As I sit writing this letter, I find myself in the comforts of the United States of America. We made it in on the 10th of July and are planning an active agenda of visiting and sharing what is going on in Nicaragua.
We are very excited to announce, that after a year of praying and searching, we have now found and started the process to purchase a building for our ministry needs. The building we found in Diriamba is large enough to house all of our ministry needs (Church, Bible Institute, and Medical Clinic). It is also on a big enough piece of land that, in the future, we can expand.
We signed a contract to rent for 1 year, with the option to purchase the property at the end of that year. We were required to make a $2000 deposit and rent is $300 a month. The total property cost is $52,000. Almost immediately, a ministry-partner, Tree of Life contacted us and informed us that they wanted to cover our first year costs and some remodel costs. We praise God for their generosity.
Now, we are focusing on only $46,400 to complete the purchase. We have set the goal to raise the funds by April. That will allow us some time to prepare and regroup if we are short of the total amount at that time.
The Apostle Paul faced some of the same dilemmas.
Ministry is not free. But, we don’t want to burden the poorest of the poor as we minister to them. In 1 Corinthians 9:18 Paul shares his desire to keep the Gospel “free of charge. “What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.” One way Paul did this was tent-making, We see in 1 Thessalonians 2:9 “For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.” We share the desire to not burden the people of Nicaragua, as we proclaim the majesty of Christ crucified and resurrected to them.
This is the reason for this letter, to allow you to share the burden of the ministry in Nicaragua with us. Or, to put it as Paul did, “To rob you, in order to serve them.”
2 Corinthians 11:7-8 (ESV) Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you.
Those churches, “robbed” by Paul, were happy to do so. I hope you will also count it a privilege as well, to bear one another’s burdens.
Many of you frequently check our posts and have been joyfully generous in the past. You have allowed us to “rob you” for the sake of preaching the Gospel without charge to the Nicaraguan people. We are so humbled by your generosity.
I want to ask you to help us as we move forward. We ask that you do it cheerfully, as Paul stated to the Corinthians. 2 Corinthians 9:7-8 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
Would you consider cheerfully making a one-time donation toward our building purchase?
· Would you consider setting up monthly giving to help us keep the payroll going and allow us to furnish the medical clinic.
· Another way to help us is to share this and our ministry on your social media outlets.
Please do not neglect your local church in any way. But, if you have excess for our work in Nicaragua, thanks for considering this possibility. Please keep us in your prayers as we strive to know Christ and make Him known.
April and I want to say thank you in advance to all who will give and help us work to this goal. Also, we are extremely grateful to those who have supported our Christ –exalting work in Nicaragua.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Joel and April Gass Family