What an amazing time we had in Nicaragua, filled with heartfelt ministry to hundreds of poor children from schools and feeding programs in many different cities, singing our songs in Spanish, and encouraging many believers along the way.
In addition to the schools, we also had the privilege to lead a worship concert at a local church, which presently has no live music. We were hoping to ease into our Spanish singing by "practicing" on the students in the many schools we sang in. Instead, the week was kicked off with this church ministry, and the Lord backed us up with the sign and wonder of being able to sing in Spanish after such a long time!! :-p
We also were privileged to minister at a Leaders' meeting where we were able to lead pastors & worship leaders from many cities into the Lord's sweet presence. They were so excited to meet the worship leader who led the hit song, Celebrate Jesus, on the Hosanna! recording, Lord Of All, back in the 80's! We quickly re-learned it in Spanish and added Celebrad a Cristo, Celebrad to the repertoire!
YOU, through YOUR generosity enabled us to not only meet the budget of this outreach but also bless many with gifts of our music CDs, $1,000 worth of music equipment, and many generous financial gifts throughout the journey to pastors, leaders, school teachers, students and families.
We were overwhelmed with the amazing work Darey and Karen Jolley have developed through all those who've partnered with Ambassadors To The Nations (ATTN). In the last 30 years they have built dozens of homes for families who've never had one, built & staffed three Christian schools from the ground up as well as sponsoring two public schools, touching thousands of children and families all over the nation.
Since their dentist was also with us this time, we got to see the remote dental clinics in operation, whether it was set up in a teacher's break room or pastor's office, helping the local teachers and students.
It was a blessing to see a newly-finished roof addition at one of the schools along with the beginnings of new projects, feeding programs and more schools being built.
What a fantastic time with a team of over 50 eager ministry supporters from all over the US and Canada, as we traveled by school bus and boats to the various schools and outreaches, each sharing their gifts of drama, dance, preaching, music, and countless hugs and love. Hundreds of individuals were prayed for to receive Jesus, baptized in the Spirit and healing. These students face many of the same pressures our westernized kids do -- strife in the home, sexual temptations, sexual abuse, lacking the ability to dream about a better future. Many received hope & encouragement through prayers and love from the team.
Although they supply free education for nearly 2,000 children at 5 different schools in the western region of Nicaragua, most of these would not have the opportunity to attend school because of living too far from one, and no ability to pay for tuition, uniforms or books. At every school we visited, there were dozens of children and parents pressed against the fencing, longing to be able to send their children to these beautiful schools. And what a difference they are making in so many lives! The only thing stopping more schools from being built is money...
This was our first trip to the Spanish-speaking world in 10 years, and it was amazing to sing our songs again in that language. Te amo Senor, Te adorare por siempre (I love You Lord, I'll worship You forever) became the favorite of the children and the team, as we sang it at every stop along the way. We're HOPING to eventually take all these translated songs and release a Spanish CD! (We're sorry, the video is no longer available)
A part of our hearts were left there in Nicaragua with the children and we can't wait to go back someday. We have sponsored five students through ATTN for several years, and had the indescribable privilege to meet each one and bring special, hand-picked gifts to them from America. Even though we had to communicate through an interpreter with some of them, our hearts were swollen with instant love for each other! (One student was so shy, he ran off before we could get a photo with him!)
We look forward to another opportunity to minister in Spanish again as the Lord leads, and we want to thank you so much for sharing from your own treasure to help us go. This is YOUR FRUIT and YOUR REWARD, and as the scripture shows us in 1 Samuel 30:34, those who went to battle and those who stayed back and supported it receive the same reward!
Mas Gran Gracias (Biggest Thanks!) for your generosity! We are expecting incredibly abundant blessings coming back to you for your giving -- exceedingly abundantly above all that you can ask, think or imagine!!
Charlie y Jill (or Heel, as they would pronounce! :-D)
Check out a few more photos from our trip!
This is a fabulous video giving a great taste of the week, done by our friends and fellow Nica team mates, Lee & Chanda Hendricks of Manifesting Media (We're sorry, this video is no longer available.)
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