HOLA, and welcome to a new year of ministry!
English Ministry: Jesus spoke English, right?
Well…not quite. Jesus actually spoke Aramaic primarily and probably knew Hebrew, Greek, and Latin depending on which scholars you speak to. Nevertheless, English has proved to be an incredible medium for sharing the gospel of Jesus with people across the world. Our experience in Nicaragua has been no different, and the Nicaraguan people’s desire to learn English has generated countless opportunities for Highlands to build relationships, equip people with critical English language skills, and share the good news of Jesus Christ in the process.
Keeping in line with the last couple of years, January was filled with ESL projects. Again this year we hosted three schools in
January, one each in Estelí, Matagalpa, and Jinotega. All of us came away from the three weeks of ESL excited about how God has been at work maturing the ESL ministry. Here’s a quick snapshot of how the ESL programming works:
Duration: 1 week each, Mon-Fri
o Morning (10-11:30am): Children
o Afternoon (1:30-3pm): Teenagers
o Evening (5-7pm and 7-9pm): Adults
Teachers: English speaking volunteers, usually traveling from the U.S.
Locations: Classrooms or church space that our partners in Estelí, Matagalpa, and Jinotega graciously offer to us for the ESL schools
The HIGHLIGHTS from the ESL ministry this year
Revamped curriculum and programming:
Nan Hudson, Michelle Mitchell, and Jane
t Reid completely revamped our children’s program by addin
g needed content and reorganizing the students. We introduced a primary class for the older students in the children’s program. The difference in their participation and the behavior of the younger kids in the main assembly were amazing.
Ministering beyond just English: In Estelí, God allowed us to minister to a young waiter in a nearby coffee shop and help him get plugged in with a church family. More amazing than that, God used a group of seniors to love on some teenagers by sharing their faith and wisdom. The questions from the question box led us into a couple of discussion times in the main assembly that you pray for but rarely get to experience. We discussed topics such as, ‘Is there really true love among couples?’, ‘Is hell a real place?’, and ‘Can you wait until the last minute and still be forgiven?’ What better group to talk about these things than a group of seniors who have years of experience loving each other and living out their faith
in dedicated service to others. In Matagalpa our teachers took the opportunity to really pour into their students as well as being examples to our host of loving and giving tirelessly.
Opportunities to build upon the weeklong courses:
God used our time in Matagalpa to open doors
with the local school director and the Ministry of Education. We will be hosting our extended course in the same school where we held our classes. With some recent changes in Matagalpa we were concerned about a location to host our extended class. There were many spiritually hungry students in our courses.
In Jinotega, the courses were a great time of refreshing and renewing relationships. The ESL program also helps us build the presence of Faith Community Jinotega around the city. Frank has already seen many students from the courses in his church services and the English Bible study he holds on Saturdays.
ESL PRAYER requests:
1) Please be in prayer for Frank and Heilym as they teach the extended English classes
2) Be in prayer for Eli. He is the potential pastor for our new church start in July in Matagalpa. Eli will be coming to the classes helping Frank with the bible st udy portion, building relationships, and starting the work of developing his core group for the new church
The Highlands Mission Local Staff Update
God has blessed Highlands with incredible local staff in Nicaragua. The growth of each staff member in recent years and the consistency of their devotion to God and to serving is remarkable. The staff allow Highlands to have an ongoing presence in the communities we serve long after our volunteer teams have returned to the U.S. Please keep Frank in your prayers as he leads and shepherds our team in Jinotega. Keep all of the team in your prayers: Heilym & Sam, Alex, Yami, Maria, and Eduardo. God is using each of them to grow the kingdom. He is at work in each heart as they serve others and our teams.
Highlands House continues to take form as our central operating center in Jinotega. As we have shared previously, our vision is for this facility to house the new Faith Community Jinotega sanctuary, dormitory for volunteer teams, classrooms for ESL and pastoral training classes, and office space. As God provides we will continue construction. We are working diligently to have two or three new dormitory rooms ready for the large teams coming in June and July. We are so excited about all the lives that will be touched by the gospel as a result of the men and women who will come to this facility to serve others and to be trained. All for the glory of God!
Pray for the men and women working on and in this place that God will reveal to their hearts the impact that they will have on their city and country because they helped prepare a place for others to come serve.
Big Things Ahead!
February brings our Medical team. We will be in four villages in the Jinotega region with a night’s stay in El Cua. These are always nervous times for me as we are traveling many hours on unpaved roads into remote areas. God is our protector and provider. These humble servants do an awesome job using their gifts and talents to serve some of the most vulnerable populations in Nicaragua. Pray for God to be present as we go in support of the local body of believers in each of the villages. Pray that the local pastors and teams will use this opportunity to impact their village for the Kingdom. I believe that God is at work creating a Gospel tsunami that will one day roll out of the mountains and wash over the city of Managua (the capital of Nicaragua) with a fresh movement of the Holy Spirit.
God is at work touching lives, changing hearts, creating a movement that will change Nicaragua. There is a place of you! Pray and ask the Lord how you should be a part of what
he is doing in Nicaragua through Highlands Mission.
Meeting needs, Changing lives, Shaping communities
Passion Hope Purpose