“For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:12).
Christmas Greetings To All Of You Wonderful Supporters!
As we approach the Christmas Season, it reminds us of God’s purpose and God’s timing—the right time to send His only begotten Son, made flesh, Jesus Christ, for the salvation of humanity. It also reminds us of His continuous sovereignty over the ministry that He has put us in to serve Him for His purpose among the people in Nicaragua during this year 2008.
It was a year of development in Kukra Hill, a muddy place with very few paved roads. In his final year as Mayor of Kukra Hill, Domingo Hodgson decided to leave his legacy by paving many of the town’s streets, one of which almost reached the new church/school property. The Lord established us there at the right time, according to His purpose! By faith, we started the construction of a Multi-Purpose facility that was much bigger than what we could afford, but our faith in God overcame the many difficult obstacles. He provided everything that we needed so we can be where we are today, almost two months away from the opening of the school, Colegio Bautista Bethel, grades K to 6th.
During this year of construction, many brothers and sisters from Bethel Church in Bluefields took vacation from work and school in order to come alongside the church in Kukra Hill, which they started in January ’07. Many of them gave of their finances in a sacrificial way; brothers and sisters came from the States, leaving their comfort zone, family, etc. in order to dwell among us. Wow! Thank you all for being among us.
For the first time since we were married, we understood the concept of a couple living far from each other. Vital’s absence (working at Kukra Hill) and the arrival of Jose Marie, an 8 year old, into our lives last November made the experience of parenthood more difficult. At the same time, Jose Marie was a lot of company for Ketly.
What moved all of us to go beyond ourselves? The love of God for humanity moved Him to send His only begotten Son, Jesus to us. Likewise, that same love in our hearts moved us to bring hope to Kukra Hill, where teen pregnancy is the highest percentage in Nicaragua.
He has led us to encourage and help build the lives of children and young people living without hope. He has also led us to build a second school in the community. Currently more than 40% of the children and young people in Kukra Hill are unable to attend school because of the lack of space in the existing facility.
While the construction is going on up in Kukra Hill, the missionary zeal from local churches as well as the visiting churches from the US continues to be vibrant! People are responding to God’s call in our midst. Working under the sun and rain in Kukra Hill, we experienced joy and suffering together as a body. At the same time, the Lord stretched us to become more and more like Jesus. Today, we can rejoice and shout: “Thank You, Lord!
As we read the event of Jesus’ birth in the book of Luke, it reminded us of whatever God says He is going to do, He does it in His time. The churches in Bluefields and in Kukra Hill believed in God’s Word and for His leading in the construction project at Kukra Hill. Because we believed in His Word, we are participating in God’s miracle, right in front of our eyes. The same way Mary did not doubt the word of the angel, she believed and received the message and she was able to participate in God’s miracle. Let us pray that we would not be like Zechariah who doubted and could not speak until the proper time. Let us believe and speak to others about God’s miracle in our midst so others may believe and speak about God’s goodness.
When we came four years ago from US/PR Assignment to Nicaragua, we were not planning to build a school in Kukra Hill, but it was in God’s plan when He saw a community with so many children and young people with lack of direction. As you read above, we did not know what the problem was in the community, but the Lord sent us in His timing. He had everything figured out and we believed. God had everything ready, as he had it for Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph. On His timing, God gave birth to John and Jesus. On His timing, God gave birth to the First Spanish Speaking Baptist Church in Kukra Hill and to Colegio Bethel. On His timing, God provided everything that we needed, just as He provided for Mary and Joseph for the birth of Jesus.
If you have not been part of this ministry, we are inviting you to be part of it. It is not too late! Since it is a private school, many children will not be able to pay the school tuition, which is $15.00/month. You still have the opportunity to be part of this miracle. God in the lives of the children and young people will transform the community of Kukra Hill. When we trust in God and we give of ourselves, He is able to do more than we can ever imagine. Expect Him to do for a miracle in your own life. A barren woman and a virgin giving birth—yes, only God can do it! He is still in the miracle business, just trust Him!
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, who came on time in our lives, do not leave Him outside in the manger, let Him come inside of our hearts so He can reign forever and He can give life to others around us.
Please, pray for:
• Our transition for the next term of US/PR assignment, which will start in June 2009. It will be another big change for Jose Marie with another language and country.
• The final steps in the construction of the Multi-Purpose facility (church/school) in Kukra Hill, which includes: building chairs, building more bathrooms, building a fence, tiles for floors and painting.
• Teachers and children in Colegio Bethel in Kukra Hill.
• Transition time for the church in Bluefields.