Nicaraguan Staff Update
Rev. Mariano Borge, Nicaragua’s Educate a Child Coordinator has been named UCM’s Country Director for Nicaragua. Mariano has faithfully served UCM in Nicaragua since November 2011. In his new role, he will continue to oversee the Educate a Child program as well as all facets of UCM’s
ministry in Nicaragua. UCM president David Webb said, “Mariano is a truly devoted man of God with the highest integrity. He has proven his single-minded devotion to the goals and objectives of UCM and has given 100% of his time and attention to growing UCM’s ministry in Nicaragua. He has earned this promotion as well as the respect of all associated with UCM”. With the departure of Eric and Wendy Harbinson in August, whom we wish well, two new missionaries have joined UCM. Oscar De Jesus Perez Orlando, a graduate of Global Bible University with a degree in theology, is a new full-time Educate a Child Coordinator. Oscar is also the pastor of Hebron Los Angeles, a community near UCM’s Center for Hope. Oscar’s love for children and his passion to inspire and teach children was evident at UCM’s annual EAC party where he inspired and encouraged about 200 children and youth with his attention-grabbing sermon. Nancy Webb, Vice president of UCM and Educate a Child Coordinator remarked, “We are fortunate to have a Biblically sound young man of faith and integrity who is well familiar with UCM’s Educate a Child program. His energy is contagious and his love for our Lord and the children is obvious.” Joining Oscar in a part-time role in the EAC program is Carlos Borge, son of Mariano. He is attending UNAN University majoring in English. Nancy Webb commented, “Carlos is an intelligent young man who along with Oscar brings many talents to the EAC program.”
President and Co-founder: Rev. David Webb
Vice President and Co-founder: Nancy Webb
UCM Country Director, Nicaragua: Mariano Borge
Director, Educate-a-Child (EAC): Nancy Webb
EAC Child Coordinator, Nicaragua: Oscar Perez Orlando
EAC Assistant: Carlos Borge
Office Managers: Roxanne Tate, Jan Crow
Treasurer: Adam Fisher
Last week in Nicaragua, I was reminded once again why I continue to work while many of my friends have retired. I get to see first hand, the difference gifts from UCM supporters are making in the lives of individuals, families and churches.
Nancy and I get to see and hear from children, moms, dads, grandparents, pastors, church leaders, nursing home residents, inmates and families living in the dump how grateful they are that Christian people are remembering them. In these hard times in Nicaragua they need to know people care.
As I shared my testimony last week with a group of EAC high school students, I tried to put myself in their shoes knowing I really couldn’t. Nancy and I presented to them a “ray of hope”
which is why we say our motto is “providing hope…changing lives.” As unqualified as we often feel to
present the hope Jesus provides, the fact is to the hurting, poor and often the unloved, we actually represent the heart, hands and feet of Jesus. I shared with the EAC youth, they were special to God because out of all the places in the world we could be, God wanted us to be with them to tell them that He loves them and has a plan for their lives.
UCM cannot represent the love of God and help meet the basic needs of individuals, families and churches without your partnership. Every time you pray for UCM and the people we serve, you represent the heart of God. Every time you support the needs of the people we represent, you become the hands and feet of God.
The stories you are about to read are stories of need, hope and perseverance against unimaginable odds. If you put yourself in their shoes you will understand why Nancy and I have never asked for personal support and we never will. Instead, ask God how you can be His hands and feet.
In His Service – David
This is my story….
Augusto Cesar Espinoza Zelaya is a ten-year-old who has been in the EAC program for four years. Augusto is not the typical child in that he lives with his father and his eleven-year-old sister. In many homes of many EAC children, fathers are absent. Augusto’s dad is a mason and with the economy in shambles, there is very little building taking place. Augusto wants to be a policeman or mason when he grows up. He enjoys the EAC Bible study classes and especially the Bible stories at Bethel Church. When I sat down with Augusto, he wanted to know how his sponsors were doing. He said, “I pray for my sponsors every day. I ask the Lord to bless them for helping me. Tell them to thank you and I am so happy.”
Franklin Samuel Centeno Benitez is a 14 year old 10th grader. He is a member of Ebenezer Church, where he accepted Jesus and was baptized in 2016. Franklin said, “I enjoy learning new things about Jesus ever since I realized Jesus died for me and wants me to go to heaven. I enjoy my spiritual training classes.” Franklin lives with his mom and dad and brother, Maurico. His dad works as a security guard and a mason when he can find work. His mom prepares and sells enchiladas and tortillas. Franklin sells the enchiladas, and tortillas as well as beans, cabbage and tomatoes. He says, “The EAC program is very important to me and my family. It has been very helpful since my mom is sick. The cook stove has been a big help.” Franklin hopes to study architecture or medicine. When asked what advice he would give other young people, his response was quick. He said, “I wish everybody would repent and be saved.” He added, “Tell my sponsors thank you so much for helping me and my family”. Franklin’s mom, Reyna wanted to share how grateful she is for the EAC program because it has helped her to educate her sons and prepare them for the future. She said, “ I pray for wisdom from the Lord to support Franklin in his desire to learn English and how I can help my sons with school to prepare them for the future.” Franklin regularly goes by UCM’s Center for Hope to practice his English with the staff.
Luis Reyes is a graduate of UCM’s School of Pastoral Leadership and pastor of Emmanuel Church-an EAC affiliated church. Under Luis’ leadership the Emmanuel Church raised $1,000 to purchase land to build a church in the remote Cacique community. The families of the church had the challenge of purchasing one piece of tin for the roof. Some families provided wood slabs for the walls. Church members and a core group from the Cacique community believed “if we build it God will provide the people.” In one week they built the building to the church they named “Life and Peace”. The core group began having services on Wednesdays and Saturdays. With the help of Emmanuel Church, Ezequiel De Jesus Lopez Altamirano, a 44 year old father of three studying theology in the Bible Institute was called as pastor. For one year a family in the church provided a small room attached to their house for him to live and grow the church. This impoverished church was only able to provide him with an income of $10.00 a month and food they had grown. In one year, the church’s Sunday worship service has grown to approximately 40 adults and 25 children. They no longer have enough chairs, so UCM has promised to provide them with as many chairs as needed and has given Bibles to their members. The Lord led UCM to the Life and Peace church and pastor Ezequiel. The pastor is now receiving assistance from UCM’s newly established Ministerial Assistance Fund. The church needs block to replace the wood slabs, a keyboard, speakers and funds to purchase a lot next door so the church can continue to expand.
Praising My Savior all the Day Long!
Meet Salomon Rodriguez a graduate of UCM’s School of Pastoral Leadership. Salomon and his wife, Leonor are the proud parents of three children. Their oldest daughter is an EAC graduate and their middle child is an EAC sponsored child. Their youngest will be starting school next year and will need a sponsor. Salomon would love to be a full-time pastor so he could help his church to grow more. With 25 committed adults, the church, while very active is not financially able to be his sole source of support. During the weekdays, Leonor gets up at 4:00am and starts cooking, so Salomon can be on the streets early selling food with his food wagon they have built. Tuesday evenings the ladies meet at the church and on Thursday evenings, services for the men are held. Friday evenings, the church makes home visits. Saturdays, the EAC spiritual training takes place, concluding with a service for the youth. On Sundays, morning and evening services are held. From the church’s offerings, they provide a ministry to pregnant women in the city, minister in the nursing home, provide a street service with food for alcoholics plus visit and pray with patients in the hospital. Salomon is so thankful for UCM’s School of Pastoral Leadership and the training he received that challenged him. He shared, “It was the pastor’s school training in evangelism and discipleship that has influenced my ministry so much. The teachings helped me to fully understand the gospel of salvation and how to grow mature believers in the faith.”