Saturday, June 3, 2017

June 2017 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

It is now June and dry season in Nicaragua has ended. We have now been here for over two years, and we are so thankful for all God has done. We continue visiting new homes and families to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Last month, we took about 30 people from our church to a city of a new church plant and visited the area to help promote an evangelistic conference. Jeremy had the privilege of leading two people to Christ. Another young mother was really considering the message. 2 days later, she called the local pastor and was ready to trust Christ as her Lord and Savior. I have been told that she is now attending faithfully in the new church. Also, last month, Jeremy began preaching a series on Biblical Stewardship. We trust the Lord to bless and the church to be strengthened. We also ended the month with a special Mother’s day service. With most of our families present and several new families visiting, there were nearly 200 people in attendance. We’ve seen a few new people attend regularly since then.

Every month that goes by, we are approaching the birth our baby boy. He is due in late August, and we are making preparations. Thankfully, all of the ultrasounds and prenatal doctor appointments have all gone well. Thankfully, Michelle has had a pretty good month and is not feeling too sick. When she visits with me, the ladies like to hear how the baby will be born here in Nicaragua. Near the end of the month, there was a special “Family Day” at Lila and Ellie’s school. Both of their classes did special presentations. We really enjoy seeing them sing in Spanish and be part of the culture here.

Perhaps, the biggest piece of news is that we will be preparing to take our first missionary furlough in late December. Jeremy is working on our schedule and our travel plans and will be contacting all of our supporting churches very soon with more information. This month, will you please pray:

1. That God keep His hand upon Michelle and our baby in the last few months of pregnancy.
2. That God continue to saving souls and conforming the Nicaraguan people to Christ.
3. That the Lord guide us through the legal process in constructing the new church building.

In Christ,


Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, and Ellowyn Blanz

Friday, May 5, 2017

May 2017 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

In Nicaragua, we have been in dry season for a few months, and are just now feeling a little relief from our first rain last night! God is good! Last month, we stayed busy in the work in the church plant in San Marcos. One lady whom we had visited for over a year finally made the decision to trust Christ for salvation. Praise the Lord! After a Gospel message one night, another rededicated her life to the Lord. One mechanic in the church bought and fixed up a van to help bring more kids to church. We then held an evangelistic children’s event in a new neighborhood. Many responded in the invitation and the church member is now providing weekly transportation to Sunday School. God is good! Pastor Berner organized a church sale to raise funds for the building. We are now waiting on the estimate to get started building soon. Jeremy also visited and preached in another church plant that the church we planted is supporting. He was also invited to preach in a 3 church combined missions conference in Managua. The pastor that invited him said that many of the churches had not yet begun supporting missions or focused strongly on local evangelism. Jeremy had the privilege of preaching on the topic of world missions and local evangelism. We are so excited to see local Nicaraguan churches now taking steps forward in the work of World Evangelism.

Last month was a difficult month for the family. We were hit by both a stomach flu and another virus which slowed us down some. A few doctor visits later, we are all doing better. Our baby boy is now 5 months along, and is expected to be born in late August. All of the prenatal appointments have gone well. Lila and Ellowyn are both doing well in their school. Lila’s teacher told me that one day she said she had a message for the class. She then proceeded to tell them how Jesus died for them and that they could all be saved through faith in Christ. Every night, she prays for the salvation of the lost. We are so thankful that God has given her such a tender heart.

Due to rising costs of printing and postage, we wanted to let you know that every month we send out our prayer letters through email and our blog (Blanz2Nicaragua.blogspot.com). If you wish to help us lower operating costs and receive the monthly letter by email, please send me an email to let me know at Blanz2Nicaragua@gmail.com . We are thankful for everyone who prays for us, and want to continue delivering the monthly prayer letters in the most efficient way possible. This month, please pray…

1. That the Lord help Michelle and our baby boy during the remaining months of pregnancy.
2. That God continue saving souls and changing lives here in Nicaragua.
3. That the Lord to guide us in the construction of the new church building.

In Christ,

Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, and Ellowyn Blanz

Monday, April 10, 2017

April 2017 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

Last month was another busy month for us. Early in the month, we had an Evangelistic Conference in cooperation with a visiting church from the states. We enjoyed getting to know them, and there were a few people that made decisions to receive Christ or rededicate their lives. In the Wednesday night teaching service, Jeremy has been teaching doctrinal messages to help ground the church in the word of God. There were two teenagers who received Christ after the service. Apart from normal visiting, Sunday School, and preaching, Jeremy also preached in a youth service. He was also invited to come preach to a Canadian group in Managua. Michelle had a great opportunity to teach a short series in the weekly ladies service. One big accomplishment was that we now have our legal residency approved for another year. We consider ourselves blessed because several others are still waiting for approval. Last month, we had the privilege of counseling a young couple who were married last month. That was our first church wedding. This young couple is also helping out in the youth ministry. We look forward to seeing how God will use their lives.

After such a busy month, we are looking forward to getting a “breather” here in April. We are currently in what is called, “Holy Week.” Much of the businesses and government shut down during this time. Unfortunately, for the majority, it is not a very “holy” week. For most people, it’s simply a time of vacation. Our girls have been doing pretty well in school. Lila does great, but Ellowyn is having a little difficulty with the language. We will use this week off from school to help teach her some more basic Spanish. Thankfully, Michelle has been feeling a little bit better this month in the pregnancy. She is now half-way. In each of the appointments with the doctor, we hear that the baby is doing well.

This month, we had to do some additional paperwork for the church property, but we expect to begin building soon. God is doing great things! This month, will you please pray:

1. That God will bless Michelle and the baby with good health throughout the pregnancy.
2. That God will guide the building process for the church in San Marcos.
3. That God will guide our next steps as we follow His will in our ministry?
In Christ,

Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, and Ellowyn Blanz

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March 2017 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope that each of you are doing well. After a very busy Christmas season and January, we were finally able to get a little bit caught up on things last month. Jeremy stayed busy preaching and teaching kids. Because our Sunday School program has grown, Michelle is now serving as the Sunday School Administrator. Our church has also begun to have weekly teen services and weekly ladies meetings. There were many individuals that have rededicated their lives to the Lord. One young couple in our church will be getting married this month. We will be meeting with them to do some premarital counseling. As for the land and new building, we have now purchased the land and are going through the process to begin building in the near future. As the church plant is becoming more and more self-sufficient, Jeremy has been helping with the preaching and teaching in another local church. One other thing that is keeping us busy is the legal residency renewal process. Thankfully, all of our paperwork has been accepted, and we are currently awaiting approval.

As for the family, we are doing well. In the beginning of the month, we had a short visit from Michelle’s parents. They are always a blessing to us when they come. Our girls are both doing well in school. It has been great for Ellowyn because she is now learning much more Spanish than ever before. Pregnancy has been physically tough for Michelle. Thankfully, she is now beginning to feel better. This month, we will be celebrating our eight year wedding anniversary. I (Jeremy) am so thankful that God has brought Michelle into my life and the blessing she has been. She is a wonderful mother to our girls and an amazing wife to me, and I look forward to us serving the Lord together for the rest of our lives.

We are thankful for each of you who pray for us so diligently. Next month, we expect to have our residency approved and also begin the next steps of the building process. We are also planning to host a three day evangelistic conference on the 13th through 15th of March. This month, please pray:

1. That God will guide our ministry each step of the way.
2. That God will keep His hand on Michelle and our unborn child during this pregnancy.
3. That God will do a great work in this upcoming evangelistic conference.

In Christ,

Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, and Ellowyn Blanz

Friday, February 17, 2017

February 2017 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

Last month was a very busy month, but a profitable one. Every Sunday, we are always packed in Sunday School. Over the last few months, Jeremy has preached on the importance of serving in the local church. Several members expressed desire to begin helping as teachers and assistants in Sunday School. We conducted two training sessions to prepare them to teach the kids classes. We now have several new people who are beginning to serve. The ladies from our church attended a ladies conference in another Baptist church in the next city over. It was a blessing to many. Jeremy stayed busy preaching both in the San Marcos church plant as well as another nearby local baptist church. Near the end of the month, we held a church business meeting and the church voted to increase the salary of the national pastor and appoint the first deacon. God is blessing and strengthening His church! We also discussed plans to be begin moving forward on the purchase of nearby lot of land where we hope to construct our first church building. Jeremy also worked on several other things, including acquiring the documentation needed to extend our legal residency.

As for our family, we stayed pretty busy getting settled into our new house. Slowly, but surely, our house is coming together. We prepared for big changes as Lila was preparing to begin kindergarten and Ellowyn was preparing for preschool. We had hoped that Ellowyn was ready for school. As we went to pick her up at the end of her first day, she not only said that she did not cry, but actually asked if she could stay longer! One day at church, the girls made bracelets with different colored beads to represent the Gospel. Lila not only could explain the gospel quite well, but also wanted to tell everyone she could! We are so proud of our girls! Last month was pretty difficult for Michelle, as she felt pretty sick most of the time due to the pregnancy. Every night, we pray for for her and the health and development of the new baby.

This month, we intend to make some very big decisions, particularly regarding the steps moving forward for the church plant. Our goal, from the beginning, was to plant a self-sustaining, indigenous, baptist church. The national pastor whom we are partnered with is doing a great job, and we are thankful for all God has done each step of the way. We look forward to making several transitions as we approach our first furlough next year. This month, please pray:

1. That God will continue to help Michelle and our new baby through the pregnancy.
2. That God will continue to save souls and build His church here in Nicaragua.
3. That God will help our residency extension process to go smoothly.

In Christ,

Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, and Ellowyn Blanz

Monday, January 16, 2017

January 2017 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope that all of you had a Merry Christmas and a great start to the new year. Early last month, we had another special baptism day. There were 3 individuals who followed the Lord in believers baptism. One man, who is father of a church member, had always declined to receive Christ as Savior, even when he was extremely sick. The national pastor whom we work with, Pastor Berner, was able to lead him to Christ about a week before he passed away. This was a big answer to prayer and encouragement to his family. There also was another young man who chose to publicly recommit his life to the Lord. Apart from the normal ministry of visits, preaching, and Sunday School, we also had a few special events. The first was a special kids Christmas, in which every child received a gift and got candy from the piñatas. The second event was a church sale, where people donated items to be sold to raise funds for the building fund. The third event was an end of the year dinner where many gave testimonies on the work of the Lord this last year. The Lord did a marvelous work in this church plant. Since last year, we have seen an increase in attendance, more involved in serving and visiting, the church began supporting the national pastor, they have begun supporting 2 missionaries monthly, and just last month took up a special offering to buy chairs for another church plant. We believe that God is honoring their faithfulness. In the last month, we received a few special offerings for the land fund that now brings us up to over $16,000. Praise the Lord!

Last month was extremely busy for our family. Last month, we moved from our old house to a new house in another local city. It was much more complicated than normal because we also had to purchase furniture and appliances and get them all delivered to the new house, which was not furnished. We are very blessed to now have our own furniture and appliances. Although many of our things were still in boxes, we celebrated Christmas Eve in Nicaraguan tradition with a family that we are friends with. It also was a blessing to enjoy a Christmas dinner at the house of another missionary couple, Burt and Cindy Durham. They made a wonderful dinner with some American favorites: Turkey, stuffing… even Nicaraguan squash “pumpkin pie!” Perhaps, the greatest Christmas blessing of all was to find out that God is giving us another baby! We are so excited, and our girls love to talk about whether it will be a boy or girl. The due date is August 24th.

Last month, several of our churches sent us special Christmas offerings. Thank you so much and God bless you! Thank you for all of your prayers! This month, will you please pray for:

1. God to keep Michelle and the baby healthy throughout the duration of the pregnancy.
2. God to guide us as we make several important decisions on residency and other things.
3. God to continue providing the funds needed to buy land and construct a church building.

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


Monday, December 5, 2016

December 2016 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope that each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. God is good and we are never short of things to be thankful for. Last month, Pastor Rodney Kelley from our home church came to visit with us on a short trip. He was a blessing to us in many ways. One of our objectives was to survey a few nearby cities that have a strong need for a Gospel preaching church. We will be seeking the Lord’s will regarding these cities in the future. On our normal visits, we saw two young people and one lady profess Christ as their Savior. The national pastor whom we are partnered with was married last month. The Sunday before the wedding, we planned a special service to welcome his fiancé into the church. With about 80 in attendance, we presented them with 2 baskets full of household essentials. It was a great blessing to them. The following week, we attended his wedding, which was the first we had attended in Central America. In the middle of the month, we attended a Bible Institute graduation in Managua. Jeremy was able to take a young man from our church who has expressed desire to begin his studies there.

As always, November was a very special month for our family. Due to some problems in our current house, we began searching for another one to rent. We believe the Lord really blessed us with a better house that would actually be a little more economical. We will be moving next month. We will have to purchase several appliances and pieces of furniture. Near the end of the month, we celebrated with Thanksgiving with a few Nicaraguan friends. They really enjoyed the American traditions of thanking God for all he has done for us. They also enjoyed the food. The favorite “foreign” food of our guests was Michelle’s homemade baked Macaroni and cheese. The “strangest” foreign food was definitely the gravy, which had no suitable translation. “Meat flavored sauce” simply doesn’t have the same ring to it. It was an exciting Thanksgiving because as we were waiting for Hurricane Otto to pass by very close to us, there was also a 7.0 earthquake a little ways off the coast. Thankfully, there was no damage from the earthquake, no tsunami, and very little effect from the hurricane. On the bright side, Lila completed her first school year here in Nicaragua. Her teacher had nothing but positive things to say on her report card. She even won a “caring student” award. Way to go, Lila!

As we approach the end of another year, we cannot say “Thank You” enough to all of our supporting churches and individuals who pray for us faithfully. This month, please pray:

1. That God will guide and provide as we seek a new meeting location and our own land/building.
2. That God will lead us as we pray about our next step in our ministry.
3. That God will continue to save souls, edify believers, and grow His church.

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