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“…From Whom All Blessings Flow…”

23 November 2020

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him, all creatures here below!
Praise Him all above, ye heavenly hosts!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

Dear Friend,

Man in rural NicaraguaOcotál, Nicaragua: Blessings flowed into this man’s life via that bag.1

Those words from the hymn which we call “the Doxology” actually represent the very last verse of a much longer hymn. It’s a summary, as it were, of Thomas Ken’s greater work Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun.

In the same way, a “summary” of God’s many blessings over the last six weeks is about all I can share in one newsletter. And the Latin American leaders have sent me so many photos that I can't share a tenth of them with you.

Blessing Should Flow

A woman in rural NicaraguaA smile of relief captured by Pastor Zeledón during last month’s distribution
in Ocotál, Nicaragua.2

We all agree that God is the source of all blessings. But before this month, I don’t know if I ever stopped to consider that blessings flow. They flow from the Lord to you and me. But God’s blessings are meant to continue to flow through us to others. And that’s just what I’ve seen as your donations for relief have flowed in and then flowed on to Perú, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

As we approach American Thanksgiving, it’s been a delight to see how the abundance God has given some of you has been a supply to minister to such needs as COVID-19 relief, hurricane-disaster relief, and medical assistance. In terms of the overall need, what we’ve sent is a “drop in the bucket,” I suppose. Never mind! Though we’re praying for more, we’re faithfully doing what we can with what we’ve been given. I prefer to think of it more like the “widow’s mite” in Mark 12:42-43.

Nicaragua: Flowing to Widows and Flood Victims

Women praying in Managua, NicaraguaA pastora prays for a pastor’s widow
in Managua, Nicaragua.3
Women receiving bags of food and household supplies in Managua, Nicaragua21 pastors’ widows received supplies.3
Pastor sharing a sack of groceries with an old man in town.Pastor Nelson Cardenas delivers supplies to an “anciano” in Quilalí.5
A young woman receives food for her family.A young Quilalí mother with food for her family.6
A single wall of a home washed away by the floodingOnly one wall standing of what used to be someone’s home.7

Pastors’ widows in Managua: Speaking of widows, you may recall I shared that of 40 Assemblies of God pastors in Nicaragua, 23 have died from COVID-19 since March — just under 60%! You probably know that our ministry doesn’t fly the flag of any denomination. While I’m abroad, whether in Latin America or Europe, I rejoice to teach and serve both “Pentecostals” and “Baptists,” broadly speaking. So we have sent a gift through the Assemblies of God to the Nicaraguan fund for pastors’ widows. Shown to the right are some of the food/supply distribution photos the folks there sent me. (Special thanks to AG missionary Bonnie Hernandez for intermediating with some of the difficulties of getting the funds through and delivered!)

Hurricane Flooding in Quilalí, Nueva Segovia: If the name of the town of Quilalí is familiar to you, it’s because we’ve shared about past ministry outings there, most notably when we distributed basic Bible-study reference materials (Spanish-language versions of Strong’s Concordance, a Bible dictionary, and Matthew Henry’s Commentary) to 40 pastors in the region two years ago. (See Keep Calm and Hurdle On and Country X – Christmas in July for the story on those books.)

As I write these words, the souls in Quilalí are cleaning up after being slammed by Hurricane Iota, their third major hurricane in five weeks. We sent funds to buy supplies for families who lost everything. And that was before this new storm. Shown are some of the photos taken when Pastores Nelson and Norlan distributed food-and-supply packages. The youth group in their church has mobilized to shovel mud out of the homes of neighbors in town. That their church property, with the “back field” defined by the riverbank, suffered no significant damage is a miracle in itself.

Turgid flood waters in Quilalí, NicaraguaThere’s a road under there somewhere: flooding in Quilalí8
The aftermath of hurricane flooding in Quilalí, NicaraguaA reminder of the flooding at every turn9

Honduras: Flowing to COVID’s Economic Victims

Happy man with a gift of groceriesI’ve met this pastor, who serves a smaller town in Yoro, Honduras.10
Many bags of groceries ready for distributionI have NO idea what “Rrrrr” was supposed to mean, but I DO know that it was no “ERrrror” to buy all those groceries to bless the needy!10

Not so far away in neighboring Honduras, the city of Yoro was probably pounded, too. (I have yet to hear.) But the last time Pastor Javier Cruz could report in, they had distributed grocery bundles to needy neighbors with the funds you provided.

Pastor distributing groceries to a woman in Yoro, HondurasPastor Javier Cruz in Yoro, Honduras,
with one of the recipients.10

Perú: Flowing through “Blessing Bags”

The food stuffs and groceries items included in a blessing bagThe contents of a typical “Blessing Bag”13
A young Christian brother holding a yellow 'blessing bag' This is Bro. D., a Venezuelan who lives in Lima while preparing for missionary service. He's also a first-time father-to-be, so to him this a real Blessing Bag! 14

With the funds entrusted to Pastor Jorge Watanabe in Lima, Perú, he and his church provided what he calls “Blessing Bags.” I’ll let him give his report in his own English:

…the objective was to support people who are infected with Covid and cannot work, vulnerable older adults, families who had lost their family income as a result of this Syndemic, and people with limited economic resources.

What we have bought and are spreading are the following Foods: 5 Kg. Rice, 5 kg of blonde sugar, 1/2 kg of oats, 3 cans of evaporated milk, 1 kg of grains (of two types), 1 bottle of oil , Spaguetti 2 bags of 500 grs, 4 bags of various noodles of 250 grs for soup. In total 15 bags for 15 families with food. [Bear in mind that a Kg./kilogram is 2.2 pounds, so 5 Kg = 11 lbs.]

Some of them are members of the church, but most are people from whom I heard their stories and it was opportune to bear witness to the love of Christ.

Jorge’s “blessing bag” breakdown is typical of what the other pastors have reported — nothing fancy, just the basic food staples. Helping fellow believers? Wonderful! Helping non-believers as a witness: Even better! Other funds have been specifically designated for an expensive, delicate spinal surgery that requires an up-front payment of $10,000.

  • Father and small son in Lima with a yellow blessing bagA happy dad in the Lima church15
  • Lima family with a yellow blessing bagIncluding Lima, nearly 100 families have been blessed through your giving.16

“The Lord’s Hand Is Not Shortened”

A young woman in Quilalí, NicaraguaHere’s a young woman you blessed in Quilalí, Nicaragua.17

Just because we may be sitting around COVID-crimped Thanksgiving tables this week doesn’t mean that God’s blessings are in any way lessened. Thanks to you, we can all be grateful that His blessings are flowing further than any of us would have expected this time last year. As Paul said, “At this present time your abundance being a supply for their need” (2 Corin­thians 8:14). COVID-schmovid: “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save” (Isaiah 59:1)!

I will sign off by saying that there is one more flow of blessing, and this time it’s flowing up to God: We give thanks to every one of you for your care, your prayer support, and your generous giving!

Much love in Jesus,


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  1. Photo courtesy of Pastor Francisco David Zeledón Carrasco
  2. Photo courtesy of Pastor Francisco David Zeledón Carrasco
  3. Photo courtesy of Superintendent Pedro Pablo Rojas.
  4. Photo courtesy of Superintendent Pedro Pablo Rojas.
  5. Photo courtesy of Pastor Norlan Uriel Avila Huete
  6. Photo courtesy of Pastor Norlan Uriel Avila Huete
  7. Photo courtesy of Pastor Norlan Uriel Avila Huete
  8. Photo courtesy of Pastor Norlan Uriel Avila Huete
  9. Photo courtesy of Pastor Norlan Uriel Avila Huete
  10. Photo courtesy of Pastor Juan Javier Cruz Fuentes
  11. Photo courtesy of Pastor Juan Javier Cruz Fuentes
  12. Photo courtesy of Pastor Juan Javier Cruz Fuentes
  13. Photo courtesy of Superintendent Jorge Watanabe
  14. Photo courtesy of Superintendent Jorge Watanabe
  15. Photo courtesy of Superintendent Jorge Watanabe
  16. Photo courtesy of Superintendent Jorge Watanabe
  17. Photo courtesy of Pastor Norlan Uriel Avila Huete
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