Nov. Update

Dear loved one’s,
Praise and glory to God the Father and to the Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us a living hope, and called us according to His purpose.
We have made our way to Managua again for the purpose of renewing our residency permits. Things have been delayed a little because it is the first year we are going under the covering of our ministry here in Nicaragua, so there is more paperwork that needs to be done, and more papers to be gotten from the government here. But God is so good!  He continues to give us favor with the right people so that things keep moving forward. Thank yall for your continued prayers and financial support, because without it, it would be imposible for us to do this process or to stay here.

Oh my! Here it is about three weeks later, and we are back in Krin Krin! God did some amazing things in the process of getting our new residency permits. We could very well have been stuck there for another six weeks, with the time lines they gave us throughout the process. But in one of the cases the wait was ten days, and we had the paper in one and a half hours! In another case the wait was five weeks after they accepted the paperwork, but we had our cards in our hands in three days! It was amazing! So we were gone from home just under a month. We were also very grateful for Camille and Katrina who stayed at the house with our Derlin while we were gone.

Since we are back things are all in a hustle and bustle like usual when we are gone for a month. Our ministering here in our village has gone to a different level, with the ones we have been teaching since we’ve been here, who say they are Christians, yet continue to live in sin. God told us to warn the people that if they don’t repent, they will have to face the consequences of God’s punishment, which we did.
Well what God said is coming to pass, and some serious things are happening the last few month. It is hard to see people suffer, and some die, but I am thankful that God loves them so much that He teaches them. There are a few who are starting to look deeper into what it means to be a Christian, but others have chosen to blame us for their sorrow instead of repenting.
There are a group of them who are banding together and have put a bounty on my life. As many of you know, there have been several attempts to kill one or the other of us in the past, without success. This time the plan is very well thought out where there will be no escape for me. (In human terms) They are hiring three hit men with good guns, one to come here in the village to kill me. If that one should fail, they assume that I will take off down river, so they will have another one stationed a little ways downriver, and if that one should fail, they will also have another one in Waspam, just in case I make it that far.
This is definitely a concern to pray about, but it doesn’t scare me. I know God has called me to do a work here that is not complete yet, so I know my time on this earth isn’t done. And if my time to go home with Him hasn’t come, they can try anything they want and won’t be able to kill me. And when my time has come to go, I can’t do anything to stay alive. So why should I worry, since my life is in the hands of the Almighty? After all He is my Father and I know He has the perfect plan for my life in His hands, so I desire nothing else!
Something I would like to ask yall to pray about is for all the refugees from the violence in the area. There are about 83 people here in our village who have fled the fighting, who we are trying to help with the basic needs of life. In the week since we are back I have talked to the leaders from our village and with several other people who are familiar with the situation in the affected villages. This is some of what I learned:
The village of Polo Paiwas has been completely wiped out, every house has been burned down. The people who weren’t killed have all fled to other villages. There are four other villages that almost all the women and children and some men have fled from as well because of the violence. They are mostly staying with whoever will allow them to stay, so there are many little houses that have four or five families (sometimes as many as 30 people) living in them. This is quickly creating a huge problem for the ones who took others in, because they barely had enough food to feed their family for a year, and now there food is all disappearing fast.
A few of the leaders from these villages have come to me and asked for help with food and medicine. Sickness is so rampant with the children and elderly, like it always is when there isn’t sufficient food and unsanitary conditions. We have been helping some, but with everything going on and with all the costs of our Managua trip, our general fund is pretty much dry. We really appreciate those of you who constantly pray for these situations, and also for the generous giving, which enables us to actually help physically with these huge needs. I am convinced that yall will be sharing in the blessings of being obedient to God’s Spirit, and someday in this life or the next you will get to meet the precious souls that have been won for Christ because of your obedience.

It is our goal to show or share the love of Jesus to everyone we meet. God is continuing to open the doors for us to minister in other villages. In the middle of Dec. we plan to have our first compana on the Honduras side. We struggle with ministering to everyone in follow up and new places. Almost all of these villages have a pastor of some sort, but many of them need some serious descipling yet (or be saved) before they can really teach those who make a profession of faith. It is our hope to start a discipleship training school for pastors in 2016, if the Lord provides the means to do it. When many of these pastors found out that the Lord put it on my heart to do that, they got very excited about it and said they will be coming whenever we start the classes.

We are also planning to have a pastor’s conference here in Krin Krin again in Jan, like we had last Jan. Only God knows how this one will turn out, because there are many pastors from further away villages who asked me if they can come this year. I also know that the Padri of the Catholic religion is telling their pastors that they can’t come to our functions anymore, although I know of several that have said that they are coming anyway, because nobody else has ever taught them about the Holy Spirit the and they want to learn more about it.

Another prayer request I have is for the Catholic minister that is over this immediate area. He is the one that the Padri had sent last year to shut our conference down, but by God’s grace he wasn’t able to shut it down, so he sat in and took notes about everything that was taught. By the end of the three day conference he came to me and apologized for causing us trouble, because we didn’t teach anything except out of the bible, and we didn’t bash his religion. He has been at several of the companias we have done in villages close to his, even the ones we did in the Baptist and the Moravian churches.
He was here just last week when the Padri was here in Krin Krin and left strict orders that none of their people were allowed to go to our companias anymore, and there was no way that they were allowed to have us have any part in there functions. This week they had a conference for young people here. The Padri didn’t show up, so it left this minister all alone to do all the teaching and everything. He was overwhelmed and went to praying to God about it,  and God told him: “why are you crying about being alone? Your brother is right here and is willing to help. Go unite with them and the work will go well. ” So he came and asked me to help with the preaching, and asked the rest of us and Marcos’s family to help with the music and play a couple of skits. It was awesome!! God is doing a huge work in his life and he is listening to the teaching of the Holy Spirit at this point, but I know that he will be pounced upon hard by his superiors in religion with the choices he is making. Please pray that God would strengthen him and teach him to also rely on the Spirit when he is faced with hard choices he will have to make.

Sorry this got so long. Thank yall for your faithfulness! Eli and family

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GLENIS

Here is a short story about a lady from our village that passed away this past week.

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Glenis, a name asociated with an angry women, hateful, disrespectful, prideful, Godless, and the favored child of her mother.

“Mary, Glenis passed out again, can you come check her blood presure” was a very comon anouncment from someone running down the hill toward our house.

After the birth of her youngest son Erti, Glenis struggled with constant sickness. Beings she was her mother’s favored child Ofelia (her mother) rarely left her side; often taking her to different villages looking for the best witch doctor to heal her daughter. After months of one witch doctor after another, God came to Glenis’s sister Karen (a faithful servant of Christ) in a dream one night saying; “Why have you not told your sister of my love for her, why have you not told her how she can be saved. I do not desire that she die without knowing me”.

As her sister lay nearly dieing Karen asked if the ministry would help pay for Glenis to go see a real doctor. The ministry paid for her fare down river, and once down river against her mother’s will Karen took Glenis to see a real doctor. Karen and my Dad spent hours teaching Glenis about the love of Jesus and how she could be saved. After many sleepless nights and continued battle with the sickness Glenis surrendored her life into the hands of her savior Jesus Christ. Her mother also made a profession of faith, that after a few weeks proved to be like the seed that fell among the rocks. “When I trusted God to heal my daughter he didn’t do a thing, I don’t care what God says anymore. I love my daughter more then him and I will do anything to have her healed”, Ofelia would say.

Glenis in plane-1But Glenis now trusted in her Savior and refused to give in to her mother’s rantings. “I know that God has saved me” she would say. “I know he has the power to heal me if he desires to do so, but if he wants to take me home to be with him, I am ready to go. I no longer want to look to the witch doctors for help, I know a bigger better power now, and he lives within me. I know the angry person I used to be, I know the hatred I had in my heart, but now it´s all gone, God has washed all my sins away; I now have a peace in my heart in place of the hatred, and I know nothing can ever change that. I believe in my God and I will not give in to Satan again”.

Through her sickness and many hours of teaching and encouragement from Karen and also my Dad when he got a chance, Glenis’s faith continued to grow.

After monthes of doctoring nothing seemed to help Glenis get better, always on the verge of death Glenis’s body continued to get weaker, and the opposition from the mother got stronger.

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Glenis’s three youngest children had been staying with their aunt Laura who beat them daily and refused to feed them properly. When Karen came home for a week she took the children and leaving them in our hands to care for them, went back down river to be with her sister.

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Here is a picture of the difference in the baby only a short time after he was in our care. Warmer, plenty of food, and a little tender living care.

God touched Dad’s heart when he was down river that he needed to go and pray for Glenis. As they prayed God showed Marcos (Karen’s husband) in a vision of how He touched Glenis`s body and healed all the wounds that Satan had inflicted on her body. As the next two weeks went by Glenis slowly got better, although she was still very weak.

One night in a dream God came to Karen and showed her an angel with a bow and arrow pulled back pointing at Glenis and said, “tell your mother if she does not repent from her wickedness, she will loose her daughter”.

Ofelia became more furious saying things like “If Glenis refuses to go to the witch doctors I hope that she does die, and if God has a problem with the way I have been acting he will just have to punish me, but I don’t care”.

At Glenis’s request we brought her home where she was able to see her five children. That night God came to Karen again in a dream and showed her the angel who had pulled the arrow back let it go and it went trough Glenis but it didn’t harm her, but the arrow went on out the other side and hit Ofelia and she fell to the ground in much pain. The next day against Glenis’s will, Ofelia with the backing of her family invited the witch doctors in to do their medicine on her daughter. All day they kept the doors locked and refused to let Karen in to see her sister, who was crying and begging them to stop doing the medicines on her, and asking to talk to Karen.

That night Karen and Marcos came to our house, and Karen shared what God had shown her. “I can’t do anything” she cried, “what God has said no one can change.” After we prayed and cried with them they went home, but before they reached their house we heard wailing and screaming coming from Glenis’s house. God had chosen to take his daughter home. Away from all the pain the trails that may before her. The arrow went through Glenis but it could not harm her because she beleived in her Savior, and is now with her heavenly father, but the mother because of her unbelief suffers loss. Sadly, Ofelia still refuses to repent but continues to say terrible things about God and against Karen, blaming them for killing her daughter.

How much God must love Ofelia because he choose to take her daughter who was ready to meet him instead of her herself, because he knows she is not ready to meet him.

Please pray for Glenis’s younger sister Laura as God has shown Karen that if her mother still refuses to repent and turn to him, he will allow sickness to come on Laura, because Ofelia has allowed her children to become her God. If Ofelia still doesn’t repent and turn to Him Laura will also die. Please pray for Laura’s salvation. Also pray for Ofelia that God would soften her heart and help her to surrender to Him, and for Karen as the battles seem unending for her. Pray for Glenis’s five chldren and husband as well as they struggle with the loss of their mother and wife.

Here is a picture of Glenis’a five children. The oldest daughter is married and has her own baby.

We continually praise God for his saving grace for Glenis! Pray for others like Glenis to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Thank ya”ll for your prayers, Sarah Lee

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Sep. Update

Dear friends, 

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray that all is well yall’s way. We are doing well here. Every day seems to have it’s own set of challenges, but our God is so faithful in leading us through the path He has already cleared for us. Our biggest challenge is to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, stay sensitive to His Holy Spirit, and to believe His promises. As soon as we focus our eyes on the things that are going on around us, our task seems totally impossible and we get scared and worried. But if we believe in our God and believe His promises, we can be totally at peace even in the midst of people wanting to destroy or kill us, and in total chaos, because we know that the one that is with us is much stronger and smarter then the one that is against us.

I want to thank yall for your prayers, and giving! I believe God pays special attention to us and the work here because so many of His children keep bringing it to His attention. And He also touches people’s hearts to give in accordance to what He wants to accomplish. It is truly amazing to be a part of something as incredible as God trying to make Himself known to a nation, the Miskito Nation. There have been so many that have brought the truth, or the truth to some extent over the years, but the powers of Satin are so strong here along the Rio Coco, since this has been his territory for hundreds or thousands of years that most have either given up and left, or shrunk back and left some of the truth by the wayside so as not to offend the powerful witch doctors, or allowed the enemy to mix a bunch of witchcraft and local traditions with the truth. So there is a constant battle going on spiritually, which also spills into the physical.

The work is coming along very well on the children’s home and the medical clinic. The food program for the people who lost much of their rice last year from the flood went very well too. We gave away 7000 pounds of rice to 109 families, in three villiges. I want to pass on the many heart felt thanks from the people. It was a very happy time for the adults and the children. The new rice harvest will be coming in in a few weeks, so the feeding in KrinKrin will soon be over as well.

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The unrest in the area is getting worse by the day. It started with spats between some of the Spanish frontiers that are settling into the Miskito territory, but has escalated to a motorcycle being burned yesterday morning that belonged to the Sandinista (goverment) party. Then last night when the top polital officer from the Miskito party went to the radio station to make some announcements a gunman stepped in and shot him. They say it was a Sandinista person, but I don’t know if they really know or not. Many of the Miskito people are still bitter about the war back in the 80s, and they see all the Spanish speaking people as the same, and as their enemies, so now they are calling the young men from all over to come and help fight this war.

There is some fighting going on upriver in a few of the villages close to us as well. Lots of people from these villages have fled to other villages and to Honduras. A couple dozen are in our village, waiting for things to settle down so they can go home. So many lives have already been lost in the last few weeks. Only God knows how these next few weeks will go. Please pray for God to intervene somehow, so that this will not become an all out war. I trust that God will keep us safe through it all. I will try to give an update every week or so for a while, until things settle down again, as long as communication doesn’t get cut off. Thank yall for praying! Eli Lee

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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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