Friday, December 4, 2015

December 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

It is hard to believe we are already at the end of the year! As we approach Christmas, we know it is a privilege to proclaim the Gospel here in Nicaragua. This last month, we saw 5 people receive Christ as Savior. While we have focused upon door-to-door evangelism, we are also finding other ways to present the Gospel to unbelievers as well as edify the people of the church. We hosted a large ladies event and saw a great turnout. Nearly 40 ladies came as well as 15-20 children. We have seen steady growth and are now frequently reaching full capacity in our present location. Those who attend have shown an increase in desire to serve as well. Our church has also recently become involved in a new outreach in a neighboring city called Diria. One family invited several of their friends, and we held an evangelistic service. Several responded to the invitation, and we were given an open door to come and begin holding services in the same home. At this point, we are now looking to continue planting the seeds of the gospel in this area and preparing for a future church plant.

As for our family, we are continuing to adjust and adapt to life here in Nicaragua. We celebrated our first Thanksgiving last month, and although it is an ordinary day here, we were able to invite some friends to come to give thanks to the Lord and enjoy a somewhat traditional Thanksgiving meal with us. Another important experience was our first car accident. Somebody had hit our vehicle, and although the experience was difficult and scary, it was a blessing to see several of our Nicaraguan friends come to help us through the process. Although we've heard stories of injustice in situations like this, we were glad that in the official resolution, the other party was held responsible and we were cleared from any wrongdoing. This month, we are preparing for our first Christmas here in Nicaragua. It is the perfect opportunity to keep old traditions, make new ones, and most of all, celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

We are so thankful for those who pray for us on a regular basis. The greatest needs are generally unexpected. This month, will you please pray for the following:
1. The Lord to continue to save souls and help each person to grow in the faith.
2. The Lord to help us through the final steps of the residency process.
3. The Lord to guide and protect our family as we serve in Nicaragua.

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

Saturday, November 7, 2015

November 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

Last month was a very busy month for us. We are working hard to grow the young church. Last month, we saw 7 people that professed faith in Christ. Although not everyone that makes a profession of faith continues in church attendance, we are thankful to have also seen some growth in the lives of those who attend the church. One lady who received Christ a few months ago has begun helping and serving in the church. She is now serving in the nursery, and we are better able to minister to families with small children. We also held a Men's prayer breakfast, which was a blessing to those who attended. We are now approaching the time to begin renting a larger location. Please pray for this.

During this last month, our daughter Lila has shown an increased desire in learning more and more about Jesus every day. Almost every morning and night, she asks for us to read her more in the Bible about Jesus. She has also begun visiting with me sometimes during the day. Her presence frequently opens up many doors for us to build relationships with people in the community. While Ellowyn is not yet ready to visit, she enjoys singing the spanish hymns... in own own words of course! Last month, we celebrated her second birthday. We planned a small party and invited some children from church and the area. We were surprised to see so many people who came. It was a great opportunity to build stronger and closer relationships with the people in the area. Of course, Ellowyn had a blast! One task that our whole family is involved in is the residency process. Unfortunately, we had to acquire additional documentation, and now have several more visits to different places before we have legal status.

As we approach Thanksgiving, we are reminded of all that we have to be thankful for. First and foremost, we are thankful for Jesus Christ. We are thankful for the ability to share the message of his love and salvation with the world. We are thankful for all of our family, our friends, and supporting churches. We truly are thankful for those who pray for us each month.This month, please pray:

1. For spiritual and numeric growth in the church here in San Marcos, Nicaragua
2. That God will guide and strengthen our family here in the work.
3. For the health of our family. We are in constant need of prayer in this area.

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

Friday, October 2, 2015

October 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

At the end of this month, we will have been in Nicaragua for 6 months! Every day, we are working hard to accomplish all that God has called us to do. Although we have taken several trips the migration office in Managua, we are still waiting for approval of our legal residency here. Though our residency process is slow, we are thankful that God is working quickly! Last month, we saw several more people receive Christ as Savior. Last month, we requested prayer for our partner, Berner, who had the Chikungunya virus. Thankfully, he had a great recovery. However, presently, he is in the states for three weeks preaching in a few churches. During this time, Jeremy is leading the services as well as preaching with the help of a couple other pastors. We are working hard to not only maintain the church, but to grow and strengthen the church in his absence. This month, we are doing our first church-wide visitation day. We are also hosting a Men's prayer breakfast to help strengthen the men and families of the church. Apart from the mission work at the church, Jeremy was able to preach in the Nicaragua Bible Institute. It is a blessing to encourage these young people who are training to serve the Lord!

As for our family, last month was a good month for us. Michelle's parents were able to take a brief trip down to see us and spend a little time with their grandchildren. That was a blessing and encouragement to us. They also enjoyed getting to the see the mission work here in Nicaragua. Near the end of the month, Lila went on visitation with Jeremy a few times. She really enjoyed passing out tracts and making new friends with the kids at each house. Ellie is now speaking a lot and singing a lot as well. Sometimes, she mixes parts from each song. One of our favorites is “Yes... Jesus Bible... The Bible tells me so.”

One day, while visiting, the Lord laid it upon my heart to speak with a man who was walking down the street and give him a tract. Long story made short, we built a relationship with the man, and he later received Christ as Savior. Within a few weeks, he had a heart attack and passed away. Now, he is with Christ, and his family is now attending our church. God is still in charge, and this experience reminds us of the importance of daily obedience. This month, please pray:

1. That God will continue to use us to preach the Gospel and see souls saved.
2. That God will help us with the final steps to receive legal residence.
3. That God will build his church and grow each believer in the faith.
4. That God will help Michelle and Ellowyn recover from bronchitis.

Friday, August 28, 2015

People you can pray for...

Last month, in our email edition of the prayer letter, we shared a little bit about a few of the people we are reaching here in Nicaragua. Some of you responded, saying that you would pray for these individuals. This month, I thought I would share with you a little more about these people, that you can pray specifically that God will work in the hearts of these people.

1. Abel - Abel is a youth who received Christ on our first Sunday morning. Since then, he has been very faithful in church attendance. Each week, he helps Jeremy teach the older kids class. He occasionally accompanies Berner in door to door evangelism. He is also faithful to invite friends to our church. Please pray that the Lord continues working in his life and that he grows in the faith.

2. Jose - Jose is a young man who received Christ last month. He has attended a few services now, but missed the most recent services. Since receiving Christ, he has found a job, and now has a much better relationship with his mother. We have not seen him in our most recent services, but we are continuing to visit him and encourage him in the faith. Please pray that he grows in the faith and stays faithful in church.

3. "Cabo" Luis - Cabo Luis is an older man who has been known to say he'd be Catholic until the day he dies. He now occasionally attends our church, and seems to be coming to a greater knowledge of biblical salvation. Please pray that he continues to come and that the Lord works in his life.

4. Marco - Marco is a young man who we met in the street. We shared the Gospel with him, and he received the Lord as Savior. Nearly a month had passed since this time. Recently, he came to an evening service with another young man we had witnessed to. Since then, he has been coming more frequently. Please pray that God will continue to work in his life and that he grows in the faith.

5. Luis - This Luis is a young man who is a 17 year old bike taxi driver. One morning as we were visiting, Berner and I approached him and his friend and gave them a tract. Neither Luis nor his friend had any assurance of salvation and did not know where they would spend eternity. After hearing the Gospel, we asked them if they were willing to turn from sin and place their faith in Christ alone for salvation. The first to answer was the friend of Luis. He said that he was not ready to do that. We then asked Luis if he were willing receive the gift of eternal life by trusting in Jesus Christ. After a moment, he said that he did want to come to Christ that day. He then bowed his head and asked Christ to save him. There were two who heard the Gospel. One chose to continue living in sin apart from Christ, and the other opened his heart to Jesus Christ and was forgiven. Please pray that God will continue working in his heart and that his friend will one day come to Christ as well.

God is good, and God answers prayer. May we continue praying that God work in the hearts of these people.

September 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

August was a good month for us here in Nicaragua. During our door to door evangelism, we saw 7 people receive Christ as Savior. On Wednesday nights, we are teaching a series on the doctrine of salvation, and several more now have assurance of salvation. We are also doing a Discipleship series on Sunday nights, as well as in the homes of those who are new believers. On August 15th, we also hosted a children's outreach campaign in cooperation with a church from Managua. We saw 110-120 people who came out for this event. While we are seeing a gradual increase in adult attendance, the attendance of children has skyrocketed! Due to size constraints, we had to launch a second kids class which is also at capacity. Many of our children are very faithful, attend 3 services per week, and have been bringing in friends and family. We are so thankful that the Lord has blessed our church with these children. Some of the youth are now helping out in these classes. This next month, we will begin a focused effort to reach the parents and families of these children.

Each month, we are becoming more and more adjusted to life in Nicaragua. Before each service, Lila enjoys giving out tracts to people who pass by the church. She is also making friends with the other children who attend. Both Lila and Ellowyn are now learning the Spanish hymns and frequently sing them throughout the day. Thankfully, we are now near the end of the residency process. We have now submitted all of our documents as well as had an in home visit by residency agents. We expect to receive legal residency by the end of September.

We do have one special prayer request. In the end of the month, we received a message that Berner, our partner in Ministry, now has the Chikungunya virus which has affected many people in this area. Since then, we have had little communication. Until Berner recovers, Jeremy is now doing all of the preaching and teaching. Despite our progress in langauge learning, leading an entire service is a challenge, and we certainly need the Lord every step of the way. This month, will you please pray for the following:

1. Berner and the local population who are infected with the Chikungunya virus.
2. Our church as we begin a focused effort to reach parents and adults.
3. Spiritual growth in those who have received Christ.

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

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Children's Outreach Event - August 2015

On Saturday, August 15th, our new church plant, Iglesia Bautista Biblica, hosted an outreach event in the park near our church. More accurately, it was a joint effort, and mostly the work of a partner church, Iglesia Bautista Sinai, in Managua. This church supports Berner, who is the Nicaraguan church planter that we are partnered with in this church plant. It was a blessing to see that not only does this church financially support Berner as a missionary, but also by occasionally coming to help with visitation and evangelistic programs, such as this. Berner and the crew worked a couple hours in the morning to visit the are and pass out tracts. Michelle and I prepared a lunch to feed the workers. In the early afternoon, we began setting up in the nearby park.
Although it was very dark and rainy about 45 minutes before the program started, Lila and I prayed that the Lord would stop the rain and send out the sun. Shortly after, the rain and clouds dissipated and the sun came out and gave us a beautiful afternoon. Approximately 110-120 people came, including mostly children, as well as parents and a few teens. The program included face painting, clowns, songs, puppets, games, and piƱatas, as well as snacks. Berner gave the Gospel, and several responded that they had asked Christ for salvation. We were able to strengthen relationships with many people in the community as well. This morning, we saw about 10 more children, as well as a mother who came with her child.

Although, our children's classes were already at full capacity, we had to improvise in order to accommodate all of the new visitors. Next week, we will be moving the class outside to a bigger area outside of a neighbors house, as well as keeping our smaller kids class inside the church. Lila was also able to build some friendships with some of the kids as well.

We ask that you will please pray for each of these children. Many of these children come from families who do not attend church. We are seeking the Lord and trying to find ways to reach the families with the Gospel. Our desire, is that not only will the children receive the Lord and grow in the faith, but that the family unit is reached by the Gospel, that these children may grow up in committed Christian homes. Below, we have attached a few pictures. Will you pray for these children?

As you can see, Lila is very proud of her purple butterfly! Please pray that God works in each heart and in each family!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

August 2015 Prayer Letter - Additional Content

Occasionally, when we send out our monthly prayer letters via email, we add additional content that would not fit in a standard prayer letter. Below, you will find some additional content we could not fit in the letter. 

So much has happened in the last month, it's hard to fit even the highlights into a prayer letter. Last month, we requested prayer for our inauguration service of Iglesia Bautista Biblica in San Marcos, Nicaragua. We are glad to report that the Lord not only meet our expectations, but exceeded them! While there is limited space in a normal prayer letter, I thought that I would include a few more personal examples of the Gospel at work in San Marcos, Nicaragua. I hope the testimonies below will be an encouragement to each of you.

1. Julio - Julio is a man that we had met while visiting door to door. Julio listened to the Gospel as presented, and seemed to be really considering it. He did not receive Christ that day, but we were glad to see that he attended our inauguration service. After the messsage, he responded to the invitation, and was 1 of 2 people that received Christ during our inauguration service. While Julio previously had problems with alcohol, he has not drank since he received Christ. Since then, he has attended our church regularly and is growing in the Lord.

2. Abel- Abel is a teenage boy who had a background in church, but had never received Christ as Savior. Our first Sunday morning service, he came and was counseled by Pastor Berner who is our partner in this church plant. He received Christ as Savior, is now attending regularly, and has recently begun serving as a helper in our children's Sunday School Class.

3. Jose - Jose is a young man who had been out of work and had been involved with drugs. On day, while visiting, we were able to meet him and speak with him regarding his past and the Gospel. That day, he prayed to receive Christ as Savior. He has recently begun attending church, stopped using drugs, and is now actively pursuing work.

4. Carla- Carla is a young lady who attended one of our first church services. She heard the Gospel clearly presented, and that night, she received Christ as Savior. Since then, she has been faithful to attend services, and has been actively inviting all of her family. Each week, she brings her daughter and several other children. She has also invited us to hold a "Thanksgiving" service in her home to give thanks to the Lord for the work he did in giving a family member a quick recovery. We saw about 35-45 persons in this service, including mostly family and friends that had never before attended our church.

5. "Cabo" or "Sergeant" Luis - Cabo Luis is a man who is in his 60s or 70s. While he had been catholic for all of his life, he attended our inauguration service. While many know him as a man who has always said he would be catholic "until the day he dies", he has recently revealed to us that he really enjoyed the Biblical message he heard. As he was considering all of this, he revealed to us that if he were to ever change his stance on this, he would choose Baptist. Since then, we have built a relationship with his family and have met with him in his house twice. During our most recent service, we were so thankful to see that he had come to hear more Bible preaching. I believe God is working in his life and that the seed of God's word is taking root.

Please pray for each of these people. The Gospel still changes lives, and we are so thankful to have a part in the eternal work of God.  

August 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

Last month was a month full of blessings and challenges. On July 12th, we had the
inauguration service for Iglesia Bautista Biblica in San Marcos, Nicaragua. While we were
praying for a great turnout and had rented 100 chairs, we were pleased to have seen an
approximate 110-115 who came for our first church service. During the inauguration
service, there were two men who came forward to receive Christ as Savior. Despite being
a very small and new church, we have seen dramatic growth in our children's ministry.
This last Sunday, we had once again reached our inauguration day attendance of 12-13
children. Despite having a very small classroom to meet in, we are now making plans to
better accommodate this rapidly growing ministry. Last month, we saw an additional 13
people pray to receive Christ and a few others rededicate their lives to the Lord. Because
so many have never heard the Gospel, and others have recently received Christ as
Savior, we are teaching a series on the doctrinal aspects of Salvation. Thankfully, we have
seen a few new faces each week.

Although we have seen many blessings of the Lord, we know that we must
constantly trust the Lord. Near the end of last month, our daughter Ellowyn was sitting on
the side of the bed and fell backwards onto the tile floor. When Jeremy rushed to pick her
up and comfort her, she lost consciousness, stopped breathing, and began convulsing.
Immediately, we sought the Lord's help, and as Jeremy was going to begin CPR, she
began struggling to breathe very weakly. She regained consciousness, but could not
move or respond. 45 minutes later, the local hospital sent us in ambulance to the Capital.
An hour after this, we arrived at the hospital in Managua. Many people prayed, and upon
arrival in Managua, Ellowyn awoke and began singing “Jesus loves me,” which Jeremy
had sung to her many times. Shortly after, she was talking, walking, and responding in
every way! After an Xray and CT scan, the doctors found no damage to her neck and
brain. In fact, they could not explain the symptoms with the lack of damage found. We
truly believe the Lord protected her and may have healed her before the tests.

God is good, and we need all need Him daily. This month, please pray for the

1. God's protection on our family, especially for Ellie and her recovery.
2. That God will grow His church and help us reach the families of the children.
3. That God will lead us daily in His work here in Nicaragua.

In Christ,

Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, and Ellowyn Blanz

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

This last month has been chock full of activity, and we are glad to be able to share about all the great things the Lord is doing. Our main focus last month was to work in preparation for our upcoming church plant in San Marcos, Nicaragua. We have are renting a house that will serve as the church's first location. After much cleaning, painting, electrical work, and the purchase of banners, chairs, etc, it now looks much more like a church. We have placed a strong focus on personal evangelism. The Lord opened a major door as the captain of a local soccer team received Christ. Since then, we have been meeting with the team weekly, preaching, discipling, and encouraging them. Since then, 9 more players have received Christ. We have also received the help from 3 partner churches in Managua. Last week, we hosted a group of 15 members from one church to help us in an evangelistic campaign. Between this event and our personal soul winning, we have seen an additional 21 people receive Christ. Last Sunday, Jeremy was able to preach the Sunday evening service completely in Spanish at a nearby church in Jinotepe, Nicaragua. Our ministry partnership with Berner has been a blessing as we have both been able to learn in process, all while continuing to focus upon learning the language more each day.

We have also been able to do a lot of work around the house. We had a few problems during the first 2 weeks at our house, but thankfully, the Lord has allowed those problems to be resolved. With the lack of Wal-mart and big box stores, we have had to learn to find many places across the city to find things. Each day, we have also been able to learn more and more of the differences between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. From pronunciation, to vocabulary, to the culture, as well as the lifestyle, the differences have become stronger with time. What a privilege to be able to learn these things.

This next month will be a huge month for us. I want to stress that we need the Lord to work through us, so we must all be in prayer. Please pray for the following:
1. The Lord will help us in planning and preparing for the new church.
2. The Lord to bless abundantly in our first church service.
3. The Lord to help us see more people saved and discipled to follow Christ.

In Christ,

Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, and Ellowyn Blanz

Thursday, May 28, 2015

June 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

This letter should find you a bit earlier than normal. This weekend, we will be moving into our house in the city of Jinotepe. It may take a few days to get back to normal. Thankfully, we now have a vehicle to help us move our things! After much searching, researching, and praying, we found a vehicle that was perfect for our needs. While we did not think we could afford a larger vehicle, the Lord helped us find a nice, used vehicle that could seat 8 people as well as haul cargo when needed... all at a good price! This will surely be a blessing to our family and ministry. Jeremy has been working to obtain documents from both Costa Rica and USA to help with receiving legal residency here in Nicaragua. We are thankful for all of the help we received from Michelle's parents with mailing documents and forms. Although, we are still only in a planning stage of the church plant in San Marcos, our ministry partner Berner was able to lead one person to Christ last week. We know that the Lord will do a great work in San Marcos!

As for our family, we are still going through much transition. By the time we left Costa Rica, we had many English peaking friends from the School and Spanish speaking friends in the church. While we have a few relationships here in Nicaragua, we are having to start anew in building relationships. Aside from relationships, we are seeing some changes in the pace of life. In Costa Rica, we were full time students language school students and our children attended the day care school. Now, Michelle is helping the girls to transition towards a home school routine.

Last month, we were glad to hear that we now have one more supporting church. Praise the Lord! This next month, we will move to Jinotepe and begin moving forward with our plans to plant a church in San Marcos. This month, please pray:

1. That everything goes well with our documents and residency process.
2. For our family as we transition to life in Nicaragua.
3. That souls will be saved as we begin working in San Marcos, Nicaragua.

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

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

This is our first prayer letter from Nicaragua. Since last month, we have graduated from language school in Costa Rica. Thankfully, we have studied hard, made good grades, and now have a strong foundation in the Spanish language. We will surely continue learning in our personal studies for much time to come. At the end of the month, we moved from Costa Rica to Nicaragua. Thankfully, the Lord brought us here with relatively few problems. We were also able to save a significant amount of funds by driving, rather than flying. Since arriving, our Nicaraguan friend and partner in the ministry, Berner, has done a great job helping us to get around and find the necessary things for our family.

Since arriving, we've had a few difficulties, but nothing significant. We are spending our first month in an apartment in Managua while we searched for a car, a house, and all of the smaller things we have needed. Thankfully, we have found a house that will be a great fit for us in the area where we intend to serve. We will be moving in at the beginning of next month. We have also been working hard to find a good, reliable vehicle at a decent price. We expect to have a car by the time we write our next prayer letter. Our girls have certainly had to make a few adjustments with the change of lifestyle and climate, as it is much hotter here in Managua, Nicaragua. However, they are doing well, singing in Spanish, and making new friends.

This month will be an exciting month. While we still have much work to do to get settled, work on residency, and begin our ministry, we believe the Lord is going to do some amazing things in the coming months. This month, please pray:

1. That the Lord guide us to the right vehicle.
2. That the Lord guide our plans and open doors to share the Gospel.
3. That the Lord help us improve in the language so we may be better witnesses.

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

Sunday, April 5, 2015

April 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

Here in Costa Rica, we are now in the middle of Semana Santa or Holy Week. While the week is full of religious activity, there is little emphasis upon the simple truth of the Gospel. We are eager to make our transition to Nicaragua and begin putting a strong emphasis upon evangelism and discipleship. This month marks our last month in language School in Costa Rica. We have learned so much and though far from perfect, we are now much better equipped to share the Gospel in Spanish. Though we still have to focus much of our time on schoolwork, we are now making our plans to leave Costa Rica and enter Managua. We will be beginning our Nicaraguan ministry in the Managua area. There is much to do. We are working to acquire proper documentation, obtain legal residency, find a house, and to make plans to move all of our stuff across the border.

As for our family, our health has been much better recently. Michelle has had a few of the unusual symptoms that she had when she was in the hospital last year. After a recent appointment, we learned that her stomach ulcer has been cured. We are now awaiting results from a few more tests. As for our girls, they have been very healthy and are doing great here in Central America. People frequently tell me that Lila speaks Spanish really well. Even Ellowyn, who is 1 ½, knows many Spanish words. They both love to meet new people and open many doors for building relationships and sharing the Gospel.

This month is a big month for us. We will be selling many things and moving to Nicaragua. This month, please pray for the following:

1. Michelle as we are awaiting the results of a few medical tests.
2. Our family as we continue learning the language.
3. The Lord's direction as we continue to work on our ministry plans
4. The Lord to help our transition from Costa Rica to Nicaragua.

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

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope that all of you are doing well. Around this time last year, we found ourselves in the middle of many winter storms. We are quite thankful to be able to avoid doing that this year. This last month, we have continued our progress in language school. While that has been our main focus, we have also been working on our plans for our transition to Nicaragua. We have been presented with many great opportunities and we are very excited about all of it. We have also enjoyed being able to be involved in various church activities throughout the month.

One Sunday, we had an all day church anniversary celebration at a local camp. We were able to fellowship, play games, and even observe many baptisms of people who had recently received Christ. For Valentine's Day, Michelle and I were able to attend a special married couple activity at the church. It was nice to have an opportunity to spend some time together while others were able to watch our children. During our time here in Costa Rica, we have been surprised at how many people like to practice their English with us. We were able to have a young man come over to our house for an English interview for his class. Because we are native English speakers, this may provide future opportunities to build relationships and share the Gospel with others in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Near the end of the month, we had a guest pastor from the Virgin Islands as a guest speaker. We were pleased to have him over for dinner at our house. He was very familiar with BIMI and was able to encourage us in our work.

This month, we will be making some big decisions regarding our next step after language school. Please pray for the following:

1. That the Lord will help us in learning the language
2. That the Lord will guide us as we make plans for after language school.
3. That the Lord will continue to provide opportunities for us to share the Gospel and encourage other Christians.

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

Monday, February 2, 2015

February 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

Last month was an exciting month for us here in Costa Rica. Besides language school, we were able to be a part of a Vacation Bible School here at the church we attend. During the last VBS, Jeremy was able to help out with security, but this time, he was able to help out on a higher level. This time, Jeremy was able to help out as a teacher assistant throughout the week. Though it was a very busy week, it was a great experience to be able to get more involved in Spanish ministry. Throughout the week, there were over 1000 people who attended. There were at least 87 children that made professed Christ as Savior, as well as at least 14 adults, not to mention many lives rededicated to Jesus Christ. It was a very fruitful week. We look forward to being able to do similar outreaches in Nicaragua.

The last month or so has also been very intense in our language school. We have been placed within the top level classes offered at our language school. Every new thing we learn is like another key to unlock the doors of communication. While we will likely continue learning Spanish for many, many years, we are determined to make the most of this brief time of intense language study, as it will greatly improve our ability to communicate the Gospel in the Spanish language. Our girls are also learning very quickly. Lila really enjoys being able to speak in Spanish, even if it is only a little bit. She frequently surprises us with new words or new Spanish songs that she has learned. Ellie has now learned to greet people with the Spanish, “hola!”.

It is such a privilege to be able to serve the Lord in Central America. We are putting much thought and prayer into planning our next steps after completing language school. This month, will you please pray for the following:

1. That the Lord will help us in learning the language
2. That the Lord will give guidance in our next step after language school
3. That the Lord will continue working in the lives of those who received Christ in VBS

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

Saturday, January 3, 2015

January 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope that each of you had an awesome Christmas and great start to the new year! Last month started out very busy as we were finishing up our second trimester of language school. Michelle and I were both heavily involved in planning the graduation program and reception. Jeremy was able to learn how to run a soundboard, which should prove to be beneficial in the future. As we are about to start our third trimester of language school, we are earnestly praying and seeking the Lord's direction for our next step. At this point, we have a few different options that we are considering, and we expect things to become clearer in the near future.

During the later part of the month, it was nice to take a moment to slow down and focus upon celebrating Christ coming into the world. One of our greatest goals for this Christmas, was to help out daughters to understand that Christmas is not about presents, big meals, Christmas trees, family, or any other good thing- but it is about Christ! All of those things are simply part of our celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. During the month, Lila frequently sang about Navidad and it was also exciting to see our youngest daughter Ellowyn showing interest in praying... even ending our family prayer with “Amen!” We are very thankful for all of our family, friends, and churches who gave gifts and cards during this time.

This year, we will complete language school, and officially begin our ministry in the Spanish speaking world. After all this time and preparation, we look forward to being able to bring forth much fruit for Jesus Christ. This month, please pray for:

1. The Lord to continue helping us in learning the Spanish language
2. God to guide us as we make important decisions regarding our next step after language school.
3. The Lord to provide opportunities to serve him during our last trimester of language school.

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