Wednesday, January 26, 2011

House of Hope, Nicaragua - Part 4

Last week (Jan 15-22), I traveled to Nicaragua, to encourage and serve at House of Hope - a Christian vocational rehabilitation center for women & children escaping prostitution in the Managua area. Monday through Friday, I taught Bible studies (with a translator) and prayed with individuals afterward. I also stayed "on campus" so I could interact with about 60 residents (teen girls, adult women & their children). Tuesday morning, I shared a Bible message with over 200 women (some still on the streets) who come to House of Hope once a week to make greeting cards & jewelry as an alternative source of income. Thursday's teaching session with the residents was followed by "soaking prayer" (restful worship in God's Presence), and the Friday "wrap-up" included time for each of us to share what we experienced during the week. Thank you for remembering us all in your prayers!
A report I wrote after my first trip to House of Hope in January 2009 is posted below. I scheduled it to post in 4 parts - on 1/5, 1/12, 1/19 & 1/26 - so I could prepare, travel & recover from this year's trip. My 1st & 2nd trips to House of Hope were also described briefly in an earlier blog about missions, "Loving My Neighbor - Part 1" posted on this site on 6/3/10. The teachings I shared this year included adapted versions of the "Wilderness" series, which posted on this site 11/12, 11/26, 12/3, 12/8, 12/15 & 12/26/10.

January 2009

(continued from last week's posting)

Sabrina is a young mother of 3 small children who was abandoned by her own mother when she was a child, and asked for prayer to overcome thoughts of running away and leaving her children. This was a major step forward, because Sabrina had left her children in the past, but was bringing the temptation into the light and asking for prayer this time, which also gave Vilma and Jana the opportunity to offer help with the children and encouraged her to ask them for support going forward. As we were talking, Vilma even took baby Paloma from Sabrina and began to nurse her (which I thought was a powerful sign of her very real willingness to “bear another’s burdens”) while we prayed for Sabrina’s own healing of childhood abandonment and that she would experience God’s Love for herself, not just for the sake of her children. We all shared stories of feeling pressured as parents, knowing that many of her feelings were relatively normal and letting her know she wasn’t alone.

After Sabrina, we ministered to 12 yr old Valerie, who had asked for prayer regarding “hate in her heart” toward the other girls, which was rooted in feelings of anger and rejection because her mother continues in prostitution, “choosing men instead of me.” We encouraged her to forgive and pray for her mother, who doesn’t see clearly what she is doing, and to accept the Love that God has provided at House of Hope. Valerie’s mother, like several of the girls’ mothers, comes to the Tuesday card-making program, which is a bittersweet reminder to Valerie of their separation (especially since her mother doesn’t visit her at other times).

Another teen, Teresa (age 15), lives alone in one of the family apartments, which Glen & Jana had noticed was fairly bare of belongings – one of Teresa’s jobs is sweeping the property near their house, and she confided in them her sadness that her mother never comes to see her or bring her anything. Although visitors need to avoid showing special treatment among the girls, I gave her a small stuffed animal for her bed, since other girls do have family who give to them (although some have family members who try to get things from them, too).
Saturday afternoon from 1pm until after 3pm, we did a short teaching on “soaking in God’s presence” and played quiet instrumental worship music while ALL of the residents and leaders (including small children) rested on pillows and sheets we’d told them to bring from their rooms… it was precious to see that even the 2-year-olds participated for at least 20 minutes (then Glen & Jana helped take the younger children outside, so others could participate without distraction) – we asked everyone to stay until 2:30pm (about 30 minutes of soaking), but at 3pm (after an hour) about half of the residents (and all of the pregnant moms & leaders :) ) were still on the floor :) …last to leave was little Vanesa* (age 10), who told me she hadn’t yet asked Jesus into her heart, but seemed powerfully touched by the Holy Spirit on both Friday and Saturday afternoons. I said to her, “you enjoy God’s Presence very much, don’t you?” and she nodded (yes) as she left the room…
[*Additional note: when I returned to House of Hope in January 2010, one of my greatest joys was seeing Juana - who gave her heart to the Lord on Thursday during my first trip in 2009 - Vanesa, who experienced His Presence as described above, and their mother, who had come to House of Hope after I left that year - all three living there together and loving the Lord Jesus. It was a beautiful sight to see Juana's smile as she remembered me from that most special day in her life and wanted me to see what God had done in her family since then - I felt so honored and privileged to be a part of His ministry to these ladies!]
I said goodbye on Saturday night with lots of hugs and final photos and promises to pray for one another, and Oscar & Vilma drove me to the airport at 4:30am on Sunday morning – “muchos gringos” were leaving on the 7:30am flight to Houston, as it seems many American visitors to Nicaragua are on mission teams. Oscar laughed that I hadn’t seen much of Nicaragua this time, and suggested I go to the beach next year when I return :) [In January 2010, I did go to the beach - we took Mike & April to lunch on Sunday at a lovely, unspoiled "eco-tourist" spot - in fact, it was the first time I'd ever seen the Pacific Ocean, and it was beautiful!]
I think it is safe to say that we were all touched by God in significant ways that week, and that there seem to be “no limits” to what God can do when we let Him have His way with us…

Please remember the people at House of Hope in your prayers. If God moves you to give $ to this work, the address for U.S. donations is: Harvest Church, 2020 West 15th St, Washington, NC 27889 - checks payable to “Harvest Church” (memo: for House of Hope).
More information at website – includes how to order greeting cards & crafts made at House of Hope – or email me at .

Thanks again for keeping this ministry in your prayers...

For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

[Matthew 18:11 KJV]

1 comment:

  1. part 3 was good, and part 4 is just as good. ty for posting this!

    - !! Main St Review!!