to proclaim his word to all that will listen. God wants so much more! How much am I willing to give?

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For those of you stuggling with sharing faith, don’t feel alone. I know the feeling; the feeling of mustering up every bit of courage you have to share about God, only to have it come out sounding all awkward and out of place.

You wonder why it is so hard to share if you know how much God loves you and you want everyone else to know about it as well. So why should it be so hard?

Even after almost three years of being on the mission feild I still struggle wth these same issues. But I want to encourage those of you out there struggling with this; never stop trying! It does get better as you practice more.

Four years ago I had a hard time even going and saying hi to a stranger, much less start a conversation, and for sure not wittnessing to anyone. So when I reflect back on this I praise God for how far he has brought me. And I pray he will continue to stretch me untill sharing about his love is all I know.

 Thank you to everyone who prays for us and the work we are doing, and also to those of you who give so generously. May God bless you richly!

Until next time, Sarah Lee

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Heading Back

Dear ones,
Our time in the States has expired. It was a wonderful time to spend with so many of yall who we love dearly. There are still many who we didn’t get to see, which saddens me, but there just isn’t enough time for us to run around to see everyone. That’s why we put the word out in the beginning for yall to come to us this year, which many did, and we are so thankful for. It was overwhelming at times to see how much yall cared about us, and to what length you went to to bless us. Thank yall!

​ ​It was also amazing to see God touch so many hearts about getting involved with His work in Nicaragua. I am excited and refreshed, ready to head into this next year, not knowing what God will bring about in this next year, but being convinced that it will be good. I pray that yall might share in our joy of serving the Lord and the Miskito people. I was just reminded again, really how much more I enjoy being in this remote place where the Lord called us to, dealing with people in a culture hundreds of  years in the past, than being in a culture where “Stuff” is worshiped.
Being a Holy Spirit sensitive Christian is easier here than it is in the United States. Here, if you aren’t sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading, you get clobered by the enemy. There the enemy uses different tactics, like trying to make us believe that if we had “That” we would be happier. And in our pursuit of it we are focusing on ourself instead of God, so the enemy wins our time, effort, and resources, which is our worship.

About the bridge that is out between here (Puerto Cabezas) and Waspam. Many of you saw my post on facebook, but for those of you that haven’t, I will include a photo here.

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I have heard several reports about when it will be fixed, but some of those have already proved to be wrong. Tomorrow I plan to take a bus to the river, and go across the river by canoe or walk across the bridge if possible, and then get on another bus on the other side and go on to Waspam. Hopefully this information I got is accurate. I hear there is a little of supplies getting through that way too, and some boat gas is being gotten along the river on the Honduras side.
Leah and Lizzie flew direct from Managua to Waspam, and went upriver today. Chris came downriver yesterday to see after some things, and said that things are well at home. Hopefully I can go upriver on Sunday. Thank y’all for your prayers! Love y’all! Eli Lee
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States Schedule

Dear loved ones,

Greetings. I apologize for not getting this update out quicker, but we have been so busy. We have been to two funerals and three churches since we got here last Wednesday evening. When we got here to the States our church family and friends had a house all ready and furnished for us, with money to buy groceries too! We feel so unworthy of all these blessings, and want to say thank you for being so kind and considerate.

Our last month or so in Nicaragua has been extremely busy, with going to other villages every week to do conferences where we preach the gospel, take our worship team, drama team, and show the Jesus film. God is doing some amazing work in the hearts of the Miskito people, as He opens the doors for us to speak the truth of His Word by the Holy Spirit.

It looks like our time here in the States will also be busy, but we are blessed to be able to be here and share with yall what God is doing in our lives and the lives of our precious Miskito Indian friends. With this house we are staying in yall will be able to stop by and see us whenever you want. We won’t be able to go and visit many of our friends like we did the last few years, because it just runs us to death. So this year we are inviting yall to come and see us, for a minute, a few hours, or just hang out with us for a while.

We do have a busy schedule, so if you are coming far, make sure you message me by this email address or text me at 618-306-7004 to make sure we’ll be around when you come, or to set up a time to come. Our house is located; from Hwy 32 and Hwy 72 junction, take 72 west toward Rolla. Go about half a mile and pass Hwy H on the left, we are in the next house on the right, a red brick house. From Rolla, as you get into Salem, pass Hwy F and the big metal buildings (church) on the left, we are the first house on the left. Please come on out and see us, because we do want to see yall.

I will include our speaking schedule as far as it is filled out now. I know that all our Wednesday nights will also be filled up, but haven’t got all the details yet. I will also share this schedule on Facebook and update it as I get confirmations and times of meetings.

 

Wednesday April 29th, Arrive to Salem late evening.

Sunday May 3rd, 10:30 am, Ten Mile Church in McLanesboro, Il.

Sunday May 3rd, 6:00 pm, Nine Mile Church in Tamaroa, Il.

Monday May 4th, 7:00 pm, SI Country Church in Makanda, Il.

Wednesday May 6th, 6:00 pm, Lockard Church in Anna, Il.

Saturday May 9th, 1:00 pm, Wedding in Raymondville, Mo.

Sunday May 10th, 10:00 am, New Life Church in Rolla, Mo.

Sunday May 17th, am, Rock Springs Church in Licking, Mo.

Sunday May 17th, pm, Corrinth Church in Salem, Mo.

Wednesday May20th, pm, Doug Massie’s Church in Eminence, Mo.

Sunday May 24th 10:45 am, New Harmony Church in Salem Mo. w/ fellowship lunch afterward.

Sunday May 31st, am, John Smith’s Church in Mo.

Sunday May 31st, pm, Homisser’s Church, Mountain View, Mo.

Sunday June 7th, am Clara Baptist in Houston, Mo.

Sunday June 7th, 6:00 pm, Roby Baptist Church in Roby, Mo.

Sunday June 14th, am, Oak Grove Baptist Church in Salem, Mo.

Tuesday June 16th, Leave for Nicaragua.

 

There are many other events scheduled during the week as well, but these are the speaking events where everyone is welcome to come to. Thank yall for having us back in this country for a while! We are excited about getting to see many of you in this time. Please be praying for our team that’s still on the ground in Nicaragua taking care of the many needs there. Thank you, Eli Lee

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Update from Eli

Dear loved ones,

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus, from the jungles of Nicaragua. This has been another incredibly busy month. As we struggle to keep up with the Spiritual and physical needs of our people, God continues to give us strength and wisdom to keep going. And as the river gets lower because of the dry season, traveling just takes even more time, with the trip from Waspam being lengthened to eleven to thirteen hours again.

But one of the super good news is that in this month the money came in to buy the much needed boat motor and also for the jetski/ambulance! I have ordered both already and they should be delivered in the next week or two. I am so excited about having these valuable tools to help with the work of the ministry. It will take the hassle out of all the hauling jobs, and the jetski will allow us to do our work in other villages, and all these conferences with so much less time and effort, and after we get our stretcher outfit made to strap on it, we will be using it as an ambulance on the river. This, without a doubt will save many lives in villages that up until now had no way to get medical attention quick.

We cannot express the depth of our gratitude to God and the ones who prayed with us, and the ones who gave to make this happen. I’m convinced that yall will receive many blessings in this life as well as the one to come because of what you did. In this life you will never know how many lives will be helped physically, as well as how many souls you will meet in heaven because of you sharing the resources that the Lord has given you, to do His work on this earth. Thank you with all of our heart, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, be blessed!

Clint, the medical pilot is moving back to the States with his family in a few weeks, but he donated his plane to another young guy who plans to fly it. He will be based out of Puerto Cabezas where our radio won’t reach, so don’t know yet how we will be able to contact him. The places he can land are about forty five minutes (with the jetski) upriver, or in Waspam which will be about an hour and a half. A cell phone company has built towers along the river, and plans to turn the signal on in about a month. They say there will be signal all the way, but I don’t really expect it to come to KrinKrin, because we are right in the middle of two towers, at a distance that I’m not banking on being able to use a cell phone at our house, but we’ll see.

Our New Harmony Church made my wife and I feel pretty special by paying for a weeks vacation at a laid back resort on the west coast of Nicaragua, because we are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary tomorrow. We are enjoying our time here, just resting, or recharging. Thank yall for the blessing!

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  We so appreciate Camille (from Oregon) who came a few weeks ago and joined our “on the ground” team here. In a week we will have another young lady Katrina, (from Indiana) coming to serve with us for a few month, or possibly longer, depending how the Holy Spirit leads her. Having a few more people on our team will help out tremendously.

I will share the account of how one of the conferences went that we went and ministered at recently.

 

Tulingbila Conference  March 20-22,  2015

 

The date of the conference was set up by the pastor of a little church in Tulingbila a few month prior to the event, at which time he along with a few other pastors from surrounding villages asked me if we would be able come and be a part of it with preaching, worship, our music equipment and also help with some food.

I agreed and put it on our calendar. We stayed in contact and told him to bring a batu (a medium size boat) to take the food and the equipment the day before the conference. When he came he only brought a little duri, (a small canoe) which was not suitable to take our expensive equipment. So we gave him the food and told him to bring a batu the next morning if he wanted the music equipment, but he said he was just going to see if he can find equipment in one of the villages closer, which we all knew didn’t have sufficient equipment.

Chris, Marcos, and Karen were planning to go along to get everything set up and do the worship parts of the conference, but when the pastor didn’t take our equipment they didn’t go right away, and as we were discussing the matter, as to what could be done, the pastor from a downriver village Kokal, (a 2 ½ hour walk away) and his whole group came walking up. (we had gone and ministered at a conference in their village about a month before, and the Holy Spirit had really  They asked how things were going with getting ready, so we told him what had happened.

He got a little upset and said, “We are not going to let the laziness of this pastor stop the work God wants to do in Tulingbila! We are going to do what it takes to make this work go on. We have several young men with us, and they can carry this stuff on their backs.” So I took over the rice shelling and Chris and Marcos got all the speakers and equipment ready and strapped it on the guys backs and their backs and took off for Tulingbila, a three and a half hour walk upriver. We sent the little generator with a guy from Tulingbila who had come and got a canoe load of rice shelled.

 

The first night of the conference could have been considered a disaster. The people that came acted like they were scared to come inside, seemed distracted and not engaged with what was being taught. The worship wasn’t much different, and as Karen was singing, her throat mysteriously got closed off so that she couldn’t sing any more.

As they laid down that night after it ended, Marcos, Karen, and Chris discussed the extreme spiritual darkness that overshadowed the whole church house and what went on there. They began to pray that God would show up and cast the evil spirits out of that place and rest His Holy Spirit there. That night God showed Karen in a vision some of the things that had been going on there in the church house. The pastor was also a witch doctor and used the church building to do his evil rituals to curse people, and scare people into submission to him, so the evil spirits lived there in the building.

So the next morning she shared it with the ones who had showed up for prayer meeting. For the next couple hours they prayed and pleaded with God to show up with His Holy Spirit, and in the name of Jesus they cast out the evil spirits that had made the building their home. They also warned the pastor harshly about his evil practices.

From there things completely turned around, with the worship and sermons all being directed by the Holy Spirit. Over the next few days as the Holy Spirit spoke through the speakers, many tears were shed as the Spirit dealt with each individual. On that day (Saturday) there were several who went forward and handed their life over to the Savior.

The following day, (Sunday) most of the other Christians from KrinKrin went with me to the conference, and we started the morning off with worship, and then our drama team did the skit of a young girl who happily walked with God in her innocence, but then a young guy comes along that she likes and ends up taking her innocence away, and from there she runs after all the different things of the world trying to get happy again, but nothing works and last she tries to take her own life.

Finally she remembers how happy she used to be when she was younger and used to talk to Jesus all the time, so she decides to try to get to Jesus. She tries over and over with all of her strength, but is blocked every time by the demons or sins she had committed. At last she falls to the ground completely exhausted, and cries out to Jesus to come and save her. At that moment Jesus steps forward and with one powerful swing of His arm knocks all the demons down, and picks her up and holds her tight for a moment. Then He goes about doing things with His arm still around her, and she gladly follows Him wherever He goes with a happy and joyful heart.

By the time the play was over, probably about eighty present of the people, young and old were crying or wiping tears. Sarah took the microphone and explained all the different things in the skit and also shared her own testimony, which touched many hearts as well.

From there I preached, with scriptures explaining why we are not able to work our way to Jesus, and how Jesus explained how anyone who sins is a slave to sin. I also shared a peace of my testimony about how for many years I was deceived by religion about how to get to heaven, and how satin had me as a slave to sin. How I struggled just like the girl, trying to get to Jesus, but always failing, and how hopeless it became, until one day just like the girl, I cried out to Jesus to save me, because I couldn’t get to Him. How He saved me at that minute and set me free from all those things I was enslaved to. And how He walks with me and I walk with Him now, doing the things that He wants me to do.

I finished out with explaining how anyone who is done with their life can do the same, and that Jesus desires to save everyone that way, and put His Spirit into their hearts and make them “Spirit” children. But warned against thinking they can just ask Jesus to save them, but not be willing to surrender their life to Him like so many people do, and become “name” Christians only, who have no power to overcome sin, and cannot enter heaven because they are not born again.

As one of the local pastors picked it up and talked about what they had seen and heard, and how God is inviting anyone who is willing to surrender to Him to come, a young woman came forward and bowed to the ground and cried out to God to take her life in His hand, and then a young man also came forward in tears and said that he wanted God to take over his life.

Tuling baptism

Right after the service most of the group went to the river where the two and a few others got baptized. As we were walking back up to the village for lunch I found out the story behind the two who had come forward and given their life to Christ that day. They had been together as a couple for a few years and had children together, but she had gone to the Baptist Church, and his family being Catholic, didn’t want him to leave their church so they told him he needs to leave her.

So he did as his parents and siblings said and left her. From there both of their lives had become a serious mess. And that day the Holy Spirit got ahold of them both. She knew that she had never given it all up to Christ, and that day she gave it all. He too decided to give it all up to Christ, even though that meant being shunned by his parents and siblings. I later took the two aside and shared with them how my family and I had experienced the same thing when we gave our life to Christ, but that it is well worth it. I was able to share with them many words of encouragement for the coming days and years, and how keeping their focus on Jesus will make the difference how well they can overcome their old habits, and how pleasant the journey will be.   By Eli Lee

 

Thank y’all for continuing to pray for us and the people here. We appreciate all the resources y’all provide as well, because without them we would not be able to go about doing the things that we do. One of the areas I would like to ask you to specifically pray for at this time is for resources for the school. It takes a lot to keep that all going, but we know that God is in charge and that He has plenty, so it’s a matter of Him touching the hearts He wants to be involved in this area of the ministry.

I am so blessed to be able to be a part of the work that God is doing here, and pray that everyone of you who is involved will feel equally blessed. And I pray that someday some more of y’all will be able to come visit us here and see first hand what God is doing, and how His Spirit is at work through this ministry He has brought about. I love y’all, and am looking forward to seeing y’all through the month of May when we plan to share with y’all in the States. Eli Lee

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