Newsletters - Apr 2003
Alongside Ministries en Nicaragua
Evangelism Through Relationships
Halle and Kathy August, Missionaries
Well, since last writing to you we have been experiencing trials and triumphs! We sure praise God for the triumphs as they make the trials bearable. Remember, we’re supposed to “count it all joy when we meet with various trials…because this testing will result in a maturing of our faith that is free from doubts.” (James 1:1) Have you ever had doubts about the circumstances of life, either personal or world wide? A faith, free of doubting thoughts is truly the key to living a life of peace. When we hear pleas for prayers for world peace, what we should be praying for is a maturing of our faith and the faith of others so that we can experience peace through our trust in God no matter what the circumstances. Some of our experiences over the past month have served to mature us in our faith and trust in God.
On February 16th, a Sunday afternoon, Kathy was returning from Cedro Galan, a little neighborhood just a couple kilometers up the road, where she had been teaching English. On her way home she ended up in a terrible accident with a bus. As she was heading down the highway toward our apartment complex a bus came bearing down behind her. She knew it was there and also knew it was in a hurry – but then every bus in Managua is in a hurry. In the short 1 ¼ km distance of highway the bus attempted to pass her but was unable to because of on-coming traffic. With her turn signal on, as witnesses testified, and braking to make the left hand turn into the apartment driveway, the speeding bus attempted to pass her on her left at the same time. The bus hit the pickup truck broadside and slammed it against a 3 foot high stone wall, pinning the truck between the bus and wall. Kathy was severely tossed around (ooops, no seatbelt!) and the little bag of eggs, a gift from the family where she was teaching, were broken. While the truck was in pretty bad shape we are praising God that Kathy turned out to be in pretty good shape. She was taken to the hospital in an ambulance where she had an X-ray on her left hand and was checked out for other bumps and bruises but was released within an hour. Beside some pain in her back, left side and hands which can be relieved with ibuprofen she is doing pretty well. By the time you receive this newsletter she ought to be pretty much back to normal.
The truck, however, may not recover quite so quickly. In the states, the truck would have been considered totaled but because of the low cost of labor down here we are trying to get it repaired. It is currently in the shop and we are hopeful to have it back sometime in early April. Unfortunately the bus driver carried only the minimum amount of insurance, approximately $340 in US funds, and the owner of the bus was not held liable at all. As we sat in the police station, listening to the verdict of the crash investigation, we knew that this man, the bus driver, didn’t have the means to pay for the repairs (probably about $3,500). At our second meeting we had decided that rather than garnishing this man’s wages or asking for monthly payments which would extend over many years, we would simply forgive the debt and move on. We asked for an opportunity to speak through an interpreter and we were able to share with the police officer and the bus driver why we had made this decision. We were able to share about forgiveness and how we, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have been forgiven so much. We, as Christians, wanted therefore to forgive and encourage him, the bus driver, to accept not only our forgiveness but also to accept the forgiveness of Jesus Christ as it is extended to him as a free gift and to show forgiveness and mercy to others as he continues on in his life. We may never know the impact of our words or actions but trust God to tend the seeds that we were able to sow at that time.
The feeding program is progressing very well. A family near where we are building the ministry center has opened part of their home so that we can cook and serve the kids twice a week and give the children a short Bible lesson, sing some songs and work on some English lessons. We are feeding 50 – 60 kids a day and have been blessed with a gift of five gallons of milk a day from a Nica family that lives here in our apartment building! We are encouraged by the help of the mothers in the neighborhood with the cooking and the song leading and the willingness of some them to pray with us for the children. Many of the ninos call us by name and are quick to wave as we pass by their home or see them in the streets.
We want to thank so many of you for supporting us this past year, our first year here in Nicaragua. Your words of encouragement via email and snail-mail have been gratefully received and read and re-read several times as we are reminded about you and your lives back in the states. We are humbled by your continued prayer support especially during our moments of vehicle and health crisis. We received one e-mail message that told us about a man in Kenya, who was praying specifically for us and our pickup truck. Someone we’ve never met but still concerned about us directly and lifting us up before the throne. We also are so very grateful for your continuing financial support, without which, many of these programs and ideas would never prosper. Your support has provided food for the feeding program, mitts and other equipment for the baseball ministry, building materials for the ministry center, medical expenses, paper, pencils, pens, crayons, etc., for the three neighborhood schools, fuel to drive to and from the various programs and to ferry the Nica kids around, supplies and materials at Campo Alegria and other general living expenses. We have a deeper understanding of what it means to be a part of the body of Christ. How would we manage without the gifts and abilities of each and every part contributing as they are designed to do? Thank you again for your friendship, love and support.
We will be back in the Seattle area April 8th through the end of the month. We can be reached at the home of Halle’s parents, in Bellevue at (425) 454-7328.
Halle and Kathy August
Alongside Ministries en Nicaragua
Thank you for supporting our ministry in Nicaragua.
Your gifts, sent to Eastside Development (formally The NEO Foundation),
will be used for our general ministry activities or wherever you designate.
PO Box 301471
Portland, OR 97294