Last week we drove to Sebaco to take funds to be used to continue follow up hurricane relief efforts. Pastor Gregorio purchased and packaged food items and made the trip out to Miskito de Aguas Kiras near Puerto Cabezas. They visited with many people who were sick or incapacitated and prayed with them. Their expressions of gratitude were very moving. Please continue praying for this area. Some are doing better, but many are still experiencing very difficult situations. Please pray that God would use these visits to open the door to plant a new church in the area.
Church Days at Centro ABEM
Somewhat back to normal?
Quick Family Update
Thank you for your prayers for our family!
Dear Praying Friends,
Please pray for Bruce as he travels to Bogota, Colombia tomorrow. He has been invited by fellow ABWE missionaries to teach a week-long course in Practical Advice for Church Planting to seminary students in the Baptist Seminary of Colombia. Luis Garcia will also be joining in via Zoom to share the Nicaraguan perspective on his experience in church planting over the past 12 years.
Please pray that it will be a help and an encouragement to them as they seek to plant 60 churches by 2030!
Please pray especially for health. Bruce will return to the US on the 23rd and we are hopeful to return to Nicaragua shortly after.
15 years ago today...
On New Year's Eve 2005 we arrived in Costa Rica to begin a year of language school. It's hard to believe that 15 years have passed, but we are grateful for all that God has taught us, the partnerships we've developed, and for the privilege we've had to help train church planters to reach their communities for Christ. To God be the glory for all of it!
Thank you for your partnership with us. You have been a great source of encouragement to us through your prayers, responses to our updates, giving monthly and to special projects.
A third relief trip went out this last week of December. Our national partners took 512 packets of food and delivered them to families in Prinzapolka, Ariswatla, and Samil.
When they reached the river port in Alamikamba, they encountered a woman who had walked from 6 hours away looking for food. She had a large family and her kids were crying from hunger. They live in such a remote area that no aid had been sent to that area. The pastors were able to provide her with food and share Christ with her.
Your gifts allowed us to help our national partners minister to their fellow Nicaraguans in very meaningful ways. God is continuing to provide funds and we are working closely with our national partners to assess ongoing needs.
Blessings of 2020
While 2020 has been difficult in many ways, we want to praise God for blessings that have come from difficulty:
The Best Christmas
We are beyond thankful to be spending time with our families this Christmas.
We've enjoyed some great time with Peter and Emma and it has been such a gift to all be together.
We wish each of you a Happy New Year and pray God's richest blessing on you in 2021!
...in times of crisis
...to ongoing projects
We are so grateful for long-term partnerships we have been blessed with. Many of you have been with us for 5, 10, even 15 years, and have faithfully given to Centro ABEM along the way. Some have made donations. Some have participated in short term teams. Others have sponsored campers and churches to use the ABWE Ministry Center for camps, retreats, outreach events, etc.
Each of these has an impact on the local church. Currently, our goal is to offer a "Church Day" to 50 local churches with whom we partner so they can bring a group to Centro ABEM for the day. Yesterday, a group of 60 people came and held a baptism and spent the rest of the day enjoying the pool and fellowship with each other. $250 sponsors a church for a day.
...to our family personally
With Tropical Storm Iota approaching, preparation continues for 2 relief trips, one to the NE and one to the NW, leaving Monday morning.
The churches have been gathering and sorting donations. They have received donations from many churches, as well as food from Convoy of Hope, and 500 boxes of long-life milk from the milk company, Centrolac! Our team has also added food and medicine to these deliveries thanks to generous giving, and will be helping to transport the donations.
Please pray as Iota is potentially going to be a category 3 storm as she makes landfall in the same area as Eta, if the track holds. She is forecasted to drop another several inches of rain on the already saturated areas.
Relief efforts will be ongoing after this storm crosses the northern section of the country. If you would like to give, please note Nicaragua Hurricane Relief.
We are very excited to see our national partners taking the lead in relief efforts. We are partnering with 2 church associations (CIEMBIN and ACIBEN) that we work with to help provide relief to the communities in the north that suffered severe flooding and some wind damage to roofs.
We have already sent some aid through ACIBEN to churches in Somoto and Siuna.
Bruce is meeting with CIEMBIN pastors today to formulate a plan to distribute the food, clothing, shoes, personal items, etc. that are currently being gathered.
If you would like to give to relief efforts, please click below. ABWE has set up the Compassion-Central America account and gifts should be noted: Nicaragua Hurricane Relief.
Covid relief continues:
In October, we sent more covid relief to a rural area already hard-hit by a weak economy. We are grateful to be able to assist men faithfully ministering in their communities.
In October, the current class of men met to continue the Omega manual. In addition, they received Child Evangelism Fellowship Sunday school training.
The wives were also invited to attend a cake baking class. Gustavo Mendoza has been trained and wants to use his training to teach others in order for them to help their families and churches with potential additional income. We are inviting Gustavo and the wives back for an additional class in decorating during our November ICP.
We are SO grateful that we were finally able to take our vacation (scheduled for April 2020!) and even more grateful that Peter was able to be in Florida with us. We had such a great time celebrating Laura's 2nd 25th birthday ;) with her family. It was a much needed break, but we are thankful to be back in Nicaragua in time to help with the hurricane relief efforts.
The Institute of Church Planters met the 3rd week of September with 6 generations of ICP graduate students. They studied "The biblical distinctive of the Baptists" and "The New Testament order of the church" which is published by EBI. It was a tremendous blessing for them to all be together!
One of our students made mugs with the ICP logo and mission statement: "That each person in Nicaragua and the world would have the opportunity to hear the gospel through the planting of churches by saturation."
Thank you for your prayers for this ministry that is reaching communities for Christ throughout Nicaragua!
Other ministry updates:
Pastor Pablo and his wife feed kids in the community each week after Sunday school. When they worked and lived in Granada, they used some of their earnings to provide food for the kids in the church. They have since left their jobs and home in Granada to live and minister full time in Las Flores.
They had been praying for a way to provide food for the kids as they began having services again. They weren't sure how they were going to do it, but through the generosity of so many donors, they now have food for several weeks.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to give to pastors like these. Thank you for your partnership in the gospel!
Covid Relief~ Matching Gift Update
We are thrilled to announce that the $2000 matching gift goal has been reached and exceeded!!
That means over these 6 weeks over 400 families have received beans, rice, and oil to help during this health and economic crisis.
It has been a joy to deliver the food and hear stories again and again of how this food is providing for people who literally did not know where the next meal would come from.
We are thankful for teammates who have helped with deliveries and we will continue to distribute food as there are funds.
Through your generosity, nearly 2,000 families have been blessed since April!!
To God be the glory!
The current Institute of Church Planters class was able to meet in person this month at Centro ABEM. The students were so encouraged to be back together in person for class.
Please continue to pray for these men as they seek to start new churches in different communities in Nicaragua.
ICP Pastors Licensed
This month, three pastors that are ICP graduates completed the process to be licensed so they can baptize, perform weddings, and communion.
Bruce was given the privilege to speak at a special service for pastor Lester (pictured left). Following the service pastor Lester baptized two new believers.
We are so thankful for the mother church, Iglesia Bautista Belén, who helped Antonio, Pablo, and Lester and encouraged them in the process.
Bruce and Laura Edgar