In early October a joint team from the Rock Church in Asheville NC and El Taller del Maestro team members conducted a medical clinic, distributed food baskets, and shared the Gospel in Buenos Aires Nicaragua.
Pastor Jose Luis sharing his vision with the team
The clinic was held at Belen Church located in a remote area outside of El Jicaro. The teams traveled through rugged narrow roads to arrive at the church.
October Health Clinic in Buenos Aries Nicaragua
(The unfinished interior of the church can be seen)
The church in Buenos Aires is small, consisting of 35 members. The families that call the church home are poor with limited resources. The church building itself is a single room structure standing atop an exposed ridge looking out over the mountains.
A View of the remote and rugged area surrounding the Buenos Aires Church. Pastor Jose Luis and his wife travel an hour by motorcycle to reach the church 3 to 4 times each week.
Pastor Jose Luis had previously been a lawyer, but was called by God to pastor full time. Being obedient to God, he quit his job and began pastoring the tiny church in Buenos Aires, living on faith, dependent on the limited resources brought in by the small congregation.
The exterior of the church is exposed to violent wind and rain during storms. This exposure has caused significant structural damage to the building. Due to the small membership and the lack of resources, the church has sat unfinished inside (dirt floors and unfinished walls) and the exterior walls continue to erode due to exposure to the elements. While conducting the clinic, Pastor Jose Luis told the team that he and the church had been praying for some time that God would provide the resources to repair and finish the church. God’s timing is always perfect but sometimes does not unfold in the time frame we often hope. During this time of prayer and calling on the Lord, the Faith of the pastor and the church has been tested. Nearby churches harrased the Belen church discribing it as a “pig sty” and refused to give discarded materials to the struggling church to help with repairs. Through this difficult time the Pastor and the church faithfully stood, believing that God would find a way and provide the resources necessary to complete the church and repair the crumbling walls. Through God’s continued faithfulness and blessing upon the ministry, El Taller del Maestro was able to provide the necessary funds, logistics, and a construction crew to make the necessary repairs.
Sand, Concrete, and supplies were brought onsite over the narrow roads. Crews needed to make multiple trips to bring in everything that was needed. The roads were very difficult for the crews to navigate to access the site. Even the nimble motorcycles had difficulty navigating the slick mud and difficult climbs through the mountains. Everything is unloaded by hand. As projects unfold it is remarkable to see first hand the amount of labor involved. Crews work long days in the hot sun. Though the work is painstakingly completed by hand, projects move forward at surprisingly efficient rates. God has blessed the ministry with hardworking crews that pay attention to the smallest of details.
Within a matter of weeks estimates were made and materials were being delivered to the remote location. The faithfulness of the Pastor and his tiny church was answered generously with materials and a crew to complete the needed repairs on the crumbling walls. The crew also plastered the interior walls, poured a concrete floor inside the church, and built a stage/platform to preach and minister from. 70 Chairs were purchased to seat the current congregation allowing extra seating for special events that will allow the church to accommodate growth for the future.
After structural repairs were made to the exterior walls a final coat of concrete plaster is added to protect the walls from the onslaught of wind and rain that hit the ridge the church sets atop. Crews stayed on site sleeping inside the church throughout the week to limit travel back and forth along the dangerous road approaching the church.
Exactly a year ago, the pastor and the first 2 members of the Belen Church in Buenos Aires, Nicaragua, began praying that God would make a way. The project started with a dream and a vision. The tiny 3 member church had no resources, and relied on Faith to carry them through the upcoming months. A year later their faithful prayers were answered, the work on the church is complete and membership has grown over the last year since the church began.
Through God’s faithfulness, and the faith of the tiny body of believers, a tremendous answer to prayer is now a testimony that will be used to reveal the Glory of God! Making provision available to answer prayers for churches and individuals is central to the work of El Taller del Maestro.
But it can never be forgotten that the most important aspect of ministry is the Exhalation of God, revealing His Glory and His great Love to the World.
It is easy to lose perspective, and focus only on the need and the provision. In the process of waiting on God, we often lose sight of the God who made a way when we were without hope. The specific needs of people and churches are important, but it is the glorification of God that is the purpose of all we do and are called to in ministry.
Throughout scripture we see this purpose. Whenever God moves on behalf of His people it was ultimately for His Glory. Time after time we see the need of someone met, the lame healed the dead raised to life, but what we often miss in the recounting of these events is its ultimate purpose. God loves to heal and restore, but the answer to prayers is not the most important thing, it is the Glorification of God and a deeper revelation of who He is in the lives of individuals and the world as a whole.
It may sound foreign to much of our contemporary understanding of God, but our restoration is for God's Glory not ours.
We are blessed by His grace and the overflow of all He is. That Glory is manifested in our lives through healing, deliverance, redemption and provision. But let us never forget, it is never our purpose but God’s that is being manifested in the world. The incredible aspect of this mystery is that we as believers, who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb are blessed from the unending overflow from the Glory of God. This glory results in all provision no matter how great the need may seem.
We are important to God, so vitally important that He sent His only Son to die in our place. Though our value is measured by the sacrifice of a perfect God made man, even this pales in comparison to the Glory of God Himself.
It is the revelation of His Glory manifested through the hands and feet of simple servants of Christ that we live and are prepared to give our lives for.
To God be the Glory forever and ever Amen!
Pray that God will continue to open the windows of heaven wide over the ministry providing abundant resources for continued outreaches to communities and churches in need.
Pray that the faith of the Buenos Aires church will continue to grow as they continue to trust in the provision of God.
That the message of Grace will be proclaimed to everyone in the region, breaking the chains of legalism that has taken root in many area churches.
Pray that the testimony of God's faithfulness will be proclaimed for His Glory and His Purposes.
Pray that the continued faithfulness and sacrifice of Pastor Jose Luis will be credited to him as Righteousness and that the promises of God will be fully released into his ministry.
For a special anointing of the Holy Spirit to be released in the region, that the believers will live and minister with the boldness spoken of in the early church.
That the church will grow in size as they minister in truth and love to those who live in the region.