St. Lukes has been involved in mission with the Nicaraguan people through our covenant missionaries Ronnie and Angi Hopkins for many years. Through our prayers, presence through mission teams, and our financial support, we are able to connect God's message of love to our Nicaraguan friends. Through person to person, church to church, and community to community connections with these Christians of another way of living, we grow ourselves in learning of God's love for all people and in our own discipleship. Find out how you can become involved in the sections below or connect with any member of our Nicaraguan Mission Planning Team: Kevin Clark, Bill Garrard, Janice Garrard, Beth Osbahr, and Beth Steelmon. They have stories to tell of how God works through us and in us in our mission with the Nicaraguan people.
Ronnie and Angi Hopkins have been in Nicaragua for over 11 years. Their connection began as they would take mission teams to Nicaragua from their homebase in the Red Bird Missionary Conference in western Kentucky. Then they found their love for the Nicaraguan people was so strong that God called them to be full time missionaries. So in 2005 they came under the auspices of The Mission Society (now TMS Global). St. Lukes has supported them since the beginning. Angi is a nurse practitioner who works in health education and with women in bettering their economic and spiritual life through creating craft groups. Ronnie's focus is working with youth leadership development and community development in equipping Nicaraguans in remote areas with better health, education, and spiritual life. The Hopkins have immersed themselves in the lives of the Nicaraguan who serve with them and are great hosts to our mission teams. Their life has been immensely enriched with the addition of "Peanut" as their Nicaraguan child. They are people of immense humility and kindness. Listen to them share about their work. Read their latest newsletters: Updates on the work with the people on the River Bocay: Jan, Feb, Mar, April, and May, 2017
OVERVIEW: Many people have had life changing experiences by serving on one of our mission teams to Nicaragua. Although you are going from a place of familiarity and relative comfort, God goes with you to show you how God is already working in the lives of people different from you. Teams need all kinds of people with all kinds of skills to work with the Hopkins to show love and to equip the Nicaraguans to build better lives. In doing so, team members are blessed with new relationships in the family of God and grow in their insight and understanding of their own place of calling and service in the Kingdom of God. Teams are led by the Hopkins and experienced team leaders from St. Lukes and include Nicaraguans who serve as part of the team. Here are some newsletters describing what some past teams from St. Lukes were about: August, 2016; November 2014; August 2013. Each team is prepared for what the experience is to be like as well as how we are to be in mission . For help in listening to God about your going on a team, we have prepared this brochure which gives you a lot of information. Better yet, talk with one of the many people who have already made that trip including Dr. Kevin Clark, Beth Osbahr, Beth Steelmon, Tom Stewart, Jeff Kerley, Bryan Clark, Kyle Clark, Bruce and Becky Beerbower, Vicky and Raymundo Villanueva, Janice Garrard, Betty Gast, Pat Anderson, Chris Duncan, and more. Scholarship help is available and we believe if one is called, God will find a way. Here are some more ideas on how to fund your trip.
SPECIFIC INFORMATION ON THE NOVEMBER TEAM
The dates for our November mission trip to Rio Bocay are November 6-15. Dr. Kevin Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org, (828) 308-0210) will be our team leader and those who are planning on going are Lisa, Kyle, and Bryan Clark, Janice and Jill Garrard, Beth Steelmon, Vickie Villanueva, and Larry Gage, and others that have indicated a strong interest in being part of this team.
Projects can include medical teaching and home visits, serving in a maternity home, small construction projects at the clinic training center, evangelistic work, working with children and youth, helping teachers etc. An informational session for this trip will be held at 5:00 pm on Tuesday August 22 in the Seekers Classroom. Contact Kevin if you feel the call to go, as we will find a place for you to serve using your gifts and interests.
The estimated cost of the trip is between $1500 and $1700 depending on the price of the airline tickets and how many are on the team. Some scholarship funds are available. The deadline for a deposit of $800 is September 6 which will enable the purchase of airline tickets which are nonrefundable. The balance will be due on or before October 6th.
Janice and Bill Garrard, and Beth Steelmon went on a similar trip last year and can answer your questions. We pray God will bring together just the right people to serve on this team including the Nicaraguans who join us.
We are committed to raising money for the renovation of a once abandoned two room primary school at Sivivas a community on the River Bocay. The school is now being used, but when we saw it last August it was abandoned with squatters living in it. The cost of renovations will be around $8000 with another $1000 for equipment. We have some funds already available to help with this project but will be working with groups and individuals to help raise the funds to provide the children in this community a good environment for learning.
Basic education has been lacking for the people all along the river and they are eager to build or repair schools themselves if those from the outside can provide the funding. Last year we saw teens that were just beginning their primary education because education had not been available before. We will be sending $1000 with our August team to get started with a white board and some needed welding on the roof structure. More information about how you or your group can help will be forthcoming.
If you have more questions about this, talk with Bill Garrard, Global Missions Coordinator.