Another day came and went for the mission team down in Managua. However, It did not disappoint being packed with activity as it was full of twist and turns and chances for God to reveal His providence and grace.
For some of us the day began at 3:30 in the morning when Pastor Cal needed to be taken to the hospital for severe abdominal pain. It turned out that he had a large kidney stone and needed surgery ASAP. God was faithful to provide an available physician to conduct a surgery on such a short notice. Please, continue to raise Pastor Cal in your prayers as he recovers from the surgery and fully passes the stone.
The rest of the team began the day with a devotion led by Jacob Pelletier on the importance of focussing our gaze on Christ. Following an amazing breakfast of rice, beans, and chickens, we continued refurbishing the church. The team divided up in two groups: one to paint the walls of a hallway and back room and another group to grind the water residue off the rock wall behind the sanctuary. After working hard for about 3 hours, the team went across the street for beans, rice, chicken, and fried cheese. (Rice and beans are very popular here and are served at every meal.)
Following this, most of the team went evangelizing in a surrounding neighborhood. Again God blessed us with a couple amazing translators that helped brake the language barrier. While we shared the love of Christ with scores of people with some accepting Jesus as their Savior, two individuals left a great impact on me. As we went door to door, inviting the kids to VBS on Saturday and asking if we could pray for them, we came across an elderly woman close to her death. She stated that she was a Catholic. However, when asked if she knew where she would go after she died, she said that she knew she would go to Hell, and there was nothing she could do about it. Pastor Gary and Esther fervently began sharing the Gospel message, telling her that Christ is a God of forgiveness and that no sin is too great to be covered by Christ’s sacrifice. However, she insisted that there was no hope for her. Meanwhile, the rest of the team was outside praying that God would reveal Himself to her. Gratefully, some of the team was able to pray with this woman, but she still refused to let Jesus forgive her of her sins. Ultimately, she decided to remain in her hopeless state and said that she was done talking. We must pray that God would soften her heart and that she would surrender herself to Christ.
A few minutes later we came across an elderly gentleman who again stated he was a Catholic. However, when we asked if he accepted Christ into his heart, he stated he had not and would not until he cleaned up his life. We began telling him that God is willing and able to accept him as he is and that Christ’s grace will not only cover his sin but also help him resist his addictions. The man thought hard about the Gospel and asked about a Bible he had received from a Jehovah’s Witness group. He ultimately decided not to accept Christ, but, gratefully, he told us that he would come with his grandchildren to the VBS on Saturday where he would determine if he wanted to accept Salvation. Please, pray that this man would repent and accept Christ’s unconditional love and forgiveness.
The day concluded with an awesome mid-week service, where Jake sang in Spanish and Pastor Gary gave a great message on casting away our weights and sins, enduring the race, and focussing on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Please, continue to pray that God would protect the team, preserve our health and endurance, and perform His will.