Sunday, January 7, 2018

For the love of God...and music!

Steve has always had a desire to better equip each church with music. Often we have gone to a local service where they were singing without any instruments or very little. Over the years, he has outfitted some churches from everything from the microphones to drum sets. On this trip, we attended a service where singing and clapping was the way of worship. By the end of the service, the pastor was literally hoarse and almost without a voice from singing and preaching without a microphone. Both Larry and Steve donated their guitars to Pastor Wilmer's church, and Thrive Church donated a keyboard, microphones, and cords to support this church in their music ministry.

Womens' Conference - July 2017

While the men are away leading the pastors' conference, the women on the mission team are leading a women's event. During this conference, Yvette Maynard, our home church pastor's wife, shared her heart and created a beautiful day for these women. The focus was loving ourselves and seeing ourselves as God sees us. The workshop included a Bible devotion, several arts and crafts, a time to share, and a meal. (the one male in the photo was the interpreter)

Preaching and Teaching - July 2017

After the first few times we hosted mission teams in Nicaragua, I turned to the local pastors and asked them what our teams should and could do to help them and the people of Nicaragua. Often, as North Americans, we go to a third world country and decide what WE think they need. After speaking with several pastors, they ALL said they would like to receive more training to better serve their own churches. Out of the seven pastors we spoke with, only one had received any formal training and seminary. We decided that pastor trainings and conferences should be at the center of all of our mission team agendas. On this trip, our own home church pastor, Bobby Maynard, conducted a few day training with a group of local pastors and leaders. The picture below is from the night he went on to preach at a local service.

Cooking Lessons

The summer of 2017 was our 9th year of hosting teams in Nicaragua, and we are growing very close to many locals. This trip, we invited some of our church family into our home, and they gave us a cooking lesson of Nicaraguan foods. It was a great time of fellowship and the food was fantastic.
Tostones - fried plantains

No Nicaragua meal is complete without rice!

The final plate!

Cooking on the grill Nica style! 

Thrive Church - 2017

There is nothing more special to us when our HOME church
joins us on mission in Nicaragua. We love our church family! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Crossway Church, Davie, Florida

In June, Crossway Church of Davie, Florida, came to serve in Nagarote. We partnered with Team Elswick, missionaries who serve in Managua, Nicaragua. The group had a busy week. They spent three days encouraging the children of Second Baptist-Jesus is My Pastor Church through VBS. They also painted the church, erected a wall that fell from the earthquake three years ago, and repaired the roof. 

 Crossway Church 
Team Elswick. Here Tony Elswick presents the pastors of Nagarote a certificate for New Testament training. We enjoyed a night of food and fellowship as they were presented with their certificates of completion. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Our Story Continues

Our Story

In 2009 we were given the opportunity to be part of a short term mission trip to Nagarote, Nicaragua. At first, we felt reluctant, but God quickly changed our hearts and minds. We discovered some statistics about Nicaragua, and knew it was the right place for us to go.

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America after Haiti. Poverty is largely a rural problem in Nicaragua, although there are pockets of poverty in the capital, Managua, and in other urban areas. Close to half (43 percent) of the people in Nicaragua live in rural areas. Two out of three of them (68 percent) struggle to survive on little more than US$1 per day. We quickly learned how friendly the people of Nicaragua are, and how content they seem to be with life in general. To Americans, they seem to have so little, but to us they seem to have so much more. This drew us in even further. 

After returning from our first trip, we felt an intense call to return. We became the new mission trip leaders for our church and started planning more trips to Nicaragua. We fell in love with the town and its people, and knew that it was the place God wanted us to make a difference. Over the next few years we continued planning trips with various church groups. 

While on mission, our groups conducted back-yard Bible camps and Vacation Bible Schools. We held several revivals and pastor training conferences. Some groups chose to tackle construction that included building a new home for a family in need and a stem wall for a local church that had access issues. Every trip included tract distribution along with some basic necessities like clothing, beans, rice, and toiletry items. Providing Spanish Bibles was also high on each groups' list. 

Making connections with the local churches and its members has really helped us find out the greatest needs in the area. Even though we were serving by organizing and participating in these trips, we wanted to do more. The next step was to purchase some land. We sold our dream house in the US and bought a farm in the town of Nagarote. We are currently building a home and common area where groups can stay when they come on mission. This is a work in progress and we know God will lead us on the right path. We will continue to share the love of Jesus as the people of Nagarote share their lives with us.