Our Nicaragua travel experiences started in November of 2012, and continued in October of 2013. It is a beautiful country, as you’ll see from the movie below, and we certainly enjoyed our experiences.
I could probably write a book about everything that happened. I could tell you about the difficult driving conditions, the wonderful pastors and people we met, the church services we attended, and all the beautiful scenery.
But frequently pictures do a better job of communicating than words, so I’ve actually made a movie about our last trip. Please watch it now before continuing.
As you may already understand, most importantly for us, the Nicaragua people captured our hearts with their love for the Lord and willingness to sacrifice in serving Him.
Please understand they are very poor by our standards. On average they only earn about $250 a month, if they have a paying job, and many don’t. Many people outside the capitol live by subsistence farming, and have very little if any cash at all.
But they don’t let their poverty stop them from reaching out to others, nor from enjoying the Christian life. In fact, as in Ecuador, we noticed that they are frequently happier, with practically nothing, then we tend to be with all our material advantages.
Bob Dayton, a veteran missionary who went there about forty years ago, started a Bible Institute to train Nicaraguan men for the ministry. We attended one of their graduation ceremonies on our first trip.
As a result of the institute's graduates, they now have 192 fundamental Baptist churches in the country pastored by nationals. The larger churches in the capitol frequently have multiple mission churches they’ve started, and sometimes still support, in rural areas of the country.
When it comes to electricity, Nicaragua people have a unique, and sometimes dangerous outlook. There are no electrical codes in Nicaragua, and although they do have a few trained electricians in the cities, their perspective is usually, “if it works, it’s fine". As you saw in the movie, that frequently isn’t a safe way to install electricity.
We plan to help by training them to make safe electrical installations, and by teaching the ladies particularly to do effective children’s work and discipleship.
Dennis will be helping with the electrical work, and as the Lord opens doors, I’ll be working in teaching ladies, evangelism, and discipleship.
The easiest way to accomplish these goals will be to actually retire in Nicaragua. As we’ve travelled over the past eight or nine years, we’ve found it more and more tiring. And of course, we’re not getting any younger. So we’ve realized, if we “retire” to Nicaragua, we can help people there, as time and health allow, and we can travel only for pleasure and relaxation, as most people do.
In order to accomplish these goals we’ll need to get residency visas in Nicaragua, so our plan is more Nicaragua travel around the end of February. We plan to stay until we’re able to get residency.
This process will take at least two months from what we understand, and we know of at least one missionary who spent fourteen months getting residency.
Please pray we’ll be able to accomplish it by the middle of May, so we can make it home for our grandchildren’s high school graduations.
We also discovered on Friday, our car needs major repairs on the front end, and then it will need alignment. We are hoping to get those things done so we can leave for Florida early Wednesday morning, February 19th.
If we can make it to Fort Myers by late that night, we’ll have a full week to get our papers checked at the Nicaraguan embassy in Miami, before we leave for Nicaragua on February 27th.
Although Nicaragua is a much smaller country than the United States, it also has an endless variety of places to go, and all the scenery is beautiful. The Nicaragua people are warm and friendly, and the culture is fascinating.
However it is very different from the US in its infrastructure and economic development. You won’t find the comfort and conveniences there that we take for granted here, but you will find a wonderful climate, and natural beauty everywhere you look.
These aren’t important enough alone to make us want to retire there, but they are nice bonus benefits. And as we expect another winter storm here in Indiana later today, we'd be lying if we didn't admit we're looking forward to the tropical Nicaraguan climate.
More importantly though, we’re hoping to contribute by helping the Nicaraguan people reach out to those around them with the truth of the gospel. Hopefully we can help them learn how to install electricity safely so there is no danger of accidental electrocutions, as well.
We’re thankful to know the Lord will direct us to His perfect will, as we follow His leading each day.
If you're interested in keeping up with our further Nicaragua travel, you might keep an eye on this page since we'll probably link to more news about individual trips from this general travel page.