I spent this morning with Sergio and Scarleth, the pastoral couple at El Manatial. Sergio and I hit it off very well when I was here with a team in January, so I was very excited to see him again and visit with him. Our visit did not disappoint. I had my Spanish-English el libro and a copy for Sergio.
Following our visit I attended a late morning “devotional” at Sergio’s church, which has dedicated to month of October to prayer and fasting. Part of the church’s commitment to prayer and fasting is a daily devotional service, which ran two hours and included a one-hour sermon. It was the first and only time I heard a Nicaraguan pastor preach. I will be back at Sergio’s church again tomorrow evening, but he has asked that I preach at that service.
Following worship, Sergio’s family graciously agreed to break their fast early so that we could enjoy lunch together. His daughter Maureen is learning English. We joked that she should translate tomorrow night’s sermon for me. She said she would if I promised to preach for an hour. It was great to hear about the IMPACT club she leads in another neighborhood in Chinandega and the church plant that is emerging there.
After a brief break at the Hotel, which included preparation for a meditation I was asked (just this morning on the way to El Manatial) to give to the leadership at Iglesia de Resurreccion y Vida this evening, I headed to that church for a meeting with the church’s ministry leadership. There were about thirty in attendance, roughly equal numbers of men and women. After our meeting, which consisted of worship, a short meditation, and prayer, we enjoyed dinner together for Pastor Evaristo’s birthday.
I ate dinner with Pilar, the church’s Sunday School director, whom I had met in January when she gave the group a tour of the neighborhood across the street and spoke about the work of the church’s IMPACT club. Faith Church had received prayer requests about changes to the IMPACT club and some struggles in the Sunday School. It was good to hear updates on those ministries and how God has answered prayers. Also at our table was Rodrigo, director of the church’s men’s ministry. I gathered in our conversation that men’s ministry can be as much a challenge in Nicaragua as it is in North America.
Tomorrow is my final day in Chinandega. It’s hard to believe how fast the time has gone. I will spend time with Paulino, pastor of Iglesia del Nazareno, in the morning. In the afternoon all of the pastors in the Friends of Chinandega partnership who are able will meet together at a farm outside Chinandega. And in the evening I will preach at the Tuesday evening service at El Manatial. Then it’s off to the airport very, very early on Wednesday morning…