February ’16 Trip Update

Hello friends! I hope that you all are doing well! I’m so excited to share with you all about my upcoming trip to Nicaragua this month and what God has planned for me to do while I’m there!

School/Teacher Training:  This year we are trying to add more sustainable support to our sponsorship program. Starting first with the educational part of sponsorship we are going to be able to help start classroom libraries; thanks to so many of you all! (See more: Here)

I’ve also been given the opportunity to go into the school and share a teacher-training workshop where I will be sharing some of the literacy lessons I learned while working as a Kindergarten Assistant.

I am SO excited about this new opportunity to deepen relationships in the school!

My prayer is that God can use this to open up opportunities to share the love of Christ. 


Bethel teachers and I

Bible Study/Teaching: One of the biggest joys of my life is being able to share how to “dig” into God’s word! I have the opportunity to share in the Leadership School in Casa Bethel, which is a local church that my church in Asheville is partnering with to provide mentorship and discipleship for the church leadership. I’ll be sharing with their leadership school about the 3-Questions on how to read God’s word and hear his voice! Check it out: here!


Casa Bethel
Along with Casa Bethel I’m going to be able to start a small-group Bible Study with 2-4 young women from 4 different churches that Vision Nicaragua is involved with in one way or another.
Would you please pray for these ministry opportunities? That I would find much favor and that God would give me wisdom as these are new ministries.

World Race Team: There is a mission team that is going to be serving with us for the whole month. They are sent through Adventures in Missions through a program called “The World Race.” They will be traveling to 11 countries in 11 months and we are one of their stops. My day to day will be serving alongside of them and having them join in the above ministries I shared as well as a host of others.

Please be praying that I can be an extension of Christ and lead this team well! 

I’ll be updated more as I arrive in Nicaragua and hit the ground running. I’m so thankful for his guiding and continually giving me incredible opportunities to be a part of his work in Nicaragua. It truly blows my mind!

Thank YOU to each of you and the part you play in my life and how you continually support me! Love you all!

Prayers for March Trip

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“Pray does not fit us for the greater work…it is the greater work”
-Oswald Chambers

 I’m sitting in the ATL airport and as I’m enjoying the people watching with cup of coffee I want to update you ALL on my life. Mainly this particular trip that I’m setting sail (via plane) for today! I’m sharing this with ya’ll not so much because I think that I think my life is all that cool….but I’ve been realizing more and more how important prayer matters.

I’m telling ya’ll Jesus has been so good to me! Much better than I deserve. I have been feeling so incredibly loved and cared for by him walking into this trip it’s my pleasure and privilege to share those things with you. Annnnd, to ask you all to cover me in prayer as I head out.

So here we go….

PRAISES:
Finances: Jesus through his glorious riches and just because he cares for me (us)…took care of EVERYTHING that I needed!  I prayed specifically for Jesus to put me on peoples hearts because I was still in need for funding on this trip. Wouldn’t you know HE DID! This is no small blessing! So grateful for peoples obedience and God’s faithfulness!

Teammates: I have the blessing of being able to join Vision Nicaragua’s founder, Val Mydske in Nicaragua this go around! It goes without saying that this woman has greatly impacted my life and I am pumped to get to see her back in Nicaragua after several years of her last trip. People are going to flip to see her!
Also, little surprise I get to finish out my trip with my friends 2nd-parents Sam & Jodie. They are going to come down the last chunk of my trip to hang out with their sponsored student (shh don’t tell her) and to help with me sponsorship work I have. YAY!!

-Also…this travel day so far has been WONDERFUL!!! Despite the fact that airport security chose me at random to make sure I didn’t have “explosive residue” on my fingers. Thankful, passed that! I’ve had a smooth day and I’m sitting here listening to a podcast and enjoying my iced coffee. Not having a stressful departure day really could be considered my love language! So, so grateful! It makes me feel much more equipped for the “work” ahead.

So, the real reason for this post was to ask you all to cover me in prayer while I’m gone. Here they are…feel free to pass this along!

PRAYER:
 Good health: Please be praying that I stay in good health before-during-after this trip. There are some mosquito-borne viruses that are pretty prevalent in Nicaragua right now but basically I would MUCH prefer NOT to experience that nor anyone in my team! I’m not fearful but I would MUCH appreciate your prayers in this!

– Sponsorship Hooplah: The main purpose of this trip is for me to gather all the information of our sponsored individuals (233 people) to carry me throughout the year. This is no small task. I’m grateful for people like Massiel, Tony and Sam & Jodie who will be helping me this week! But prayers for productivity and good time management.

– Over All: That through everything I’ll be doing this week that I will be sensitive to the Holy-Spirit and his leading. To be intentional in conversations, bold when needed and compassionate and filled with grace. Pray for God to be glorified in all we do!

Love you all so much! Thank you so much for praying!!! It truly MEANS a lot! It is of course…the greater work!

P.S: Here is some of the activities planned for the week:

-Homeless outreach
-Widow outreach
-Sponsorship Info. gathering
– Baptisms
-Visiting 3-5 villages for kids activities, food distribution & ministry
– Discipleship Youth Bible Study

And Jesus Was Present

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Nicely wrapped, happy-ending stories are great but, truth and transparency took first place this go around.

Here is what God has been teaching me this month through some of the people I have the privilege to serve in Nicaragua.

(names have been changed out of respect of the individuals) 


Samuel’s Story: This little boy I have loved since the first time I met him. He was two years old; now 7 and has always had a special place in my heart. His Mom left the village to find work many years ago. His Dad, although lives very close, has never acknowledged him.  I have never been able to wrap my mind around that, but my heart has always found rest knowing that others in the community have come alongside him to love him and his younger brother well. This past month his Mom got married (not to Samuel’s father) and is back in the picture. She wants to take him to live with her about an hour from the capital, Managua. My heart sank when I heard this and I was holding on to her historic inconsistency that maybe, just maybe, she’d change her mind. He has made such progress over the last year. He is reading, writing and much more verbal than years past. Why now? The week progressed and I was able to speak to him before he left and we exchanged “I love you’s” and just like that he was gone, and Jesus was present.


Luca’s Story: This kid is one that you can’t help but love, but he has always been (as people say) “spirited.” He has always been a handful. But there’s something about him that keeps you rooting for him. This past year, I found him roaming the streets of the village when he should have been in school. We sat and he shared why he wasn’t in school. We talked about his future and what that was going to look like without an education. He knows. He’s a smart kid. I also, knew this was going to be a struggle for him to stay motivated. So, I found myself in a “parent-teacher” conference situation where he and I met with the director of his school, pleading his case to re-enter school. After that meeting and writing a letter of recommendation he was accepted back in school.                  I felt like I finally got through to him. However as the school year ended he has decided he just “can’t do it.” He’s dropped out again, and Jesus was present


Jose’s story: He is a servant leader. He is as loyal as they come. He loves his family deeply and sacrificially. He puts himself last at all costs and does so quietly. He wants no recognition and that is just simply his heart. He is a hard worker and has the dream of getting a degree in college. This past month I was beside myself with excitement to be able to tell him that his college tuition, bus fare, everything was taken care of by two groups here in Asheville.

He turned it down.                                                                                                          He. Turned. It. Down.

I was totally shocked. Why would he do that? He proceeded to tell him that he was overwhelmed and grateful for me wanting to help him, but he has plans to go to Costa Rica to work and then go to school there.  My heart was totally crushed. Of all the people in the world, he deserves the best. But I know I need to give him room to find his own way as a young man, but it’s been so hard. “Promise me you’ll at least think about it ’til we can talk in person in March” I said. “Ok, I promise.” That’s how we left it, and Jesus was present.


Sarah’s story: This young lady has lived out for the last 3 years what “refined by fire” really looks like. She has had such incredible health issues that no one her age should have to endure. This past month, she had more complications which caused her to go back into the hospital for emergency surgery. As I spoke to her on the phone before surgery she said “I am just so tired of this. I want to go to college and I finally was getting excited about a new beginning.” We prayed together and Jesus was present.


Mateo’s story:  He is incredibly studious, works hard and has had to grow up faster than most kids his age. But he keeps moving forward. I admire his strength and perseverance. He never asks for anything. Which I’ve found through experience those with the deepest needs usually don’t. His family had no food. When I say no food that doesn’t mean they had some in reserves and were running low. I mean, they had no food. As we Skyped that afternoon he couldn’t even bring himself to verbalize the need so, he typed it to me. I saw the awkwardness in him having to ask, but “we’re family and that’s what family does” when I said that, I meant it with all my heart. Before we signed off he told me how much lighter he felt knowing that help was on the way, and Jesus was present


Jesus used these situations to show me “child, I’ve got this.” That his love for them far exceeds mine. That ministry isn’t about fixing people or things. It’s about pointing others to Jesus. I have limits and he is limitless. As I have covered each of these dear ones in prayer I’ve felt the Lord speak to my heart saying:

I can be the best Dad to Samuel! I am watching out for him. I don’t slumber, nor sleep. I am always with him. I don’t leave him. Trust me.

I know Lucas inside and out. I formed him in his mother’s womb. I know his story and the promise of me using everything together for your good….applies to him too. I am full of grace and truth and this isn’t the end of his story. Entrust him to me.

Jose is right in the place where I want him to be. He needs to look to me to guide him and direct his steps. Be there to point him to me. I’ve personally gone before him and I will be with him. That’s who I am. I love him deeper that you can. Trust me.

Sarah is one that I have entrusted these trials to because I know she will make much of me in the middle of it. Remind her of what I’ve done for her in the past and that I’m the same yesterday. today and forever. My promises don’t change. Entrust her to me.

Mateo’s drive and motivation and desire to love his family well comes from me. I’m showing him that I am who I say I am. I know as sparrows fall from the tree and I know what needs to be put in place to put food on his table. And sometimes…you get to be a part of that. Trust me.

And Jesus was present.

He is intimately acquainted with you too. That no matter where you might find yourself in this moment…he is present.

There’s Something Bigger Going On Here.

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Take a look over the people that God used in the Bible. There are countless stories of people whose lives are literally ruined once they met Jesus. Ruined in the best possible way, but ruined nonetheless. There’s people like Noah was considered a fool in the eyes of his community for building a boat (a rather large one at that) in the middle of a drought. There was Daniel who was thrown into the den with a lion because he refused to stop praying to God instead of the King. Mary who endured ridicule for declaring she was a virgin, yet was pregnant, with the Messiah at that. Then there was Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his son’s life, all because God asked him to.

 What is wrong with these people?! 

Why would people do that? It doesn’t make sense! If this was to happen today I assume I would be quick to jump on the bandwagon and be throwing my own set of opinions at them.

Noah, seriously, it’s not raining. Daniel, it’s a lion. Let’s think about this. Mary, who are you kidding?! Abraham, I’ll calling social services.

Of course, knowing how these stories end none of us condemn them for their choices. In fact we share their stories with our children, we make crafts in VBS and share about the incredible un-wavering faith each of them had. We don’t question them.  We admire them.

So, why would people do that? 

Because they had a taste of something greater then themselves. They had an encounter with Jesus. In a way that made whatever happen on this earth; whatever hardship, ridicule, or self doubt worth it. They were telling a bigger story with their lives. One that when linked together tells this great story of redemption that envelopes the love of Jesus.

Have you ever thought about what our lives as believers would be like without people like Noah, Daniel, Mary and Abraham? What if their lives pointed to their self-dependence, logical thinking, and the explainable instead of their dependence on Christ, their commitment to who he says he is as oppose to what their circumstances said?  I’m thankful for those people. The fact that their stories encourage my own, but also because it challenges me to live more like Christ. To take him at his word and to live in the hope that my life can be the Noah, Abraham, Daniel and Mary encouragement to someone else who hasn’t yet tasted amazing grace.

John chapter 1 we find the story of John the Baptist where he is telling the crowds  (paraphrase) “I’m not Jesus…I’m just here to tell you what I’ve witnessed about him.” I imagine him just beaming saying “Guys, he is who he says he is!” John the Baptist had his own encounter with Jesus and that’s propelled his ministry. It was the key piece that made his life worth it. It’s the same key piece that caused Noah to hammer the first nail despite the naysayers, for Daniel to enter the lion’s den with confidence, for Abraham to be willing to sacrifice his son and for Mary to endure with such grace the rumors that were swarming around her. It’s because when you get a taste of Christ; the trueness of His character…you’ll do anything. Because grace is just that amazing. It ruins us in the best way possible. We can live in the realization that there is a bigger story going on that we get to be a part of. One that points us fulfillment and a life with purpose, because it’s pointing back to Christ. The gospel that makes everything makes sense.

This past year for me has continued to prove that regardless of the seemingly “crazy” or “illogical” things Christ calls me to…it’s worth it. It’s worth it because he’s worth it. This past year of ministry has proven to me that what God calls us to it to continue to just like Noah, Daniel, Abraham and Mary to live lives that point to the redemption of the gospel!

I’ve seen widows receive strength to carry on because of hearing God’s word; that they matter to him. I’ve seen youth give up drinking and clubs because Christ has become greater to them. I’ve seen a young man come to know Christ while being a team member on a team. I’ve seen young women break through the chains of legalism because they are learning how to navigate through the scriptures and find their identity in Christ.

Those are the things that continue to encourage my heart to move forward. It makes leaving a job where you knew your paycheck would come every month worth it. Everything that once looked like a “sacrifice” are just used to bring more glory to Christ. It’s in the most impossible situations, when it starts to rain, the lion licks your face, the ram appears in the bush and in new birth. Those sacrifices are just props.

There truly is something bigger going on here. So much so that I need more of you to join me. To continue to see Christ’s hope of the gospel come alive in the hearts of the people in Nicaragua, I need your help. Your prayers above all. But, I need financial help as well. To continue to do what God is calling me to do in Nicaragua I need your financial assistance.

Whether monthly or one-time gifts, those investments are what are needed to continue the work. To enable me to be the witness of Christ to the people in need of the gospel in Nicaragua.

It’s a big enough story that I know God is wanting this to be US not just ME! Would you consider being a part of my prayer and financial support team?

All gifts are tax-deductible and you have 2 options to give your support.

1) PayPal: By clicking here you will be directed to the Vision Nicaragua website where you can choose to contribute monthly or through a one-time contribution.

2) Checks: If you are still a check writer you can mail your contribution to:

Vision Nicaragua   PO Box 2172  Fairview, NC  28730

In the memo line write: Missionary Support Lauren Parham

Just Jesus! A Prelude to 2014


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HAPPY SNOW DAY!!! I’m sitting here in my nice cozy house sipping some Russian tea and having this beautiful view outside makes today a perfect day to update you all on what 2014 is bringing.

Psalm 57:7 says: My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! I’m finding myself bursting at the seams as to what God is planning for 2014 to the point of if you are within a 5 ft radius of me you’re probably gonna hear about it! But, hey, when God is moving we can’t help but share it, can we?

I’ve been holding it in so long that I’ve been feeling a little like Kareli here…

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So, without further adieu (yes, I did have to google how to spell adieu) here is a prelude to 2014!!!

  I’ve been reading 7 Truths From Believing God by Henry Blackaby. Which I suggest if you want a light read. Get this! It’s super tiny only $1.99 at LifeWay and BONUS: the guy of the front looks like Charlton Heston.

The first truth in this book talks about (in summary) seeing where God is working around you and joining Him in that. As oppose to the tendency of starting something and asking God to then bless it.  Segue to…

Widow Ministry: God’s word is clear that as believers we are to take care of the widow and orphan. Where I was aware of this I had no idea that the Lord who ask me personally to this cause. Vision Nicaragua has a widow sponsorship program in place to help support these women in Bethel with $25/mthly to help them take care of their families. These women have lost their husbands to chronic kidney disease that plagues so much of Northwest Nicaragua. Especially where we are in the Chinandega and Chichigalpa area.

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This sponsorship means so much to these women. But, I feel that the Lord is calling us to more. I don’t know what that is but I see the Lord working and I want to join Him in it. I was wrestling with this and was determined to go through my concordance and read all the verses I could find and see how Jesus served the widows. Yes, I quickly became overwhelmed and began praying “Lord, how would you have me serve and love these ladies when I can in no way relate to their need.” Then it hit me. Lauren, give them me. Just Jesus. The love He is putting in my heart for these ladies is from Him. He is wanting to do something in their lives. Beyond just the financial support we are providing through the program and through out incredible donors!

 He doesn’t need me…but He’s inviting me! He’s inviting us!

I believe that God means what He says that He chooses that which is foolish to shame the wise” (1 Corinth. 1:27). He has every right to use this single, 27 yr. old woman that knows nothing of what it is like to be a widow…for His glory. To be an extension of His love to them. To simply point them to Jesus. Because at the heart of every need; the answer is Jesus. And that I do know.

 What will this look like? Well, for starters I’m planning on making a trip to Nicaragua in the next few weeks to a month (funding pending) and much of the focus will be to meet with the 35 widows in their homes as well as collectively at VN’s Mission Center. I want to brainstorm with them on ways we can come alongside them and support them. My heart is that there can be more to bring to this program than just financial support. Be that whatever the Lord desires. I trust Him to reveal that.

 In addition to the widow ministry is the…

 Sponsorship Program. Our kiddos started back to school today (Feb. 10th). The school year in Nicaragua runs from Feb. – Nov. and their “summer break” is December and January.

 Now that I have a more focused role with sponsorship I’m planning on meeting both with the teachers and staff of the Bethel school as well as each high school classroom we support. I’ll also be meeting up with our recent graduates and making sure they have everything together to start their first year in university. In addition to taking new pictures as well as getting new information for student bios is on the to-do list! Ahh!! I am so pumped for this year!

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Judith will be heading to University in March!!! So proud of this sweet girl!

 We’re on the cusp of launching the donor to sponsor (To Nica With Love) correspondence piece of the program and I just can’t wait to have everything up and running on all cylinders.

How Can You Help?

  Just as the Lord is inviting me I want to extend that invitation to each of you! I have been so incredibly humbled in 2013 in the amount of support I’ve received! God is truly faithful to His word and what He initiates He completes! I’m so grateful to those of you who believe in what God is doing and are obedient to His leading. I pray he continues to bless you as you are impacting the lives of families in Nicaragua.

I am currently in need of only 40 people to partner with me for this year!

 Would you consider linking arms with me in 2014?

Here’s the breakdown:

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One-time donations are also welcomed! Vision Nicaragua is a registered 501-C3 so all donations are tax deductible.

You can partner with me 1 of 2 ways:

1) PayPal: By clicking here you will be directed to the Vision Nicaragua website where you can choose to contribute monthly or through a one-time contribution.

2) Checks: If you are still a check writer you can mail your contribution to:

Vision Nicaragua   PO Box 2172  Fairview, NC  28730

In the memo line write: Missionary Support Lauren Parham

I’m praying for each of you and expecting to see great things this year as we pursue JUST JESUS! Thank you for joining in on what God is doing!

 

2013 Highlights!

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Filled with Gratitude
“Do not be afraid of discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you;
He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Deuteronomy 31:8
What an incredible year 2013 has been! If I had to sum it all up in one sentence I would say: “God is who He says He is!
I’m so grateful for each and every one of you and the part you have played throughout this year. From your prayers, financial support and encouragement through each step; I cannot tell you how much it has meant to me! Through your support you’ve helped to extend the love of Christ to so many precious people in Nicaragua.
Although I could talk to all for hours (literally) about all God has done this year I’ve decided to just “hit the highlights” for now.
So, here’s a little snapshot of what happened in 2013!
The Women’s Outreach Bible Study in Ensayo: This is led by the young women of Bethel. They’ve been reaching out to the community of Ensayo through Bible Study which started this year! The Bethel girls have done a phenomenal job of loving these sweet ladies and their kiddos! It’s such a joy watching the Lord use them!
IMG_3313 The women gathering for Bible Study!
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Arlen sharing God’s Word.
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Loves these smiles!
Youth Ministry: From camp this summer to Vision Libre (their newly established youth group); these young men and women are truly growing in their walk with the Lord! They’re continuing to meet 2-3 days a week for worship, prayer and fellowship. There have been several new faces who have joined over the last few months! It’s evident that God is pursuing the hearts of so many youth in Bethel who are hungry for an authentic encounter with Jesus!
Pictures below are the youth reaching out to Ensayo with a surprise lunch they put together!
1186912_200820960094882_2013924365_n Surprises are the BEST!
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The children of Ensayo lining up for some delicious lunch!
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Sponsorship: From October to December we have had 25 students be sponsored!!! It’s been incredible to see how God has been so faithful to take care of these kids! It has been  and continues to be a big growing season for this program! {More to come}
More than seeing students find sponsors was in December what a group (comprised of many sponsors) traveled to Nicaragua to SURPRISE their students at graduation!!
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Josue, Kevin & Arlen. Their Dad passed away in 2006 from the kidney disease and Kevin had the pleasure of walking Arlen down to aisle as her Dad.
DSC01213Congratulations Clas of 2013!!
DSC01231Sam & Jodie alongside Judy whom they have sponsored since middle school!
She had NO idea they were coming!
MY MOM CAME TO NICARAGUA: Hands down the best way to end 2013! My Mom made her first trip to Nicaragua! It was such a gift to be able to see her get to meet the people that she’s met through Skype, wrote letters to, and supported for years!
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Our baller group!
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Our 1st plane ride with all 3 of us!!
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Mom helping at the Medical Clinic!
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Giving out stickers to the kids at the clinic.
1475915_689152607781903_2050340553_nKevin Caballero & his sweet family. She became really attached to this sweet family.
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Sarahi & Mom. They became best buddies!
1526164_674731641632_553804269_nMom meeting Haydee. The sweet woman she sponsors through our widow sponsorship program. Such a sweet moment!
Thank you all for letting me share a snapshot of all the Lord has done this year in Nicaragua! God has been so good and shown himself so faithful!
I’m continually humbled by the opportunity to serve these families and cannot thank you enough for believing in what God is doing and joining me in following his leading!
He’s good and He can be trusted!!

Celebrating Coris….1 year later!

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.                 Psalm 116:15

One year ago today, heaven welcomed home with much rejoicing one of Vision Nicaragua’s dearest friends, Coris. Coris’ life was marked by great faith, courage, and love for his family. Knowing that Coris is rejoicing alongside Jesus today we find it fitting we do the same.

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So, I’ve called on two very special ladies to me and to Vision Nicaragua who knew Coris well to share their memories with us!  It’s my hope that if you never had the privilege to meet Coris that through this post you’ll feel like you were given the opportunity to get to know him through those sharing how much he impacted their lives.

Valerie Mydske, Vision Nicaragua’s founder had this to memory to share about Coris:

Norm & Val Mydske
                   Norm & Val Mydske

Coris was a very intelligent and clever man, dedicated to his wife and family, and to his Lord. I remember the gadget he made from an old stove coil he found in the rubble of hurricane Mitch. He carved out a circle in a chunk of lava cement to make a usable electric cooking burner! He was a valuable helper in everything artistic – including painting and building. We loved Coris dearly, and miss him greatly. Our hearts and prayers are with his wife and family, who have suffered much, and will always miss his cheery and helpful presence.                                      -Val

If you’ve ever stayed at the Vision Nicaragua Mission House then you have seen the craftsmanship of Coris. Coris, was one of the many men from Bethel who helped build the mission house.

Vision Nicaragua's Mission Center
                          Vision Nicaragua’s Mission Center
Coris & his wife, Mercedes.
                Coris & his wife, Mercedes.

To know Coris is to know his love for his family. Above is a picture of Coris and his wife, Mercedes after her graduation from her sewing class. He adored his wife as well as his children and precious granddaughter, Keyli. A vibrant little 5 yr. old who has an infectious smile!

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                                      Keyli

My own personal memory of Coris is from 2009. My church took one of it’s first  trips to Nicaragua and one of the main things we were involved in was distributing beans and rice along with hosting outreach church services in different communities. We teamed up with about 12 men from Bethel who were all suffering with chronic kidney disease.

One of the places we visited was the local city dump. Coris was among the group of men that traveled with us. Afterwards we surprised them with a meal at a local restaurant (pictured below) because it was Father’s Day in Nicaragua. These men absolutely loved serving these communities.When they got together they all turned into little boys picking on one another and laughing.

Coris (far left)
Coris (far left)

But, what I’ll never forget is when we got to the dump, where thousands of people live (yes, live.) and we were going around inviting  different families to join us for a church service….I never walked anywhere alone. Coris was there. He watched over me and protected me like I was his little girl.

I had a chance to reminisce with him before he passed and I was able to share with him how much that meant to me. At this point, several years later, Coris was beginning to suffer the effects of chronic kidney disease.

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For those of you who may not be familiar, unemployment in Nicaragua is a real problem. Due to lack of education and/or opportunities the main source of employment in northwest Nicaragua is to work in the local sugar cane plantation. This job is incredibly labor intensive and doesn’t provide much income. However, it’s the conditions and herbicides  used on the cane that pose the biggest threat. Through continued exposure to these chemicals accompanied with dehydration it’s just a matter of time before these men are diagnosed with CKD (chronic kidney disease).

They are monitored regularly by the company and when their creatine levels in their kidneys are too high they are put on probation. They go home, rest, and then if by their next appointment there’s no improvement they’re let go. Besides a kidney transplant, in-home dialysis, although risky is their only option for survival.

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Coris, had dealt with this disease on and off for a number of years but took a turn for the worst June 2012. Coris then made the courageous decision to start in-home dialysis. Committing to treatments ever 6 hours for the rest of his life.

Culturally, this is not the easiest decision to make. Infection is the biggest risk with in-home dialysis. One infection could take their life. So, many of these men don’t even attempt it, because they’ve seen too many of their friends and family members not survive.

You can read more about Coris’ journey with in-home dialysis here : Coris’ Story (story by Lindsey Miller)

Through choosing in-home dialysis he was given 5 more months with his family.

Lindsey Miller who has served with Vision Nicaragua was there for the last several months up until he entered the presence of Jesus. Here is what she had to share:

It was such an honor to be with him and his family for the last few months and days of his life. Through Coris, God taught me so much about His love for us and our hope as a response to that. As he drew his last breath, I knew that no breath I ever took would be the same.                                                                                          -Lindsey
You can read more from Lindsey here : Celebrating Coris
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Coris is now is the presence of the Lord. Made whole and rejoicing alongside his healer.
This is the reality for so many of the families we serve. It’s an incredible privilege to be allowed into their lives and share in moments of great joy as well as great grief.
So, today, we celebrate the incredible faith, courage and example of Christ’s love that we saw in Coris. But, more importantly, she celebrate a God who hears our prayers, heals our hurts and brings hope that doesn’t disappoint.
*To see Coris tell his own story you can see it here: Coris’ Story