Monday, January 7, 2019

January 2019 Prayer Letter


Dear Friends and Family, January 2019

Happy new year! Last year went by so quickly for us. Though we did not travel the whole year, we presented our ministry in 70+ churches from southern FL to Northern MI. Near the end of the year, we had to change plans due to the crisis in Nicaragua, but we are glad to be on track to bring the Gospel to Costa Rica! Nicaragua is continuing to face greater sanctions and external pressure. In the mean time, we are maintaining a relationship with and supporting the church there during this trying time. We were glad to see many teens surrender to Christ and many follow the Lord in believer's baptism. We were also encouraged to see many families growing and serving in the church. God is doing a great work there in Nicaragua. We are encouraged that He will also do a great work in Costa Rica! At present, we have a short trip planned for mid-January to survey some areas and look at housing, schools, etc. We now have most of our residency documentation ready to go. We are hoping to have everything ready to arrive in Costa Rica by the end of January. We were also encouraged to be contacted by other missionaries who have expressed interest in helping with our next church plant. We will be seeking God's will every step of the way.

Although we did not originally plan to be in the US with our family for Christmas in 2018, we were glad to have the opportunity to spend the Christmas season with our family. The girls enjoyed singing in their Christmas play at church. Elijah has been zooming around the house with some new toy cars he got for Christmas. We were also able to send a special Christmas offering to the church in Nicaragua. They did a special Christmas service for the kids and gave them presents. Many families there can do nothing at all for Christmas, so it is always a very special time for them. Around new year's day, Jeremy came down sick with Strep throat. Thankfully, he is on antibiotics and is doing much better. This month, Jeremy will have the privilege of baptizing Lila. She trusted Christ as her Savior at home one night and has been growing in her faith ever since. She has learned about baptism and wants for all to know that Christ has saved her. Praise the Lord!

We send special thanks to all of the churches who sent us special Christmas offerings. Thank you! That was a blessing. This month, please pray...

1. That God will continue to bless the church in Nicaragua during this trying time.
2. That God will lead us to the right people and place for our next church plant.
3. That God will bless and as we make the transition from the USA to Costa Rica.

In Christ,
Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, Ellowyn, and Elijah Blanz


Monday, December 10, 2018

December 2018 Prayer Letter


Dear Friends and Family,

We hope that this letter finds you doing well. Last month was a busy month for us. Jeremy took some time to call all of our supporting churches regarding our temporary field change to Costa Rica. Since then, we have also been doing a lot of planning for our upcoming transition. We have already gotten our passports renewed and have been in communication with the Costa Rican consulate regarding the documentation needed for our transition. We will need to get all new birth certificates, marriage certificates, police records, and financial documents and get them all apostilled before leaving the states. In the meantime, we are also planning a short survey trip as we make plans for our next ministry. We presently have the dates set for mid-January and hope to secure housing and other things for our arrival in late January. We do not yet know all that the Lord has planned for us, but we believe we will be involved in church planting, evangelism, and discipleship. It is estimated that more than 10% of the Costa Rican population is made up of Nicaraguans, many of whom are displaced refugees from the crisis in Nicaragua. We are also praying for the Lord's guidance on how to reach them with the Gospel. We also will have some trouble and expense in bringing our vehicle in from Nicaragua. We are praying about how to best handle that.

Although we have much transition ahead of us, it was nice to have a little stability at our home church last month. Jeremy enjoys going on visitation. He was able to share the gospel with many, including some who could only speak Spanish. Michelle enjoys singing in the choir. Our girls have also been preparing for the Christmas musical. Michelle has been working hard on home-schooling the kids. We have been considering options for schooling in Costa Rica. There are many things we have to figure out, but we know that God is good and will guide us in these next few steps.

Last month, President Trump signed an executive order declaring the Nicaraguan crisis as a national emergency and a threat to the United States. He imposed the first round of sanctions against Nicaragua. He is also expected to sign into Law the "Nica Act" including much stronger actions against the government of Nicaragua. This month, please pray:

1. That God will guide the situation in Nicaragua and bring peaceful resolution to the people.
2. That God will lead us as we transition to Costa Rica.
3. That God will use us to lead others to salvation by faith in Christ.

In Christ,
Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, Ellowyn, and Elijah Blanz


Monday, November 19, 2018

November 2018 Prayer Letter


This month, our letter is being sent out a little behind schedule because we wanted to wait and include some big decisions. Last month, we completed the last of our scheduled meetings for furlough. We were part of one missions conference in TN and one other meeting with a supporting church in KY. After returning home, we enjoyed being able to be a part of all of the activity at our home church. Jeremy was also glad to teach Sunday school and help with events when he had the opportunity. Due to the civil unrest and economic crisis in Nicaragua, we have been able to help our church with a relief offering. Despite the economic crisis, we were proud to see three men attend their 1st year promotion of their studies at the Bible Institute. One is serving as an intern under the pastor, while the other two are actively evangelizing and planting the Gospel seed in 2 neighboring cities for upcoming church plants. God has blessed and even provided homes for meeting locations.

For the last several months, we have been closely monitoring the situation in Nicaragua. We had hoped and prayed for the crisis to be resolved, but there is still no resolution. The U.S. Embassy continues the level 3 travel advisory, stating "avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security" along with many other warnings. After several months of prayer, seeking godly wisdom, and heeding the advice of our pastor and field director, we sadly come to the conclusion that Nicaragua remains too dangerous and too unstable for our family to return at this time. This is a very difficult decision that we never expected to or wanted to make. We have also been seeking the Lord's direction for our next term. At this point, we believe that the Lord is leading us to go to Costa Rica until Nicaragua has stabilized. There has been a massive migration of Nicaraguan refugees to Costa Rica and we are praying about the possibility of a special ministry to help them. We do not yet know all that the Lord has planned for us, but we know that God is doing a work that is much bigger than we can understand.

In the near future, we are planning to personally contact our supporting churches regarding these changes. This month, please pray...

1. That the Lord bring peace and stability to the people of Nicaragua.
2. That the Lord continue to use our church plant to win souls and plant other churches.
3. That God will direct and lead us regarding our future ministry in Costa Rica.

In Christ,
Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, Ellowyn, and Elijah Blanz

Thursday, October 4, 2018

October 2018 Prayer Letter


Dear Friends and Family,

We are now approaching the last of our meetings on furlough. Last month, we had meetings with 5 churches. Unfortunately, there was another meeting that had to be canceled. Though we have only a little time left on furlough, we were able to schedule one more missions conference. One new church began supporting us monthly, which brings us to 95% of our needed support. As for Nicaragua, the situation continues to remain unstable. Recently, the United Nations Human Rights Office conducted an investigation and published a report on the killings, torture, and detentions. After this was published, they were expelled from the country. The Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights now shows 512 killed, over 4000 injured, and over 1300 people that have gone missing. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will be making decisions with our pastor very soon regarding our return.

Last month, we were able to spend a little time at our home church. It was missions month, so we were encouraged to hear other missionaries share how God called them to their respective fields. We celebrated Lila's 7th birthday, and this month we will be celebrating Ellowyn's 5th birthday. The girls also liked being able to attend their kids classes at our home church. Elijah is now walking and climbing up everything that he can find. It turns out that we needed some of the extra time time to take care of some urgently needed car maintenance and repair. It was also a good time for us to take care of some doctor appointments. At the end of the month, we moved into a new house where we will stay the remainder of furlough.

This upcoming month, we will be taking a trip up to TN and KY for a missions conference and another another meeting. Please pray for us as we have some big decisions ahead of us regarding our return. These are decisions that we cannot take lightly. We are surrendered to whatever the Lord's will is for us during this time. This month, please pray:

1. That God will give us wisdom as we make plans regarding our return.
2. That God will bring peace to the people of Nicaragua.
3. That God will use us to to lead souls to Christ and be a blessing to others during the remainder of our time on furlough.

In Christ,
Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, Ellowyn, and Elijah Blanz

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Missions Schedule

Missions Schedule

We are currently near the end of our first furlough. We are making preparations to return to Nicaragua in the coming months. We may have a few available dates left for booking meetings and conferences. If you would like to have us come to present our ministry or give a missionary report/update, please contact me at: Blanz2Nicaragua@gmail.com.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

September 2018 Prayer Letter


Dear Friends and Family,

We hope that this letter finds each of you doing well. Last month was another busy month for us. We had 9 meetings from northern MI down to southern FL. In between meetings, we drove over 3,200 miles. At this point, we are at 92.5% of our needed support. In Nicaragua, the violence and unrest has continued. Even the Nicaraguan Human Rights organization that was tracking it has been forced to close to receiving death threats. Ever since July 6th, the U. S. Government has ordered the departure of non-emergency U. S. government personnel. In other words, the embassy has been closed and only offers limited emergency services. Many other services such as medical care is also limited due to the ongoing crisis. We are continuing to monitor the situation and Jeremy may be taking a short term trip in the near future to be able to assess the situation with regards to our return.

Although we stayed pretty busy with meetings, we were thankful that many of them were in our home state of FL. This means that we were able to spend a little time at home. After having been gone for much of the last few months, it took a little time to get everything back to normal. Lila and Ellie really enjoyed being able to see some of their friends at our home church. Near the end of the month, we celebrated Elijah's first birthday! Time has passed so quickly since he was born. He brings smiles to everyone that he meets. As we approach the end of our furlough meetings, we are beginning to focus much more on our plans for our next term. We are seeking counsel and trust the Lord to guide us as we make some big decisions.

This month, we will be finishing up the last of our furlough meetings. Although our children love to see their friends and family, they also miss Nicaragua. This month, please pray for the following:

1. That God will bring peace to the people of Nicaragua
2. That God continues to advance his Gospel and save souls, even in these difficult times.
3. That God continue to guide us as we make decisions regarding our next term.
4. That God provide the remaining support needed for us to be fully funded.

In Christ,
Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, Ellowyn, and Elijah Blanz


Friday, August 3, 2018

August 2018 Prayer Letter


Dear Friends and Family,

We hope that this letter finds you doing well. The situation in Nicaragua has been going on now for nearly 3 1/2 months. The latest report by the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights reports at least 448 deaths, 2,830 injured, and 595 people that have disappeared. Thankfully, our church in Nicaragua has remained strong. On July 29th, they celebrated their 3rd anniversary and there were 8 who followed the Lord in believer's baptism. Many have lost their jobs and all, including the church, have faced extremely tough times economically. Prayerfully, we have been able to help some during this time until things stabilize some. This brings to mind the relief effort of the disciples for the churches in Judea during the famine, "Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea (Acts 11:29)." We are thankful to have the means to do so.

During July, we had 10 scheduled meetings in the states of FL, IL, KY, OH, and MI. In between meetings we drove over 3,500 miles and stayed in 15 different places. Thankfully, there were 2 new churches that began to support us financially, bringing us to 92.5% of our needed support.

During our time in Kentucky, one sweet church provided us tickets to see the Ark Encounter. Michelle's parents were also able to come up and see it with us. It was an awesome experience and one that surely changed our children's perspectives of both Noah's ark and the pre-flood world. We send special thanks to this sweet church and to Bro. Tim and Mrs. Lori for their generosity. Near the end of the month, we were able to spend a little bit of time at Michelle's grandparents' house in Tennessee. It was good to see her family. The girls also LOVED playing outside, feeding the chickens, etc. Elijah has also been coming along and is now getting close to walking. We will be celebrating his first birthday later this month.

This month, will you please pray:

1. That God bring peace to the people of Nicaragua.
2. That God continue to advance his Gospel and save souls, even in these difficult times.
3. That God continue to guide us and help us raise the additional support needed.

In Christ,
Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, Ellowyn, and Elijah Blanz