NEWS in NICARAGUA

TEAMS

In late March a wonderful team of youth and adults from Florida came and stayed with us including a very gifted art teacher. John and the team visited a number of the schools we work with and taught art to the children and the teachers. Art is one of the subjects that is rarely touched here and it was wonderful to see the excitement of the students as John gave them basics to build upon and practice after he left. Marilyn had a blast translating too.

The end of April brought our annual mechanic's team to Nicaragua. What a blessing they are each year!!!! They repaired over 30 Nicaraguan pastor and missionary vehicles. This year the strike caused some difficulties getting parts. Our parts runner was stopped by protesters trying to steal the newly purchased tires out of the back of his pick-up truck to burn them, and the police harrassed him as they thought he was part of the protesters! He had to take many detours to get to the various part stores but he persisted and prevailed.

After the mechanic's team left, a computer genius stayed to bless many with his gifts. Noah worked on 75 computers in the four computer labs that MV started up this year in Christian schools and volunteered his time to missionaries needing help with their computers. We are sure praying Noah makes this an annual event as we look forward to starting up more new computer labs.

HOUSE

Well, our plan was to be moved into phase one of our home by now. Obviously our plan was not God's as we broke ground just last week. Just a little behind our schedule :-) but in time for our first team that was scheduled months ago to come and work on our home next week. The Bible does mention learning patience - doesn't it :-)? We are going full speed ahead now and continue to pray that God would allow us to move in SOON. After much prayer and thought we have decided upon a name for our home and land. It will be called Quinta Gracia - translated Land of Grace. Everytime we walk on the land we think of God's hand in showing it to us for a favorable price - definitely the definition of grace - undeserved favor. Thank you, Lord!

EL TRANSITO

Due to immense parental demand and in spite of great resistance from the Ministry of Education, the Christian school in El Transito opened up the first year of high school this year (7th grade here and now our sixth school that includes a partial or a complete high school). This very poor, rural fishing village sent representatives to the district's Spanish and Math competition. They had never won nor placed a student there. No rural school ever has. Well this year a student from the new high school class won 1st place in their district and a student from 6th grade won 3rd! It was a tribute to Pastor Mario and his wife, Regina's, hard work and investment in those children's lives and it garnered positive recognition from the Ministry of Education. Congratulations!! They now will go on to the state level competition.

NEHEMIAH CENTER

Construction on the new Nehemiah Center is well underway. The portion that includes the team house and dining/conference center is almost complete. As it is located on the same property as NCA Nejapa, we were blessed to watch Leah and Naomi and their classmates present a mother's day program in the conference center (a "ranchon" - tile floor with a thatched roof). You can now learn more about the Nehemiah Center and its many outreaches at its new website - www.nehemiahcenter.net. Eric will begin supervising construction of the new offices soon.

Eric & Marilyn Loftsgard
Field Coordinators in Nicaragua