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

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 2016 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

Here in Nicaragua, we are now in the middle of rainy season. We have learned to live differently because anything that does not remain in constant use will begin to grow mold due to extremely high humidity. It is a constant reminder for us to “lay up treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor dust doth corrupt.” On that note, we are excited that November will be our first month that our church will support church planting missions. On the home front, we have also seen increased involvement in our visitation evangelism. Just in the last week, Jeremy was able to lead 3 individuals to Christ. We also use our visits to encourage many believers in the Lord. On one Sunday night, we took a special trip to Managua for a fellowship with another church. We were glad to see a great turnout from our folks as about 55-60 persons came from our church. We have seen great progress on many fronts, but we still have a desperate need for a new meeting location. Currently, we have until the end of the year to find a new location. We have been praying about purchasing a corner lot near our current location. Upon discussing the situation with the owner, the Lord moved her to lower the price from $40,000 to $20,000. This includes two small houses that need new roofs. The church has been saving for nearly one year. With all of our combined funds, we have over half of the funds needed. We are trusting the Lord to provide the funds needed in His timing and to guide us over the next couple months as we make some serious decisions.

October was a special month for us because we celebrated Ellowyn's third birthday. Not only is she now “graduated” into the next Sunday School class, but she also had an appointment in the nearby Christian school to make sure she was ready for preschool. Although her Spanish is still quite limited, they said she was perfectly ready to start in the upcoming school year. Her only disappointment is that she could not begin right away! We have been quite impressed at her ability to learn the Scriptures. One family event we are looking forward to this year is Thanksgiving. We look forward to inviting several of our Nicaraguan friends to enjoy an American tradition of thanking God for all He has done for us. We also enjoy letting them try some of our traditional American foods.

In the next few days, we will host the pastor Rodney Kelley from our home church. He will be visiting us to encourage us. We will also be visiting some other nearby cities that have a great need for a Gospel preaching church. This month, will you please pray for the following:

1. That God will guide and provide as we pray concerning our new meeting location.
2. That those who received Christ will grow in faith and take the next step of believer's baptism.
3. That God will lead us as we pray about our next few steps in our ministry.

In Christ,

Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, and Ellowyn Blanz

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September 2016 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

August was a very fruitful month for us here in Nicaragua. At the end of the month, we had a 3 day long evangelistic conference. With the help of two other churches, we sent out many groups to visit and invite people from the community. One night, we had the privilege of leading two women to Christ. We averaged 75-105 people each night. During the services, 10 people made professions of faith in Jesus Christ. We were particularly impressed to see that our church members are becoming more involved. At the invitation of each service, we had several people ready to counsel those who had responded show them how be saved according to God's Word. We were also impressed to see a few of the youth step it up and serve faithfully throughout the conference. We now have several that help out in the children's ministry and in running the sound equipment. Last month, we held our second youth service and there were 25 youth that came. We are also working out the details for our first missions conference this year. By the grace of God, we believe our church plant will be able to do it's part to help further the Gospel in other areas.

Last month, we received the surprising announcement that the owner of our house is planning to sell it. This was a shock to us because we had previously agreed to stay until next year. After a few discussions, we seem to have arrived at a new agreement, and things are a bit more stable at the moment. Jeremy was sick for a few days last month, but is now doing much better. Lila and Ellowyn are both doing well. They have both made friends with some sweet girls in our church who like to bring them flowers. Lila is also very excited that this next month, we will receive a visit from Michelle's parents. Their trips are always very encouraging to us.

This upcoming month will be a big month for us. The national pastor whom we work with will be taking a three week trip out of the country. Therefore, we will be working hard to carry some extra responsibility while he is gone. This month, will you please pray for the following:

1. That God continue working in the hearts of those that received Christ last month.
2. That God give our church the burden for bringing the Gospel to rest of the world.
3. That God provide every need as we save up for our own building.

In Christ,

Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, and Ellowyn Blanz

Thursday, August 11, 2016

UPDATE - 1st Year Anniversary Service

Here is an update from our 1 year anniversary service in our church plant. We had a great turnout. We planned for about 140 people, but were blown away with approximately 200 people in attendance. There were also 5 people who made the decision to receive Christ as Savior. Praise the Lord!

August 2016 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope that each of you are doing well. Things are going much smoother for us this month. As for the ministry of the local church plant, it is firing on all cylinders. Besides the normal services, Sunday School, and visits during the week, we are still continuing to move forward. In the public school, we are preaching the Gospel in the classrooms every Friday. Many teenagers listen attentively and we are building relationships with people in the community. Last month, we also held our first youth service. About 15 teenagers came, and after the preaching, 8 responded to the invitation. The next day, there were a couple new faces in the youth Sunday School class. On Saturday afternoons, we are now teaching condensed training courses on the topics of visitation/evangelism and the various topics of discipleship course. After the training course, we all go visiting to put this into practice. In the past, there were only a couple people that joined us on visitation. Now, there are 10-12 people visit with us each Saturday. This is an investment that will strengthen the church and help prepare them for our furlough or the day when God moves us to start another work.

Last month, we were encouraged by those who sent us emails letting us know that they were praying for us. Many of the problems we faced last month are now resolved. Last month, there was much sickness. This month, we are doing much better. Day by day, we are becoming more accustomed to life here in Nicaragua. When we first arrived, it was so difficult to understand and communicate. While there are still many difficult moments, they are now fewer and farther between. Like a muscle, our Spanish is exercised daily. We find it funny that, until Jeremy opens his mouth, he is sometimes mistaken for being Latin American.

This month, please continue to pray for God's work here in Nicaragua. Please pray:

1. That God guide us daily and give us wisdom in His work.
2. That God move in each heart as the church plans its first missions conference.
3. That God continue to bless as we save funds towards our building project.

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

Saturday, July 16, 2016

July 2016 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

June was a very rainy month here in Nicaragua, but we won't let that slow us down! Last month, we held a special Father's Day service for the fathers in our church. Many father's committed to lead their families in the ways of the Lord. In our regular visits, Jeremy was able to lead a young lady to the Lord. We also were encouraged by a visit from a supporting Pastor. While we are still renting a building at this point, the church has begun saving up to buy our own land and building. Many of the church people are giving every month to the building fund, and we send special thanks to Grace Baptist Church for the special offering we received. God is good! Last month, we began holding Friday night prayer services. Each Friday, we now have nearly 40 people praying together. Another thing that we are very excited about is the plans for our first missions conference. We do not have the details planned yet, but in the coming months, we will host our first missions conference. We believe that missions is essential to the DNA of the local church and that God will bless when we make His priority our priority.

As for our family, it was a difficult month for us. Michelle became very sick and after some blood tests, the doctor said it was probably Dengue. After the next blood test, she was confirmed to have Chikungunya, which is a similar sickness. Our youngest daughter, Ellowyn, thought Chikungunya was a good thing. It turns out that she thought it was a chicken restaurant! After about a week of being very sick, she is now much better. She is now back in action teaching Sunday School and the Wednesday night kids music class. In the month of June, Lila started her 3 week Summer break from School. Lila has been growing up so quickly! She has grown in her faith, and now wants to see other children get saved! Over the last few months, we have had many stomach sicknesses. At the advice of a friend, we are now taking anti-parasite medicine. We shall see if it helps!

Over the last month, there have been an unusually high number of things breaking around the house. From multiple appliances to our water supply to the internet in our homes and phones... even the light bulbs have gone out while fixing other broken things. It's been highly unusual. Some say we are under spiritual attack. While we are unsure if that is the case, we must be careful that we do not let these things discourage us. This month, will you please pray:

1. That God protect us from the abundant sicknesses we have experienced.
2. That God protect us from any type of spiritual attack or discouragement.
3. That God bless the work here in Nicaragua, save souls, and provide every need.

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

Monday, June 13, 2016

June 2016 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope that each of you are doing well. Last month was a super busy month for us here in Nicaragua. We have continued to preach the Gospel in the public schools on Fridays, and despite the difficulty of reaching this generation, we know that God's Word will not return void. In our own church, we now have 2 more teenagers who have begun serving as teacher's assistants in Sunday School. Because we have seen so much growth, Jeremy worked on a new budget and after a financial meeting, the church voted to begin supporting pastor Berner with a salary. This was a huge step in the right direction towards financial self sufficiency. During visitation, we saw a few people pray to receive Christ as Savior. Unfortunately, there was another Baptist church plant on the other side of the city that recently closed. There were a few adults and nearly 20 children that are now joining with ours. Since then, we've been at max capacity in all 5 of our Sunday school classes. In the end of the month, we did a special Mother's Day service. We were at max capacity with approximately 120 in attendance. We believe God is doing a great work in our city.

Last month was not only busy for the church, but also for our family. In the beginning of the month, Michelle's parents came to visit us. It was very nice to spend some time with them. After that, we then took a little time to help some newer missionaries with the purchase of their vehicle. We were glad to be able to help. To do something fun for Mother's Day, we went to the Managua zoo. We all really enjoyed seeing all the animals. Near the end of the month, we had a small group visit us from Mt Zion Baptist Church in Jasper, GA for a Sunday night service. We enjoyed getting to see them and show them what God is doing here. All these blessings are not without difficulties. Each person in our family took a turn with the stomach sickness, but we're mostly better now.

As we move into June, there is much to pray for. Will you please pray for the following requests?

1. That God will save many people and help us to disciple them.
2. That God will give us good health.
3. That God will guide us in His work here in Nicaragua.

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May 2016 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope that you are well. Last month was another busy month for us here in Nicaragua. Early in the month, we held a baptismal service and there were 5 baptisms. Also, the Lord has opened a door for us to preach the Gospel to well over 1,000 students in the public school system. Jeremy, Berner, and 3 other national pastors are now preaching the Gospel in the public school once per week. Many have responded and called upon Christ to be saved. There were also 2 others that called upon Christ in the normal visitation. For several weeks, Jeremy preached a series of messages on Biblical Stewardship. Several of the people of the church have begun to tithe as well as get involved serving the Lord. We are now beginning to train and prepare these servants to serve in the local church.

Despite the fact that we have been in Nicaragua for one year, we are still working to get more established here. As we were preparing for an out of country trip to Honduras for field conference, we had to change the ownership of our vehicle. After a couple weeks of working through a long process, we now have our vehicle properly registered and are able to take our vehicle across the border. Our family and another fellow BIMI missionary couple traveled to the field conference together in our vehicle. It was our first time passing through borders on land by ourselves. Thankfully, there were no problems. The field conference was a blessing and encouragement to us. We send special thanks to the churches who gave and help made it possible. During the conference, Ellowyn came down sick, but is now much better. Lila and Ellowyn really enjoyed making some new friends with the other missionary families. In the end of the month, Michelle's parents came to visit us for a week. It was nice to see them and spend some time with them.

As we continue moving forward in the development of our first church plant, we ask that you pray that God lead us every step of the way. It seems that every month we see more progress in the work. This month, please pray for the following:

1. That God do great things through our new outreach in the school system.
2. That God use us to see many souls saved and spiritual growth in each person.
3. That God do great things as we prepare and save for the purchase of land and a building.

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

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April 2016 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope that you are doing well. The year is going by so fast! Last month, we had to work a little extra hard in our church plant because the national pastor we are partnered with took a 3 week trip out of the country. During our visits, we saw 8 people profess faith in Jesus Christ. For Resurrection Sunday, we also planned a special sunrise service and breakfast afterward. We saw a good attendance as well as many new faces. Of course, there is always work outside of the church plant. We have now spent a portion of several days working to get our vehicle properly registered. I think we are now near the end of the process. We have also been working to plan our trip to Honduras for the BIMI field conference. We are looking forward to that. There are many firsts for our ministry here in Nicaragua. This month, we are preparing to do our first baptisms. Because many people believe in a sacramental Baptism as a means of receiving grace, we have been working to lead new converts through a brief course to help them understand biblical salvation and believers baptism. This month, we are looking forward to seeing 6 young people follow the Lord in believer's baptism.

It seems that every month that goes by, Nicaragua begins to feel less and less like a foreign country to us. Lila is now getting more and more into her school routine. She has now made several friends in her school. For Resurrection Sunday, our girls really enjoyed getting to hear about how Jesus rose from the dead. We enjoyed teaching them that because He lives, we have the promise of resurrection from the dead. We understand that there may be some who pray for us who are unsure about salvation. If you are not 100% sure that you have eternal life, please read our post at:

Each month that goes by, we are reminded that we need the blessing of God here in the work. Our greatest ministry desire is that this church be one that glorifies Jesus Christ and does what He has commanded us. This month, will you please pray for the following prayer requests?

1. That God guide our church and continue to grow those who will be baptized.
2. That God “give the increase” as we labor here in His work.
3. That God help us to be faithful in our part, that God may be glorified in all we do.

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

Friday, February 26, 2016

March 2016 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

As always, there is much to do in the Lord's work. Here in Nicaragua, we have stayed busy working and trusting the Lord to strengthen His church. We have continued in visitation and evangelism, and Michelle has recently started a kids choir practice on Wednesday nights. For valentines day, we did a special service and focused upon the love of Jesus Christ in our families. For many, it was a blessing and encouragement. One faithful youth in our church recently enrolled in the three year Baptist Bible Institute in preparation for ministry. It is exciting to see young people with a heart for the ministry. Berner, the national pastor with whom we are working, will be taking a three week trip, so we will be working even harder over this next month. Over this next month or so, we will be doing a series on Biblical Stewardship. We believe that God will continue blessing and strengthening the church. We are also working to accommodate a medical missions trip in the coming months as well. We are planning for our first Baptismal service as well.

As for the family, we are keeping busy as well. This month, Lila started school for the first time here in Nicaragua. Despite differences in culture and language, she is doing pretty well. We pray that God will help her to flourish here in her new school. Ellowyn is now spending a bit more time without her sister, but it is good for her development. Last month, something very exciting happened. We have now completed the residency process and finally have our residency approved with government IDs. Praise the Lord! This now means that there are several other things we now have to do, but this is one big step in the right direction!

Last month, we requested prayer for our health. Thankfully, we are all doing better. Thank you for praying. This last month, God answered a personal prayer. I have been praying for God to provide land and a building for the church, and God has already begun putting it in the hearts of some to help with this need. God is good! This month, will you please pray:

1. For God to continue strengthening the church and saving souls in Berner's absence.
2. That God will provide every need for us to buy land and a building in His timing.
3. That God will lead Lila and help her to flourish in her new classes.

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

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February 2016 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

Last month was an exciting month and great start to the new year. A ladies ministry named “Women of the Well” came to do a ladies conference at our church. Though we had little time to prepare, there was a great turnout of near 100 ladies and children and many were edified in the faith. We practiced the “Lord's Supper” as well as a special birthday service for pastor Berner. It was probably our highest normal attendance yet. Next month, we are planning a baptismal service, and there are several candidates ready to take this step of obedience. In our visiting, we saw 8 individuals who made the decision to place their faith in Christ alone for salvation as well as one young man who rededicated his life to the Lord. The Lord has been strengthening the church in number and maturity. There are several more who are beginning to tithe and serve in various capacities. In the neighboring city of Diriá, we are continuing to hold evangelistic services, and one young man has decided to continue this work as a church plant. Please pray for this.

While we are very busy in the ministry, we have a very busy familiy life too. We are presently still in the residency process, and take 3 trips to the migration office each month. We have also had to deal with minor car problems and it will need three days in the garage to get repairs from the accident that happened 1-2 months ago. We have enjoyed becoming more involved in life here in Nicaragua. We were invited to the birthday party of one of our daughters friends. It is a great opportunity to get to know the people more on a personal level. Near the end of the month, we took a couple days to help out some other missionaries who recently arrived here in Nicaragua. We know how difficult it can be, and are thankful to be able to help others as they get started in the work here. At the end of the month, Ellowyn and Lila both came down with a sickness of some sort. Please pray for them.

As always, we are so thankful to have churches and individuals who pray for us monthly. This month, will you please pray for the following?
1. The health of our family (particularly for Lila and Ellowyn)
2. That the Lord will raise up laborers here in our church to expand the ministry
3. That the Lord will continue to direct our ministry in the Lord's work in Nicaragua.

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

Thursday, January 7, 2016

January 2016 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

Happy New Year! We hope that you had a Merry Christmas and a great start to the new year. Last month was an extra busy month for us. Aside from normal visitation, evangelism, preaching, and teaching Children's church, we had a couple special events. First, we did a Christmas event for the children. Besides all of the activities, every child received a gift. We saw about 65 people for this event. In our normal church services, we are close to max capacity at every service, and we are seeing greater commitment from those who attend. The neighbors, who have allowed us to use their covered porch area for a children's class, have expanded the area and are allowing us to hold services there with greater seating capacity. For the end of the year, we did a special service with a meal afterward. We were blown away when we maxed out the new larger area with approximately 90-95 people. The Lord is doing a great work here in San Marcos, and he has opened doors in a neighboring city named Diriá. We are hosting evangelistic services there about every other week. We are seeking the Lord's guidance in the first church plant as well as praying about our next steps in Diriá.

Last month, we celebrated our first Christmas in Nicaragua. We started the day reading the Biblical account of the very first Christmas. Each year, Lila and Ellowyn learn a little bit more about how and why Jesus left heaven to be born a child. They also enjoyed opening presents! Most importantly, we focus upon God's gift to us- Jesus Christ. While the people here celebrate Christmas very late on the night of Christmas Eve, we keep some old traditions and adopt some new ones. We made a somewhat traditional dinner and had a couple friends come over for dinner. We had a couple car problems, but thankfully we were able to get them both resolved without spending a lot of money.

We are so thankful for those who pray for us and support us on a regular basis. Thank you to all who send special Christmas offerings. That is a big blessing! This month, will you please pray for the following:

1. That the Lord continue to grow and strengthen our first church plant.
2. That the Lord give us guidance in the new work in Diriá.
3. That the Lord continue to save souls here in San Marcos, Nicaragua.
4. That the Lord continue to mature each saved person in the faith.

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