Local Nicaraguan Pastors
Many of the evangelical churches in Nicaragua are located in very rural areas, usually small villages. Often, they are not even close to another church. Most Nicaraguan pastors are bi-vocational and have limited access to transportation (other than public buses). In some areas, even the public buses are few.
Being so far apart often leaves them feeling alone, in need of encouragement and refreshment. Many Nicaraguan pastors have expressed that while they give all they have to care for their flock, they wish that they had someone to care for them in much the same way.
They have asked for someone to share with and pray with. Sometimes, they also just wish for a partner to work side by side with them, sharing the burden.
In July of 2015, while visiting Nicaragua and serving with a medical/dental team, Mark & Diane Shade were called to care for the pastors, like Barnabas.
Mark & Diane have a real desire to serve the pastors and their families and partner with them to reach the people of Nicaragua. This is the main task for Mark & Diane, but there are a number of ways that they try to acheive the goal of encouraging and supporting the pastors. Just a few of those ministry efforts are listed below.
Food For The Soul - Food For the Body
A “Manna Pack” is a pre-portioned mixture of rice, soy and other nutrients, vegetables, vitamins and minerals that serves a family of 6. Simply add water and boil! There are a number of specific names or brands of such food packs. These kinds of food packs are distributed all over the world in places where there are hungry people.
Also pictured above is the cover of a copy of John & Romans from The Bible, in Spanish. This scripture book is the spiritual equivalent of a Manna Pack. John & Romans are enough to help get a lost person find salvation and to encourage them to find and join a local church.
Working in partnership with an Oklahoma ministry and an Oklahoma church, Mark and Diane often have a good supply of the Manna Packs and the scripture copies. Mark & Diane will work with the Nicaraguan pastors in their local churches to help distribute these two vital materials.
Jesus often met the physical needs of the lost before meeting their spiritual needs. Imagine - feeding the hungry (physically) and sharing The Gospel with them at the very same time. In line with the goal of encouraging and supporting the pastors, Mark & Diane Shade will work with the pastors to offer both food for today - and salvation for eternity to their fellow Nicaraguans.
For more than 4 years, Mark and Diane have also lead sewing schools through local churches. If a woman can sew, she can help to earn an income for her family. Even better, she may be able to do so from within her home. There are also clothing factories in Nicaragua that hire people to sew clothing. But, the ability to prove solid sewing skills is a requirement.
The sewing schools teach sewing through a 4 year program, with 3 levels of certifcates/diplomas. When finished, the students can not only show a diploma, but can demonstrate a thorough understanding of necessar skills to sew at a professional level.
Moreover, each of the sewing teaches (all Nicaraguan) leads a Bible study during each class. The effectiveness of this effort to share Christ has proven to be gernationally successful. One of the local pastors came to Christ after his wife had accepted Christ through a sewing class. As she shared that decision with her husband, he too found forgiveness.
Additionally, each of the sewing schools has had other students who accepted Christ, heard God's call to repent and often simply learned more about God's Word through the devotional times in sewing classes.
The Shades have supported and helped administer the sewing school program. Together, with great partners who donate cloth (often purchased but never used surplus material), thread, every kind of sewing notinos (straight pins, scissors, zippers, buttons.... everything used in sewing!), the Shades have worked to keep the schools well supplied with the necessary resources. Additionally, the Shades have helped to provide and maintain a supply of good working used sewing machines and have managed the repair of machines when necessary.
But, more importantly, the Shades have worked to encourage and reach the students of the classes, by working with the sewing teachers (all are pastor's wives) in sharing Christ and the Word with the students.
Lastly, the success of the sewing schools can be seen in students that have found work in factories, have started mending/sewing businesses in their homes and who have begun to do custom sewing as well as creating clothing to sell. That is the final proof that the classes are successful - that students do find work - and they do find the Lord!
Many times there are people who will come to a church to see a movie, especially with free popcorn and Coke, who would not normally even consider going to a church. This is the very goal of the movie ministry - to help the pastor draw in those who are not willing to come to a regular church service.
The movies that the Shades show are always Christian based films and all have a clear presentation of the Gospel. They are also shown with Spanish dubbed audio, so that the audience can enjoy the film in their first langauge.
This ministry requires a lot of travel - as the churches are VERY far apart and spread throughout all of Nicaragua, from Costa Rica up to Honduras.