by Ken Zacharias
A total of 33 churches and outreaches—that’s only part of what a half-century of our EMC ministry in Nicaragua has contributed toward! And that’s why the EMC is planning to join the celebration and a learning tour (April 4 to 11, 2017).
EMC Missions began ministry in Nicaragua in 1966 with the efforts of Fred and Doris Friesen. Our sister FIEMN conference, which developed, celebrates its 50th anniversary on April 8, 2017.
Doris Friesen writes, “Can it be that it was 50 years ago that Fred and I did that long trek to Nicaragua, over 5,000 miles by land in our white camper truck, with our two little girls, to a land unknown with only a map and the Holy Spirit as our guide!”
There was “no one at the other end to meet us!” she says. “We were either courageous or fools! But we are never fools when we obey the Lord. And how the Lord blessed us so richly in spite of many difficulties!”
The FIEMN churches and EMC guests will hold a one-day celebration at Camp Maranatha with at least two services and additional prayer services through the night. As part of the event, the FIEMN and the EMC Board of Missions have approved a special project for Camp Maranatha to help replace 80 bunk beds and 160 mattresses. (This will greatly assist the FIEMN and its retreat ministry.
You are invited to attend this anniversary! It will be inspirational and educational. You will be encouraged in your faith.
The story of the FIEMN is one of planting, political revolution, and growth within one of the poorest countries in Latin America—yet you will hear from believers how Christ has blessed them.
Lester and Darlene Olfert, former missionaries to Nicaragua, will lead the Learning Tour as it visits FIEMN churches and ministries (April 4-11). You will meet FIEMN committee leaders and pastors, and appreciate the strong faith clearly evident in believers’ lives and in church life.
You will meet Pastor Gerardo Chavarría, FIEMN’s president, and be challenged by his faith story and ministry example. Gerardo pastors the Diriomito congregation. He is one of two Pastoral Supervisors who visits, every three months, the churches for which he is responsible. These churches are located in the mountaineous region east of Managua, Boaco province, where there are bad roads or no roads. No roads means walking or riding a mule. Ever ridden a mule?
Local pastors, visited in different regions, will share how the Lord has blessed them. You will encounter cultural interests—perhaps the Masaya volcano or a coffee plantation. Do you prefer lava or caffeine?
The trip will cost about $1,800, including flights (more exact pricing will follow). For information on the celebration and tour, please contact Diana Peters (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself (email@example.com).