Due to continuing political unrest in Nicaragua, our 2018 trip was cancelled and no trip is currently scheduled for 2019. We continue to pray for our Nicaraguan brothers and sisters and raise funds to support their ongoing ministry. We look forward to the day when we will partner with them again "on the ground" at El Ayudante.
The Nicaragua Mission Team is open to all LUMC Sr. High students, young adults and adults who are actively involved in the ministries of the church including worship, service, fellowship and Bible Study. Please contact Marlene Passarelli ( email@example.com) if you'd like additional information.
You can read about our ministries in Nicaragua from this and prior years on FACEBOOK. We're slowly migrating all our older blog entries from prior years (2007-2014) to our Facebook page. If you are interested in photos and comments from those past mission trips, please visit our older WordPress blog HERE._____________________________________________________________________________________________
In 2006, LUMC began a relationship with El Ayudante in Leon, Nicaragua. The ministry of El Ayudante was born of a call to share God's love and care with the many orphaned and abandoned children in Nicaragua, the 2nd poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. A beautiful child protection center was built that for many years provided a loving home to over 30 "at-risk" children, and became a model for centers throughout Nicaragua. As the country's focus turned to closing all child centers and returning children to their families, El Ayudante undertook to rehabilitate and reunite the families of its precious children by helping parents overcome addictions, gain valuable job skills and find employment. El Ayudante purchased land and built safe and secure homes close to the center for the children's families so the children could continue to come to the Center each day before and after school to receive nutritious meals and assistance with homework as well as regular healthcare and spiritual training.
Through the more than 1,000 international missionaries it hosts each year, El Ayudante continues to share God's love in local communities. Three LUMC teams made up of high school and college students and adults traveled to Nicaragua in 2007, 2008 and 2010, where they led VBS-type programs in neighborhood schools, churches and community centers, provided medical and dental education and hosted dental clinics, painted, built homes, served meals and assembled and delivered care packages, and helped with construction of a new community center.
Our 2011 & 2012 teams focused on work in the communities of Hato 3 and New Soledad respectively, where they connected in a special way with the families in these rural communities (check out the blog link at the top of the page). Building latrines to replace aging outhouses, constructing and outfitting a kitchen, holding medical clinics, leading VBS programs at the community schools and churches, prayer walks, and care package & clothing distribution allowed team members to work alongside and spend time with the wonderful families of these communities, and the beautiful people we met there remain in our hearts still. We also enjoyed worship in local churches, plus an afternoon at a local swimming pool with 32 beautiful children from the El Ayudante Family Enrichment Center. Our mission team members continue to forge lasting bonds with these children through child sponsorship. Currently, several LUMC families sponsor children through the FEC and are delighted to spend time with their children, taking them on special outings and shopping trips when our teams are at El Ayudante. What a blessing it is to see the love growing between these families and their sponsored children!
Our 2013 trip (with 28 team members) was another amazing experience with the building of a new home in Mt. Sinai (formerly New Soledad), a sports clinic in Quezelguaque, and VBS programs at several schools. We were also able to distribute 35 care packages and 15 water filters. You can read all about it in the TEAM BLOG.
Our 2014 team of 29 funded and began construction on staff bathrooms at El Ayudante. We also built another home in Mt. Sinai and worshipped with the lovely people of that community on Sunday. We returned to Pablo Morales for the third year and led VBS for the children there, and did VBS for the first time in the Casa de Tabla community. Other "firsts" included water filter and food care package distribution in Antonio Sandino, and a visit to the local prison where we provided a snack and prayed for the 416 prisoners, some of whom prayer for our team, as well! We were also blessed to spend time with the children of the HCN, El Ayudante's life-changing Family Enrichment Center. Several members of our congregation have a more personal connection with some of the children there through child sponsorship. (Learn more about the Child Sponsorship Program at www.nicamissions.com.) We are excited to be part of God's work in Nicaragua and invite you to be part of this ministry through your prayers and, if you are so led, your financial contributions. You may make a tax-deductible donation by check to LUMC (memo: Nicaragua Missions) which will help fund ministry by future teams.
Photos from 2010, 2008 & 2007: