During this time of staying home due to the pandemic situation, our Women's Social Work Site has had the opportunity of ministering women through phone Bible Studies. God has been good, and we have witnessed how faith has grown in women's hearts and have enjoyed answers to their prayers.
Like most Latin American cultures, Nicaraguan culture thrives on relationships, meeting together, and greeting each other with a hug and a kiss. Still, throughout this time, we haven’t been able to do any of those things. How do we show the people of the communities how much we love and pray for them? How do we do that when we cannot meet together?
It was a rainy day in February over eight years ago when I made my way back to a dimly lit room in a small house. Dilenia, one of the associates at our Microfinance ministry in the Dominican Republic, had a son whom she wanted me to meet. As my eyes adjusted to the light, I made out her son lying on the bed, and it didn’t take me long to realize that he wasn’t doing well. Frankely was young, only 21 years old, and had been paralyzed in a motorcycle accident six months prior.
These are undoubtedly challenging times for all of us around the world, and the Creative Arts Site in Los Guido is no exception. This ministry site is lead by Daniel Calderon, who disciples community members in Los Guido in the context of woodworking and the arts. Men and women of all ages attend the Creative Arts Site to learn useful woodworking skills and hear the Gospel.
Today's story comes from Santiago, Dominican Republic! Our Education Site leader, Sheila, writes about the strides that the site has made during the pandemic. She also shares how they have adjusted their operations to fit the current circumstances best and how God is continuing to change lives and provide.
Amid this COVID season, there has been much need in our communities. During this pandemic, we have seen God's provision and have seen him touch others' hearts to help their community. Some leaders, pastors from the community, along with some of our staff, have been involved in helping through the packing and distributing of food to those in need.
The current pandemic has caused a lot of reflection for all of us. Today we take a look back at our Education Site. Over the past six and a half years, the Education Site has faced multiple challenges. There was a lack of materials to prepare for classes, like desks and blackboards, no real classroom space to meet, nor access to restrooms. In addition to that, Nicaragua faced a challenging political situation in 2018 that forced us to close down and serve in other countries.
Today's story serves as a reminder of how big of an impact our short-term outreaches have. Benjamin Jones, a student at Joshua Wilderness Institute, got to serve with us in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic, in January this year.
Preparing for a trip to a foreign country is both exciting and mysterious .... And yet even with all of my preparation, no amount of research could’ve prepared me for the powerful love of God in a matter of just two weeks. God introduced me to a fresh brand of community.
Much like the rest of the world, Costa Rica has been riding the emotional rollercoaster of COVID-19. Beginning in mid-May, the government started phase two of opening the country. This phase affected small businesses as well as our ministry sites. Many of the women in our Microfinance site are small business owners that have been badly hurt by the COVID-19 restrictions. Ivania is one of those small business owners who attended our Microfinance site for the last seven years.
Our work as missionaries and ambassadors of Christ is to share His love, His gospel, and peace that transcends all understanding. For some of us, this means visiting a member of the community, installing a water filter, and then sharing a cup of coffee as we talk about Jesus and His overwhelming love. In our case, sharing that love and hope means having our patients' afflictions, whether severe or mild, be both physically and spiritually healed.