Saturday, April 19, 2014

Nicaragua Update (Raising Support)

Our passports arrived! I can't believe we're really going!!

 Photo credit: Andres Almarza (2012)

When I think about it going throughout my normal day, I worry about leaving my little kids.  I wonder if I made the "right" choice, or if I was just being impulsive.  Mercy is still nursing nearly full time.  Will she be angry with me?  Will she be scared?  Will she be confused about where her momma went?  Why would I want to leave my baby?!

Photo credit: Andres Almarza (2012)

 I'm sure that by July Mercy will be ready to wean, and by the end of July, when we travel, she will be weaned.  When I watch the Nicaragua video, or look at pictures of the smiling faces of kids from the village, my heart warms.  I can trade 12 short days with my babies in order to have the opportunity to love on others (and hopefully even the mommas).  Twelve days are a small sacrifice, and will be a blip of memory for most of my kids, especially Mercy. 

We have sent out a few support letters, and we have quite a few here that we want to personally deliver.  We have not sent out any electronic letters yet (which should be the easiest, right?).  Of course I have a few excuses.  ;)  We're getting there, even if it is slowly.

In the event that we don't manage to contact *you* personally, here is our letter.

Greetings from the Theis household!  This summer Micah and Eden have their first chance to go on a foreign short-term missions trip. The youth group from our church, Calvary Community, will be going to visit our sister church in Managua, Nicaragua.  Mitch and Steph have taken the opportunity to be two of the adult leaders on the trip as well.  We are excited to have this chance to serve God together.

Our team leaves for Managua on July 24 and will return August 5.  Before that trip, we will be participating in Operation St. Cloud.  This is an outreach here in our city, where we will be ministering to the needs of people in St. Cloud.  Serving meals and cleaning at a local homeless shelter are tangible ways of trusting God to prepare us for Nicaragua.  Street evangelism in the downtown area, and hosting a free sports camp in a low income part of town will be two other ways we are trusting God to prepare us for what He would have us to do this summer.  

We will be encouraging and assisting the local church in evangelistic outreach, construction, and VBS.  Mitch is excited to participate in the work God is doing in Nicaragua, and the opportunity to share the reason for the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.  Steph hopes to be able to overcome language barriers and build relationships with other women in Nicaragua as she finds ways to meet their needs.  Micah is anticipating the spiritual growth that takes place on a trip like this, and the gaining of a clearer picture of the place of missions in our lives.  Eden is looking forward to meeting and working with the native people of Nicaragua and assisting with the VBS.  

We have set two goals for our trip this summer.  Our first goal is to find a team of 25 or more people who will commit to be praying for us daily, beginning today.  We believe prayer is vital to our success, both as we prepare, and during the trip itself.  We would be very encouraged to be able to send prayer requests to this team on an ongoing basis.  Our second goal is to form a sending team. 

 As a family, we have experienced the joys and blessings of financially supporting both short and long term missionaries.  We want to invite you to be part of our sending team, and experience that blessing personally.  Each member of our team has a goal of raising $1,800 (this covers airfare, food, lodging, and our building and ministry materials).  If you are interested in being on our prayer team, the sending team, or both, we would love to hear from you. 

Pressing onward,

Mitch, Steph, Micah, and Eden Theis

A chunk of the money we are raising does go to cover our airfare and travel expenses.  But it covers more than that.  Our team will buy the materials needed for the church construction project.  We will be building (with help from locals) the roof for their new church.  We also bring and buy the supplies needed for Vacation Bible School.  The team also looks for opportunities to meet needs of the church in tangible ways.  The last time they went, they were able to purchase a refrigerator for the pastor and his family. 

A long way to go...each box represents $10.

One way we are raising support is simply by asking.  We are asking people to pray for us.  To receive updates and prayer requests, email me at stephtheis at  We are also asking for donations.  Tax-deductible donations can be made by writing a check out to Calvary Community Church (leave the memo line blank!).  Mail it to The Theis Family at 6323 Cape West Ct, St. Cloud, MN 56303.

We are also willing to work to earn some money.  As the end of the school year draws nearer, we will have more availability.  Eden is available for babysitting.  Mitch, Micah, and Eden will all be available for "handyman" jobs.  I am sewing gift bags to sell.  Soon I will have finished 100 bags.  I hope to list many of them for sale in my online store.  Even if you don't want a bag, perhaps you could share with your friends!

(We used these at Christmas time for wrapping presents and they were AMAZING.  I can't say that I'll *never* buy wrapping paper again, but I know it will be an unusual thing if I do.  These are going to be a staple at my house from now on.  Not only are they much faster, they are also much easier to store.  Ok, more on that later.) 

Thank you for reading all the way to the end of this post.  We are grateful for your support and love.  It is exciting to plan and prepare and partner with the body of Christ in order to share the Gospel.

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