It’s hard to believe our last team just returned from Nicaragua 6 weeks ago and we are only 4 weeks from our next departure! The work in-between visits has been furious as we race against time to get everything organized for these next steps.

First, we will be drilling the first four of many wells to come in the community of Kisalaya. Using the services of the Holy Water Group, the people of Kisalaya will learn how to construct, maintain and repair these simple wells that will provide clean water. One well will be constructed in each barrio (neighborhood). The specially designed unit used to hand dig the wells will be left with the community so those who have been trained can continue to install wells after we are gone. Instead of going to the river to get water, clean water will now be available – the first step in helping rid the community of the waterborne parasites, bacteria and viruses that cause so many intestinal problems. Ben Friend, one of our team members, will be going on this trip to work with the wells. God has been putting all of this together and has coordinated everything for all three parts of the clean water plan to come together at the same time!

The second part of the clean water plan is the distribution of one 5 gallon, water only container with a screw-type lid for each of the 302 families in Kisalaya. This is so important because it’s the second means of clean water protection in bringing the water home from the well. Working with our contact in Managua, Henry Vargas, he has been able to secure these containers for us. They are in the Managua warehouse of the company in Waspam who will transport them to Kisalaya. God has been faithful to provide a large donation to purchase these containers so every family can have one.

The third part of this is process is the training the community nurse will be providing the families on clean water management. She will teach each family how to manage their clean water to minimize contamination. We can only praise God for this important step in increasing the physical health of the community.

 The first crop of red beans was successfully planted in January with a hybrid bean that flourished exceptionally well in the soil conditions of the Kisalaya area. The people agreed to return the exact amount of beans given to each person to Seeds And Love Together to repay the loan of the seeds. They also agreed to tithe their crops in order to help care for the widows, orphans and disabled of their community. Mike Jones, one of our SALT team members, will be arriving in Kisalaya on April 1, to coordinate the final management of this crop of beans and to help the people secure their rice seeds for the next crop planting, using the same guidelines of repayment and tithing. God again has done a mighty work here.

Finally, on this trip, we’ll be working with the pastors to do two primary tasks. The pastors asked to be taught how to share the Gospel with people. Joel Dison of Designs for Hope will conduct that training the week before we arrive. Designs for Hope is a mission organization that specializes in water management and will be helping us to look at the possibility of developing means of irrigation that can be used to plant a second bean crop during the dry season. But, they are also skilled at sharing the Gospel and have agreed to help. Mel Menker was able to locate a step-by-step sharing of the Gospel in Miskito and has been able to translate it into English for Joel and his team. Using a translator, they will be able to do a great job.

Mel and Pastor Danny Rogers of the New Bern satellite church of Port City Community Church will conduct the second phase of training which is to teach the pastors the basics needed for every Christian who has accepted Christ to live the life Jesus desires of us. Pastors Jason Buckley and Ron DeWitt of Divine Hope Church will also be returning at a later time to do more training of the pastors as well.

During this visit, we’ll also be meeting with the leaders of the Kisalaya community to listen to their plans for the next three needs they would like for us to address in our partnership with them. This will be a very important part of the continuing next steps to help them ultimately become everything God has intended for them to be. We’ll also learn from the pastors what they need from us to further their education in the Word of God. And, we’ll begin to develop plans for the pastors and people of Kisalaya to be able share the Gospel in other villages.

Our prayer requests for the moment are:

  • Safe travel to from Nicaragua for the team and our health and protection while “on the ground.”
  • We will have four travelers from Port City Community Church (Wilmington, NC), representing the New Bern congregation, as part of our team to investigate a possible working relationship with SALT.   Please pray that their decision will be based solely on God’s call for them.
  • All the other items that are listed in the content of this letter, e.g. the drilling of the wells, the training of the pastors, etc.
  • This is a prayer of thanks as well as asking you to pray for this church. Divine Hope Church (Oakland, MD) in January became a supporting partner both financially and with team members. Please express thanks to God for their commitment and the ministries they do in Maryland.

Thanks so much to each of you for your prayers. As has often been said, the success or failure of any work for God is directly related to the prayer behind it.

God Bless Each of You!

Mel Menker

SALT, Inc. "To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map." — William Carey