Monday, November 27, 2017

December 2017 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are thankful that God has given us the privilege to serve Him here in Nicaragua. Though we are transitioning out of the ministry of our first church plant, Jeremy stayed very busy our month. He is working with several young people and one man in preparation for Baptism. Because there are so many denominations here which teach salvation by means of water baptism, we are sure to thoroughly teach both biblical salvation by grace through faith and believer's baptism to all baptismal candidates. As for the church building, it is now nearing completion. There is still a little work to be done on the floors and roof before finishing the last details. As for furlough preparation, Jeremy scheduled meetings in 13 more churches this last month. There was one setback. Despite conforming our furlough plans to the legal processes that affect our residency, we have had some problems getting our migratory status changed to permanent. At this point, we will simply have to trust God for everything to work out without any problems.

November was a very busy month for the family. Although Thanksgiving is an ordinary day here, we celebrated with some other missionary friends. Lila and Ellowyn both prepared special Spanish Christmas songs for their end of the school-year special event. They both have come a long way in their acquisition of the language. Here in Nicaragua, kindergarten has a graduation ceremony, so Lila was excited to "graduate." Elijah, of course, receives lots of special attention from all of the church ladies. As we prepare for furlough, it will be a big change for us. Lila and Ellie really don't remember much about the United States. Our families are looking forward to seeing the girls again and Elijah for the first time. We are now staying busy with final preparations such as packing, cleaning, and transporting our things to the places where they will be stored.

We are sending out this prayer letter a few days early because the days of our first term are coming to a close. This month, will you please pray:

1. That God will strengthen the church and guide it through this transition.
2. That God will guide our family through the transition of returning to the states for furlough.
3. That God will lead us as we continue making plans for furlough and our next term.

In Christ,

Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, Ellowyn, and Elijah Blanz

Friday, November 10, 2017

November 2017 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

Last month was very busy for us. In Jeremy's Sunday School class, there were several who had been really beginning to grasp the gospel. One morning, Jeremy stopped the class early and counseled six children who then made the decision to place their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. One of our Sunday School teachers had been burdened to bring a girl to church each week for about a month. This girl received Christ in one of the services. We believe that God placed this burden in the Sunday School teacher's heart. It is hard to put this into writing, but one weekend the girl had gone missing. The city was rocked by the news that she had been murdered. Her family invited our church's national pastor Berner to come and preach the Gospel to all of the friends and family. This tragedy reminds us of two things: #1- That evil and wickedness exist in this world, and #2- That Jesus Christ is the only solution. Please pray for that God comfort the family and bring many to faith in Jesus Christ through this tragedy.

As for the church building, the main structure is now nearing completion. Work is now beginning on the roof. Pastor Berner is doing a great job managing the building process and working to get materials for the lowest prices possible. We are also working towards transferring our ministry roles in the church to faithful church members who will pick up where we leave off. Our family has been working every day to get ready for furlough. Jeremy has called several hundred churches. Last month, he booked 25 meetings, including many new churches. Michelle has been focusing upon cleaning, packing, and making plans for the storage of our things. We missed out on some opportunities to get things done last week due to a tropical storm. We spent 5 days with no electricity. Thankfully, we now have light again!

This next month will be extremely busy for us. We will be working to wrap things up here in Nicaragua as well as set things up for our furlough in the states. This month, will you please pray:

1. That God guide our church through this transition as the church becomes completely indigenous.
2. That God will use the tragedy from last month to bring others to Himself and for His glory.
3. That God will guide our family as we prepare for a big transition back to the states on furlough.

In Christ,

Jeremy, Michelle, Lila, and Ellowyn Blanz