Immediate Prayer Needs!

Dear loved ones,




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!


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!


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.


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! To give to the Church Projects today, CLICK HERE.

We love you,

The Strongs

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What? & Why?

A missionary in Nicaragua for nearly 2 decades, Brian Weed, recently shared an encouraging message about the "Why" and the "What" of the missionary journey. There are so many opportunities to hear about the "What".

~ What is it that you need? ~ What are you raising money for? ~ What project are you currently working on? ~ What does the church build cost?

Recently we shared with a supporting church that the Lord was directing us to raise some funds to purchase Bibles. It had become quite apparent that many, even those in the church, did NOT have a Bible! THAT was the WHAT! The question was, what is needed?

We answered how the Lord was leading and the church heard! The church responded and the church GAVE toward the WHAT! The only reason we have the WHAT is because of the WHY! This beautiful lady, Nubia, that received one of these Bibles in our church is the WHY! Thank YOU! Thank you for hearing and serving the Lord as you share the love of our Lord and King with others half way around the world! The Lord is mighty and He is all about the WHY!

"And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-39

ICP Pastors Licensed

(ABWE Instititute of Church Planters)

Congratulations Pastor Lester Cerna, Pastor of IBCC, and his family for the great accomplishment of obtaining his license that allows him to perform funerals, baptisms, weddings and communion.

August 22nd we were honored to be a part of the ceremony to recognize three pastors who have studied to show themselves approved. They are all graduates of the ABWE ICP program and are continuing education through their mother church IB Belen.

2 Timothy 2:15

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

Celebration at Centro ABEM

(Centro ABEM ~ ABWE Ministry Center)

Sunday, August 23rd, was a beautiful day to celebrate Pastor Lester's achievements with the church family of IBCC!

Our team mates, Bruce & Laura Edgar, joined us for the morning service where Bruce gave a wonderful message about caring and loving your pastor.

Many people came forward, including pastor's wife, mother, friends and members of the church, to give thanks for Pastor Lester and to offer him words of encouragement. One of the most precious moments was when his boys came up to tell of how proud they were of their father.

After the service, Pastor Lester performed the first of his baptisms in the pool. Two ladies stood before their church family and showed their commitment to their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ by submitting themselves to the waters of baptism.

It was just a lovely day and we are so proud of Pastor Lester for all of his hard work and grateful to the Lord for allowing us to serve Him in this way!


  • Please pray for the Nicaraguan people as they endure the added hardships of Covid. Specifically pray for rain for the farmers who are suffering because of the drought and for others who have lost jobs and are no longer able to provide for their families.

  • Homeschooling. Here we are again! We were supposed to be in the States from August to December and had planned to homeschool for that time and decided that we would begin that way here for an easier transition when the airlines open up for us to come home. The last 2 years have been filled with transition. As we are trying to settle into our home and into the culture, we are waiting to find our new normal. Well, Covid messed with everyone's "normal"! haha! We will have to wait a little longer to get into a settled mode. Please pray for our family to be obedient in all that we need to do to make this work.

  • Pray for our travel plans and for missionaries around the world who are misplaced and trying to get to where they consider home.

  • Final preparations are coming together to begin the church construction at IBCC. Please pray as we work toward breaking ground!

  • Please pray for us as we prepare for our different Bible studies and discipleship groups.

  • Our support level has dropped due to the effects of Covid. We also needed more support to cover the costs of our kids school. Homeschooling allows us some time to raise that support and also to build our support base back up! The Lord's faithfulness is always evident and we are excited to see who He would have to walk alongside us in the this ministry! Please pray that hearts would be moved to join us in the work going on here.

We are SO grateful for you and your continued encouragement and especially for your prayers. Thank you for reading our newsletter. Please email us at or message us on FB or text or call, 607-348-4824 if you'd like to chat, leave a message, pray or just hear our voices! We have been so blessed to have several friends that have video chatted, called and sent messages in the last several months. Any touch from home is a huge blessing!

We love you,

The Strongs


  • Shawna and Kyle are beginning their first homeschool year and Rachel was blessed to be able to help Shawna with all of her preparations!

  • Wesley and Talitha are wrapping up their busy summer in Alaska with Kingdom Air Corps. They weren't able to host their camps in the Arctic Circle this year, but they had plenty going on at the Ranch to keep them busy! You can check out their latest Newsletter here.

  • Haven and Crystal are doing well with their little family and we are anxious for the opportunity for our family to meet little Haven Jr.

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We are praying for you!

21 days of ... "Stuck at Home!" We mean, staying at home and self quarantining, social distancing and isolating, of course! We are stowed away in our house, just like most of you and have watched from our home here as the world has changed! WOW! One thing that remains the same though, is that beautiful, blue Nicaraguan sky and the HOPE that we have in our Lord Jesus Christ! ~March 15th was the last day that we worshiped outside of our home and this was the view as we drove to church, not having any clue what awaited us in the days and weeks ahead.

~Covid-19 Status. The government leaders here have not established any guidelines for mitigating the spread of Covid-19 and have left the borders open for travel. All the countries around us have closed their borders and have enforced quarantine restrictions. At this time the government has communicated that there have been 6 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country. Most of the private schools here have closed and many businesses and the Catholic Church are advising people to stay home in an effort to stop the spread.

It is a real threat that the medical system here could be quickly overwhelmed if the virus were to begin spreading rapidly. With Managua being the third largest city in Central America, with over 1.3 million people living within 210 square miles, social distancing becomes a real challenge. This beautiful country has been struggling with unemployment and severe poverty that was made worse by the civil unrest that took place just two years ago. As we await the full onslaught of Covid-19, we are praying for the sustainability of the fragile economic and medical systems.

~Our kids have been doing online school through the school here for the last 2 weeks. Even their music teacher has joined in on the on-line adventure! We are so grateful for technology! Right now, the school leadership plans to reevaluate resuming on campus classes on April 30th.

~This week, here in Nicaragua, is Semana Santa, Holy Week, and is pretty much like Spring Break back home. There's no school, until April 14th, businesses are closed and families are vacationing and hosting different activities.

~To evacuate or stay? We receive emails from the US Embassy regularly and they have done a great job at stating the facts and giving us accurate information to base our decisions on. Several weeks ago they were advising US citizens that were in country as tourists, to find a way home as quickly as possible. They recommended those US Citizens that live in Nicaragua, to either evacuate, or be prepared to hunker down for an "indefinite amount of time." We had been praying and seeking counsel about our decision and decided to remain in country. We believe that this is where the Lord wants us!

Prayer Requests:

*Pray for the President and Vice President of Nicaragua to come to know Christ as their Savior, and for them to seek wisdom in leadership from the Word of God

*Pray for safety from the devastating effects that Covid-19 could have on this already very vulnerable people

*Pray for our children as they endure the isolation away from the norms of their lives *Pray for safety and good health for our family and for us to have good counsel and wisdom in making decisions

*Pray as we continue to develop relationships and pursue different ministry opportunities and partnerships


*Praise the Lord for TECHNOLOGY!

*Praise the Lord for all of the friends, family and supporting churches that have reached out to us

*For good health and the opportunity to see this amazingly exciting time in history!

As we have been reading in the book of Leviticus, we have been greatly encouraged, once again, by the Word of God, as we endure the fire.

1st Peter 1:7 says….

“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

Romans 12:1 says….

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship.”

Multiple times in Leviticus 1-9 & 13, as the description on how to make a sacrifice to the Lord is given, it says, Then the priest will burn the entire sacrifice on the altar as a burnt offering. It is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord.”

We are reminded that an offering made by “fire” is a special gift! It is a pleasing aroma to the Lord!

As we set our lives before the Lord as living sacrifices, let us hold fast to his promises and suffer well! Because, in doing so, we are pleasing to the Lord and we gain endurance, allowing us to share the HOPE that we have, most BOLDLY with those around us!

We will continue to pray with you all, for each other and for our world.

All our love,

The Strong Family

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Chad & Rachel Strong  ABWE Missionaries to Nicaragua