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A litte girl walks over…

She holds one finger in the air.

“Dame uno.”

She says it a bit forcefully. Perhaps the years of practice had pushed away any shyness. I look at her face, her eyes are lively. She is a fighter.

In a culture where a neat appearance is everything, her hair is matted and her clothes have been well worn. Her job is to beg in the park and this is her uniform.

Another day we see her again. This time barefoot, she asks for money to buy shoes. When she walks away I see her flip- flops tucked into the back of her skirt. That’s just the way things are, her family needs money to survive.

Over the summer we spend a little time with her almost every weekend. We get to know her, ask about her family, her school. We get to talk to her a little about God. She holds the babies from time to time and walks with us. She is a sweet girl with a big heart.

The Lord brings her to mind often. Little Milagro. Her name means miracle.

We ask for prayer for these kids we see at the park, and you pray for her by name.

A friend begins a Bible club for kids in her neighborhood. In Milagro’s neighborhood. Two weeks ago she lets me know that they asked her if she understood the gospel and she said yes! She knows Jesus as her Savior and is trusting in Him alone for salvation. She is now involved in church with other believers, excited to learn.

“So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything but only God who makes things grow” 1 Cor. 3:7.

And so we are all a little bit a part of her story, and many others will be too.Those who pray, those who share the good news, those who teach her the Word and encourage her in a life of faith. And it is God who gets the glory because He is bringing all these parts together, He is causing the growth.

Please pray for Milagro today. Last week she was making coffee for a neighbor over a fire and the scalding liquid spilled down her leg. She is healing from very painful 3rd degree burns and her family does not have finances for extensive medical care. Praise the Lord that basic hospital care here is free and she was able to get some treatment. Pray that she will continue to grow in her walk with the Lord and be a light for Him in her neighborhood. Pray for the Bible study at Maria’s house reaching these children and their families.

Today’s post was written by Debby Chapman. Debby, along with her husband and four children, are missionaries in Nicaragua. We have so loved seeing them follow Christ to Nicaragua, adjust to their lives there and serve Him so faithfully, despite ever challenging times in the health of their family. Thank you for reading, sharing, and interacting with all of us here at Grace Ministries International, through social media and for your prayers and support for our missionaries all over the world.

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Pictured in the cover photo: GMI missionary Dan Reed and Frosty, along with MEB president José Yucra and vice-president, Santos Ortega.

Frosty and Cathy Hansen recently returned to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, a place they had served from 1993 to 2004 and they loved the people and ministry there. We want to share with you a recent email update they sent to their interested support team because it carries such an important message for all of us.

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For this we have Christ!
Ants, ants and more ants! No, ants are not uncommon in Bolivia, but it is a bit disconcerting when they invade your bathroom, the white outlet now totally black with the little creatures and their friends exploring the walls, sink, and floor. Cathy called out and went to work trying to wipe them up (and out), while Frosty went outside to find their homebase and do what is possible to eliminate the potential of a return visit. With frustration levels reaching uncertain heights, Cathy glanced at her mirror and saw her handwritten reminder from a retreat she attended: “For this I have Jesus!”

This is the perspective we strive to keep each day. When we remind ourselves of Christ’s abiding presence in our lives through trials or blessings, it radically changes our attitudes and approach to life. Cathy’s glance at those simple but powerful words made a difference. Frustration gave way to surrender, which turned to praise for our God’s faithful presence, strength, and calling in our lives.

Our “Inca wall”

For this we have Christ! We are slowly but steadily advancing as we settle into our new home. Ciro, a very competent handyman, has undertaken a series of projects, including the needed repair of the bathroom outlet (the ants apparently had their own technician who unhooked the wires), fixing the oven and stove, and patching cracks in the outside wall. Ciro also began the job of repairing a number of cracks in the inside walls (pardon his dust from plaster and bricks), thus creating some interesting designs until it is time to paint. The picture to the left has been dubbed by Cathy our “Inca wall.” Furniture is being added and the ongoing projects both inside and outside will continue for a bit longer…once the current rains stop. We thank God for those who have given to help these projects move forward.

For this we have Christ: Cathy was greatly blessed during the four-day retreat sponsored by “Azmera.” A group of 11 women came from the States to pamper and minister to the 20 missionary women who attended. It was a refreshing time of sharing with other women, hearing from God’s Word, getting pedicures and massages, and worshiping the Lord together. Also attending the retreat were two other GMI missionaries, our co-worker in Bolivia Mary Sue Reed and Joy Befus from Costa Rica.

For this we have Christ: Establishing our residency in Bolivia has been our chief goal during these initial weeks. What we had hoped would be a quick process has turned into a waiting game with just a little bit of progress until now. A trip to Interpol (the international police organization), the Bolivian justice department, and the police and anti-drug task force has shown we have no records, which didn’t surprise us and hopefully doesn’t surprise you! But two important trips to immigration have sent us scurrying for additional documentation, and a third attempt found their offices closed as they were relocating. We will try once more on Thursday, April 6, confident that the timing rests in the Lord’s hands and at peace with whatever happens. When the residency is finally approved in La Paz, a month after approval here, we can move forward toward getting our ID cards, then a driver’s licence and a vehicle.

For this we have Christ: Even though the residency process is slowing some things down, we are seeing a great interest among the leadership and churches we are here to serve. Frosty and Dan Reed have had productive meetings with the leaders of the Misión Evangélica Bethesda (MEB) (pictured in cover photo) regarding the future training center, and a number of individuals have excitedly indicated their desire for further study. Frosty is meeting weekly with a young man who is interested in missions and wants to be more securely grounded in the Word and in his knowledge of Grace theology. A number of churches are beginning to use a booklet on the basic theological beliefs of the MEB which Frosty prepared several years ago, and one church board has asked him to help them work through it. We are excited to see the growing interest in this ministry. The future of the work in Bolivia is quite promising!

For this we have Christ: Cathy currently is recovering from a severe intestinal infection. Frosty received some scrapes and a sore shoulder when he tripped on an uneven sidewalk during a morning walk. Otherwise, we are quite young and healthy! We thank God for His faithfulness and the joy of serving Him here in Bolivia!

Cathy was blessed by her small group at the Azmera Retreat.

Praise the Lord with us for:
A good working relationship with the MEB leadership.
The high level of anticipation for our Training Center.
Blessings received by Cathy at the Azmera retreat.
Opportunities to share Christ with taxi drivers.

Pray for us:
The residency process.
Cathy’s recovery from her infection; consistent good health.
Opportunities to teach, mentor, and share the gospel.
Wisdom as we counsel and encourage young people.

For this we have Christ!
Years ago at youth camp, Frosty learned a song entitled, “For This I Have Christ” by Pastor Wayne A. Webb. We were unable to find the lyrics, but it went something like this:

For this I have Christ! For this I have Christ!
In trouble and trial and tragedy,
When fears and frustrations are plaguing me,
I meet the attack with this strategy –
For this, for this I have Christ!

For this I have Christ! For this I have Christ!
The darts of the wicked one hurled at me,
And Satanic pressures oppressing me,
I know that in Christ I have victory!
For this, for this I have Christ!

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Take a look at THIS VIDEO about “Breakthrough”—the GMI-affiliated taekwondo ministry team heading to our newest field, Paraguay, this summer. Through their ministry, they are hoping to reach hundreds of Paraguayans with the gospel of the grace of God. To date they have raised nearly half of the $12,000 this six-person team needs to serve in Paraguay this August. The timing for this trip could not be better as GMI missionaries Alex and Deltha Gulart and Jerry and Sandi Bomers will begin having church meetings soon in the building on which they have just recently signed a lease. Click on the link www.gracem.org in order to give your tax-deductible gift through GMI. Also, for more information about this team you can read their team letter. http://gracem.us/…/Paraguay-2017-Fundraising-letter-email.pdf

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Emiliano and Raquel sharing about their ministries in Nicaragua

Iglesia Bíblica de la Gracia (Grace Bible Church), Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, held its first missions conference March 26-April 2 to promote worldwide missions within its congregation and to encourage its members to support missions, pray for missionaries, and to strongly consider serving the Lord on the mission field. Grace Ministries International (GMI) missionaries Emiliano and Raquel Seravalli are serving in Nicaragua sent both by their home church in Costa Rica (Comunidad Bíblica de la Gracia—Grace Bible Community) and by GMI to serve in Nicaragua. They were a perfect fit for this conference having been sent out by a sister Latin American church to a foreign field. Emiliano preached the first Sunday of the conference and they each shared during the week with both adults and youth about serving the Lord, our relationship with him, and the perspective of Latin Americans being prepared and sent by their church in Costa Rica. GMI missionaries Harry and Kaylah Alicea and Lawrence and Barbara Trumbower also shared during the conference about how they got involved in missions and their perspective on the missionary life.

Barbara Trumbower sharing about her ministries in Puerto Rico

GMI Executive Director Jeremy Clark taught on the importance of planting churches, shared with the youth the process of becoming a GMI missionary, and encouraged the congregation on the last Sunday of the conference to evangelize the lost. Iglesia Bíblica de la Gracia counted this event a tremendous success because of the turnout, excellent response, and impact it made on the lives of those who attended.  Pastor Miguel Ortiz, the church’s leadership, and GMI missionaries in Puerto Rico planned and ran an excellent conference.

The cover photo is of Emiliano and Raquel on the air with Miguel at Radio WCGB in Puerto Rico.

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The Bomers, Jerry and Sandi, and the Gularts, Alex and Deltha, GMI missionaries serving in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, have just announced they have signed a lease on a building where they can hold church services and other church-related activities. Prior to this they were meeting in the home of Alex and Deltha.

The building is located near two high schools, a university, a business district, and a neighborhood of homes. There is also a park with a lake nearby so it is easily accessible to everybody. To see a movie of Jerry Bomers and Alex Gulart walking through the neighborhood in Ciudad del Este showing where the new church building is located, click HERE.

Having this new building will allow for growth of the church and increases the ability to have children’s ministries separate from the main church services.

Please pray for the Bomers and Gularts as they continue in the ministries in Ciudad del Este and as they meet new people everyday when they are out in the neighborhood sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

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