Five Year Residents

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

April 7 2017

Greetings from the capital city of Nicaragua.

Finally, six months after our trip to Managua was postponed in November, on Monday we made the trip to renew our residencies. We kids caught an old school bus (public transportation) and bumped across the country on mostly dirt roads for twenty hours until we reached our destination. The ride was better than we had expected as the government is working on paving new sections of the road.IMG_2435

My parents took the smoother, less adventurous ride in a twelve-passenger plane and met us here. On Wednesday we spent all day at the immigration office and walked out that evening, Happy Legal Nicaraguan Residents for a full five years! We are super excited that they granted us the five years this time, because it will cut out this annual cost of expensive travel. We are truly grateful for all who have kept this process in your prayers and for those of you who gave financially to make it possible. God worked everything out perfectly. I can see that it was the best, even though waiting patiently was hard when most of our other plans revolved around this event. Trusting God is always rewarding!

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Chris headed back on the bus today; Eva, Katie, Lizzie, and John plan to leave tomorrow. My parents will be traveling back by plane on Tuesday, and Mary, Camille, and I plan on visiting Honduras where Camille served for two years prior to joining our family in KrinKrin. Please keep all these travels in your prayers, that God will safely rejoin us soon.

Your Sister in Christ, Sarah Lee

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Dec 1st Update

Dear loved ones,
First of all I want to thank you all for praying for us during these trying times. I am convinced that it is only because of the prayers of the saints that we are still here today. Satan is not giving us any slack, but the harder the trials the more powerful God shows himself.
We had asked you all to pray about the situations here in the village, including about the little girl Derlin that stayed with us. I am sad to say that today she is no longer with our family. She made some very bad choices and was not willing to repent, but continued to follow after her own desires, so we finally had to just remove her from our home In human terms things have not gotten any better here in the village either, with the village’s most evil people still being in the lead. But for every evil plot that they come up with, God has a remedy to stop it.
We have also not yet gone to Managua to get our new residences. We applied for a five-year permit this year, which has not yet been approved, so the whole renewing process has been pushed back. We expect to hear from them soon and receive a date when we need to be there.

A highlight for us this week was a young couple who we have discipled for the past year, getting married. These two precious young ones have had no chance at life. He was thrown out my his mother as soon as he was born, because she got pregnant with a male whore who left the day after. He was taken care of by a couple from KrinKrin, but he was mocked and ridiculed all his life because of his mothers choice, and because he was born with cleft palate and can’t talk right.She was brought up by her grandma, because her mother and her father were both prostitutes and she never knew them. She too was considered less than trash all her life, and mocked wherever she went. But because of all that rejection and hurt, and having no one who cared about them, they leaned in when they experienced the Love of God at our house. We have been teaching them for over a year now, and they are soaking it up. 

Last week they took the step of getting married, because they don’t want to live in sin anymore. This decision too has brought them much insult, because marrying so young is not accepted in this culture. Even most of the pastors teach that you have to live with someone for at least five or ten years before you can know if you want to be married to them or not. But they are willing to do what they understand God requires, regardless of what people say.
They come here almost every morning for bible study time, and spend most of their time here with us, because they love the peace that is here on our property. He is building a little house for his adorable little wife, which we are helping with the things that they can’t afford like nails and gas to cut lumber.

 So would you please pray for them, that God would give them understanding as to what salvation really looks like, as He reveals His Love and Peace to them as they step out in faith to follow after Him. That He would continue to give them the courage to make the right choices even though the strong current of the culture is against them for it.

Since the last update we went over into Honduras to a conference that we got invited to. It was a very productive and encouraging trip. We also signed a contract with a radio station in Porta Limpida Honduras to air one of our recorded teachings every day. It is exciting to see how God is making a way to get His word to get out to so many, even in the midst of such opposition from the enemy.


We really appreciate yall sticking with us through the thick and the thin! Please forgive me for not being a better communicator. We love yall!! Eli for the Lee’s
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Update from Camille

Hello!

I hope as you read, you will be blessed by how God works. I am blown away when I consider the Lord God working personally in our lives here. Through all that is happening, He has invited us to come close and share His perspective, and rest in Him. There is nothing that can even come close to knowing Jesus and walking with Him daily.

“If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. When I thought, ‘My foot slips,’ Your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 94:16-19

* In September, the town leaders of Krin Krin were scheming on how to get money from the mission here, or else somehow get us to leave town. (To many of these people it seems too radical, too complicated; why can’t we just give out money and say, “God bless you?” It is complicated and it takes that daily walk with God to have the discernment necessary for working in any mission field.) Anyway, their plans failed. It’s hard to explain why, it didn’t make much sense, but it just died down. God was there through it all; Eli stood up in each meeting and spoke about how God has called us here, He is just and He’s not going to bless sin, but He is compassionate and forgiving to all who turn to Him. We love and desire to help the people physically, but most importantly we pray for their hearts to turn to Him. We are still learning their culture, but there are certain things that we cannot do because they go against God. The past two months have passed more smoothly, and a few of the leaders have asked to work together, though we are not sure of their specific motives. All of them have seen the power of God and His protection over this mission in all the witchcraft against us, bringing Eli to court, etc. and nothing has been able to stop God’s work. So many specific times I have seen God’s power when there was nowhere else to turn. We don’t know what is going to come in the future, but we do know that God is in control. Pray for us to keep following Him closely, not rely on our own strength, and give Him all the glory.

* We have just experienced another trial with Derling, the girl who has been living with the Lees for the past two years. She got into some trouble when she ran away last month and we’ve been asking God how to deal with it, and talking deeply with her about what kind of choices she’s making. Her mother is very angry and threatened huge fines and prison for both Eli and Marcos (the family who works with us in the mission here). Just this week the Lees found that Derling had written some horrible letters and felt clear direction to hand her back over to her mother. So with sad hearts we took her across the village and offered her back into God’s keeping. In His love He will be faithful to teach her what it takes to turn her heart fully to Him. These situations sound kinda crazy, and they really are. I’ve seen more crazy situations as a missionary than ever before in my life, but I have seen God, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

“So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God, but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” I Thess. 2:8

* We put on a girls’ conference Oct. 21-22 for 40 girls from Krin Krin. We really wanted to help them learn what it means to be daughters of the King. We each shared a testimony of struggles or lessons God has taught us and spent the two days completely dedicated to making this a sweet, beautiful time for these girls. They were so excited and really got to experience the special love of God that weekend. Hannah from Colorado, Nutie from Waspam, and Charissa from Puerto Cabezas joined us to lead the conference and we got to spend a few extra days with them before and after the event.

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* My friend Christina traveled from Oregon and another missionary family traveled ten hours by car and then three hours by boat to spend a few days with us. Another couple, Wesley and Jana Cooper from Arkansas, and then Morgan, Landon and Bryson Long from Missouri finished out the season of friends coming to share in life here. I especially enjoyed our Sunday morning sharing and worship times, and praying together every night. The encouragement and new perspective you all bring is so appreciated by all of us!

“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.” 2 Cor. 4:1

* We were invited to a conference in Kaukira, Honduras November 5-7. This involved traveling an hour down river, piling into a truck to Puerto Lempira (about four hours), then taking an hour boat ride across the lake and into a beautiful river area where the town in located. Eli and Marcos were able to preach and we all sang and shared a couple of dramas. I loved the beautiful peninsula and the Honduran Miskito culture- made me miss Guaimaca and my years there (but honestly, God has given me an amazingly beautiful satisfaction with Him in this place- I love being here).

 

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* The third tutoring class graduation was on October 29. It was a tough group of kids for me, but I’m trying to remember that the relationships and the example they see in Katie and I is just as important as the academic and discipline issues. We had a fun graduation party, and I was encouraged when Eli and I showed the records to the heads of education in Waspam, and they loved the program!

* Many of our friends from the US who visited were able to be part of the girls’ Bible study at my house and give fresh ideas. There are five or six girls who come consistently and seem somewhat interested in knowing God and His Word.

* It’s a busy hub of activity around here with conferences, radio messages, medical emergency trips, agriculture, all kinds of teaching opportunities, and the general upkeep of cooking and cleaning out here in the jungle.

I am looking forward to the month of December where I hope to better organize plans for the tutoring classes to start up again in January, spend a little time in Managua, and see what else God puts in my path! I won’t be going back to Oregon this winter as I usually do, but my brother-in-law and sister (Jordan and Annie), sister (Janella) and a friend (Kendra) will be coming the end of December for two weeks in Krin Krin. I’m so excited for that!!! I am so thankful for you all- watching the body of Christ work together is amazing. Thank you for standing with me in prayer. Please keep praying!

“The Lord is righteous in all His ways and faithful in all He does. The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.” Psalm 145:17-18

* The third tutoring class graduation was on October 29. It was a tough group of kids for me, but I’m trying to remember that the relationships and the example they see in Katie and I is just as important as the academic and discipline issues. We had a fun graduation party, and I was encouraged when Eli and I showed the records to the heads of education in Waspam, and they loved the program!

* Many of our friends from the US who visited were able to be part of the girls’ Bible study at my house and give fresh ideas. There are five or six girls who come consistently and seem somewhat interested in knowing God and His Word.

* It’s a busy hub of activity around here with conferences, radio messages, medical emergency trips, agriculture, all kinds of teaching opportunities, and the general upkeep of cooking and cleaning out here in the jungle.

I am looking forward to the month of December where I hope to better organize plans for the tutoring classes to start up again in January, spend a little time in Managua, and see what else God puts in my path! I won’t be going back to Oregon this winter as I usually do, but my brother-in-law and sister (Jordan and Annie), sister (Janella) and a friend (Kendra) will be coming the end of December for two weeks in Krin Krin. I’m so excited for that!!! I am so thankful for you all- watching the body of Christ work together is amazing. Thank you for standing with me in prayer. Please keep praying!

“The Lord is righteous in all His ways and faithful in all He does. The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.” Psalm 145:17-18

Love, Camille

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Update From Eli

Dear friends, brothers and sisters,
Greetings to y’all in the Name of Jesus Christ. I will again try and write a little update about our journey through this place called earth. I know God has ordained a specific path for each and every human being in this life, and we all have our own stories of what has happened so far. What has happened this far into the journey is what made us into the person we are today. We did not choose to be born, or to whom we’d be born to, God chose that part. But for those of us who are adults have made choices that have determined where we went and what we did, and where we stand with God today.
I wonder how many of you reading this can say, “I know that I am on that path that God planned out for me before I was born.” You see, even though God laid out a plan (or calling) for each of us to walk in, doesn’t mean that we are walking in that perfect plan. I am not just talking about salvation, I’m talking about our walk. Many times we choose to walk where we want to walk. For some that is in fleshly or earthly desires, and for some it is the way we “think” God wants us to walk. But either one of those will cause us much grief and heartache.
It’s like trying to cut our own path through the jungle with a machete, instead of walking on a nice paved road. That is why so many are tired, worn out, and frustrated about life. I’m not saying that when we walk on the assigned road that we won’t have any trouble. But when the enemy comes at us we know where we stand, and with our feet on the solid rock of Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit giving us instructions, we know what to do and what to say. The battle has already been won by the One on whom we stand, so for us to win is a matter of being obedient to His instructions. This requires total surrender and obedience to our Captain.
As to where if we are cutting our own way, we have no solid footing, but boot deep or crotch deep mud and water that we can’t see where is the best place to step or stand. Just cutting our road through that is more than we will get accomplished in this life, not to mention that without being sensitive to the Holy Spirit we may be cutting the path the wrong direction of where we want to end up at. And when the enemy comes at us! Humh! Trying to fight a battle in that stuff with an enemy who can fly, and is invisible where you can’t even see him coming at you is senseless. No wonder so many people are at witts end about life.
Anyway, we are doing well here, by the grace of God. Leah’s surgery went well and she is healing up nice and regaining her strength.
God is doing some huge things here! What exactly it’s going to look like is not yet all clear, but it’s definitely going to stretch us to a new level in many ways.
The little Baptist churches in the villages along the river and the whole eastern side of Nicaragua are all falling apart, because they don’t have anyone that oversees them. A Baptist missionary who lived in Puerto Cabezas for many years, built quite a few small churches. But with the difficulty of the culture and the mindset of the people here, who will say yes to anything if they think they can get something out of it, yet are not willing to change their wicked ways, he finally left in discouragement. Even out of the pastors who went through the training he gave them, only a very few are saved.
So after the missionary left and and put a local guy in charge to oversee the churches, everything went into disarray. The local leadership that he left in charge seemingly weren’t interested in anything but the money he sent and the position he left them in. They squandered almost everything for themselves, including funds acquired by selling equipment that was left for the ministry. They didn’t go and visit the churches or give them any help, so the pastors became unwilling to have them as their leaders, and voted them out and put others in. Unfortunately the new leaders are very much like the former ones were, plus they don’t receive any more funds from the missionary, because they didn’t honor the people he left in charge.
So many of the churches are standing empty by now, and the ones that are not, the pastors are asking me to take their lead. Because they now realize after sitting through many sermons that we’ve preached in their churches and Campañas that they do not understand the saving work of the Holy Spirit. God has given them a desire to learn more about the work of the Holy Spirit and what being born again really looks like. So they are begging us to give them classes and teach them the truth. Because it has become evident to everyone that has sat through our sermons and teachings, and those of the former missionary, that there is a big difference in a sermon that is brought on by the Holy Spirit and one that is just mans ramblings like they are used to.

This is an incredible opportunity to be able to invest more time into these pastors! But it is also a really heavy work. For one, because (to my knowledge) so far there has not been any thorough pastor training material developed in the Miskito language, which in my opinion is the biggest reason that most of the pastors and people don’t understand salvation. I am currently working on teaching material to use in pastor training courses, but it is a huge work, which I have only made a good start on.
Other challenges include, the Miskito language lacks so many necessary words to rightly describe salvation, like grace, justice, joy, repent, and surrender to name a few. Then there are many others that also don’t have words, but they try to explain it,  like hope, (the law of waiting) mercy, (the law of looking upon the poor) peace, (the agreeing of hearts) and many more.
So please pray for me that God would guide and instruct me as I work on this important work. And that we would have resources to do the training and classes when we get the material ready, because there is going to be a good bit of travel involved in it. Our truck has given out, so going to the churches and places away from the river is really hard right now. But I know God also knows that, and already has a plan of how He wants to work it all out about another vehicle.

Something else that has come up that I want to share with y’all. The Miskito bibles have been sold out, and we can’t buy any more. But a friend of ours from Verbo Ministeries has talked to the Nicaraguan Bible Society, and they promised to get more printed with the order of several thousand copies. We would love to help with an order of a thousand, but don’t have the funds for it. So if this is something that God touches your heart about, please contact us.

Also we will be traveling to Managua next week to get our residencies renewed. We hope and plan to get a five year residency this year so we won’t be having the cost of going back every year. (They have agreed to give this to us, but please be in prayer that it will actually go through). This will also be a little more costly than the one year, but would cut down on cost in the next years. The estimated cost this year for our five year residencies is $3200.
Thank ya’ll for your constant prayers for our family and the people we minister to.
 Your Brother in Christ, Eli Lee
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