Update From Eli

Dear friends, brothers and sisters,
Greetings to y’all in the Name of Jesus Christ. I will again try and write a little update about our journey through this place called earth. I know God has ordained a specific path for each and every human being in this life, and we all have our own stories of what has happened so far. What has happened this far into the journey is what made us into the person we are today. We did not choose to be born, or to whom we’d be born to, God chose that part. But for those of us who are adults have made choices that have determined where we went and what we did, and where we stand with God today.
I wonder how many of you reading this can say, “I know that I am on that path that God planned out for me before I was born.” You see, even though God laid out a plan (or calling) for each of us to walk in, doesn’t mean that we are walking in that perfect plan. I am not just talking about salvation, I’m talking about our walk. Many times we choose to walk where we want to walk. For some that is in fleshly or earthly desires, and for some it is the way we “think” God wants us to walk. But either one of those will cause us much grief and heartache.
It’s like trying to cut our own path through the jungle with a machete, instead of walking on a nice paved road. That is why so many are tired, worn out, and frustrated about life. I’m not saying that when we walk on the assigned road that we won’t have any trouble. But when the enemy comes at us we know where we stand, and with our feet on the solid rock of Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit giving us instructions, we know what to do and what to say. The battle has already been won by the One on whom we stand, so for us to win is a matter of being obedient to His instructions. This requires total surrender and obedience to our Captain.
As to where if we are cutting our own way, we have no solid footing, but boot deep or crotch deep mud and water that we can’t see where is the best place to step or stand. Just cutting our road through that is more than we will get accomplished in this life, not to mention that without being sensitive to the Holy Spirit we may be cutting the path the wrong direction of where we want to end up at. And when the enemy comes at us! Humh! Trying to fight a battle in that stuff with an enemy who can fly, and is invisible where you can’t even see him coming at you is senseless. No wonder so many people are at witts end about life.
Anyway, we are doing well here, by the grace of God. Leah’s surgery went well and she is healing up nice and regaining her strength.
God is doing some huge things here! What exactly it’s going to look like is not yet all clear, but it’s definitely going to stretch us to a new level in many ways.
The little Baptist churches in the villages along the river and the whole eastern side of Nicaragua are all falling apart, because they don’t have anyone that oversees them. A Baptist missionary who lived in Puerto Cabezas for many years, built quite a few small churches. But with the difficulty of the culture and the mindset of the people here, who will say yes to anything if they think they can get something out of it, yet are not willing to change their wicked ways, he finally left in discouragement. Even out of the pastors who went through the training he gave them, only a very few are saved.
So after the missionary left and and put a local guy in charge to oversee the churches, everything went into disarray. The local leadership that he left in charge seemingly weren’t interested in anything but the money he sent and the position he left them in. They squandered almost everything for themselves, including funds acquired by selling equipment that was left for the ministry. They didn’t go and visit the churches or give them any help, so the pastors became unwilling to have them as their leaders, and voted them out and put others in. Unfortunately the new leaders are very much like the former ones were, plus they don’t receive any more funds from the missionary, because they didn’t honor the people he left in charge.
So many of the churches are standing empty by now, and the ones that are not, the pastors are asking me to take their lead. Because they now realize after sitting through many sermons that we’ve preached in their churches and Campañas that they do not understand the saving work of the Holy Spirit. God has given them a desire to learn more about the work of the Holy Spirit and what being born again really looks like. So they are begging us to give them classes and teach them the truth. Because it has become evident to everyone that has sat through our sermons and teachings, and those of the former missionary, that there is a big difference in a sermon that is brought on by the Holy Spirit and one that is just mans ramblings like they are used to.

This is an incredible opportunity to be able to invest more time into these pastors! But it is also a really heavy work. For one, because (to my knowledge) so far there has not been any thorough pastor training material developed in the Miskito language, which in my opinion is the biggest reason that most of the pastors and people don’t understand salvation. I am currently working on teaching material to use in pastor training courses, but it is a huge work, which I have only made a good start on.
Other challenges include, the Miskito language lacks so many necessary words to rightly describe salvation, like grace, justice, joy, repent, and surrender to name a few. Then there are many others that also don’t have words, but they try to explain it,  like hope, (the law of waiting) mercy, (the law of looking upon the poor) peace, (the agreeing of hearts) and many more.
So please pray for me that God would guide and instruct me as I work on this important work. And that we would have resources to do the training and classes when we get the material ready, because there is going to be a good bit of travel involved in it. Our truck has given out, so going to the churches and places away from the river is really hard right now. But I know God also knows that, and already has a plan of how He wants to work it all out about another vehicle.

Something else that has come up that I want to share with y’all. The Miskito bibles have been sold out, and we can’t buy any more. But a friend of ours from Verbo Ministeries has talked to the Nicaraguan Bible Society, and they promised to get more printed with the order of several thousand copies. We would love to help with an order of a thousand, but don’t have the funds for it. So if this is something that God touches your heart about, please contact us.

Also we will be traveling to Managua next week to get our residencies renewed. We hope and plan to get a five year residency this year so we won’t be having the cost of going back every year. (They have agreed to give this to us, but please be in prayer that it will actually go through). This will also be a little more costly than the one year, but would cut down on cost in the next years. The estimated cost this year for our five year residencies is $3200.
Thank ya’ll for your constant prayers for our family and the people we minister to.
 Your Brother in Christ, Eli Lee

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