Monday, August 3, 2009

Managua, Nicaragua

We have been in Nicaragua for 6 days now, enjoying a wonderful ministry experience with a team of 11 wonderful people from Cornerstone Family Church of North Carolina. Under the caring leadership of Troy Doudy (who serves as a missionary in Nicaragua along with his wife, Ginnette and son, Aaron) we provided food paks and conducted evangelistic services in Nueva Guinea, Calderon, Santa Rita and Bluefields. It is the peak of rainy season here, and we battle the rain and mud...lots of mud... each day. However, the weather conditions cannot dampen the excitement of the team as we see God's hand work in mighty ways!

We have seen people respond to salvation, be filled with the Spirit, and receive miracles. One miracle that stands out to me took place in Nueva Guinea - a mother and father brought their young son up for prayer. There were many people lined up to receive healing and we did not even know they were there. Suddenly the father began to weep uncontrollably. When asked through the interpreter what was happening, he told us that their son was scheduled for major surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on his neck. The tumor was clearly visible as a large lump. When Pastor Jonathan Morgan from Cornerstone began to pray, they closed their eyes to agree for a miracle for their son. When they opened their eyes the lump on the side of his neck was completely gone! As I looked at it, I could see a couple of lines but it was perfectly smooth and flat. Praise the Lord! There were many more miracles throughout the trip just like this one!

It was an honour to meet Pastor Angel Gahona in Bluefields. He is in the process of planting 20 churches in Nicaragua, pastors a large church in Bluefields, and is starting a major feeding center to minister to the large number of people in extreme poverty in Bluefields. Lamar, Kandesa, and I traveled with him to one of the poorest areas, which is called "July 19". It's funny that it has a name, since it's actually the city garbage dump. However, it is home to the very poorest who try to survive each day by scavenging in the waste along with the pigs. It is in this very area that Feed the Hungry will partner with Pastor Gahona to begin a feeding center that will feed people each day - in body, soul, and spirit. Pastor Gahona will also use his cell group leaders to target other families imprisoned by poverty in Bluefields and bring the hope of Christ through the Word of God and food provided by Feed the Hungry.

Once we returned to Managua we were able to visit the feeding center where Feed the Hungry is feeding over 250 children. When the bus with our team pulled into the center we were immediately surrounded by children who were laughing and screaming in their excitement to see us. They knew we were bringing food! We held a children's service, where the US team presented their salvation skit, and a clown talked about Jesus using tricks like sticking a needle through a balloon without having it pop. Then we helped to serve the children as they ate their meal. It was heartbreaking to see that many of the children were sick due to improper sanitary conditions, and a number had the tell-tale signs of malnutrion (such as orange hair).

I am so glad that Feed the Hungry is able to make a difference to these children, and hope to be able to increase our ability to help even more children in Nicaragua. I have left a piece of my heart in Nicaragua, with the beautiful children who are so gracious and determined and who need Jesus with all their hearts!

Doreen Sparman

International FTH Director