Pastor Mel Menker was introduced to the Miskito people of Nicaragua in April, 2012.  Asked to see a work that had begun by another organization, he agreed to go and see what God was doing in the remote pine savannah rain forest of northeast Nicaragua in the village of Kisalaya.  Spending three days with the Miskito people deeply touched his heart and he felt God opening his spirit to His leading.  It was a turning point in his life.  Having done limited mission work in Sucre, Bolivia, he believed that this location with these people in Nicaragua would become his new missionary “home."

            Mel worked with three other team members – Will Biser, Ken Gearhart and Jason Johnson – and local Miskito men on two additional trips (January 2013 and April 2013) to Kisalaya to install electric wiring to a children’s home constructed and operated by the other organization.  This work only endeared all four team members to the Miskito people.  In sharing handshakes, warm embraces, eating meals together and learning each other’s language enough to get by created a bond that is everlasting.

            While on his first trip, Mel met Mike Jones, a great servant of the Lord working for the other organization, who had already made numerous trips to the area.  To date, Mike has made 15 trips and is affectionately known to the local Miskito people as “Papa Mike.”  Mike and Mel found they shared the same love for the people and their friendship grew as they sought God’s plan for these beautiful people.  Mel organized a larger team to go to Kisalaya in January, 2014, to experience the people and conduct some work projects but, God had a different plan.

            Through a series of events that God planned in advance, the plans of the team were suddenly replaced with God’s plan.  Through a number of unexpected meetings with the people of Kisalaya in multiple settings, it became evident that they were being led to ask our team to help them engage is community development to assist them in overcoming their extreme poverty and to enable them to become everything God intends for them to be.  This was not what we had planned but it was immediately obvious that God had a larger and different plan for us.  Team members were Carrie Andrews, Stephanie and Will Biser, Pastor Jason Buckley, Pastor Ron DeWitt, Ben Friend, Ken Gearhart, Ricky Hamilton, Jason Johnson, John Menker and Mel.  Each night they met in the dining room of Hotelito El Piloto in Waspam, spending hours seeking to discern God’s will for them as it related to God’s call to serve the Miskito people.

            After returning home, the team met with Mike Jones in Oakland, Maryland, and Seeds And Love Together, Inc. was born.  All eleven members of the team agreed to be initial trustees of the new corporation and soon this living creation of God to serve others became a non-profit corporation and immediately began developing a plan to serve the people in Kisalaya in the realm of community development.  The rest is “history.”


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