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Tearing down walls

We are excited to announce that we need to tear down a wall in the Carazo Ministry Center as we are now averaging 45 to 50 every Sunday. Things are going really well and it has been a great encouragement to see people hungry to know the Lord more deeply. There are several young couples attending faithfully, two of which are expecting babies. Luis Hernandez has been doing a great job teaching on Wednesday nights on The Marks of a Healthy Church. We do hope to start formal membership within the next few weeks. However, not everything has been easy or problem free as we have had people talking negatively about us. In this small thing, I can gain an appreciation for what the Apostle  Paul expressed in Philippians when he said, “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.”

It has been quite an encouragement to have the younger couples interested in the things of the Lord.  Some of these families have asked us to do teaching about marital roles from a biblical perspective. Currently, April and I are doing this class at 4 pm on Sunday afternoons with 6-8 attending. Please keep these times in your prayers.

Carazo Bible Institute

In March, we had our 1st group of 2-year graduates. Three men completed the 2-year study course. A group from River of Life Church in Florida came and helped with the graduation celebration. They provided a great meal and brought gifts for the students.  David Smoot from Wings of Faith Ministries, gave an encouraging address to the whole group of students and graduates. There were over 50 in attendance. Each of the graduates addressed the audience and explained how the 2 years of study had helped them grow in their understanding of God and His word. The Gospel Coalition states that , “75% of the world’s Christians live in the Global South. 85% of the world’s evangelical churches are led by pastors with insufficient training.” I am thankful CBI has a small part in battling this theological famine. The hope is that as these men and leaders are fed theologically sound “solid food,” they will be better equipped to disciple others.

Carazo Medical Clinic

Dr. Reyna has been away in the States, but we have been busy with the medical clinic. With the team from Florida, we visited the community of San Antonio, checking on patients, praying and encouraging them. We were also able to provide a food bag of basic needs thanks to the generosity of River of Life Church in Starke, Fl. Recently, with donations from Tree of Life, the clinic has been able to purchase more medical supplies/equipment. It has been such a blessing and many have expressed appreciation for the free medical care/support. We have been known to convert into a temporary hospital at our house in certain instances!

Carazo Mission Center

We continue to hope and pray to purchase the building where all of these ministries are based. The money we need to raise to buy the ministry center is due July 5, 2018. Please pray with us. Below is an outline of what we have already raised and the final costs. Please pray for this need. Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 12.35.07 PM

Read your Bible, support your local church, glorify God in all you do.

Go or send!

Thank you all for your continued prayer and support.

Joel, April & the kids.

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Gass Family Mission Financial Clarity Report 2018

Gass Family Mission Financial Clarity Report

April and I want you to know that we are extremely thankful for all you do. The ministry here in Nicaragua would not function as it does without your help. I want to give you a little update that explains how the funds you invest in the ministry are being used.

Bible Institute $600

Currently, the ministry receives $600 from MMMA (Medical Missions Ministry of Ashe) that we use for the Bible Institute. I use this for payroll for the teachers.
We currently have 4 staff members and a $1120 Bible Institute Payroll. Nicaraguan law requires a 13th month payment. This payment is due on December 1. The work done by these guys is the core work of the Institute. Due to budget restraints we have had to cut back the number of students we allow to enroll in CBI (Carazo Bible Institute). We had a a target number of 24 a year, we have reduced that to 15-18 yearly. It costs about $635 per student per year for books and material. Each student gets a packet each month. Almost every Saturday, we meet with a different group. Between those meetings, one of the guys visits their home each week. During this visit, students are evaluated on progress, and comprehension.

All 4 of these men are actively involved in the church in a leadership role. Two of the men have a motorcycle provided by the ministry. The bike is available for personal use as well. We are working to get another motorcycle ($1000-1500) for Jr. William doesn’t need one.

These guys are now my best friends and family. I consider them my closest brothers in Christ. I trust them with my life and believe they have the same trust for me.

Medical Clinic $400/ $200

Our staff Doctor is receiving $400 a month (plus 13th month)
She visits many patients a week at their home. She is extremely compassionate. She does work each month providing medical care in a small village outside of Jinotepe. She does in home care for 2 children with feeding tubes.
The first Monday of each month, we have an open clinic at the new building. January, it was from 9-12. It was the first one and there were about 6 patients. She is available for calls, and our whole church knows that she will help them. Also, she has extended her services to other missionaries who have emergencies. She often immediately visits them in their house if she receives a call from us.

$200 a month (Provided by MMMA) goes to medicines and med exams. We give that money to Reyna each month and she is responsible for turning in receipts. Some months she uses more, some less. She keeps up with it in a cash box. Because of the monthly purchases, there is never usually a surplus of $100. If the Med money is ever short (more cost than expected), April and I usually just make up the difference from personal funds.

Church

We have moved from under our porch and started having church in Diriamba, in the new building that we will call the Carazo Ministry Center. We desire to purchase this building and lack $46000. The church is the core to all the different ministries we do. We believe strongly in the local church and it is important to model that in front of Nicaraguans. All ministries, CBI, Med Clinic, ect. fall under the leadership of the local church. They are an arm of and not a replacement for the local church. We incorporate church members to help in the various ministries and promote national ownership. We have several adoptive families attending and cannot at this time post pictures during church activities. Currently the building rent is paid by Tree of Life Ministries (1 year pledge).

Moving forward.

This next year is going to be a giant struggle. We lost about $1000 a month in support from an individual donor. We have cut out quite a bit of our personal expenses to make up for it. We want you to know that we fully trust that God will provide for us in every way He sees fit. As of today, our personal monthly support is as follows:

$1250 coming from 5 different Churches
$750 individual donors & Family Contributions (fluctuates)
$2000 Total
We get quarterly support from 2 individuals that totals $750
$250 of that is designated to go to CBI. We do, from time to time, receive one time offerings that we have no way to predict. Again, we want you to know how thankful we are for the sacrifices you make to be a generous contributor to the kingdom work here in Nicaragua. You are a vital part of this work. We are encouraged by your generosity. If there are any questions about our finances please feel free to email us. gassfamilymission@gmail.com read our blog

If you would like to contribute financially to the ministry here in Nicaragua, you can find out how on our blog.

http://www.gassfamilymission.com/donate

Soli Deo Gloria, Gass family.

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November 2017

click here for our printable newsletter.

November News PDF

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November 17, 2017 · 8:30 pm

Opportunity to Give

July 2017

Dear Friends,

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.photo_2017-06-27_21-05-42

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? 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?

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 · 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

www.gassfamilymission.com

gassfamilymission@gmail.com

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Come into the Light

Come into the Light!

A while back, before we rented our building, we had the pastor training in our house. Every Saturday, a group of guys would come for a 3-4 hour session and April would prepare lunch. More and more men, more and more complications led to us moving to a building that we have now outgrown. This was in the beginning stages of Carazo Bible Institute. In those days, we would watch a video and read scripture, pray and fellowship. As our language abilities have improved, we have been able to get a little more in-depth with the studies. There is still plenty of room for improvement.

I have a friend that gave me a solar powered audio Bible from Renew Outreach. This little Bible is a pretty good resource. We have found that their Kulumi – Solar Powered LED Audio Lamp is cheaper and has the added feature of being a lamp. We now buy these wscreen-shot-2017-02-18-at-10-02-25-amhen funds are available. Many of the people we minister to cannot read or write. Illiteracy is a big struggle here. So far, we have distributed about a dozen of the lights and a dozen more of the solar paneled audio Bibles. The lights are the best and use the Faith Comes By Hearing languages. We have even given them to the Indigenous tribes of Miskito Indians on the east coast. Their dialect is an available download.

In one of the beginning Bible Institute meetings, I discovered that one of the guys, Felipe, was somewhat illiterate. He is a night guard and works very hard. Kind of just on a whim and because I had one available, I tossed him one of the audio Bibles. “Here, this is for you,” I said. I showed him how to operate it, how to skip through the chapters and books using the buttons. His face lit up. He was delighted

We didn’t know it, but Felipe committed to memorizing the entire book of Acts. At night, while on guard duty, he would listen to chapter after chapter, hitting the reverse button, repeating the words. During the day, he would lay it in the window seal and let it charge. I am not sure how far he got.

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Felipe, Reading his Bible

In the meetings, we read scripture aloud, taking turns. This particular day, we happened to be reading the book of Acts. Felipe was in the circle, with his Bible open. It was coming up to his turn. Many of the men were fidgeting with nervousness, not wanting to embarrass Felipe. As it became Felipe’s turn, to everyone’s astonishment, he began to “read” from the book of Acts. Verse after verse, and then the amazing happened. The power went out. The room was dark. No one could see their hand in from of their face. Felipe continued to recite verse after verse. The inability to see didn’t inhibit his “reading.” Since that day, he has been learning to read. Pray for Felipe and the other men who strive to glorify God.

Please pray for us as we strive to help the Nicaraguan people know God better. Thanks for all you do to help us share the Gospel with the people of Nicaragua!

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I’m a Liar

A while back, we had some ladies from a community help us prepare food for a feeding center. After the event it was raining and I gave them a ride home. I was sitting in the van as they got in. Listening to their chatter, I was excited to hear how happy they were to be included in the evangelism and feeding of the children.

In the van, there were a few of the Are You a Good Person tracts from Living Waters. Of course they were in Spanish. Living Waters, in my opinion, is the best place to get tracts and evangelism material. In the tract, it asks, “have you ever told a lie?” The kid answers, “Sure, who hasn’t?” Then it asks, “What do you call someone who lies?” and his answer is “a liar.”

Earlier that day, one of the ladies had asked us to sign a paper so she could get a loan. She wanted us to say that we were paying her more than we did, so she would qualify for a loan to buy a refrigerator. We knew she desperately needed the fridge but refused to sign the paper, knowing that this loan would only cause her trouble in the future. We explained how it was dishonest to even fudge the numbers a little bit. Even if the outcome is not profitable to us, we need to be truthful at all times. It was a difficult time and there was an awkward moment of silence. We prayed for God to help her with the difficulty.

On the trip back, she picked up the tract and began read it aloud. “Have you ever told a lie?” I heard her begin to sob and then confess, “Oh God, forgive me I am a liar.”

Please pray for us as we strive to glorify God in Nicaragua.

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We Give Up!

Click bait!. With new technology, I can see who reads our letter, when they open it, how many times, what they click on and much more. The truth is, only 36% of the people who receive an email in the religious category even open it. So, if you are reading this, we thank you.

I have something to say and I want you to read it!

Sovereignty of God

We know God is in charge. We know that He, ultimately, will take care of us. We know  God has called us to Nicaragua. Knowing these things gives us assurance of provision and assurance of protection. We don’t believe that because we are doing what God has called us to do,  he will not lead us into difficult situations. That is not a biblical view of God. Often times we will face difficult situations, hardships, droughts, and famine. It is how we respond in those times that our lives are strengthened. Colossians 1:17 states that “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”  God told Jeremiah in chapter 32 verse 27 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”

We have to rely completely on Him. If we put our faith in men or anything else, we will come up short every time. God is steadfast and unchangeable.  Psalm 135:6 says, “Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.” 

Giving up

So if all our effort come short, the only thing left to do is give up. Literally give it all to God. Put it in His hands. Giving up, or surrendering is the only option. We are surrounded by a Holy God. As we studied the attributes of God last month, we studied the Omnipresence of God.

Psalm 139: 7-12

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
12 Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.

The Bible tells us that we are enemies of God.(Romans 5:10) He is the one that said “Let there be light.” How could we ever win in a war against our Creator. We can’t win. The only “good” option is surrender. We give up. Repentance is rarely talked about any more. But, it is admitting that we, in ourselves can’t fix it. We are wrong. it is also a turning form our sin and a turning to God. Repentance is something we are granted. It is not ours. Acts 11:18 says, “When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.” Have you been granted repentance? It is not in our human nature to desire to turn from our wicked ways. Our human nature is wicked. Our hearts are darkened. God must give us light. We have to turn form trusting on our own power or ability, and turn to the work that has been done on our behalf by Jesus. Not just on the cross of Calvary, but the perfect sinless life He lived. Because of His perfect life, He fulfilled the law. When He was on the cross, the sin of Believers was transferred to Him. When we trust in what God has done for us through the cross of Calvary, the righteousness of Christ is imputed or transferred to us. That is how we gain our righteousness. We take on the righteousness of Christ. My good deeds or your good deeds or merits would never be enough to earn you entrance into God’s family. In fact, the Bible tells us that all our righteousness is like a filthy rag. We can’t do anything good. There is none righteousness. Even when drug dealers buy a poor man food, they don’t do it to glorify God, so it is really not good works.

If you really believe that Jesus, God incarnate, died and rose from the dead, wouldn’t that change everything?

How can people believe that and not be transformed into something new? John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” There is no power in us to become a child of God. The power is in God Himself and is given to us. May God grant you the power to surrender to His will and believe on His Son. John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them,“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” Luke 10:20 says, “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

The Gass Family

We love you!  The Gass Family

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