Plan a Great Mission Trip to Nicaragua - February 2015


Message from Pastor Clint Ware, Eastlawn UMC in PascagoulaMississippi

I want to invite all my friends to join in partnering with our Methodist brothers and sisters in Nicaragua. Nicaragua is safe, close, relatively inexpensive and easy to get to. It is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and is roughly the same size as Mississippi. Today there are only 18 Methodist congregations in Nicaragua, this compared to our over 1,000 churches in the Mississippi Conference. Of those 18, only seven have sanctuaries or a permanent building in which to hold worship, but things are changing!

In February of 2014, five churches partnered to raise money and send teams to complete a church building that had been under construction for eight years. Thanks to the passion and incredible job of planning by Wayne Jones, a lay person from Poplar Head United Methodist Church, and the efforts of the partner churches, the church building was completed in just five weeks! What an awesome example of The Power of We!  What was once a small, faltering congregation is now an alive and vibrant church engaging their community through worship and children's ministry.

This coming year we plan to do it again! Iglesia Evangelica Methodista El Buen Samaritano (The Good Samaritan Evangelical Methodist Church) is an active little church in Managua, the capitol of Nicaragua. When we visited in February there was a small shed where they held services, a tiny building with a rough kitchen and a rest room and few huts at the back of the lot where the pastor and his family lived. Since then, thanks to the fundraising efforts by Clinton First UMC and Jones, a new church building has been planned and the foundation was just completed.  The lot is very narrow and will be a two-story building with the sanctuary on the second floor. This will allow handicap access from the street and room for future Sunday school rooms on the ground floor. 

The building schedule is being planned to start Monday, March 2, 2015 and finishing Friday, April 17, 2015. Chester Molina is the local contractor. He's a member of Villa Roma and is doing an awesome job!

The mission model we are using is working extremely well and is the definition of the body of Christ working together. We are building so much more than sanctuaries. Much of the skilled labor is done by local craftsmen, many of whom are members of the church. Each week there will be a need for a construction team to help at the work site in Managua. For some of the teams this will be a great opportunity to take part in one of the other 16 Methodist churches around the country to do vacation Bible schools, community service ministry or servant evangelism projects with these other congregations.  Clinton First UMC is continuing the ministry relationships begun in February by partnering with the church in Estelli and plan on doing ministry in Estelli in March of 2015 as well as continuing the construction at Villa Roma. Eastlawn UMC in Pascagoula plans on partnering with the church in the Condega community to help them minister to the families in their community amid their trip during holy week in 2015.

The hope is to have different teams each coming in for one week, arriving Saturday or Sunday, working Monday through Friday and leave Saturday, taking one day off during the week for sightseeing. Everyone is certainly welcome to adjust the schedule to suit their individual needs. If you arrive Saturday you could worship with the congregation on Sunday. Below is the current schedule: 
  • Week 1, February 28 - March 7 (WNC Conference)
  • Week 2, March 7 - March 14 (WNC Conference)
  • Week 3, March 14 - March 21
  • Week 4,  March 21 - March 28 (Clinton First UMC)
  • Week 5,  March 28 - April 4 (Eastlawn UMC)
  • Week 6,  April 4 - April 11
  • Week 7, April 11 - April 18

If there are small congregations that only have one or two persons who would like to help during construction, they can easily plug in with other groups. Jones and Rigoberto Acuña, the UMVIM coordinator in Nicaragua do a great job working together to help in the coordination of hotels, interpreters, transportation, etc. 

For most teams, the cost per person will be around $900. In addition to this, the total fund raising goal to complete the Good Samaritan Evangelical Methodist Church building will be around $30,000. 

For more information or to inquire about how your church might be a part of what God is doing though Methodists in Nicaragua please email or call Wayne Jones at 228.596.5480.

Come join with us as we live out The Power of We in Nicaragua!