Speaking to His disciples, Jesus said “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
As His disciples today, we are expected to follow that same command. Currently First Church is working with churches and Christian schools in Peru, Nicaragua and Honduras. The mission teams work to build relationships and inspire hope in Jesus Christ.
Short term mission trips during the last two years have allowed more than 20 church members to be actively involved in missions in Puerto Castilla. Construction of two church buildings, Vacation Bible Schools, a women’s conference and visitation to the children’s hospital and men’s prison have all been important parts of the mission trips. Residents’ physical sight has been improved with eyeglasses from the team and their spiritual sight has been changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
For many years, short term ministry teams went to Nicaragua until civil unrest in the country restricted international travel. The church is still actively involved with Pastor Carlos Mayorga by financially supporting a children’s feeding program conducted through his church. In earlier years, First Church worked with other area churches to build 300 houses for residents and a vocational education building whose training programs are operated by the church. Team members have worked with Nicaraguans to build chicken coops and then provided chickens that residents have for selling eggs, as well as nutritional needs. Church members have provided school uniforms and have conducted Vacation Bible School. Showing the Jesus movie and seeing residents respond to Christ’s message of salvation has been a highlight of the trips.
Mission teams have conducted pastors’ training and church leadership conferences. Others have worked at an elementary school, affectionately named “Wilma’s school,’ so called because of Wilma Grandez’s physical work and faith in the building of this school. Church members provide money monthly for Comos children, named for the area where the school is located. On-going contributions pay for tuition, food and school uniforms.