Dates:   June 8 - 18

This GO Team will serve in various ways including VBS and leadership training.  Nicaragua is a country ripe for the harvest, and churches are growing fast.  A short trip to a ministry in El Salvador will be included.

Updated Saturday, June 14
E-mail from Maria

Here we are again on the second day at Pilas Occidentales at Iglesia Bautista Manantial de Vida.  The morning was a busy one as the Team cut out more than 200 King/Queen crowns so that we could teach the lesson about the disciples on the road to Emaus and how Our coming King personally taught them the scriptures! We connected Jesus' teaching to the love and concern He has for us now, during our daily life and how He is alive within our lives we have faith in Him.  

Updated Thursday, June 12
E-mail from Maria
A brand new day and as usual we had our daily devotion at 7 AM with psalm 138:1-8 - thanking God for His mercies and love and for His purposes for each one of our lives and of the children, parents and helpers we met today. One of the members of the Salvadorian Team shared her brief testimony with all of us; this transparency on her part allowed us to know her at a deeper level.  It is amazing how each one of us is becoming more bonded with one another and with the new members of our team.  

After breakfast we came back and started the daily routine of preparing the lesson materials for this most waited time.  We all share the excitement that each one of us has and gives ideas on how to approach the presentation and the ice breaking activities we have the children participate in. We were done at 11:45 AM and then headed for a much anticipated time of sharing during lunch.  We all love this time of laughter and story telling of some of the members. 

By the time we get back to the hostel, we are charged for the job the Lord has for us; we pick up our carry ons filled with our lessons on The Empty Tomb, the craft, coloring page, memory verse and all the visuals each of the Go Team Members prepared.  

It has been another fun and exciting day with about 180 attendees of which 46 made a decision for Christ at Iglesia Bautista Manantial de Vida en la Comarca Pilas del Occidente. There is a difference in the attendees compared to the Los Cocos Church... they show their love and affection by touching us with an embrace, a kiss, a handshake, and lots of smiles, instead of being shy and opening up more on the second day.  

The program today ended at 5:30 PM with the balloon animals that each of the Go Team leaders worked on.  We left a great number of happy children and young adults that will invite more to come for tomorrow's activities.  This will double the number of persons coming, and we are prepared for this already.  Many pastors from the area had committed to pray since they found out of our coming and they met at this church with 15-20 people, to pray at 4 AM daily... what loving commitment.

We debriefed at the hostel and decided to have our dinner delivered (pizza) so the team could just rest and get ready for tomorrow.

We are so blessed to have these prayers from you and all those the Lord has called to pray. Blessings! Thank you!

Updated Wednesday June 11
E-mail from Maria
We've started our 2nd day at Comarca Los Cocos, Iglesia Bautista Horeb and the last day here.  Our day started this morning with our daily devotion joined by the 5 member group, Pastor Manuel from Maranatha Church and 4 college age christians from El Salvador. They arrived yesterday afternoon and joined us today in the preparation of the materials after breakfast.

Today's lesson was ''Jesus conquers the great enemy-sin.' As our Coming King the children learned how to celebrate Jesus' victory over sin through His death in exchange for ours. The children's memory verse was 1John 5:4.  Both teams worked in the morning to fill the 4 carry ons with all the materials and crafts appropriate for this lesson.

Each one of the Go Team members was assigned an assistant from the Salvadorian Team. One of the members was a young man, 20 year old Fernando, who captured the attention of the 9-16 year old boys! The games he implemented were filled with energy and made all the boys enthusiastically take part in the fun. We noticed that these boys responded very positively to the attention given by him and the other men from the church and the Pastors; they played a soccer game  with Pastor David, Pastor Manuel and Fernando and bonded in a very special wonderful it is to see the Lord's hand touch each one of these boys, and our lives too. This group was taught by Blanca and Fernando and  of 45 boys 20 made decisions for The Lord! 

Carola and Marcela worked with the 5 yr olds and under children.  17 young mothers were also there.  45 children were present and 70% made decisions for Christ using the EvangeCube. There was so much excitement in each of our groups with the children's involvement and the decisions for Christ that I can go on for hours. Children from 6-8 years old were taught by Susie and Dalilah and of 31 children, 28 made decisions for Christ.  My group was girls 9-14 and  I was assisted by Rebekah who presented the EvangeCube and after the lesson and Cube presentation of 45 girls 28 made decisions for The Lord.  I was personally showered with the love of many of the girls I met last year. In fact when we parted we knew that we might not see each other next year but we would for sure meet in heaven. It was bittersweet goodbye but full of hope.

In total there were 192 attendees and 103 children made decisions for Our Lord! In our debrief tonight we prayed that these experiences would forever remain in their memories. Thank you for your prayers and love!

Updated Tuesday, June 10
E-mail from Maria
The whole Nicaragua team has rested well and got together to start the day with a 7 am devotional; we sang Psalm 145:1-10. Pastor David read from Ephesians 4 and reminded the team about the importance of unity and how to encourage one another. We closed thanking God for the provision He gave each one of us through the funds and prayers of our supporters.  

After breakfast we came back to the Hostal Santa Maria and started sorting of the materials, the prizes per child we would give out, and the verse and coloring pages for the lesson each one of the leaders (4) their respective age group. After lunch we left for Los Cocos, to Iglesia Bautista Horeb, and arrived at 2 pm.  From 2-3 pm we decorated the church and gave the children name tags. Fun ice breaking games were played with the children then after 45 minutes the singing started inside the church and VBS started with songs, and praises and prayers exalting Our Coming King, which was the subject of today's lesson.

A total of 115 children came today which were divided by 4 age groups.  The youngest children's group also had 10 adult young mothers. Additionally there were 7 adults, and 4 helpers. We expect many more children tomorrow, and each of these children were given that Ten Commandments and the Our Father to learn at home. We finished our program at 5:30pm.

After driving back to Masaya we packed our belongings and materials to move to the regular Hostel Mirador de Los Arcangeles, which was not available to us yesterday.   We arrived shortly to Arcangeles, tired but anxious to shower after a very busy day, but the water had been shut in the town, so lots of improvisation happened with the team, and finally were ready for dinner by seven.

The 5 team members from El Salvador had arrived this afternoon and will join us tomorrow for the 2nd day at Los Cocos. We will continue tomorrow with the next report. Please pray for water in our rooms; we just found out that there's none, so at least half of our teams must shower soon... the heat and humidity is a challenge.

Thank you, and may God bless you.

Updated Monday, June 9
The Nicaragua Team left Santa Clarita Saturday night and arrived safely in Nicaragua on Sunday.  We received the following message from Maria Soler:

"We have arrived safely and just arrived at Masaya, and we are having our first meal at Pollos Narcy's 'cargando baterias' (recharging batteries)! So far we have all kinds of energy and can't stop the laughter...possibly the lack of sleep. ;-) Thank you for your prayers."

Check back to this page all through the week to get news from this team.