To all the faithful saints and servants from our community of faith here at Mars Hill Church. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We are ever grateful for the dedication to missions found within Mars Hill Church. Every year Mars Hill Church is faithful to send teams locally, domestically, and internationally to further the kingdom of God. One mission we joyful support is in Masatepe, Nicaragua. Last year, we purchased a farm in the rural village with plans to partner with local farmers to make it profitable. In turn, the farm would support a rehabilitation center for men and women who struggle with substance abuse but, changed by the gospel, desire to lead a life that is glorifying to the Lord.
Regretfully, our trip to Masatepe is postponed for now. As you may already know, Nicaragua is experiencing civil unrest. Political uncertainty has thrown the economy into a downward spiral, which will inevitably hit the small business development and the "empowerment model" of our mission the hardest. As a result, our Nicaraguan friends and the One Collective (Iteams) crew have shifted their focus, at least for the time being, from development to relief.
These changes that are necessary, due to the crisis, and remind us of the lessons taught in James 4:13-17. The Lord has called us, in pursuit of his will, to craft plans that we believe will serve and empower a community to live a better quality of life. In fact, as one of the three pillars of Mars Hill Church, authentic community is best served when people gather together for a common goal to glorify Christ. Through this mission, we are able to preach the gospel to that community. However, present circumstances can cause us to place our plans on hold while shifting our focuses to more immediate and pressing needs. It is clear we do not know what tomorrow will bring, recognizing that our lives are but a wisp of smoke here today and gone tomorrow.
Therefore, as a church in partnership with the people of Masatepe, we say, “If the Lord wills.” If the Lord wills, we will shift our plans to bring relief to a struggling community. The focus of Mars Hill Church, in particular, will now be one that sets its sights on helping the farm produce so that it might relieve hunger.
It will take all of our efforts—thoughts, ideas, and prayers—to come together and find ways to help our friends. On Sunday, June 17th, Mars Hill Church will host the short-term team's coordinator for One Collective (Iteams) in Nicaragua. That morning, she will be with us to share some of how the people of Mars Hill Church can pray for and effectively serve Masatepe as we move forward with this new focus on the relief effort there on the farm.
The people of Masatepe need your prayer and support in the coming weeks, months, and maybe years. Please join us as we continue to serve Masatepe and fervently pray for the efforts there moving forward.