TRAVEL & HURRICANES

Friends & Family,

A great deal of things are taking place in our part of the world as well as yours. We hope you find our update informative and encouraging. If you have any questions, please email us, crstrong@abwe.cc or message us on Facebook. It's always great to hear from family and friends!


ANOTHER HURRICANE!


Hurricane Eta relief and the arrival of hurricane Iota


It's difficult to imagine but as we are preparing to travel north with relief aid, another hurricane is approaching Central America!


Hurricane Iota is on her way, and our preparation continues for TWO relief trips in response to the devastation of hurricane Eta.


This afternoon field team partner Bruce Edgar will assist in loading a large, yellow "school" bus with supplies and donations here in Managua. Our ABWE field team will be splitting up and heading on two different trips beginning in the early morning hours Monday. One load will head northeast and the other northwest. Chad and field team partner Mark Holsinger will be joining 6 local pastors and a doctor early tomorrow morning in our very loaded van, for a 3 day trip, while field team partner Craig Fisher heads northwest. Chad's group will head out around 2:00am and meet the bus in San Benito around 4:00am. They will travel north together.


ABWE partners with three different association of churches here in Nicaragua and they have been gathering and sorting donations all week. They have received donations from many churches, as well as food from Convoy of Hope, and 500 boxes of long-life milk from the milk company, Centrolac. Praise the Lord for their diligence and for the way God's people have answered the call to offer aid to the people in the northern part of this country. Our team has also added food and medicine to these deliveries thanks to the generous giving from our ministry partners. Our field team will also be assisting in delivering these donations.


Please pray as Iota has the potential of developing into a category 4 storm as she makes landfall in the same area as Eta!


She is forecasted to drop even more rain than Eta did on the already saturated areas and is due to arrive Monday night or early Tuesday. Our field team heading Northeast is planning to be in the area Monday through Wednesday. Plans may need to be adjusted but it's imperative that we at least get the supplies to the churches as far north as we can so that they may then distribute them to the surrounding churches.


**Relief efforts will be ongoing after this storm crosses the northern section of the country. If you would like to give, please note Nicaragua Hurricane Relief.

https://www.abwe.org/work/projects/compassion-central-america




STRONG FAMILY TRAVEL PLANS


We will NOT be coming home until 2021!

Commercial flights have continued to get cancelled month after month here in Nicaragua. There are some charter flights that you can purchase to fly in and out of Miami only, but they are more than what we would like to spend on tickets. With Covid continuing to disrupt life back in our home areas of New York and Pennsylvania we have decided to weather the storm here for another year! We were REALLY looking forward to spending the holidays with our families so this has been a bit sad for us. It doesn't look like the Thanksgiving and Christmas are going to be quite the same this year anyway so we wouldn't have enjoyed a "normal" holiday season. We have really enjoyed our holidays in Central America over the last several years and are looking forward to the blessings that the Lord will have for us. We will finish out this school year with homeschooling and carry on with our normal life no matter what closings Covid brings. We hope, God willing, to be home next fall for several months and we are praying that the virus will have settled down enough to make visiting and being together with those we love possible!

Praises:

* The church construction is coming along. We only lack around $1,500 to complete the project. It is on schedule to be completed in December with a grand opening and baptisms planned. * The kitchen project is complete! Pics soon! * We are so thankful to all of you that were a part of us getting our homeschool books down here to Nicaragua!

* Praise the Lord for the opportunity to work with National Partners and Stateside Ministry Partners to bring hope to the suffering communities in northern Nicaragua.


Prayer Requests:

* Pray for safety during the impending hurricane and for the travel plans this week

* Rachel has been struggling with some significant asthma issues along with coughing . Please pray that this would relent. She has been unable to teach in the ladies group and at church on Sundays.

* Pray for the people of Nicaragua as they suffer the severe effects of these hurricanes. Specifically for safety and for their crops of corn and beans. It is most likely that they will lose most of their crops! We love you,

Serving while waiting,

The Strongs




UPDATE on Immediate Prayer Needs!

Friends & Family,

THANK YOU for your prayers and generous hearts! Read on to see how the Lord is moving in the world!


KITCHEN WALL


The funds have come in for the wall!

THANK you to all that gave toward this immediate need. The funds came in and Chad was ready to go! He has been at the church almost every day this week to help get the construction underway on the kitchen wall and also to break ground on the existing church construction project across the street.


Really, we are so in awe of how the Body of Christ has come alongside this community of believers here. We can’t wait for teams to come down and serve alongside them. Your support for these projects means a great deal to this community and will have a positive impact for years to come here.


The immediate need of shoring up that back wall is underway so that no more damage happens to the existing structure. There is still the issue of part of the kitchen area being on the neighbors property. Chad has accounted for that and when we return he will begin that construction. We have all the funds needed for this part of the project! Praise the Lord!




CHURCH CONSTRUCTION


We lack only $1,825 for this project!

We haven't even had the opportunity to really do a fund raising campaign for this project and almost all the funds have come in for the $20,000 projected cost! Isn't that amazing! There is a construction foreman that will oversee this entire project and the church should be completed by the time we get back. We cannot WAIT to see it when we get back and celebrate with the church families here! What a great day that will be! If you would like to give toward this project please CLICK HERE and be sure to specify that it is for the "Church Construction Project".




FURLOUGH

We believe that this flight next Friday, October 9th, is going to happen and we are moving FULL speed ahead to be ready to go.

A couple details:


* We have a house to rent for $200 a month in New Milford PA. It is fully furnished! We are so grateful for this huge blessing.

* We also have a VAN to use while we are home! We are blown away by the generosity of those that walk alongside us in this journey. God is so amazingly good! It's extremely strange not to have a house, car, printer, washing machine or any of the normal things of our own to use while we are home. Just so weird!

* Several of you have asked for lists of things that we may need while we are there. We are working on this and are grateful for the requests to help that have come in. THANK YOU!


MISSING PACKAGE!

The missing package!

Da, da, daaaaaaaaaa. It's STILL........ wait........................ missing! haha!

So not funny, but at this point it's like seriously?

We have done everything we can to find the missing package. We filed a claim and also a search for missing mail so we will see what happens. It took several hours and a ton of self talk to stay in the game to accomplish this and we are still hopeful that it will turn up.


Unbelievably a dear friend has already ordered and paid for all the school books to replace the ones we lost. They should be there for us when we get home! I have shed so many tears of gratitude this week! We are so truly grateful for your love and care!


Praises:

* So many Lord! SO MANY!

* We are so grateful to serve the Lord alongside all of you.


Prayer Requests:

* Pray that we can get everything in order before we leave.

* We have some things to accomplish at Immigration in regards to extending our residency while we are gone.

* We want to be able to visit family and friends while we are home but are concerned about the complications that Covid may have on our time with loved ones. We love you,

Serving while waiting,

The Strongs




Immediate Prayer Needs!

Dear loved ones,

  • CHURCH BACK WALL & KITCHEN FALLING APART

  • FURLOUGH

  • LOST PACKAGE

We are excited and grateful that we can call out to you as you share in our journey in what the Lord is doing here in Nicaragua! God, has been, is, and WILL BE so very good to us as we seek to become more like His son!

We have endured a great deal since we left the safety, comforts, family and friends of home, and God's faithfulness is abundant. We are able to share so often with the people here how the Body of Christ from ALL over the world walks alongside us AND them, spurring us on so we may spur them along as well! Is God amazing or WHAT?


We need you!

Would you join us in praying and if God leads, jump in and take part in something going on here in Nicaragua!


We have NEWS so read on!


IMMEDIATE NEED!

Church Kitchen and Back Wall at IBCC In Need of Repair Immediately!


Last Sunday was the FIRST TIME in over 5 months that the church kitchen was open to serve the people after the service. Praise the Lord! After church, Pastor Lester showed us how the back side of the church building was falling away.

Unfortunately, the church floor was poured directly on the ground with no footers in place to stabilize the construction. The fire pit, in the kitchen, where they prepare the meals, has cracked and is falling away with the floor. On Sunday, as Pastor Lester's wife, Isabel, was cooking, she stepped in front of the stove and the floor gave way! Praise the Lord she was not injured! This repair is of great urgency as we do not want to see the entire back wall come down with the floor! It was also brought to our attention that about two feet of the existing building are sitting on the neighbor’s property, and he has asked that it be moved.

IBCC is in the process of breaking ground to construct their new church building directly across the road and we will be starting a campaign to raise the last $5,000 needed to complete this nearly $20,000 project. More info to follow shortly. Praise the Lord! The existing church facility will then be used for class rooms. The kitchen will continue to serve the church and the community as they provide one meal a week.

Chad has been to the church everyday this week with one of his construction partners. They have a parts list and a plan. Although we are excited to break ground on the new building, this emergency must be dealt with first to keep the integrity of the existing building intact.


So, as we are beginning the fund-raising campaign to build the new church, we are FIRST seeking God’s provision in this repair. We are not sure now, but will know in a couple days what the cost of this project will be. Most likely in the range of $500 to $1,500.

Would you please join us in praying for both of these projects?

If you would like to partner with IBCC in the construction of the new church or the repair on the existing building please CLICK HERE and specify that the funds are to go to the “Church Construction Account.”

We will be providing more detailed information about the new construction but we wanted to act on this repair immediately before the integrity of the building is affected anymore!

ALSO….. we are hoping to leave on a THREE MONTH furlough in a little over 2 weeks.

Chad wants to be here for this repair. The quicker we can get started, the more likely he will be able to oversee this project.

The Lord is mighty and is at work here in this community! As we walk alongside them together in the Body of Christ, it is a mighty thing to see! Praise the Lord!



FURLOUGH

We had planned to be in the States for a furlough in August but with the state of the world due to the virus, it did not happen. Commercial flights have not flown in or out of Nicaragua since the beginning of the pandemic!

Although there were some expensive charter flights taking place these last couple of months, we decided to wait and see if the commercial flights would resume sometime in October or November. We have purchased tickets to fly into Miami for $116 a person! We didn’t want to risk another flight into NY knowing that flights and connections are cancelled every day. We are renting a vehicle and will make our way north on the ground.

It looks like this flight IS GOING TO HAPPEN! American Airlines is set to resume their service on October 8th. We fly out just after noon on the 9th! This will be such a HUGE deal as we and so many people in this country and from all over the world have waited for commercial service to resume.

BUT, now we are down to the wire in preparing for our departure. There is so much to take care of before we leave. Getting materials to the church so that they can continue their discipleship program, the church repair and all the other logistics of leaving your home for 3 to 4 months. We have not been able to really plan anything whole heartedly because EVERY commercial flight has been cancelled for the last 6 months, sometimes, the morning of the flight! Uhhhhhhg! Poor friends who have struggled through all that!

We have been working along and now it's time to leave! We are so excited to visit with you all and share about how YOU can be a part of what God is doing here.

We could use your prayers as we make our preparations to leave! Please pray that we would be at peace, that everything would come together smoothly and that Chad would be able to get the church repair completed.

MISSING PACKAGE!

The missing package! I can’t believe that we are dealing with this, because it seems just so crazy, but yet here we are! Over TWO weeks ago, my oldest daughter, in PA, mailed my homeschool books for the kids and some vitamins. I paid $55 for the package to arrive in TWO DAYS! Our teammates who left on a charter to get their college kids back to the States were coming back to Nicaragua on a charter flight last week and so graciously agreed to bring a bag back for us. We have been homeschooling and our daughter in PA has all of our material. There have been a ton of pictures, videos, chats and phone calls. It has been a wee bit crazy, BUT, we have been so grateful that the Lord has provided in the ways that He has. I was not sure if we were actually going to be able to fly out or not. It still could be cancelled. The word on the street, or online, haha, was that flights may not resume until the beginning of the year! I saw the opportunity to get the books and my vitamins down here and took it. WELL, Shawna mailed the package to my friends in Ohio, USPS and it was to arrive THREE days before they left. It never came! It STILL has not arrived! I can’t even! It’s been TWO FULL weeks and it was supposed to arrive in two days! Yesterday I was finally able to talk to a live human being and the lady was very kind and helpful. However, oh my goodness, this is a huge however, we have no idea where the package is! Uhhhhhhhg! She says that it looks like it’s stuck in Cincinnati. It was one of the craziest conversations I’ve ever had. She went on and on telling me what a mess the mail system is right now and that packages can be left sitting for weeks! Her words! For real!

Then why did you allow me to pay for expedited shipping? Haha! Oh goodness!

She said I would have to wait for the package to arrive and then send it back. I asked if I had to pay to have it sent back and she said that she didn’t know but that I would NOT get a refund on my money because THEY ARE NOT REFUNDING now because of Covid. I just want my books! I have almost been in tears! Homeschool material is not cheap and I definitely do not want to take the time to have to order things AGAIN or pay for them again! Not to mention that because of Covid many of the homeschooling distributors are back ordering many of their titles. We are almost a quarter into our year and we need to keep going. Would you please pray that this package arrives! We then need to have it sent UPS or FEDEX because after that conversation I’m NOT sending it by mail! This has just been such a very frustrating situation. I was so excited about finally having the kids resources in hand and it just didn’t happen! So many things out of our control. It brings us such comfort that the God of Creation has control over everything! Even this missing package! Working on my patience I am!



Thank you for reading our news! We are so grateful for you and for your prayers! We are excited to see how the Lord will provide for all these needs. Please feel free to email us with questions or to chat! crstrong@abwe.cc To give to the Church Projects today, CLICK HERE.

We love you,

The Strongs




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AUTHOR

Chad & Rachel Strong  ABWE Missionaries to Nicaragua

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