Dear loved one’s,
Praise and glory to God the Father and to the Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us a living hope, and called us according to His purpose.
We have made our way to Managua again for the purpose of renewing our residency permits. Things have been delayed a little because it is the first year we are going under the covering of our ministry here in Nicaragua, so there is more paperwork that needs to be done, and more papers to be gotten from the government here. But God is so good! He continues to give us favor with the right people so that things keep moving forward. Thank yall for your continued prayers and financial support, because without it, it would be imposible for us to do this process or to stay here.
Oh my! Here it is about three weeks later, and we are back in Krin Krin! God did some amazing things in the process of getting our new residency permits. We could very well have been stuck there for another six weeks, with the time lines they gave us throughout the process. But in one of the cases the wait was ten days, and we had the paper in one and a half hours! In another case the wait was five weeks after they accepted the paperwork, but we had our cards in our hands in three days! It was amazing! So we were gone from home just under a month. We were also very grateful for Camille and Katrina who stayed at the house with our Derlin while we were gone.
Since we are back things are all in a hustle and bustle like usual when we are gone for a month. Our ministering here in our village has gone to a different level, with the ones we have been teaching since we’ve been here, who say they are Christians, yet continue to live in sin. God told us to warn the people that if they don’t repent, they will have to face the consequences of God’s punishment, which we did.
Well what God said is coming to pass, and some serious things are happening the last few month. It is hard to see people suffer, and some die, but I am thankful that God loves them so much that He teaches them. There are a few who are starting to look deeper into what it means to be a Christian, but others have chosen to blame us for their sorrow instead of repenting.
There are a group of them who are banding together and have put a bounty on my life. As many of you know, there have been several attempts to kill one or the other of us in the past, without success. This time the plan is very well thought out where there will be no escape for me. (In human terms) They are hiring three hit men with good guns, one to come here in the village to kill me. If that one should fail, they assume that I will take off down river, so they will have another one stationed a little ways downriver, and if that one should fail, they will also have another one in Waspam, just in case I make it that far.
This is definitely a concern to pray about, but it doesn’t scare me. I know God has called me to do a work here that is not complete yet, so I know my time on this earth isn’t done. And if my time to go home with Him hasn’t come, they can try anything they want and won’t be able to kill me. And when my time has come to go, I can’t do anything to stay alive. So why should I worry, since my life is in the hands of the Almighty? After all He is my Father and I know He has the perfect plan for my life in His hands, so I desire nothing else!
Something I would like to ask yall to pray about is for all the refugees from the violence in the area. There are about 83 people here in our village who have fled the fighting, who we are trying to help with the basic needs of life. In the week since we are back I have talked to the leaders from our village and with several other people who are familiar with the situation in the affected villages. This is some of what I learned:
The village of Polo Paiwas has been completely wiped out, every house has been burned down. The people who weren’t killed have all fled to other villages. There are four other villages that almost all the women and children and some men have fled from as well because of the violence. They are mostly staying with whoever will allow them to stay, so there are many little houses that have four or five families (sometimes as many as 30 people) living in them. This is quickly creating a huge problem for the ones who took others in, because they barely had enough food to feed their family for a year, and now there food is all disappearing fast.
A few of the leaders from these villages have come to me and asked for help with food and medicine. Sickness is so rampant with the children and elderly, like it always is when there isn’t sufficient food and unsanitary conditions. We have been helping some, but with everything going on and with all the costs of our Managua trip, our general fund is pretty much dry. We really appreciate those of you who constantly pray for these situations, and also for the generous giving, which enables us to actually help physically with these huge needs. I am convinced that yall will be sharing in the blessings of being obedient to God’s Spirit, and someday in this life or the next you will get to meet the precious souls that have been won for Christ because of your obedience.
It is our goal to show or share the love of Jesus to everyone we meet. God is continuing to open the doors for us to minister in other villages. In the middle of Dec. we plan to have our first compana on the Honduras side. We struggle with ministering to everyone in follow up and new places. Almost all of these villages have a pastor of some sort, but many of them need some serious descipling yet (or be saved) before they can really teach those who make a profession of faith. It is our hope to start a discipleship training school for pastors in 2016, if the Lord provides the means to do it. When many of these pastors found out that the Lord put it on my heart to do that, they got very excited about it and said they will be coming whenever we start the classes.
We are also planning to have a pastor’s conference here in Krin Krin again in Jan, like we had last Jan. Only God knows how this one will turn out, because there are many pastors from further away villages who asked me if they can come this year. I also know that the Padri of the Catholic religion is telling their pastors that they can’t come to our functions anymore, although I know of several that have said that they are coming anyway, because nobody else has ever taught them about the Holy Spirit the and they want to learn more about it.
Another prayer request I have is for the Catholic minister that is over this immediate area. He is the one that the Padri had sent last year to shut our conference down, but by God’s grace he wasn’t able to shut it down, so he sat in and took notes about everything that was taught. By the end of the three day conference he came to me and apologized for causing us trouble, because we didn’t teach anything except out of the bible, and we didn’t bash his religion. He has been at several of the companias we have done in villages close to his, even the ones we did in the Baptist and the Moravian churches.
He was here just last week when the Padri was here in Krin Krin and left strict orders that none of their people were allowed to go to our companias anymore, and there was no way that they were allowed to have us have any part in there functions. This week they had a conference for young people here. The Padri didn’t show up, so it left this minister all alone to do all the teaching and everything. He was overwhelmed and went to praying to God about it, and God told him: “why are you crying about being alone? Your brother is right here and is willing to help. Go unite with them and the work will go well. ” So he came and asked me to help with the preaching, and asked the rest of us and Marcos’s family to help with the music and play a couple of skits. It was awesome!! God is doing a huge work in his life and he is listening to the teaching of the Holy Spirit at this point, but I know that he will be pounced upon hard by his superiors in religion with the choices he is making. Please pray that God would strengthen him and teach him to also rely on the Spirit when he is faced with hard choices he will have to make.
Sorry this got so long. Thank yall for your faithfulness! Eli and family