For 2018 the Shades will have several special projects to help further their support of the pastors and the churches.
Pastoral Family Retreat - We will be hosting a pastoral family retreat January 3,4 & 5. Our pastors are bi-vocational. But, in this culture, that means that they never really get any kind of a break or family vacation. In fact, in many of them never really can take a time together with family to just stop and relax.
We will be hosting the pastors, their wives the children of each family (under 18) for several days at a local Bible institute. It will be a time of relaxing and taking a break before jumping full force into 2018. Please join us in praye for God to use the this time to give their bodies, hearts and minds a rest. Please pray that afterwards, they will return to their work of being sharing Christs light, love and salvation with those near them.
Food Packet Warehouse - Pending the final approval, the Shades will be building a new warehouse for the special purpsoe of housing up to 3 full shipping containers of food packets. This will allow them to expand the use of food packets as a ministry/outrach tool through the churches. But, it will also allow the usage of the food packets for disaster relief (earthquakes, flooding etc.) and to supply food packets to other ministries who do not have the resources to import or store the food packets. Plans to start construction will be finalized in March, with the hope that construction will be completed in June or July.
Classroom for Sewing and Salon - Working with Missions Door (another worldwide baptist missions agency), the Shades will help to build a classroom in a remote location to help reach students for both salon services and sewing. This will allow the teaching of income earning skills to help change lives. By teaching skills to enable people to provide for themselves, lives can be changed for generations - not just for a day or a week or even a month. Pending final funding, this project is fully funded and ready to begin the construction.
Extra Food Packets - Once the new warehouse is built, filling it will be the next step! To be able to order the new shipments of food packets, the Shades will need to raise the funds to pay the various fees for transportation within the U.S., importation and in-country transportation. This cost is approximately $3,500.00 per container. The food is donated and is free. The only costs are trucking fees in the U.S. and Nicaragua and the fees charged by the government of Nicaragua. Price per packet averages approx. $.08 (8 cents!) per packet - and each packet feeds 5 - 6 people!
Pastor's Clothes Closet - As the pastors are all bi-vocational, they must provide the income for their families (food, utility costs, transportation costs, etc.) while performing their duties as a pastor. This can often leave the pastors and their families with poor supplies of clothing, household wares (pots/pans, utensils, plates/cups/silverware etc. and other basic needs). To help with this great need, Mark & Diane often collect such used goods in the U.S. and then shipped down to Nciaragua with other short term team supplies. Then, after being sorted and organized, the supplies are given to the pastors.