In partnership with Amigos for Christ, we work shoulder-to-shoulder with Nicaraguan neighbors to bring clean water, healthcare, education, and economic opportunity to rural communities in need. Those who have participated in past trips know the powerful impact our Nicaragua Missions have on people’s lives – both the people traveling there and those to whom we minister.
I am deeply saddened to bring you this news regarding the mission trip to Nicaragua summer 2018.
We had previously communicated to you that we were closely monitoring the civil unrest caused by actions of the Nicaraguan government. At that time, the protests and civil unrest were localized to Managua and on the University campuses. Chinandega had remained quiet and we had hoped the overall situation would improve, however the reality is different.
Unfortunately, the conditions have worsened. Negotiations organized by the Catholic Church between the government and the citizens have not been fruitful and have shut down as of May 24. The families of the US Embassy staff have been evacuated and the embassy is only providing services by appointment. On the evening of May 23rd, there was a clash in León between anti-government and pro-government citizens in which at least two people died and fifty were injured. León is a city between Managua and Chinandega and we travel through it going to and from the Amigos for Christ compound. Multiple organizations are beginning to pull missionaries from the country including the Mormon Church and the German government. We have been in contact with Catholic Relief Services who are on the ground in Managua and they are advising us that the situation in Nicaragua is unstable and unpredictable. As of 11:00pm on May 23, Amigos for Christ have canceled their servant leader program for the summer and are sending current servant leaders in Nicaragua home.
With all of this, I have made the decision, in consultation with our mission planning team, that both of our July missions trips will be canceled. The safety of our missionaries is, and always will be, our number one priority. And given the current situation and the unpredictable nature of it, I do not feel that we can maintain adequate safety this year.
My heart is aching for our partner organization, Amigos for Christ. In speaking with John Bland today to notify him of our decision, both Mike Ferrero and I were profoundly saddened to share the news and it brought us to tears to share it. We have partnered with them for over 10 years and have grown to love the people who work for Amigos as well as the Nicaraguan people we have come to know. The ordinary people of Nicaragua are suffering and it feels like we are abandoning them in their time of need. However, the unpredictable situation leaves the future of the mission in the hands of God. I am confident that God does have a plan for Nicaragua, Amigos for Christ and for Holy Spirit. And I know that he will make good out of this sad, sad situation.
We are working with the airlines and Amigos for Christ with regards to unraveling our plans. We hope to be able to give a refund to all missionaries. In the meantime, I ask each of you to prayerfully consider making some donation of your original trip deposit of $450 that can be directed to Amigos for Christ in support of their continuing mission. We do hope to be able to continue our missions with Nicaragua soon and I am sure you will share my sadness of this decision.
Please hold the Nicaraguan people and Amigos for Christ in your daily prayers. We pray fervently that peace will come to the country soon.
The Holy Spirit Mission team will follow up with details on refunds and donations over the next few days
Commemorating our 10th year of partnership with Amigos for Christ and our mission in rural Nicaragua, Holy Spirit is planning three mission trips to Nicaragua for 2018. Since our first trip in 2009 with 26 missionaries, the trip has blossomed into a popular annual sojourn with over 100 missionaries and two other churches. Part of its success has been its unique blend of youth, adults and families.
In 2018, we will have our first high school youth trip, our traditional family focused trip, and a first-time adult-only trip, each providing its own unique experience.
Our 2018 schedule will include the following:
This trip is open to youth entering their junior or senior year of high school. Graduated seniors may also attend as youth participants. The trip will be led by Youth Director Row David and organized as a traditional youth mission trip with adult chaperones. The trip will focus on working in poor villages in rural Nicaragua during the day and music, fellowship, and play in the evenings.
** Registration is now closed
This trip is our traditional multi-generational trip open to all adults and parents or close relatives (e.g. aunt/uncle) with youth. Young persons must be at least entering their freshman year in high school. Parents with older high school youth are also welcomed to attend. Unaccompanied minors are not allowed.
** Registration is now closed
This trip is open to all adults. It will include engagement with communities with which Amigos for Christ is partnering. Service is still an important element, but perhaps not with same physical intensity as the other groups. The trip will be a blend of service and spiritual retreat including opportunities for prayer and reflection.
Registration for the Youth and Family weeks is now closed. The registration date for the Adult Trip has not yet been determined.
Here is some helpful info for our missionaries:
If you have any questions or concerns, please email the Nicaragua Committee Chairperson, Dan Crocker, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEEKENDS OF DECEMBER 2 – 3 * DECEMBER 9 – 10 * DECEMBER 16 – 17
Holy Spirit Church is once again excited to offer our community the opportunity to give the gift of lasting change, and empower a child, a family, or even an entire community by giving a Gift of Opportunity this Christmas in your name, or in the name of a family member, friend, co-worker or company. YOUR generosity and support will literally SAVE lives, and help provide a better future for the poor and neglected families of Nicaragua; some who do not even have the basic human necessities of access to clean water, safe shelter, or proper nutrition.
Hundreds of Holy Spirit community volunteers and missionaries travel to Nicaragua (the second poorest country in
the western hemisphere) each summer, and working alongside Amigos For Christ staff, represent your gifts personally by delivering pigs, chickens, building clean-air kitchens to eliminate a major source of respiratory issues, as well as building toilets and showers with running water through the Modern Bathroom Project. Progress of the new school buildings in La Chuscada continues with Phase 1 completed, and the preschool is now open and bustling with happy and hopeful children! This year a new gift of “Feed A Student For A Year” is being offered for your consideration to donate towards Education and Nutrition to break the cycle of poverty. ALL of these incredible projects made possible by YOUR COMPASSION, GENEROSITY and the GOODNESS OF YOUR HEARTS!
PLEASE stop by the Gifts of Opportunity table outside of church after any Mass on the designated days listed above, purchase your life changing gifts, receive a beautiful Christmas card describing the impact of your specific gift, and meet some of our incredible volunteers that will share their stories, and tell you firsthand how your gift will MAKE A DIFFERENCE this Christmas!
Or visit http://squareup.com/store/HSGO to place your order immediately or for more information. Corporate Matching Programs accepted – please contact Laura Smith at email@example.com for more details.
Thank you for being the hands of Christ to those most impoverished in our world.