Bismark/Nicaragua Updates

Through our Ready to Bless fund, we join God in changing the world. Each month we send $ to Love, Light & Melody to support Bismark’s ministry, a missionary in Nicaragua who is the hands & feet of Jesus to the poorest of the poor.

July 27, 2018

Thank you from Nicaragua for Emergency Packets. GGCC donated $ for 12 packets.

Hi Friends,

Sending along a few photos with Bismark and the emergency food pack you guys gifted to his family. 

Bismark was so grateful when I talked to him last night.

The remaining 11 packs you donated will be put together and distributed in the next few weeks, and I’ll be sure to send along any additional photos or updates of those.


THANK YOU guys for blessing Bismark’s family and so many other families in Nica with your generosity.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Daisy 

Contents of each packet:

35 lbs. rice, 15 lbs. beans, 1 gallon oil, 3 bags sugar, 2 bags salt, 2 bags Avema, 2 bags Cebada, 2 bags Pinolillo, large container of Ketchup, 6 pkg. pasta, 6 pkg. Maggi soup, 6 cans sardines, box of coffee, 6 liters milk, bag of corn flakes, 3 bags flour, 2 bags Maseca (corn tortilla flour).

Additionally included:  Heavy duty storage container (can be used to store water), toilet paper, 2 lighters, 10 boxes of matches, 20 candles, a flashlight and batteries.


Update on the recent unrest in Nicaragua.  Please keep Nicaragua and our Nicaragua family in your prayers.

July 16, 2018

A few recent pieces about the unrest in Nica. 


May 27, 2018

Hi Claudia.

 All of the news coming from Nicaragua has definitely been unsettling, and it's been so hard not being there with all of that going on. I thought things were settling down, but from what I've heard from some friends it's still pretty intense right now. I just sent Jordan a message, but his parents sent an email this week saying that he's been struggling and that things have been hard the last few weeks. So, definitely keep Jordan and all of our Nica family in your prayers. 

 Here's a New York Times article that Daniel and Jessenia shared a few weeks ago -- 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/26/world/americas/nicaragua-uprising-protesters.html

Always, 

Daisy


April 22, 2018

Hi Team GGCC!

Hope you're all having a blessed Sunday :)


Bismark sent me some photos of his church construction and I wanted to share them with you to show you all of the progress! It's coming along pretty quickly -- they're building a few altar steps / levels and they're putting in a wall on the back side of the church to shield from the wind / rain / sun. 




Also, I would love your prayers over all of our Nica family. There have been protests going on all week over social security changes the government made. The protests have turned violent with police using tear gas, rubber bullets, etc. They also turned the water off in many parts of Managua and most of the schools have been closed all week. Here's an article one of our board members sent earlier this week -- 

Thank you for keeping Nicaragua in your prayers, and I'll be sure to keep you posted on any updates!

Let us know if you have any questions and thank you, as always, for all you do to support LLM, Bismark and our work in Nicaragua. Grateful for you guys. 

Sending you all my love. 

always,

daisy


April 5, 2018

Hi Team GGCC!

Hope this note finds you all well :)

 I'm in Nicaragua and spent some time with Bismark visiting Jorge and his wife, Monica, in Pocho Cuape today. 

I wanted to send along a few photos and a short video from Jorge as he asked about all of you and had some updates to share with you! 

With the gift you gave Jorge and Monica when you were here in December, they were able to finish their guest room (where they're hoping to be able to host missionaries coming to serve in Pocho Cuape). They were able to put in a tile floor, build a simple shower and make bunk beds for the room (see photos!). They were so grateful for your generosity and that room is going to continue to be such a blessing for them and their ministry. 

   

 




We also visited the pigs -- down to one mama pig and a baby pig for the time being -- and saw some brand new baby rabbits that one of their rabbits just had :) 


 This is a slower season for them since everything is so dry, so they don't have as many of their gardening projects going. Monica is still struggling with her health, but she was in good spirits and as sweet + kind as ever. 


 We also brought them some hygiene kits and bags of rice + beans to distribute to all of the elderly and families in their community. I was wishing you were all here to do another prayer walk through the community + to help distribute everything, but you were all here in spirit and I tried to soak it all up for all of you :)

 With love, from Nica,

Daisy

 

February 12, 2018

Hi Friends!

I hope you're all doing well and having a blessed day :)        


I'm back in Nicaragua, and I've gotten lots of good time with Bismark and Jordan the last week. They both send their love + blessings to you and the GGCC family.


I went to Bismark's church last night and wanted to share some photos + a praise report about the ROOF! It looks incredible and it was amazing to be sitting under it after all of the time, generosity, and prayer you and your GGCC crew have poured into making it a reality.




My dad and a friend of his are coming down this week, and they're going to help build a wall on the back of the church to help protect against wind... so the projects are continuing, slowly but surely :)


Otherwise, Bismark has been having more stomach issues and went to the doctor last week for what they thought may have been something with his prostrate. That came back clear, but they did find some fluid in his abdomen that they want him to come back in for next week.

Dianita (his oldest daughter) has also been having some abnormal heart palpitations. They went to the doctor and it doesn't seem to be anything serious, but they're keeping an eye on that.


Bismarkcito is continuing to have issues with his skin allergies. I brought down some hypoallergenic skin cream and body wash that his doctor recommended, and it's been working well on his body but he broke out with a rash on his face.


So, you can definitely be praying for HEALTH for the whole Rocha clan :) And continued prayers for blessing + provision over their church are always needed.


Bismark asks about all of you often, and he and Diana pray for you regularly. Let me know if there is anything specific you would like them to be praying about for any of you or your church -- and otherwise I can share your weekly prayer email with them.


Let me know if you have any questions and I'm hoping to get out to Pocho Cuape to visit Jorge at some point during this trip, so I'll report back on how he's doing as well :)


With love from Nica,Daisy


January 11, 2018

Hi Team GGCC!

I'm reaching out to share a big "surprise" that Bismark had for us last week... he and his construction crew put the first half of the roof on the church!! :) They worked from 7am to 3am last Saturday, and finished installing half of the roof -- which they were able to buy with your generous gift to the church.






He was quite excited to share the surprise with us -- and with all of you -- and wanted us to thank you guys for your support in making this possible.









Attached are a few photos he shared with us... My favorite is the one of the kid they're putting a "harness" on to go on the roof -- not the safest construction process, but hey, it got the job done ;) Also, notice the beautifully painted white beams, Steve! Well, done.






Thank you guys for walking so faithfully with Bismark and his church community, and for all of the time you've invested on the ground. It means so much to Bismark, and to us.






Miss and love each of you, and hope to see you soon!


With gratitude,

Daisy Wiberg – Program Director, Love, Light and Melody


October 12, 2017

Hi Team GGCC,

Hope you all had a blessed day!

I spent the day with Bismark, his wife Diana, and 5 other members from his church. We went to the hospital in Managua where they have been serving and doing outreach the past year. The hospital has a children's wing / area, which is where Bismark and Diana's daughter (Dianita) had her hip surgery last year and where their initial inspiration for serving at the hospital came from.



They brought hygiene kits with toilet paper, soap, toothbrushes, diapers, etc. (photo attached) for the families and we spent time going from room to room praying for all of the kids / parents. I was filled with such pride and admiration for Bismark + Diana's courage and obedience as they prayed for, encouraged, and listened to each family's story.
After we finished going from room to room, Bismark gave a short sermon / talk for all of the families and we all gathered to pray. Amazing to see how receptive and hungry all of the families were for encouragement + prayer. And, again, I was so proud of Biz -- as I know all of you would have been, too :)

Being with Bismark and his church crew today made me smile thinking about how God cut Jehova Nissi and God's Grace from the same cloth. I see so many similarities in your obedience to serve and to really be His hands + feet in the communities where He's called you. So, I hope it makes you smile, too, thinking about Bismark and his church being an extension of GGCC serving in Nica... :)

I'm so grateful for this time the Lord is giving me to walk alongside Bismark -- and Jordan -- and to see what He's doing through their day-to-day ministry. More updates to come, but wanted to give you a glimpse of our day today!
With love + gratitude, 

Daisy, Program Director, Love, Light & Melody

September 18, 2017

Friends + Family,

Thank you for all of your prayers + support as I've embarked on my 3-month adventure to Nicaragua. Grateful for each of you and you're definitely with me in spirit in Nica.

Wanted to let you all know that I arrived safe and sound, and am settling in to my new "normal."

A few highlights from the first couple of days --

  • Over lunch today with our good friend / driver / LLM employee, Bismark, I was practicing my Spanish and asking what Biz and his family usually have to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc. He said he usually has eggs and then added, "o con flake". I got hung up on the "con" (which means "with") part and kept trying to figure out what he had "with" his eggs. And then it clicked -- CORN FLAKES. Of course. 
  • I attended Bismark's church service (he's also a pastor!) on Sunday night, which was a 3-hour, outdoor service on the site where he has been working on building a church for the last two years... one stack of bricks and bag of cement at a time. When we got there we dropped his family off and then he and I drove an additional 15 minutes to a little community called, "La Fortuna" where his friend Marlon and his family live. La Fortuna doesn't have a school, clinic, or access to water -- except for one small tank of water that is filled every Wednesday and serves the entire community. After a quick walk through the community, Marlon and his family/friends started piling in Bismark's car. Before I knew it, we had 16 folks crammed in our 7-person SUV -- including two guys hanging on the back and a wheelchair thrown on the roof. Most of the church service went over my head, but Marlon and his wife had their 2-month-old baby, Jose, dedicated and it was pretty special to see the pride they took in the moment. And the lengths Bismark had gone to to make sure all of their friends and family were there to witness it. 
  • Being greeted at the community center where I've been staying with balloons, hugs and all of these sweet smiling faces (see attached photo)!

I'm still trying to figure out my new rhythms and how often I'll be writing / sending updates, but know that I'm well and would welcome your prayers for the following:

  • Continued GRACE and PATIENCE for learning Spanish. I've found myself feeling a little overwhelmed by the language barrier at times, but trying to enjoy the process and laugh at all of my "corn flake" moments :)
  • Navigating how and where I'm feeling called to spend my time. There are so many amazing people / communities / projects I would love to pour into, but I know I can't do it all -- and don't want to even try to. Praying for discernment on where and how I am most needed. 

Sending lots of love, blessings + hugs {amor, bendiciones + abrazos!] to each of you!

always,daisy

March 1, 2017

Church ConstructionHere are a few updates on the church construction from Biz (via our friend Justin), and we've asked Biz to put together a full budget/proposal that we can share with you guys once we receive it. 

First, to share with you and God’s Grace, the church construction is going better than Biz imagined, both in terms of progress and financially! He wants you to know that it is much less to finish it than originally thought. At this point, with the help of $1,868.13, the walls could be completely done in 2-3 months. Though one side will have a wall that can breathe a bit so as to not create a sauna! Remaining costs include 90 bags of cement totaling $C25,100;  800 blockstotaling $C15,200; 8 cubic yards of sand at $C1,800 and rebar totaling $C13,000.00. He says that the cost is much lower because he was able to buy the rebar from someone who sells to church’s at 50% discount and where no tax is charged. Marlon, the happy recent recipient of a bike, is getting more than lunch for his efforts, but also food provisions from the church.  And then they have a guy regularly on the job making 200 cords/day. And Biz helps on weekends.The roof could be done for half of what they thought, about $4,000.00.  

  • Hygiene Kits: Biz and his church got permission to bring hygiene kits (see photo) to hospital patients. That idea was inspired by all of the time Biz spent in the hospital with his daughter, Dianita, and seeing some of the basic needs other patients had. Here were a few more updates on that from Justin -
Biz has a great relationship with the director of the oncology wing and is able to stop by whenever he likes at the Mascota hospital. She asked him if they could commit to coming monthly. The church joyfully gave to be able to purchase nearly $180 in supplies to make 60 care packages, but to do this regularly would take some support from friends of LLM Biz informs me. Each package that he put together is almost 3 dollars. He shares this with you not requesting reimbursement, but just to let you know about his feeling good about that ministry and, of course, always wanting to let people know about opportunities they have to partner with them and this mercy offering.
Included in the packets is the following:  five pampers, children or adults. One tube toothpaste. One toothbrush. One bar soap.  Sanitary napkins.
Whenever they give out a packet, they request peoples names and phone numbers. Bismark then add some to his scripture texting ministry.  And if the people live in Managua, he will sometimes try to visit them.

  • Jorge / Pochocuape: We're planning to start putting the $50/month you've been sending for Jorge + his wife towards their monthly medical expenses. Here's a brief update on that from Justin - 
We talked about Jorge and Pochocuape.  His economic support base from another NGO/ministry has ended.  Biz agreed to have him save receipts for medicines and to turn them in to LLM with the hope of reimbursement.






  • MarlonBismark recently blessed with a new bike. He's someone that didn't ask for help, but Bismark thought it would be wonderful to help him. He volunteered to help with the church construction (without being paid) even though he lives 7km away and has to walk there anytime he comes to help. He's married, has 3 kids and another baby on the way. There isn't a school close to where they live, so he walks with his kids to another town every day to go to school. He's a hard worker, but he doesn't have work right now. Biz would love to find someone to help him build a home. For now, Biz thought giving him a bicycle would help with all the long distances he and his family have to walk. 


  • Weekly Tipitapa Visits: Bismark has a new routine of visiting Ileana's family in Tipitapa every Wednesday. On our trip down there in January we also met a woman living near Ileana's family who we've hired to make bracelets for LLM.  Biz has been meeting with her each week when he's in Tipitapa as well. 





January 5, 2017

Bismark's Church Construction -- construction on the church is continuing slowly, but surely. They're continuing to work on the foundation and walls for the building, but still have a ways to go until the roof phase. Brad thinks there is a lot of purpose in the slow pace, and he doesn't feel like there should be a rush in getting it built. The church congregation is still fairly small, and we're believing that when the church building is finally finished the Lord will bring more people. But, until then it's just as it should be -- small, intimate, and still growing. We're going to ask Justin (our friend/translator/liaison for Bismark) to talk with Biz more about that process and see how we can support him little by little as he continues with the construction. We know your GGCC community committed $1,500 towards the roof project, but we'd like to put that towards the other construction phases that still need to be done -- if that feels right to all of you -- or we can hold off until the roof phase comes to fruition and put the money towards that. Let us know what you think.  



Jorge / Pocho Cuape -- Brad and Bismark got to spend some time with Jorge (the pastor we met with in Pocho Cuape who has all the farming, pigs, etc.), and Brad was able to meet his wife for the first time. They had a chance to pray over both of them, and it sounds like Jorge's wife is fairly stable health-wise. Bismark said a local church is currently supporting them by covering the costs of her medicine, but that support may be coming to an end this month. We'll follow up with Bismark to get clarity on that, and we'll let you know if/how we can support Jorge and his wife -- since we know that was something you felt called to after our last visit. 




Jordan -- Jordan is doing really well and keeping busy with all of his teaching opportunities. He's still teaching music a few days a week at the private school where our scholarship students go; teaching a music class at Club Hope; working with Gabriela, Kara and the Beauty for Ashes team to support our scholarship students; and working on the farm owned by Frinee and her husband (who also own the hotel where we stay). I had coffee with him a few days ago and it seems like everything the Lord has called him to in Nica has been extremely life-giving and soul-filling. Exciting to see him being poured out and poured into so beautifully down there. 



September 30, 2016

JUSTIN / BISMARK UPDATE

 Lovers of Christ and the people with whom you work and serve!

Biz is feeling much better. With the stress of the surgery behind him and Diana’s recovery uneventful, his hemorrhoids are gone.  The always present pain in his ears when wind blows in them is better in one ear and still present in the other.  Today he was supposed to receive biopsy results, but there were several and the last of which will arrive Oct. 10.

Church construction.  He has 3 volunteers from the church.  They only work Sundays because the volunteer with the most experience is only available on those days.  Jordanhas helped a fair bit.  They are half way down with the walls.

Church roof.  He understands the Oct. 15 deadline.  He just needed a little encouragement to do whatever it takes to get 3 quotes.  If Raul’s doesn’t come through, then that will be ok, I assured him.  I encouraged him to let people know that there is some urgency to all of this in an effort to get the quotes.

Pochocuape.  His friend found a water filter for $1,500.  I explained that this must be for a large office setting.  We agreed that the best approach would just be to buy water containers until a smaller water filter solution can be found.

LLM Work Updates.  He talked about a dog (a Boxer) that bit a boy.  Biz saw it happen.  He brought him to the hospital where he had 21 stitches and was kept for two weeks. Earlier, Biz shared with all of us about a doctor who had volunteered to see people at his church.  He has returned and even brought free medication. He will return yet again.  Biz asked him to consider coming to Nueva Vida. He told me about a man named Javier who has been in prison most of his life and is a very violent person.  He was released a month ago, after having two particularly hard years in jail, with bad food and relegated to the floor and suffering from ulcers.  The doctor has consulted with him, too, and he is doing better and going to their church. As a church, they plan to put together packets for hospitals, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine napkins and maybe one or two more things.  Their recent experience reminded them that hospitals are woefully unprepared with basic things.  And, in fact, the front page article in yesterday’s paper had a whole article on the state of hygiene in hospitals here.

 JORDAN UPDATE

 Hola Familia de Amor, Luz, y Melodia!

This week feels like I have a rhythm, rest, and revival that starts with my Savior beating in my chest. With the little time I’ve had for my self I was reminded last weekend that God will still find ways of repaying me for the long hours and sacrifices I make in living here.  His presence, peace, and power is the ultimate return in being His servant. After what felt like a month straight with out a good break San Juan was the best get away to pray and play. In returning I’m no longer yearning for a break. I came back feeling so much more confidence, even though I already was confident, that this is where God wants me and can use me most. Growing up visiting my Grandma in Hawaii every year I remember such a special feeling being on the Islands visiting her. From the volcanoes to the beaches and all the Nica Abuelas I have I feel that exact feeling here. It was always a dream as a kid to live somewhere like Hawaii and I know now Nica is my new home and paradise. Colorado obviously has my heart forever as well but its incredible to have this place to call my second home as it felt impossible to ever have that with Hawaii. I’m so in Love with this Country. The day after my one-month anniversary here it was Independence Day for Nicaragua. I shared that holiday with this place as I now feel Nicaraguense and Independent.

 My schedule is still as I’ve stated through the week but the weekends have varied obviously with last week being a holiday.

Monday: LCA/Club Hope/Beauty for Ashes

Tuesday: LCA/Las Brasillas

Wednesday: Finca

Thursday: LCA/Club Hope/Beauty for Ashes

(**NOTE: LCA is the private, Christian school where 4 of scholarship students go along with all of the Beauty for Ashes scholarship students from Villa Guadalupe. Beauty for Ashes is the non-profit that Gabriela and our friend Kara run in Villa Guadalupe -- scholarship program, tutoring, Nueva Vida outreach, prison ministry, etc.) 

 LCA

Like I said the concert was amazing and I’m so proud of how hard all the students are working with me.  We have mostly been focusing on singing and I’m teaching theory on top of that but I do feel I need to start incorporating more instruments. The drums from club hope will be great! I’ve only started for now with just borrowing the shakers though as I already am hauling a lot of stuff around on my shoulders each day. I don’t have my own classroom as I go from room to room but Dorothy did tell me that in October a room would be available for me to start teaching in and keep instruments. 

 Club Hope

The kids here are super stoked to play instruments. I discovered some more guitars buried in the back of the store room so now for my smaller guitar class on Monday’s everyone has a guitar. Shayla and I decided to make the class even smaller so it’s easier for me to clean up afterwards. I’ve narrowed it down to the boys who were actually serious about learning.  I would love to see the Buzbees and Chachi just to say hi! I’ve yet to see them. Though I will likely see them October 2nd as I’m getting the kids ready to do a small performance for a fundraiser event at club hope. 

 Bismark- Las Brasillas

This time is growing to be very special for me and feels like my small church community and family. Which is obviously very needed in the Kingdom.  Bismarck has been doing so well with the construction, preaching, and with his family. With Dianita walking on crutches now and getting better each day you can feel the peace and joy resonating off of Bismarck. He has been such a great support to me with giving me rides. Church is giving me great lessons as I start understanding more and more each time. It used to be frustrating and tiring for me to sit through the long service in Spanish but know it’s becoming more and more filling as I’m more engaged in what’s being preached. I have been giving small private lessons in the times hanging out after church. Bismarck is my brother here and his family is my family.  Construction is coming along. We aren’t working this Sunday asBismark said he doesn’t have money for it this weekend. There is progress being made but I think its still a ways off before a roof will be ready to go up.

Beauty for Ashes

The kids have such a precious love and joy that in all honesty they are my teachers. In helping with their homework I’ve also learned a lot of Spanish. They melt my heart whenever I hear them singing one of the songs I taught them on their own. I’m super stoked that Kara received a donation for instruments as well because that will give them all motivation to wrap up their homework fast so we can have a little music class all at once rather than each kid getting ten minutes on the Ukulele.  Love these kids so much and they likely are the biggest reason for me feeling a need to stay long term. Their dreams are becoming mine, as I want to see them all succeed.

 Hotel and the farm

Frinee and Fairmin are very impressed with how much I’m working and told me they weren’t going to make me do a whole lot at the hotel since I’ve also been working super hard at the farm each week. I love the farm so much, even though it is super physically demanding. I feel God calling me in the future to stay involved with the farm, as I may want one myself someday to feed my family and the kingdom.  It’s a rewarding experience and I learn so much each day. The cultivation process is so down to the roots and incredible. Sergio came with me to the farm yesterday, which made it super fun and full of laughs. Fairmin teaches me and receives me on the farm like a grandson so it’s very special to have that relationship growing with him. We laugh a lot together and eat a lot of fruit tooJ I love spending family time with Frinee and everyone! We had a birthday party for her daughter the other week and I played music the whole time for everyone. Then we watched a Nicaraguan Boxer named Chocolate win the championship and Frinee screamed like a Bronco fan at the game haha. They are all family as well and an incredible blessing!!!!

August 24, 2016

BISMARK UPDATES (from Justin)

1.  Bismark's health.  He had been feeling poorly when we met up briefly a couple of weeks ago, but said he was already better.  Turns out that his health turned for the worse again, hemmoroids, the doctor says it is stress, though he is unsure.  He now feels better again.

2.  Because of his health, he has been unable to do as much as he typically does.

3.  Still, regarding LLM work, he spoke about:

     a)  A visit to Magaly and children (Wendy, Orlando, Marlon, Brack)  from 3 weeks ago.  He has committed to go again on Tuesday, with Jordan.  Wendy has asked in the past if she could join them for church, but it is too far away for him to pick her or any of them up and he encourages them to go to one nearby.  Wendy is quite rebellious and generally won't talk to Biz when he tries to engage her. No other news.

    b) Manuel, a good friend and construction worker, hurt himself two days ago and Bismark worked out a deal with the doctor such that she loaned Manuel the money for the purchase of some pain meds.  He generally has carpel tunnel syndrome and does not believe that surgery is a good option, perhaps because Bismark does not feel that it necessarily turned out too well for his wife from two years ago.

    c)  They continue with movie nights, showing God is not Dead, always in the same spot with people with various addictions hang out.  As Biz puts it, the Bible is fine for folks, but a movie is even better.  

    d)  He has pictures of people with whom he shared the soccer jerseys

    e)  One family on which they have been focusing is one not of great economic need, interestingly.  Robert Mejia worked at TipTop and after a recent motorcycle accident is recuperating with a fair bit of metal in his leg.  The kids have stayed at a neighbors house during the day while their mom works in a sweatshop.  They have been watching after the house a little and trying to encourage the family during this difficult time.

    f)  Rosita's little one, Rosa Linda, has lesions on her legs, from ´lack of care.´  They asked for money, but he offered only to take to the hospital, which they refused.  I saw the pictures and it is not clear to me how her sores are from lack of care, certainly they are not grave, but it also is not pretty.  Last visited about two weeks ago. Rosita is out on the streets and Biz tells Candida to do what she can or she will end up pregnant again.  This is a tough family, Biz laments.

    g)  Giovani, the man who was considering suicide when Biz first met him, has been struggling again.  His mental health is definitely compromised.  Biz has spoken with a psychologist friend and she has promised to visit this man.


4.  Ministry of the church. He mentioned that the church will visit Nueva Vida soon, without him, because he has a theology exam.  They are going every 30 to 40 days.  They would like to go more like every 3 weeks. Everyone pitches in to buy at least $4 worth of cookies, even to go around and people are happy to have a little treat.    

5.  Church roof.  He has one quote, but did not have a picture of it and promised to send.  He has reached out to your friends for a quote, but they are not yet forthcoming.  I urged him to get a total of 3 and to keep at it.   

6.  Biz still needs to get more information about his friend Jorge Reyes from Pocho Cuape. He shared with me that they run a weekly feeding program for elderly and one for kids. His wife has Lupus and Biz has seen her in a flare up recently. 


March 2, 2016

Bismark/Nicaragua updates from the last LLM Trip & from a meeting the Bismark's friend, Justin had with Bizmark a few days ago.

  • Safe House: We had the opportunity to spend an afternoon at the Safe House with all of the kiddos, which was a little slice of heaven :) Played soccer, ate fresh mangos (Bismark ate SEVEN ;)) and got to love on all of the kids. We also got to spend some time with Daniel, Jessenia and little Jeruahel, which was so so sweet.
  • Ileana's Family: We also got to spend time with Ileana's family in Tipitapa - on the 5th anniversary of Ileana's passing. It was the first time I had met her family, so it was very emotional and impactful. Really special to be with all of them on that day - remembering and celebrating her life. Ileana's youngest sister, Rosa Esmerelda, was expecting a baby and had a little girl while we were there - Rosa Linda. Bismark has been checking up on them and helped us get a bassinet, diapers and formula for Rosa Linda :)
  • Magaly's Family: I'm not sure if any of you have met this family (?), but Magalyand her husband, Noel (who is currently in jail), have 5 children - Wendy, Orlando, Marlon, Brack (named after Brad ;)) and a 2-month old named Justin. Brad and a few of our LLM friends have had close relationships with the family for many years and have been hoping and praying about getting the kids back in school. During this last trip we were able to get all four of the older kids enrolled in a private, Christian school - Lighthouse Christian Academy - and they started a few weeks ago... Praise JESUS! Bismark has been incredible throughout the whole process - taking the family to get school supplies, being our go-between at the school, checking in on the family each week, etc.  

 

 

Brad with three of Ileana's sisters           


 

  

 

 


 

Safe House Kiddos - Tatiana, Diana, Elias, Jan, Bianca, Jeremy & Margine  

 

 

 

     Bismark & his family proudly repping the Broncos  

  

Wendy, Orlando, Marion & Brack in their school uniforms & meeting  with Dorothy, the Principal at Lighthouse Christian Academy.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 1, 2016

Shoes were given to a boy, too young to work, but working, who gets around on a horse cart, along with his younger brother.  They make money by transporting materials for others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 A few stories without photos:

1. Raquel is a woman about 20 years old, bound to a wheelchair for her entire life. She is tremendously poor economically speaking. Meningitis afflicted her just after birth. Her mother died when she was 8 and her dad cares for her. They beg on the street in Ciudad Sandino and Bismark has known her for years. She gets pain meds in different ways and has access to the health system. She recently got a prescription and Bismark purchased the meds for her. Her wheelchair is in disrepair and she needs another and Bismark asked me to keep an eye open for one.

 2. Jose is a 40-yr old man that Bismark has also known for many years who lives close to his house in Ciudad Sandino. Due to stress, whose origins are not exactly known to Bismark, he recently has had some facial paralysis. Several people have rallied to help him. Bismark purchased some medicine for him, a muscle relaxant of some kind and he has improved considerably.

 3. Juan Ruiz is a diabetic who doesn’t care for himself well. He recently had a foot infection that was quite severe and Bismark brought him to the hospital. In the end, he did not need to buy him any medication because he was able to get it from a friend who is a doctor.

 4. Each Thursday and Friday, Bismark and some from his church go to a dangerous intersection called Matadero Corner in Ciudad Sandino to evangelize youth. They want to do a movie-LCD presentation to encourage them to leave the life of alcohol and drugs that the youth lead. This is located in Los Brasiles where their church is.

 5. On Sunday they fed a small number of kids whom they are aware have very little access to food.

 


 
January 19, 2016
 

Story 1, overview of dump visit.
 10 in Bismark's church visited for 4 hours. They had done prison visits
 with some frequency, but that is common here and easy to do. He never
 imagined they would want to participate so enthusiastically as they did.

 

 

They brought 60 stuffed animals, procured through different avenues by many people over the course of a week. 7 people joined to secure the break, jam, juice, sandwiches, cookies, etc. We did this as the body of Christ, all sharing to make it happen. They began their time at the dump by leaving everything in the van and just praying with people. When asked why they were there, they responded, 'we are here for you, to tell you about the good news, there is still hope. John 3:16 tells us that God loves all of us, even in your condition.'

 

 

 

 

One man, Victor, talked about his challenge with alcoholism and asked them to pray for him.

 

 

 

One boy, Roberto Carlos, particularly touched Bismark's heart. He hopes to find his mom so that he might be permitted to enter their house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 A boy with with no shoes had such huge calluses that he seemed to not notice the heat of the ground noranything else potentially painful. Bismark's comment here was, 'we don't want a world like this.' He then reflected to his previous visit when a girl vomited after drinking juice.

 


  

 

 

 

 

 

                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Story 2. Bismark thought he heard from a friend recently via a text. His
 friend said, 'thank you, your [biblical verse of encouragement] text kept me
 from doing something I should not do." Turns out his friend had sold him
 the phone, chip and all, to someone and Bismark was hearing from this
 person, someone he did not know. So he called him and on Monday they will
 be getting together. He wants to come alongside this person and understand
 his story.

 Story 3. Bismark met someone named Anna Cristina recently. She came to
 church crying. So they went to visit her at her home. She is 45 years old.
 She carries heavy things to try to earn a living. She began to bleed
 recently and later learned that she had been 2 months pregnant. She lost
 her job because her employers found out and assumed that she got an
 abortion. Then Anna Cristina became depressed. So Bismark and the church
 are visiting her and encouraging her to help her with her emotional health.
 She does not have enough to eat, so Bismark used some of her December bonus
 pay to buy food. She was really touched and, in turn, so was Bismark.


 
 


 

January 12, 2016

Bismark Update from Daisy Wiberg, Program Director for LLM from the December 2015 Nicaragua Trip.

"Brad, Fernanda, friend and LLM Board Member, and I had the opportunity to attend Bismark's church while we were in Nica. It was incredible to see Biz and his family living out the vision the Lord gave him for starting his church. The church building is still in the process of being built, but they meet on the land and set up chairs, a pulpit and a sound system. The night we were there was their 'talent show' night so a few of the kids and adults sang. Bismark Jr. preached a mini sermon (like father, like son), Bismark's daughter and wife each sang a few songs, and Bismark gave a short sermon. AND, I almost forgot, Bismark sang a song as well - his first time singing in public and he had an incredible voice!
 It was amazing to see Bismark stepping into the role the Lord has prepared for him, and it was such a gift to be part of one of their services. I so hope we can get all of you down there one day soon to see and experience it for yourselves.

 

                          

  

 

  

 

  

  
 

 

 

 November 18, 2015

Hi Guys, it's a pleasure to say hi to you all.

As you can see this activity takes place on the grounds of the church.  These people are those that we have gained to Christ. Remember that we started only with the family with 2 adults and 3 children, and now there are about 30.  This was Sunday afternoon and we surprised them with a dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is Dimas.  Dimas has been operated 5 times to the right eye and 2 times to the left eye.  Dimas sees almost nothing.  Barely see the shape of a body.  He is still a student, can read and write with a Bradley system, more or less that is the pronunciation.  I took him to school.

  

 

Here we are in school.  Traffic is terrible.  I don't know how he does it but he travels to Managua and other places.


 
 

 

 

 

September 29, 2015 

 

These chicken are in "Pochocuape" (town). It's a government project for some people. The Pastor George got some.  We have been visiting the brother with my wife and we pray for the community.


 

 

 

 

 

       

 

These chickens were purchased on a farm and I was able to contribute to the purchase of these chicken that in 8 weeks will be ready for butchering.


 

 

 

 

      

 

These rabbits I gave to brother George with a cage so that they could reproduce to sell and eat.


  

 

 

 

 

 Jorge is growing platanos chiltomas and pipianes.

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They are growing pigs in the community with brothers. Here I cannot help him as raising pigs is gross. They stink.


 

 

 

Here are a few details. This is Jorges wife. Please pray for her. She is suffering for years with lupus. A very bad disease.


 

 

 

 This is the new house of George that is on the property.


 

 

  

 

 

Daniel and his mother taking out chairs for my church. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Reyna. She was the first person to visit our church. She suffered for 20 years with epilepsy- a bad disease. After a few days of praying and fasting, praying for Reyna with a lot of faith. It's was a unique experience. She felt the presence of God. After the praying we went home. The next day Reyna told us that when she went home she vomited a lot. White foam. It was awful but since that night she has not felt symptoms of epilepsy and that has been over two months.

 

 

 

Nelson and Roger. They installed the sound of day of light.
 Here they are fixing the horn and speakers. We used a piano and burned the speakers. 


 
 

 

This is my cat and here I am.

Bye and blessings,
 Bismark

 

 

 

 

 

August 26, 2015

This is a young man who congregates in our church.
 His name is Felix Pedro.
 He works on horses.

This washer has a history of many blessing. She is Reyna.

The story is this:

Reyna is mother of 5 and has left her husband for some time now.
 She does not work. She does not have washer for clothes. So she washed on a rock.
 I know this man who has money but also has a heart made of rock.
 I showed him a photo of the church and 30 congregants and he asked me about Reyna. I told him her story and that her house was falling. He took out a $100 bill and told me to buy her a washer and whatever was left to buy food.

 

SO that’s how it went thank God.
 So I bought the washer and some food and I showed her the receipt for $100.
 She was the first woman to give an offering to the church and I did not want to accept it since she was without work.But the pastor said we have never asked for donation but receive it as a teaching of the offering.
 She was the first to give an offering of $3.50.
 She tested God and he answered.
 She is the only person to ever give an offering in the three months that we have been meeting.


 
 

 

 

August 13, 2015
 

 Hello all,

How are you? Hope all is well.
 This is Mario. And these shoes are too big- it took me a while to find someone who would fit in them.

 

 

Most of these people are kids in the community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Crazy man is Pablo, electrician installing light in our church- I gave him a shirt. We now have light. Ex drug addict, now Christian.


 

 

  

 

 

Father and son.

 

 

 

My rabbits and my cat.

 

 

 

 

 

  

The cult in my church. 

 

 

 

 

 

Maria, sells bread in the streets of my barrio and she got a shirt.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 These young people are from a poor part of town. They are students and they were very happy.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here in Nicaragua you are allowed to mail inmates shirts that are blue and hats that are blue and black. You are not allowed to mail another color. I also sent toothpaste and a good book "life with purpose." Shoes and pamphlets about the word of God.


 

July 15, 2015

 Hello Brothers.

How are you? I inform you of the following: Manuel and Alex. The shirts. They are being distributed to people who will take care of them and who need them.


 
 

 

 

   

  

 

 These brothers are from my neighborhood. They are Christians. 

 

              


 

          

 

 

Cesar Junior. We purchased Cesar all the medicine he needed. Days ago I brought him to the doctor and they explained that his anemia is advancing to the level of leukemia. But he needs a lot of care and good food. His weight is around ten pounds less than what is normal. In addition to the medical exams and medicine I bought him, I also gave his family a small provision, all in the name of Love, Light and Melody.   Many blessings, Bismark
 

 

 

July 9, 2015

  

 

These t-shirts - do you recognize them? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diana, she was invited to praise in a pastoral activity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These children are of the community. The clothes and shoes come from the bags you left. They were very

 happy with the shoes because they used to walk around barefoot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brothers, Here we are working in our community bringing the little we can to the families in need.

 

 

This is talking Jeovanny. Jade, her son Alvaro and sweet Josefina. It's only one

family. The darker girl is named Gladys.

 

 

 

 

 

Brothers,

I purchased the battery.  We group in the streets and thank to God it has not rained.  The last group there were 18 adults and 22 kids - 40 in all.

 

Blessings Brothers,

I inform you of the following:

She is Reyna, mother of 5 kids.  Actually she is only with her three youngest as the older two are with their father. As you see, these kids are not in school because of lack of work.  She is not employed. The situation is difficult. But from the suitcases you left me, we helped them with clothes and shoes and a small donation of $15. That was the most I could give her.

 

 

 

 

 

Edgardo is an old friend of mine and brother in Christ. He is also unemployed and has three kids that also don't go to school.  We also gave him $15 at a time when he most needed it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 5, 2015

 Hello, It’s nice to be able to say hello.

I present Walter. He is a guard and makes very little money and has kids. I was able to share with him the words of God and some clothing.

 Luis sells drinks and gum on the streets. Even though he had not heard the word of God, I approached him and shared and he received it with great joy and attention. At the end, I gave him clothing.

 

 

 

These are my children with two friends of theirs. Darwin and the other child has a strange English name.


 They don't have shoes and they go to school in slippers. I feel terrible thinking that other kids make fun of them for not having shoes.

 I ask, can you help me buy shoes for these two brothers? As it is, they go to school in slippers. They want to go to school.


  

 

 

 This is Wilmer in the car wash. He is always here. Always ready to hear the word of God.



 May God bless you. Hello from Nicaragua.

 Bismark y Diana


 

 

 

 

 

April  23, 2015

Good evening. My friend, these young men are from my barrio and were lost in drugs and alcohol.  

Some were Christians, others are not but they heard the message of faith and hope.
 They have very ugly scars- products of their past.
 We visit them. We encourage them to change their lives and they listen.

Regards from Nicaragua,
 bismark


 
 

March 6, 2015

Blessings this week. The report is not much. Monday from 8:30-11:00am.  I stayed at Vivian Pellas Hospital,the doctor prescribed me some pills to sleep and two cups of wine to control high cholesterol. Still have a headache. On Monday spent time with people who work cleaning shoes on the street, some of them are alcoholics. Hoping this afternoon to meet with Kara if she has time. Prayers for Pastor Judith Castro, she has tuberculosis. Next week the report will be more extensive. Blessing….”