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river port for over 70 Miskito and Mayangna
(another indigenous group) villages along the
river. One could say the Miskito People have all
been “reached” by religion. The Moravian and
Catholic churches are prominent in the region,
and there are even “evangelical” churches.
However, the people are left confused about the
Gospel, filled with guilt and the feeling that they
can never be good enough to go to heaven. It is
rare to encounter a Miskito person who does
not believe that salvation depends on works.
As we prepared for the field through deputation
and language school, another prayer was that
God would send a national man with whom
we could partner to reach this new area.
Meanwhile, God was preparing Wilfredo
Mercado, a Miskito man who was reached
through a church started as a result of the
ministry of Bob Dayton, a BIMI missionary.
Together, we planted La Iglesia Bautista de
Waspam in our first year on the field and were
able to install Wilfredo as the national pastor.
Our goal as missionaries is to evangelize and
start strong, autonomous local churches that
will not only continue after we leave but also
self-propagate. We have seen many Miskito
people make professions of faith in Christ and
several of these have obviously grown. Seeing
the biblical model and need for multiplication,
we began to train some of the local believers
in a night Bible institute. The institute is in
its third year and three of our men express a
desire to serve God in a greater way.
This brings us to a common missionary
question, “What now?” The local church
welcomes our involvement, but God has shown
us the dependence that a national church can
develop on a missionary, especially in such a
poor area. We plan to balance our involvement
with the church and the Bible institute and
to work with the church to reach into new
villages. We have made many trips to evangelize in new
areas along the river and inland, but we now
desire to dedicate more time and resources
into this endeavor. Here comes the part where
lost people have not heard the Gospel because
Number 2, 2018