Heritage Baptist Mission to Nicaragua

November 1, 2013 in

Hertitage Baptist Church volunteers in Nicaragua attend to health care duties
Hertitage Baptist Church volunteers in Nicaragua attend to health care duties

Nicaragua is considered by many organizations to be the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, after Haiti with an average per capita annual income of $430.

It is to be noted that half the population lives on less than a dollar a day. On the Atlantic Coast, the figure is three quarters of the population.

After an initial exploration trip to Nicaragua in 2010, Heritage Community Church in Fruitland Park began discussions with local Nicaraguan missionaries on how to utilize God’s resources to have the greatest impact in their country.

Last year, one of the church’s teams visited a little village outside the city of Rivas, Nicaragua and placed a water well there because of its lack of access to clean drinking water.

“This year, we head back to another small village around the city of Rivas with a team of 12 adults from Lake and Sumter Counties that will work to put in our 2nd water well. We are again partnering with Living Water International  in this water well project. In addition to bringing clean water to this village, this team will also provide hygiene training for those living in that area,” said Pastor Sidney Brock.

The teams will depart Nov. 8 on the mission.

A mother and daughter came to watch the well-digging.

“It’s a privilege to serve the people of Nicaragua. I had the the opportunity to go last summer and serve there with one of our medical teams and it is exciting to be able to go back. I look forward to not only helping the people with clean water but more importantly sharing my Christian faith with them,” said Steve Whitaker, a member of Leesburg Fire Department The second team will head north, deep into the mountains above La Dalia to a primitive faith-based rehabilitation center called Mahanaim Centro de Rehabilitacion to provide basic medical care.

This center was started six years ago and was built to serve and rehabilitate about 200 people who are addicted to alcohol and drugs from across the country. At the present, there is no government-sponsored facility to do this and no government support for other intensive programs so all the work, feeding, and housing is dependent upon donations. Currently, there are 180 participants most of whom are men with 20 percent of them between ages 15-20 years old. In addition, there are also about 15-20 women as well as a few young boys with their single parents.

Eighty percent of the center graduates are drug free after two years. While serving the center, this team will work alongside of missionaries Rick and Mary Ervin. Mary uses her 30 years of nursing experience to work with remote communities to provide health and nutritional assessments and care while her husband Rick, a veterinarian by trade, is using his skills to train veterinary technicians in veterinary skills and animal husbandry. In addition, this 2nd team will also be traveling further north, deep into the jungles along with Rio Coco River to try and locate an “unengaged people group” called the “SUMU” people.

An “unengaged people group” is a specific culture of people where there is no active church planting strategy in place. Our team will be working alongside Nicaraguan missionaries to find this people group and discover ways that we can serve them with Christ’s love as well as provide needed medical assistance to this remote people. “I have been part of and led medical mission teams before to places like Haiti, but i am looking forward to this trip and getting a chance to share my gift and talents while providing medical assistance to the people of Nicaragua,” said Dr. Marty Schnell of Leesburg Regional Medical Center The cost of the trip is $1,900 per person for both teams. In addition, the cost of purchasing a water well is $5000. If you are interested in providing financial assistance to help the people of Nicaragua, to provide financial support for a person attending this trip, or to provide assistance to putting in a future well, support can be sent to Heritage Community Church, 509 Berckman St., Fruitland Park, Florida 34731 Mark checks Nicaragua mission. Or you can donate give online at 

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