"Here I am Lord, send me!" was Juan Carlos' response when he was called into ministry in Nicaragua, a few days before his 33rd birthday in 2011. After arriving in Nicaragua in 2009, Juan Carlos has dedicated his life to serve Jesus under the guidance of Rigoberto Reyes. He is currently planting churches and teaching classes in Theological Studies by Extension (ETE), as well as Bible classes for pastors and leaders; and that is how many have come to Christ and become His disciples, motivated to follow the Lord's great commission in Matthew 28:19-20, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." His desire is to plant churches throughout Nicaragua, equipping faithful men who will be capable of teaching others as well.
It was in 1995 in the city of La Ceiba that Juan Carlos heard about God's love and the salvation Jesus offers us through His grace. Through the Christian youth groups from a Baptist church led by Pastor Humberto Del Arca, Juan Carlos received Christ as the Lord and Savior of his life that same year, finding the peace that he had been searching for and feeling motivated to start his biblical studies.
Juan Carlos was born in Nicaragua in 1978, but that same year the country entered a period of widespread violence that led to a civil war. This led his family to move to Honduras seeking a safer environment for them. He lived in several cities in Honduras due to his father's line of work, which sometimes forced them to move from place to place.
In 2001, at age 23, Juan Carlos was living alone in Honduras while studying at the university, since his parents and sisters went to serve the Lord in Nicaragua. But he was sure in his heart that he had been called to serve the Lord.
In 2009 Juan Carlos decided to leave Honduras with his wife and children to live in Nicaragua, driven by the need to share the good news of salvation with those who don't know Jesus.
"I want to dedicate my life to God, and I'm inspired by the testimony of faithful men who have left everything to follow Jesus. My father has been a great example for me," were his words, indicating that his parents had left their home to go to Nicaragua to serve God.
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Natural beauty and national pride abound in the face of challenges
The beauty of Nicaragua rivals its Caribbean neighbors — from the twin volcanic mountains of the Isla de Ometepe, to the white-sand beaches of the Corn Islands, to the inviting surf along its 230-mile Pacific coastline.
A mix of native Indian and Spanish colonial heritage influences the colorful art and distinctive clay pottery available in local markets. Expressive murals depict the country’s unsettled history of civil wars. Music and festivals are plentiful.
Nicaraguans place great value on family, including the extended circle of children, parents, grandparents and godparents. A strong sense of personal dignity is matched by deep national pride.
Manufacturing and agriculture — including coffee and cotton — provide sources of income, yet the country still struggles with unemployment and poverty. Earthquakes and hurricanes have compounded the challenges.
Your participation with Missions Door helps to meet strategic and spiritual needs of communities in Nicaragua through agriculture projects, medical teams, church planting and leadership training.
Since the late 1800s, Nicaragua has developed a professional baseball league as the sport has become the nation's most popular. When no ball is available for an informal game, a grapefruit or rock will do.
Reflecting a shift of Christian faith in Latin America, half of today's Protestants in Nicaragua claim they were raised as Catholics.
Population: 5.9 million, 52% ages 0–24
Major Religions: 59% Catholic, 23% evangelical, 16% unaffiliated
Languages: 95% Spanish, 5% indigenous languages
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