CHE Association News – Christmas 2019

Romans 15:13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Dear friends,

Thank you for your prayers and financial support for the CHE Association, Nicaragua. We are all so grateful for your desire to support the ministry of dedicated Nicaraguan Christians whom God has called to be missionaries within their own country. This ministry has had, and continues to have, a profound impact in many rural communities in several areas of the country. In this letter we will give you some snapshots of the lives and communities where God is using Community Health Evangelism to draw people to himself, and to teach a gospel of good news for the whole person the whole family, the whole community.

This year the CHE Association has begun work in 4 new communities, sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse, Canada: Pacaya, Walter Arrata, Bayardo Arce, and Ciudad Dario.

HOW MANY COMMUNITIES CURRENTLY ACTIVE IN ECS – receiving training visits HOW many continue the lifestyle?

CHE always combines the spiritual and the practical in community trainings. Due to the increased unemployment and emigration, communities have chosen to focus the practical trainings on economic stability. The CHE training team is encouraging people to form, and participate in, savings groups. This cultivates the habit of saving, and promotes good economic stewardship. Members contribute between $1 and $3 a month during the year.  They save, typically, for Christmas expenses, school expenses, and withdraw at the end of the year, though some people leave a portion to carry over into the next year. They make loans among themselves at low rates of interest, agreed upon by the group, thus increasing their savings. Members are learning that they CAN save.

In Walter Arrata, a young woman learned about the importance of presentation in a CHE training. Her mother sells a variety of grain mixtures for traditional soft drinks, and was not doing well at sales. Her daughter, armed with her new knowledge, and the trainers’ help in planning, took the initiative to go to the market and buy the items to improve packaging and presentation. Her mother went out to sell – she sold everything she had!

Trainer Maria Felix is so thrilled to see the development of the children who come to the 3x weekly lunches (to boost child nutrition). CHE volunteers in the communities lead the discipleship program, ‘New Adventure’: 200 children participated, and 50 accepted Christ. The volunteers also check homework, and provide academic support, particularly in math and Spanish. The children do crafts and play games in a wholesome environment.

This program was begun during the crisis in 2018, thanks to all of you who contributed through Partnership in Hope.After 9 months the program was continued by 2 Nicaraguan organizations: Meal Plan, and the Rainbow Network. Maria Felix says that the children are less shy, she sees them growing in their faith.

The CHE training team has been very encouraged by the interest that the new communities have in taking initiative to address their needs, instead of complaining about how much they lack. Community members and the training team thank God for giving us the courage to take on challenges, united in faith and purpose.

A town clean-up day was organized in Walter Arrata and Bayardo Arce. These Seed Projects are done very early in CHE ministry for the CHE members, as a group, to demonstrate love to their communities. The 2 groups coordinated the work day with the Mayor’s office, and the Ministry of Health to clean up roads where people throw grey water into the streets. The mosquitos breed in the puddles and cause dengue and malaria. The CHE group hopes that, as has happened other communities, this seed project could be the beginning of permanent change of habits, leading to a healthier community.

In one CHE community there are 15 members who are single mothers under 18 years old.  Please pray that they find mentors and spiritual ‘mothers’ amongst the older women in the group.

One of the girls is Fernanda. She has just turned 14, and is the mother of 3 month old Dilan, born prematurely. We don’t know what happened to her parents, but she lived with a grandmother who died last year. She met her boyfriend then, and he abandoned her when she became pregnant. Fernanda did not finish elementary school. She is able to live with a friend, and makes tortillas and homemade cheese to buy formula and diapers for her baby. Fernanda hopes to sell the hair accessories and other items that she is learning to make in the CHE classes to increase her income. She also hope to resume her studies one day.

For all the teen mothers in the group, we pray that God would provide for them and protect them. We encourage them to take care of themselves and their babies, and to use what they are learning in the CHE program.

We long for all those who participate in CHE to receive salvation through Jesus. Please pray that God will give us the wisdom that only He can give, so that we can share the gospel effectively. We want to see healing in Jesus for those who come to meetings burdened by various problems.

The collaboration with World Vision, who provided an initial donation of fabric, and purchased a  worked very well for the sewing groups in Leon, who are now selling their products well, contributing to the family income.

Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 1.12.18 PM.pngPhoto: Young women posing with the corsages and wallets they have just learned to make. Their CHE trainer, Fatima, is 3rd from the right.

In order to raise some funds within Nicaragua groups of women are selling Flor de Jamaica (used to make drinks), and coffee. The CHE Association buys their products, and sells them in Managua, making a profit which is applied to materials for communities, or contributions to Children CHE. They also sell cheese and fish from other communities when possible. This is an area of work which the Association would like to expand, as it benefits the communities, the Association, and helps the women get work experience, if they don’t have that.

Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 1.14.27 PMPhoto: Class in progress.

Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 1.15.51 PM.pngPhoto: 15th birthday table centerpieces. These can be sold.

Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 1.16.37 PMPhoto: 6 young men between 14 and 20 years of age are in Pastor Chico’s class on residential electricity.

Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 1.17.47 PM.pngPhoto: Baby CHE modeling the headband and other accessories her mother had made for her in the class. Even now, these are things that people buy as gifts.

Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 1.19.31 PM.pngPhoto: This woman is one of 10 selected to receive a young pig to raise to help with family food security. When the pig breeds she will pass one of the piglets on to bless someone else as she and her family have been blessed. Other groups of women are raising chickens in the same manner.

Prayer requests:

  • To finish the year in the black
  • For the Association trainers and board members to be strong and of good courage, knowing that the Lord is with them, wherever they go, and depending on Him for the provision of all their needs.
  • For all the discipleship programs, the Bible studies, and the home visits made by the CHE volunteers. May those who know Him reflect Christ in all their encounters.
  • May the children’s programs influence the parents, and may the children be firmly rooted and grounded in love, so that Christ may dwell in their hearts by faith.(Eph 3:17). Pray that they hold fast to their new faith as they grow up.

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