Delron had the privilege of directing twenty-three Charis Bible College students under the leadership of Karen and Deri Jolley of Ambassadors to the Nations as they invaded Nicaragua during the last part of April and the first few days of May, 2011. The focus of the mission was basically ministry to children in schools and outreaches to families in poverty-stricken villages. There was also one church service and a one-day pastors’ conference where we distributed a large supply of books by Andrew Wommack in Spanish, the Spanish version of Delron’s book Finally, My Brethren, and new Bibles.
Nicaragua is considered the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, behind only Haiti. A once prosperous nation, it is still struggling to recuperate from the natural disasters of a massive earthquake followed by debilitating hurricanes and the manmade devastation of a decade-long communist regime and the civil war it brought on. For the past fourteen years, the Jolleys have taken on the challenge of bringing God’s love and a helping hand into this stricken nation through building schools, helping finance church construction, and providing homes for destitute villagers. Since Andrew Wommack Ministries has played a major role in helping support their work, this mission gave the college students an opportunity to get a first-hand look at what is being done in the country and to have some hands-on involvement in actually distributing food, clothing, school supplies, and other necessities to the students and families of Nicaragua.
In the schools we presented dramas and puppet shows, painted faces, made balloon animals, and gave out gospel coloring books; however, one of the highlights of the school ministry was the distribution of new shoes to the children which involved first washing the children’s feet and praying over them before placing the new shoes on their feet. It was a touching moment that blessed the children but also made a life-changing impact on the students. One special blessing for some of the team members was their opportunities to personally meet children they sponsor through the Jolley’s ministry. For some of the sponsored children, we were even able to meet their families and visit their homes in the village.
Open-air crusades were held in a variety of venues during the village outreaches. One such outreach was held on a little island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua near the ancient capital of Granada. Families rowed in on canoes and rowboats from all the neighboring islands to see the puppet ministry, hear the gospel, and receive the gift packets. The open-air crusade in the outskirts of Granada could probably be termed as a Christian block party as the people filled the entire street, crowding around the team as we ministered. At some locations, we were able to offer free medical clinics to the people from the neighborhood, most of whom suffered from medical problems resulting from their diet, unhealthy living conditions, and impure drinking water. Prior to their interviews with the doctor, all the patients received prayer from the team of students, and many of them reported instantaneous healings prior to their medical examinations. In fact, some of the students testified that they felt that they had crossed a new threshold of faith in their own ministries by being a part of these miraculous healings. The crowds were so large at some of the outreaches that the only possible way we could minister to all the people was to divide our prayer team into two lines facing one another and march the people through the corridor between the prayer team lines. The students only had a second to lay hands on each person and pray a blessing over him; however, we believe that the same anointing that touched people when Peter’s shadow passing over them also produced some miraculous results in our prayer tunnel. One student reported that he prayed for a cross-eyed baby and watched the baby as its mother carried him through the rest of the line. The baby seemed to be focusing his eyes as if he could see normally after the prayer.
One of the focuses of Ambassadors to the Nations’ ministry is to help improve the living conditions of those they minister to through building them inexpensive yet suitable housing. We visited several projects were the ministry has been replacing homes that were built of scrap metal, random pieces of wood, and sheets of plastic with simple cement block homes. These new homes all have electricity and indoor plumbing. One home that had just been completed when we arrived was given to a teacher at one of the schools. Although she was a college-educated woman, she had never lived in a permanent home. She was a accustomed to walking almost a block to use the bathroom in someone else‘s home and to getting drenched every time the rain poured in through the tarp she had for a roof. The next morning after she had moved into her new home, she testified, “I slept like an angel.”
All totaled, we estimated that the mission trip touched at least four thousand lives through the food distributions, medical clinics, and personal ministry. In addition, the ministry continued on the airplane ride home as students used the story of their trip as a platform to witness to those seated next to them on the plane—instant proof of how their lives had been indelibly impacted.