Over the last 15 years assembly testimony in Nicaragua has advanced substantially. The Lord has brought several gospel workers from a variety of cultural backgrounds here, and they are nicely spread throughout the western side of the Republic.
We rejoice that the Lord has provided for the printing of over 700,000 Seed Sower texts; nearly 600,000 LFYP Sunday school papers; approximately 400,000 gospel tracts and 65,000 excellent quality calendars. The gospel is being preached, published, and exemplified in many cities and communities. A few dedicated young believers from the assemblies have faithfully visited the homes of nearly 70 children on a monthly basis delivering the equivalent of US $20, meeting some of the most vital needs these little ones have as they live in total poverty. The Sponsorship Program is called NicaChild and its focus is as much spiritual as humanitarian.
Nicaragua is being blessed. A conference/camp facility is being built in the Northern hamlet called Taoquil close to the Honduran border. In the south, the property we built in 2007 on the pristine Lake of Apoyo has been faithfully used for the furtherance of the gospel, especially among secondary and university age youth. We highlight the Lord’s provision, and praise Him for His protection upon us and the work of God here. Nicaragua is one of the few Central American Republics that still breathes tranquil air. Please pray for the leaders, that, just as Paul wrote to Timothy so many years ago, “we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way (1Tim 2:2, ESV).
Brenda and I moved into the capital city in July of 2011 to enroll our eldest son Matthew in an English speaking Christian School that follows the American calendar year and curriculum. This move was also in keeping with our spiritual burden for the capital city and in particular the city center. The five main university campuses are within a two-mile radius of downtown Managua. We intentionally rent a house in the very center of this vital circle and have made the souls who live here the focus of our labors. Six young Canadian men literally dedicated themselves to these neighborhoods for the year they spent here.
Our labors started on the front patio of Elida’s house in what is considered part of the University residence. Soon over 60 university students were listening to the gospel on Monday nights. After the third meeting, Kevin Rivera trusted Christ; and was baptized a couple of months later with over 100 of his peers observing. Kevin is a good help today in the newly formed assembly.
The gospel was preached for over 100 nights in 10 different locations in this two mile radius. The contacts from one location accompanied us to the next, and hence the group grew, and the Lord saved souls.
A building was rented in May of 2013 to give an increased sense of stability in the work. The gospel hall we meet in is on a main street, easily accessible by public transportation. Almost all who come to the meetings do so by public transportation, and the location of the hall is key. Over the following 16 months more souls were saved and several were baptized. We appreciated the help of several of our preaching brethren who dedicated time and assisted us in teaching God’s word. On September 21, 2014, 20 Nicaraguan believers sat together in simplicity to break bread for the first time in Central Managua. Today, there are 26 in fellowship: six married couples, seven young men, and seven sisters.
We are not a perfect assembly, but we are God’s building. We are not yet deep theologians, but we are part of God’s great family. The assembly doesn’t know what plans the Lord has for the future, and we don’t know how or when to acquire a permanent building in which to meet. We only know that He knows, and just as Paul wrote to the believers in one first century assembly, we take hope in knowing that “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6, ESV).
We anticipate seeing our God do even more with Nicaragua in the coming years, but for here and now, we, like Samuel, would like to pause in the battle and place the Ebenezer stone, humbly confessing, “hitherto hath the LORD helped us” (1Sam 7:12).