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A heart that beats for Nicaragua

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit widows and orphans in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world  James 1:27(NASB)

Most people think about an orphan as a child without parents.  What if a child is abandoned not because they are without parents but because of economics?  How does God feel about this?  

God loves families!  

In Ephesians 1:5 we read that He loves families so much that He adopted us into His own family.  This was His will and it brought Him great pleasure. 

God is using the local church at Verbo Sur in Nicaragua to meet the needs of struggling parents and their children. Verbo Sur has a child development center (CDC) that keeps the children safe, well cared for, and fed so that their parents in turn can work to keep a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs,
 and their precious families together. 
God uses an amazing family to make this possible.  The Pastor of Verbo Sur is Heyler Rodriguez.  He serves as the CDC's administrator.  His wife Lorenzana gives her time as the main cook for the feeding program. Virginia, their daughter, runs the CDC program.  Jairo their son and Rachel their daughter, also work in the day to day activities at the center.  They also run a feeding program for school children.  This family loves God and gives their life in service to His mission at Verbo Sur.

I traveled to Nicaragua with a group from my church (E-Free).  Our church has a partnership with Verbo Sur and we make at least one trip annually.  This was my third trip.  When we travel to Nicaragua we walk alongside of our brothers and sisters as well as encourage them to keep up the good works which God has prepared them to do. We always look to partner with them to offer services that are needed by the local community.

The local people see all the help provided as coming through the local church.  God is the provider, not the American missionary.  The Bible promises this in Philippians 4:14 where it states "And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."  This is a beautiful model and it is with great joy that we see Verbo Sur laboring daily for the cause of Christ and the protection of the family unit.

While our team was in Nicaragua we participated in a two day medical clinic for both children and adults, and a food distribution event.  The medical clinic is the only free one that the adults will be able to participate in for the year.  Many received the medicines they need to treat diabetes and high blood pressure.  They are also given parasite prevention pills, dental hygiene classes, and pregnancy testing, as needed.  

Our team provided the triage before the patient saw a Nicaraguan doctor.  

The best part of the medical clinic by far was the the 11 women who accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.  

A dear lady of the church, named Veronica, was at the very last station of the medical clinic.  Her worn Bible is a testament to how much time she spends in the Word.  Veronica lovingly led each of the 11 women to the saving knowledge of the Savior who was seeking their hearts.  There was much applause in Heaven over these saved souls.  

The last event we participated in was a food distribution event.  The church was able to hand out 5#'s each of rice, beans, and sugar to the neediest in the community. Nicaragua has experienced both an earthquake and a drought this year.  This has caused a great need for these food items.  Once again God provided for His children through His church.  

I'm always amazed at the opportunity God has given me to participate in His Kingdom work in Nicaragua.  He has sewn my heart together with those of my Nicaraguan family.  There is a bond there that will never be severed by time or distance.  It is with great anticipation that I look forward to seeing them again either here on earth or in Heaven.  God has given me a heart that beats for Nicaragua.

Julie Holmes
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