March 04, 2018

Senior Mission Trip Updates

Day 6:  Friday, March 9th

This last week in Nicaragua has been nothing short of amazing!

On our last day in country, our Seniors enjoyed an excursion day at the Masaya Volcano, the Masaya marketplace, and swimming in the Laguna de Apoyo (a volcanic crater that is filled with natural spring water). And although our students enjoyed today, what they will take away from this week has nothing to do with sight-seeing. What they will take away from this week is how they experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. When our student came to a foreign country and could not speak the language or fully understand the culture, they had no choice but to depend on the Holy Spirit. But, as we discussed earlier tonight in our Group Time, just because we will be returning to a place where we do understand the language and we are a part of the culture, that does not mean that we need to depend on the Holy Spirit any less next week as we did this past week. We are all so very inadequate to live the lives that God has called us to without being fully surrendered to Him each day!

There are a few people that need to be recognized and thanked for making this week so incredible...
* Thank you so much to David and Beverly Shivar (and the whole BMDMI team) for facilitating and allowing us to partner with their hearts for the people of Nicaragua. 
* Thank you so much to Tracy Hathaway, Jason Myers, and Leigh Renn for giving up a week of their lives, being away from their families, and chaperoning our Senior Mission Trip.
* Thank you so much to you, our parents, for financially sacrificing and investing in the life of your student to enable them to be a part of our team.

Again, I cannot thank you enough for allowing your student to be such a vital part of our Mission Team...and I’m so excited about all that God will continue to do in their lives as a result of this past week!


Day 5:  Thursday, March 8th



Today was our last ministry day in Ciudad de Belen. 

I want you to know just how proud we are of our Seniors! This Mission Trip has certainly not been easy...temperatures in the 90s, loving but rambunctious kids, different language, different culture, etc...but our students handled each step of each day in a God-honoring way. The most difficult part of our day was saying goodbye to the people we’ve formed relationships within Ciudad de Belen. Although it was hard, the difficulty in detaching shows the level of investment from our students into their kids. 

Tonight as we debriefed for the day, we expressed our gratitude to the students for their willingness to not only be flexible each day but to put everything they had into showing the love of Christ to a community that needs the love of Christ. I want to again thank you so very much for sending your student on this trip so that they could be a part of our Team!

How is how you can more specifically pray for us:

1. Please pray for the people in Ciudad de Belen who prayed to accept Christ today...pray that they are quickly and thoroughly disciples by a church that teaches them and shows them what being a follower of Jesus Christ is all about. 
2. Please pray that our students would continue to process all that God has taught them and the ways in which God has used them throughout this week. 
3. Please pray that God would stir a few of our students’ (more than that would be great too!) hearts to pursue vocational international missions. Also pray for those who God does not call into vocational international missions, that they would see their future career as an avenue to prayerfully and financially support international mission work. 
4. Please pray that as our students have worked so hard this entire week, that they would richly enjoy our excursion day tomorrow as we visit a volcano, swim in a volcanic crater (it’s dormant!), and shop in the marketplace of Diriamba, Nicaragua. 

Thank you all so much...I can’t wait for your students to share with you everything they’ve been a part of this week!


Day 3:  Tuesday, March 6th


We had another great day serving in Ciudad de Belen!

There are a couple of very interesting bits of information that we found out today while ministering in this neighborhood. First, both the police and the residents are completely blown away that we would take the time to restore the beauty of their park. This small gesture by our students is opening giant doors of opportunity for us to share the Gospel with people who would normally be closed off and skeptical about a group of gringos coming into their community. Second, we were told today that the Nicaraguan government will not allow an official church building in the Ciudad de Belen neighborhood. There are, however, a few houses that we have visited while going door-to-door that have told us that the open porch area at the front of their house was a place for Christians to meet, but it was never referred to as a we know why. The residents of Ciudad de Belen are allowed to meet together to worship in their own homes, but they are not allowed to construct a church building. Even in the midst of these government obstacles, God is most definitely raising up His people! 

In regards to our students, they were amazing. From sharing their personal testimonies, to praying with the men and women of Ciudad de Belen, to loving on the neighborhood’s children, to just generally being servant-hearted, our Seniors were astounding! Even though we told them beforehand, the students have really experienced firsthand the fact that we did not bring them along for a mission trip (where they are along for the ride observing other people minister) but rather, they are the very hands, feet and hearts of the mission trip.

Here is how you can more specifically pray for us...

1. Please pray that our students remember that even though these kids in Ciudad be Belen need hugs, attention, and love...what they most need is the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Our hugs, attention, and love, are vehicles to present the Gospel.

2. Please pray that God would raise up a pastor(s) to live missionally within Ciudad de Belen to reach and disciple its residents long-term.

3. Please pray that God would redeem Ciudad de Belen. One of our main prayers has been and will continue to be that God use this neighborhood as a lighthouse and as a launching pad to reach Managua, Nicaragua, and Central America with the Gospel. Ciudad de Belen literally means “City of Bethlehem” and we know that on two other occasions God used a no-good, nothing-of-a-town called Bethlehem in amazing ways (the anointing of King David and the birth of Jesus Christ)...and we’re asking God to do it again in this Bethlehem!

Thank you all so much for your prayers...and were so glad that, through your prayers, you are partnering with us!

Ben Wallis, Director of Spiritual Life



Day 2:  Monday, March 5th


Today was our first ministry day in Ciudad de Belen...and it was incredible! 

In the mornings, our students are divided into three groups. Throughout the week, those groups rotate to different (yet equally important) ministry opportunities. We have one group serving the community by leading in a park (re)beautification project while two groups canvas the entire neighborhood by going door-to-door praying with the residents of Ciudad de Belen, giving them a Spanish copy of the Book of John and Book of Romans, and sharing the Gospel with those who indicate that they do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. After lunch in the community, our groups come back together to organize a recreation time for the older children of the neighborhood involving basketball, soccer, and baseball, as well as puppet shows and fun activities for the younger kids. Even though this was our first day of this routine, our students were absolutely awesome! 

Here’s how you can specifically pray for us...

1. Please praise God for the adults and children who prayed to accept Christ today (during our door-to-door visits and during our recreation time). 

2. Please pray that the those accepted Christ today are quickly discipled by close followers of Christ. There is a team from Prince Avenue Baptist Church coming to serve in Ciudad de Belen next week, and they will be given the names and addresses of all those who wanted to know more about a relationship with Jesus so they can follow up with those people...but one of our main prayers for this area is that God will raise up a pastor and that a church will be planted in the middle of Ciudad de Belen.

3. Please pray that God continues to give our students the exact amount of energy needed for each day’s adventure. 

4. Please pray that God continues to specifically work in the lives of each one of our students in the exact way that they need this week.

Thank you all so much for your prayers back home...they are more important than you’ll ever know!!!

Ben Wallis, Director of Spiritual Life


Day 1:  Sunday, March 4th 

Our first full day in Nicaragua is almost complete! While it has been tiring, it has been exciting! We had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours over in Ciudad de Belen, the area that we will have the privilege of serving and ministering to throughout this week. During our time in Ciudad de Belen, we prayer walked and got to enjoy playing with some kids in the park area. Tomorrow is when our team really gets cranked up and going.

Here’s how you can specifically pray for us...

1. Please pray that our students get acclimated to the fast pace of the mission trip. 

2. Please pray that God would go ahead of us and prepare the hearts of those we will encounter in Ciudad de Belen and they would be receptive to the Gospel.

3. Please pray that God would raise up a strong Christian leader in the midst of Ciudad de Belen that would be discipled and plant a church in that community.

4. Please pray that God would continue to keep His hand on the ministry of BMDMI (generally) and David and Beverly Shivar (specifically). 

5. Please pray that while God keeps our students safe, that He wrecks their hearts and realigns their focus on Him and His salvation...and, in turn, ignites a fire within them for further mission work.

Thank you so much for your prayer so far and thank you in advance for your prayers over our group tomorrow!

If you have Instagram and have not followed the Spiritual Life page for the school, log on and follow “pacsspirituallife”...I continually post pictures of our trip there so you can have a better picture of what is going on during our trip.

Ben Wallis, Director of Spiritual Life