Newsletters - Nov 2004
Alongside Ministries en Nicaragua
Evangelism Through Relationships
Halle and Kathy August, Missionaries
This month we’re going to take the opportunity to share not so much news but brief updates and prayer requests revolving around our life here in Nicaragua. We know that it is only by God’s design and His plan that we are here and only through Him that we might know and sense any sort of success in what we attempt to do here. Our overall prayer request is that you would please keep us lifted to Him, that our focus is solely to bring glory to His name, and that our endeavors will be fruitful because they are a part of His plan and will.
We have continued to struggle with security issues in and around our home. Thankfully we have not had any more break-ins (although our night guard thwarted another attempt to steal our street light and chased off someone spying on our house not too long ago). However, we no longer have a night guard and are in the process of securing another. We also had to let our maid go, who is the wife of our former guard, due to an overall sense of uneasiness in having her in our home especially unattended. It seems that in the past few months we have become increasingly “forgetful” about where we’ve put a sum of cash or “how it was spent”. We have no hard proof that anything was stolen but just didn’t feel very trusting of our maid. So, we face the issue of hiring another maid – trying to decide if that’s a necessity or not and if it’s worth the risk. These are difficult and uncomfortable issues to deal with. Our natural impulse is to trust but our trust has been shaken and taken advantage of and now we find ourselves with feelings of doubt and suspicion. We don’t necessarily like how this part of the culture has changed us but don’t know how to live here in any other way. Please pray for our specific issues of the guard and maid but also for our own spirits. We would like to be encouraged by meeting and working with people with whom we can relax and place our trust.
Kathy has just started her last month of preschool for the year. Wow! There has been a lot of progress made over the past 8 months. What seemed impossible at the beginning of the year has turned out to be delightful. Now is the time when many decisions regarding the next school year are being considered. Please pray about these specific issues:
- Kathy’s role as teacher and/or facilitator.
- Additional teacher(s) to take over at the ministry center preschool
- and/or to help with another preschool.
- The formation of another preschool in Chiquilistagua (near our home).
- Kathy’s involvement with a small Christian school about 5 miles from here.
There is never a problem with not having enough to do. Please pray that God would guide and lead Kathy in her decisions and commitments.
The feeding program is another ministry opportunity that reaches out to many children. Lately, though, that feeling of, “What am I really doing here???” has settled over Kathy as she continues to organize and supervise the feeding program. It has become increasingly more difficult to manage the 50 or more children and trying to get them all to participate in singing, or to quiet down for a message or prayer is often an exercise in futility. That is discouraging at times and it is hard to know how to respond. We are tossing around some different ideas about how to work with a smaller group, a new way to organize the clean-up time, and the addition of several more benches so people aren’t sitting on the stairs and blocking the door. Please pray for wisdom in organizing this time so that we can be as effective as possible in our ministry here.
Also, as we look ahead to Christmas and the month of January when we won’t be here in Nicaragua we are considering some different options regarding the feeding program. We could simply close down the program for 6 weeks or we could make arrangements with another missionary to supervise the program in our absence. If the latter is the option we should choose please pray that the right person or people will step forward with the time, energy and enthusiasm to wholeheartedly take over this ministry.
There is another ministry down here which has turned out to be a huge blessing to us and our ministry. That’s the ministry of ICF – International Christian Fellowship, the English speaking church that we attend each Sunday. It has become a wonderful church “home away from home” with the other members becoming our closest friends as we share similar lives and ministries down here. Unfortunately we have been without a steady pastor since last June and our interim pastor has just completed his last Sunday with us. Our pastor seeking committee has been hard at work looking for the right pastor who feels called to Nicaragua and can meet the congregational needs of ICF. We are a unique “flock” which represents many backgrounds and denominations but, despite so many differences, we are strongly bonded together in Christ and you can feel His presence in our worship and fellowship. Please pray for the future pastor of ICF. We don’t yet know who God will bring our way but are trusting that God is preparing him to respond affirmatively when that nudge comes from the Holy Spirit. Maybe you know of someone who would be interested in this kind of ministry experience and you are the one to provide that “nudge” by providing some information or being the liaison between him and us. Anyone who is interested can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can make the other necessary connections.
We have many, many things for which we want to praise and thank God for, too. We just finished a beautiful month of October with lots of rain (are we from the Northwest or what???) which has made the countryside beautiful and lush and has established the soccer field grass and other plantings. We continue to feel personally safe and secure and are so thankful for our continued safety on the roads as well as our good personal health. The Manna Project International group of college graduates is well settled here in Managua and they are beginning to establish themselves in various ministry projects. We are so thankful for their support and help with the sports center development and their interest in the preschool and feeding program. Thanks to the leadership of Beth Napoli, a friend and distributor of Usborne Books, we just completed an incredible book drive where we collected enough books to provide many children (probably well over 100 – the final count isn’t in yet) with a new book for the start of their next school year and we were able to purchase many more books to be included in our future “literacy center” and possible lending library someday. Thank you all for your support. Please join us in giving thanks and praise for these and so many more things with which God is blessing us here in Nicaragua.
And last of all, just so you know how great it can be down here in this country, I passed under a large banner slung across the highway just the other day that read, “American Donuts – Servicio a Domicilio”. Now tell me, do you know anywhere else where you can have fresh donuts delivered right to your home??? You all might have Crispy Creams but we’ve got American Donuts!!!
Thank you all again for your continuing support, your prayers and your friendship. We feel very blessed to have all three. We are looking forward to being in Seattle for Christmas and January and are excited to be able to see many of you at that time. We’ll provide more information about our visit to the Northwest in our next letter.
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