Message from Pastor Clint Ware, Eastlawn UMC in Pascagoula, Mississippi
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call Wayne Jones at 228.596.5480.
Come join with us as we live out The Power of We in Nicaragua!