Blog

Share the Love of Reading 2017

unnamed

Share the Love of Reading

It’s that time again! Join us for our 2nd annual “Share the Love of Reading” book drive for the Bethel School in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua.

Last year, because of YOU, we were able to raise over $500 worth of books. Needless to say, the students were thrilled!

Due to last year’s success, we are teaming up again with Scholastic Books to continue building classroom libraries in the school in Bethel. This will help put a book into the hands of the the students and teachers in the school!

This opportunity is open to each and every one of you. Whether you are a current sponsor or not, books can be  purchased online and will then be shipped to Vision Nicaragua. We will then be able to distribute them in Nicaragua mid-February.

To JOIN US there are just a few easy steps:

  •  VISIT scholastic.com/readingclub (You can also click the Scholastic Reading Club Image at the bottom of this email)
  • CREATE a personal account
  •  ENTER the one-time Class Activation Code (H8L76)
  •  SHOP from a carefully curated selection of the best books and value packs. PLEASE ONLY order from the CLUB LEO flyers since these are the only books that are either Spanish or Bilingual
  •  SUBMIT your order and earn FREE Books for our classrooms in Nicaragua!
  •  All book orders will be shipped to Vision Nicaragua and distributed to our students and teachers in February when the start the 2017 school year!

The end date to place an order is Wednesday, February 1st, 2017. Just in time for Valentine’s Day and the start of the 2017 school year for our students!
If you have any questions at all please email our Sponsorship Coordinator, Lauren Parham, at lauren@visionnicargua.org
Let’s SHARE THE LOVE OF READING!

Alexander and His Big Prayer!

 

Alexander and His Big Prayer…

We LOVE to share stories from the field with you all! We couldn’t hold this one in…here’s a story of God’s faithfulness!

Meet Alexander!

Over the past two years, we have been blessed through supporters to be able to build homes in the annex of Bethel. From the first home we started, Alexander was there. Overseeing the construction and watching every move that was being made. From start to finish, he was there.

He started to tug on the shirt of Mario (VN’s Project Manager) and began to ask“do you think I will have a home one day?”

Mario, looked him in the eye and told him “Jesus can do anything. Just ask him to help you! He knows our needs.”

So, he did. Alexander began praying and continued to follow the construction from house to house. Continually asking Mario. “do you think I’ll have a home one day?”

This past December we were praying for the Lord to show us where the greatest need was as we were notified we were going to be able to build another home.

We have many families that are in need, but one woman kept coming to mind. Her name is Maria. She is a young woman with three boys. Their home was held together by plastic, tin and pieces of wood. After praying we felt certain that this is where the Lord was leading.

When we went to her home to share the good news. There was a little boy who saw us coming and ran and told his Mom. Yep, you guessed it! It was Alexander!

We didn’t know until that day the connection that Alexander was Maria’s son!

There we were sitting in their front yard and we said “Alexander, is there something that you’ve been asking Jesus for?” A smile came across his face and very timidly he said “Yes. I’ve been praying for a home for my family.”

We shared with him that Jesus heard his prayer and provided his needs. His family was going to have a new home!

He was beyond excited! The whole family stopped right there, we prayed together and thanked the Lord for hearing our prayers and meeting our needs!

Needless to say, Alexander ran to Mario and gave him a giant hug!

We serve such a good God!

We hope this encourages you today, that no matter where you are, what your circumstance you’re facing…Jesus sees you and he hears you when you call on him!

-VN Family

118 Lives Changed

 

For the whole month of February we were given the gift of working alongside C- Squad from The World Race. The World Race, a ministry of Adventures in Missions; an 11-month mission trip that takes you to 11 countries in 11 months around the world.

Each squad is comprised of smaller teams. They start their journey together through training camp, travel to the different countries together before they are divided into their smaller teams and team up with missionaries and host organizations all over the world. Throughout their 11-month journey there is at least one of the months which is “all-squad month,” where all the teams are together for the whole month of ministry.

Where, VN has hosted many teams before, this was our first time where we had a whole squad together. 35 wonderful people in total!

THEY WERE INCREDIBLE!! 

We were continually encouraged at the ways we saw Jesus in them. Their willingness to do ANYTHING that was put in front of them and they did so with love for each other and those they served.

The majority of ministry this month (February) started with our mornings separating into two teams where our days were packed with anything from medical clinics, kids activities, door-to-door evangelism, Bible studies, praying, visiting schools, etc. The opportunities Jesus gave us to be an extension of his love and goodness were endless.

It is always encouraging when we are able to see the fruit of ministry. Although that is not promised, what we are promised is that “it is so with [his] word, it goes out and it doesn’t return void” (Isaiah 55:11). We are so beyond excited to share with you all that JESUS is moving mightily in Nicaragua and we saw so much fruit this month as….

118 people responded to the Gospel messaged and we celebrated alongside of each of these new believers!!!

 

 

Also, thanks to the efforts of the World Race squad, each one of these new believers have their very own copy of the Bible!  (Read more here: Bibles for Nicaragua)

Thank you for your prayers and your partnership in sharing the Gospel to the nations!

-VN Family

Now We’re Family

11393225_870633293010670_4197979735908661731_n

 

Once again, another adventurous day with the team! Our morning started early, as we trekked to Cerro Negro- a volcano outside of Leon.
On the way there we handed out rice and beans to people on the side of the road as well as houses we passed.
Once we arrived at Cerron Negro, up we went. It took our team about an hour and a half to hike up the volcano. Once on top we were overwhelmed with the beautiful views, tons of moths and the heat of the volcano. We then began out descent down the side of the volcano on the slides. Some slower than others.
( just a little side note, if you wanna hear a funny story that happened once we were all down the hill please ask, it has provided us with A LOT of laughs tonight!)
We got cleaned up at the base camp, then preceded to Leon to experience some history. We first enjoyed some pizza along with ice cold Coke and Fresca- who knew people could get so excited about beverages but we do!!

11209574_10155714354810121_8415711739595980366_n

Then Carlos, our translator walked us through the history or Nicaragua and Leon. We enjoyed a little shopping, a coffee shop and some delicious smoothies.
We then were able to go to the top of a cathedral in the middle of Leon and take pictures and walk around. Leon truly is a beautiful city filled with very friendly people.
Around 4 we headed back to the mission house where were we rested, told stories and laughed uncontrollably.
It’s amazing how a group of 12 people can truly feel like a family after only 6 days.
We all have fallen in love with Nicaragua and its people! The staff here has served us so well and we have always felt welcome. We are sad to leave the mission house tomorrow. But excited for the adventures we will have on our last day here.

Young Life US —- Meets NICARAGUA!!

11258031_869650806442252_7725763539513124261_n

Day 4: Indianapolis Team

After an eventful night, what better way to start day four than with adventure.
After breakfast the majority of the group headed to the market to purchase a variety of things. Most importantly our iguana that we would enjoy for Dinner. (Bar-B-Q wing style). About 5 of us headed back to a village we were at earlier in the week to finished making doors for people and having Zac cut hair.
This consumed most of our morning, so we reconvened at lunch then started working on planning a Young Life club here at the mission house. We planned out games, music, we had a skit, a raffle, a club talk and it all ended with a piñata!

11350792_869651023108897_2873462852862827559_n

11262091_869651389775527_8110846569361252585_n

 40 kids from Bethel, a village we visited earlier in the week came around 3:30 and had their first ever Young Life club experience. And we think it was a magical one.

10394852_869651113108888_683099994125233809_n

11329997_869651309775535_6130307765006601572_n

The young life leaders on this trip we in awe of the way we were able to have a relationship with these kids without much conversation, laughter was our communication- and there was plenty of that!!!

10407716_869369096470423_7357420125404382681_n

The night ended with us eating iguana and sharing how God is transforming our hearts.
We love and miss you all. Thank you for your prayers.
God bless!!

Eye-Opening Joy!

1551561_989683977720240_3920704307638831739_n

Day 3: Indianapolis Team

This morning we drove out to a village that had no water or electricity and conducted a clinic in the village. The village is made up of around 35 families and has been around for 30 years. Each week a large tanker truck brings in water and the people fill up whatever containers they have until the water is empty.
11071926_10204337519742115_4537578774122547150_n11012426_989683931053578_7855015554250205643_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the nursing students and and Vision Nicaragua’s doctor, Michael were conducting the clinic the rest of us played with their children, handed out rice and beans and Zachary, gave hair cuts to 7 of the women.

11054448_989683627720275_1828190280534714619_n

 

It was truly an eye opening yet joyful experience, these people were very happy, vibrant people.

Once we returned we spent the afternoon working on things around the project. We finished bagging rice and beans, which we will distribute to random people on the side of the road as we are driving today.

 

 

 

We had an early dinner, then headed to Leon where we joined some college people and had a Vida Joven club!! (Aka Young Life). The leaders were made up of local university student and they invited their fellow students to join!

11214389_989684227720215_7799626897619739123_n

Collectively we had a blast!!!!!!!!! We played games, danced and watched hilarious skits, one of which Leah and Carly put on- called light and fluffy. Then one of the Nicaraguan YL Leaders share a message to close our time.

It was a beautiful experience to work alongside them for this club, and I think the young life leaders on this trip are excited to play the games we played there, at our own clubs at home.

So many firsts happened for us today & we are all feeling blessed! We are excited for what the rest of the week has in store.

 

Thank you for your continued prayers!

What do balloon animals and beans & rice have in common?

11147884_989162341105737_7933289110916095807_n

Day 2: Indianapolis Team

The team was well rested, as most of us went to sleep at 8:30 last night.

     Today the clinic on the project was open for the first time since we have been here, so a couple of nursing students that on our team were able to help out.
The rest of us started our day by building doors for some of the widows homes. A couple people from the group helped with this and then the rest of the group headed to the village school to play with the school children.

10386778_989162261105745_5770844051447043542_n

   We made balloon animals and face painted. We also were able to take a Polaroid camera and take pictures of the various classes. They LOVED it!

    Later in the afternoon we headed to another village for a women’s bible study. We sang songs and talked to the women and children about the Lord. Then we were able to play with the children, which involved once again face painting and balloon animals.

11103022_989162307772407_609691808913600754_n

10270289_989162441105727_5619249491594307049_n

  Then we were granted with a surprise trip to the beach!! (It’s about a 40 minute drive from the Mission Center) We all enjoyed a very salty dip in the pacific and even more, we enjoyed cooling off after a hot day.

We finished the evening bagging beans and rice, which we will distribute tomorrow morning!

11295680_989162517772386_6020061971854431402_n

We are all so thankful for your prayers and continuous support.
More to come soon!

Getting Ready for a Great Week!

11073803_868048836602449_3298203019648517519_n

Hola from the Indianapolis team!

We are actually made up of 12 people coming from various places in Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia & Canada.
We arrived on Saturday (or early Sunday morning) at the Vision Nicaragua Mission Center. We are tired, hot, and hoping that it rains, but most of all we are excited about the ways the Lord is going to use us here in Chinandega as well as how the Lord is going to transform us all as we are here.

11295613_867758733298126_2997345815012075694_n

We have a lot of things we would love to get to do here this week, and today we took time to get ready for the week. We started our morning with a delicious breakfast then we hurried off to church that Vision Nicaragua’s, Doctor Michael helped plant in Chinandega. Some of us got to experience their Sunday school and all of us got to stand up in church and share our favorite Bible verse!

We then came back to enjoy a little siesta as well as enjoy another wonderful meal prepared my the kitchen staff!

10421344_868048929935773_1039211902641812589_n

Lunch fueled us to explore the market in Chinandega where we bought beans and rice so that we can distribute it out to families later this week. Picture the 12 of us (well some stayed in the car) trying to load 100lb bags into a truck. It was quite comical.

11267746_868048859935780_796639857005433364_n

After exploring the market, we made our way to Bethel, a town that Vision Nicaragua helped to rebuild after a devastating hurricane. We were given a tour of the town and played with kids! We are going to be spending a lot of this week here & we cannot wait to go back to spend time with them.
We all are well. The weather here really has been beautiful and we are excited to keep you updated with the ways the Lord is working.

Thank you for your prayers!

7

Celebrating Coris….1 year later!

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.                 Psalm 116:15

One year ago today, heaven welcomed home with much rejoicing one of Vision Nicaragua’s dearest friends, Coris. Coris’s life was marked by great faith, courage, and love for his family. Knowing that Coris is rejoicing alongside Jesus today we find it fitting we do the same.

6372_518455904462_1629010_n

So, I’ve called on two very special ladies to me and to Vision Nicaragua who knew Coris well to share their memories with us!  It’s my hope that if you never had the privilege to meet Coris that through this post you’ll feel like you were able given the opportunity to get to know him through those sharing how much he impacted their lives.

Valerie Mydske, Vision Nicaragua’s founder had this to memory to share about Coris:

Norm & Val Mydske
Norm & Val Mydske

Coris was a very intelligent and clever man, dedicated to his wife and family, and to his Lord. I remember the gadget he made from an old stove coil he found in the rubble of hurricane Mitch. He carved out a circle in a chunk of lava cement to make a usable electric cooking burner! He was a valuable helper in everything artistic – including painting and building. We loved Coris dearly, and miss him greatly. Our hearts and prayers are with his wife and family, who have suffered much, and will always miss his cheery and helpful presence.                                      -Val

If you’ve ever stayed at the Vision Nicaragua Mission House then you have seen the craftsmanship of Coris. Coris, was one of the many men from Bethel who helped build the mission house.

Vision Nicaragua's Mission Center

Coris & his wife, Mercedes.

To know Coris is to know his love for his family. Above is a picture of Coris and his wife, Mercedes after her graduation from her sewing class. He adored his wife as well as his children and precious granddaughter, Keyli. A vibrant little 5 yr. old who has an infectious smile!

 Keyli
Keyli

My own personal memory of Coris is from 2009. My church took one of it’s first  trips to Nicaragua and one of the main things we were involved in was distributing beans and rice along with outreach church services in different communities. We teamed up with about 12 men from Bethel who were all suffering with chronic kidney disease.

One of places we visited was the local city dump. Coris was among the group of men that traveled with us. Afterwards we surprised them with a meal at a local restaurant (pictured below) because it was Father’s Day in Nicaragua. These men absolutely loved serving these communities.When they got together they all turned into little boys picking on one another and laughing.

Coris (far left)
Coris (far left)

But, what I’ll never forget is when we got to the dump, where thousands of people live (yes, live.) and we were going around inviting  different families to join us for a church service….I never walked anywhere alone. Coris was there. He watched over me and protected me like I was his little girl.

I had a chance to reminisce with him before he passed and I was able to share with him how much that meant to me. At this point, several years later, Coris was beginning to suffer the effects of chronic kidney disease.

IMG_3368

For those of you who may not be familiar, unemployment in Nicaragua is a real problem. Due to lack of education and/or opportunities the main source of employment in northwest Nicaragua is to work in the local sugar cane plantation. This job is incredibly labor intensive and doesn’t provide much income. However, it’s the conditions and herbicides  used on the cane that pose the biggest threat. Through continued exposure to these chemicals accompanied with dehydration it’s just a matter of time before these men are diagnosed with CKD (chronic kidney disease).

They are monitored regularly by the company and when their creatine levels in their kidneys are too high they are put on probation. They go home, rest, and then if by their next there’s no improvement they’re let go. Besides a kidney transplant, in-home dialysis, although risky is their only option for survival.

IMG_1322

Coris, had dealt with this disease on and off for a number of years but took a turn for the worst June 2012. Coris then made the courageous decision to start in-home dialysis. Treatments ever 6 hours for the rest of his life.

Culturally, this is not the easiest decision to make. Infection is the biggest risk with in-home dialysis. One infection could take their life. So, many of these men don’t even attempt it, because they’ve seen too many of their friends and family members not survive.

You can read more about Coris’ journey with in-home dialysis here : Coris’ Story (story by Lindsey Miller)

Through choosing in-home dialysis he was given 5 more months with his family.

Lindsey Miller who has served with Vision Nicaragua was there for the last several months up until he entered the presence of Jesus. Here is what she had to share:

It was such an honor to be with him and his family for the last few months and days of his life. Through Coris, God taught me so much about His love for us and our Hope as a response to that. As he drew his last breath, I knew that no breath I ever took would be the same.                                                                                          -Lindsey
You can read more from Lindsey here : Celebrating Coris
482073_10150995610959962_195536506_n.jpg376940_10150995597444962_1914320568_n
Coris is now is the presence of the Lord. Made whole and rejoicing alongside his healer.
This is the reality for so many of the families we serve. It’s an incredible privilege to be allowed into their lives and share in moments of great joy as well as great grief.
So, today, we celebrate the incredible faith, courage and example of Christ’s love that we saw in Coris. But, more importantly, she celebrate a God who hears our prayers, heals our hurts and bring hope that doesn’t disappoint.
*To see Coris tell his own story you can see it here: Coris’ Story
8

Medical Grant to Provide more Clinics in Remote Villages

Every now and then you just need to hear some good news, right? We think so too!

This past week we received GREAT news from Common Ground Church in Indiana that we were choosen for a $2,000 medical grant that will allow us to provide more medical clinics in remote villages!! That’s worth sharing!

Our medical outreach opportunities have grown within the last year and this will help expand our ability to serve even more! Basic medical care isn’t readily available to the families that we serve in our outreach villages, so holding clinics allow us to be able to go where the people are! A little modern day spin on Mark 2 if you will.

I’m sure you all remember the story of the young man who was paralyzed and his friends wanted to take him to see Jesus so he could be healed. Although there was a crowd that surrounded Jesus that didn’t stop them. They made an opening in the roof and lowered their friend to see Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man “Son, your sins are forgiven” (vs.5) Jesus not only forgave this man of his sins, but also healed his physical aliment. He told him “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” (vs. 11) The physical condition of their friend was what brought them to Jesus but they left with much more than they came for.

The Lord has allowed these medical clinics to “open the roof” of opportunities to minister to not just the physical needs but spiritual needs of the patients we’ve seen. From sharing the Gospel, praying, holding a sick baby, or simply taking the time to make conversation with an elderly woman who needs someone to listen. He uses it all. And he uses them to bring about hope and express His love for his children.

We are so grateful for the heart and leadership of our in-country doctor and nurse, Dr. Michael and Conny. Dr. Michael helps us find the communities that are in the greatest need and his heart is for seeing people come to know the great physician. He never leaves a patient without first pointing them to the one who is able to bring wholeness!

Anyone who knows Conny knows that she is a gift. Her contagious love for people is such a reflection of Christ. She loves people deeply and treats every patient as if they were her own family. Not to mention she brings an incredible amount of joy and laughter wherever she goes.

We are truly blessed as an organization to have the privilege of serving alongside people like Dr. Michael and Conny. But, we are also blessed by each of you. Supporters who believe in what God is doing in Nicaragua and want to be a part of it!

So, to the Common Ground community and to each of you who faithfully link arms with us in serving in Nicaragua, thank you!

And take the time today to share the good news about what God is doing in Nicaragua! It’s worth sharing!

This Campaign has ended. No more pledges can be made.