The Kellys

The Kellys
Welcome to the Nica Kelly blog! Keep up to date with school "Colegio Cristiano Manto de Gracia" in Nueva Guinea, Nicaragua.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"La Cancha"

After may delays, the machinery was available to start our PE/assembly/basketball/soccer/volleyball court. The city of Nueva Guinea charged us the minimum for equipment use and laying of a claylike substance on which to later build the concrete slab. The photos are a selection showing the sequence of events. Thanks to everyone who has helped finance this. We need just a little bit more to be able to put on the finishing touches.

Merry Christmas to everyone.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Transportation anomalies

How strange the world of transportation. To go to Dallas, you need to drive to Managua, spend the night, fly to Houston, and then catch a flight to Dallas. But to Albuquerque, just get on the bus.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wilmer Amador - the artistic talent

Some of you have met Wilmer - the second child of Rodíver and Victoria. He is the artistic talent / computer expert of the ministry in Nueva Guinea. We are grateful for his talents. He is shown here painting a new mural in one of the first grade rooms and also the outside wall of the school - showing the Manto logo and the Bible verse we use on our documents.

Monday, November 29, 2010


When you want to publicize something, you usually think in terms of email, facebook, web site, mass telephone calls, and even direct mail. However, in Nueva Guinea, we "perifonear" - that is, a pick up truck with loud speakers, drives down the streets of your barrio playing music and making your announcement. For those of you at GOC, I'm giving you your kickoff plan for January.

We picked, for music, a really jazzy "ABC's" song.
Check out our stylish advertising truck

If you want to hear the recorded announcement, listen here...
colegio manto

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving in Nicaragua

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We celebrated our first Thanksgiving in Nueva Guinea doing several things - activities with the shoeshine boys and kids of the barrio centered on giving thanks, and a dinner with the family and other friends, prepared by my wife. They got to taste dressing, cranberry sauce, and even pumpkin pie (made from scratch - Barb found a pumpkin in Managua). It took a little while for them to understand why football was a part of Thanksgiving, and how the Cowboys affect us mentally, and explaining "Black Friday" was a real trip.

Having said all this, we are thankful to our God, as stated in President Washington's first Thanksgiving proclamation, for all His blessings on us and our nation. And as a thankful people, we do choose to follow Him. May God richly bless you all and may you continue to grow in Him.

Celebramos nuestro primer día de Acción de Gracias en Nueva Guinea haciendo varias cosas. En las actividades con los niños lustradores y con los niños del barrio hablamos de dar gracias en todo. Y compartimos una cena con la familia y otros amigos, preparada por mi esposa. Ellos pudieron probar "cranberry sauce", el relleno especial de Bárbara, y un pastel de calabaza (Barb encontró una calabaza en Managua). Nos costó un poco para explicarles por qué el fútbol era una parte de este día, y cómo nos afectan emocionalmente los Cowboys, y finalmente, explicar el "Viernes Negro".

Habiendo dicho todo esto, estamos agradecidos a nuestro Dios. Nuestro primer presidente, George Washington, en declarar este día de Thanksgiving como día nacional, dio gracias a Dios por todas sus bendiciones sobre nosotros y nuestra nación. Que Dios le bendiga a todos y puede seguir creciendo en él.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sewing and Reaping - a perspective

It's important to remember that the biblical principle of sewing and reaping is sure, but it's also a process that takes time. You may plant, and there will be a harvest, but in the time of watering and formation, patience is required. In this time, between planting and seeing the result, our faith is tested, which according to God is a good thing, as untested faith is not biblical faith.
  This is a photo of Josúe, an eight year old kid that will study with us next year. While he is a cute kid, he's never been in school nor in the discipline of school, and while we can see the day where he graduates and even speaks English, our faith is required during the process when we'd like to say - this just isn't working.
  I want to encourage everyone to look at the most difficult things in your lives and remember that you need to plant biblically in these areas and believe God, but don't miss out by being impatient or being frustrated when your faith is tested and things don't seem to be working out.
  A last thought is something I have mentioned before. When a farmer plants a seed, he himself most likely will harvest the fruit. However, he is not the sole beneficiary of what is reaped. His product will primarily be used by others. When we plant spiritually, we can't always expect to be the main beneficiaries of the harvest. Please think how this might apply to your lives.

Friday, November 5, 2010

An election analogy for the church

Observing the mid term election results in the USA, I began to think about the church and its mission. I wanted to share an analogy with you all. Now I know that many of you who read this blog are not conservative politically, and so I want you to understand that this is not so much a political comment, but an attempt to help explain a spiritual principle using the recent elections as an example. Please just see the example and not the politics.

I've known for a long time that the church as it now exists needed to be redefined. I don't think we need something new, the Bible and Jesus are just fine, but we need to be redefined in the sense we need to return to the original mission.

Watching the recent wins by the Republicans, I have noticed the following:

1. The "new" Republicans, that is the real conservatives, may seem new, but in
fact they are old in the sense they want to return to the constitution and limited government, the way things were designed - for example Marco Rubio.

2. The "old" Republicans are those who want to get along and keep things the same and in fact, don't hold real conservative values - for example, Trent Lott and Colin Powell.

3. The real success of the conservatives will be the old guys with vision helping the new guys with vision go forward, and at the same time, getting past the old guys that want things to be the same.

Now, applying this to God's work.

1. There are always "old Republicans" in the church - those who want to have things nice and will go along to get along. These are pastors, missionaries, and Christians that want to have contented Christian lives, but at no cost (Jesus defines His follower as someone who has to pay a cost). The new "radical" guys bother them, although biblically, what is seen as a "radical Christian" today is no more than a normal Christian in the Bible. What should be the normal Christian life is unfortunately seen today as unbalanced.

2. There are also the "new conservatives" in the church - not doing something new, but aggressively returning to our real roots and mission. These are the "biblical constitutionalists" and unfortunately, will be opposed by the old line Christians, which are similar to the Pharisees of Jesus' day.

What does this mean (to me anyway)?

I think God is calling the church to a radical return to our roots and mission. For you young people, you need to realize that, while the Word of God doesn't change, the way we do it will need to be redefined continually or we fall into the trap of thinking that our style is sacred. For you young folks, you can count on me as an old guy to support you, as long as you keep to the Word and the biblical mission.

Thank God for the new thinkers and the young Christian leaders with such passion - one of my favorites is Francis Chan. If you haven't read "Crazy Love", you need to do so.

May God richly bless you in these truly exciting times for the Christian church.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Next week, we begin the pre registration of kids for the school year starting in January, 2011. The pre registration is in 2 stages - the first week is for kids of the barrio (see the picture of our immediate area), and the second week for kids outside of our immediate area. We are excited but also aware of the challenges.

There is a good team in place for next year - principal and teachers, but they still need to be committed to personal growth and excellence in their work. We appreciate everyone's continued support and prayers. We also appreciate those who are wanting to bring construction and ministry groups to work here.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Church Ministries International

I wanted to take a break today from things in Nicaragua to share with you about another ministry that we are involved with - Church Ministries International. I, Bob, have been on the board of directors for 3 years and in doing so, have seen more of the different ways that God works in His kingdom. CMI is not anything like what we do in Nueva Guinea, but at the same time it fills a vital need in kingdom work in Latin America. Pictured here is the first services in the unfinished Cumbayá church.

CMI was birthed from LeTourneau Ministries with the vision to help establish solid churches in middle class neighborhoods of the capital cities in Latin America. CMI would raise funds to finance a good portion of the original buildings and land purchases, and as the church planted their daughter churches, less and less money was given by CMI. The idea is that over time, with a strong base in the capital city, the churches can reach the nation and cover all of the financial requirements. The model has been wildly successful in Perú, and now the emphasis is in Ecuador.

In Quito, the church "El Batán" was planted, followed by "La Republica", "Cumbayá" (sorry folks, that is really the name of the barrio), and just recently, a new church en "El Puembo" was dedicated. There is also a work in "Valle de los Chillos" and a new one coming on board en "Condado". The Ecuadorians are on fire to evangelize and plant new churches.

I'm describing this in my blog just to let you know another of the awesome things God is doing. We are completely dedicated to the task God has given us in Nueva Guinea, but we are also priveledged to be able to support CMI. For more information, visit their website:

May God continue to richly bless you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Language Learning

As we teach the kids in the home English, we have flashbacks to our first days in language school - we wanted to learn, but we had no idea how much patience and work was required. I've heard so many people tell me that they want to learn Spanish, but the truth is, it's a process of time and you can't give up.

One of the things they did at language school was to have us memorize things and then tell them to Spanish speaking people (often to our embarrasment). I'm including a line that Eduardo learned in English for all you "Princess Bride" fans Eduardo

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thoughts on marriage

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Today, more than ever, marriage is under attack. As a Christian, it is obvious to me that weak marriages make weak families and ultimately, weak societies that not only lose a proper perspective of life, but this bad perspective becomes generational.

This week, however, as we are evaluating our first months of kindergarten and as we made our final decisions on hiring our first teachers and principal, I was reminded of another reason why it's important to have strong marriages - to accomplish our purposes in the kingdom.

I am very aware of what I think God has called me to do, especially in this new phase of our lives and ministry in Nueva Guinea, but I am continually aware of my shortcomings and how we need the giftings of other people. In this gifting mix, my wife stands out as the exact gift God has given to me and the ministry. She never ceases to amaze me with insights and plain old hard work and persistence. We see how if our marriage is strong, not only are we blessed, but the kingdom work advances. When our marriage is weak, we may survive, but the kingdom work does not thrive.

A short exhortation to all you husbands and wives. Go ahead and live, discuss, disagree, but go forward respecting the gift that God has given you, not only for your benefit ant that of your children, but for the kingdom. May God richly bless you in all ways.

Hoy día, más que nunca, el matrimonio está siendo atacado. Como cristiano, a mi me es obvio que un matrimonio débil produce una familia débil y a fin de cuentas, una sociedad débil que no solamente pierde la perspectiva de Dios, pero llega a ser algo generacional que se pasa de una generación a otra.

Esta semana, pues que tuvimos que evaluar los primeros meses del pre-escolar y tomar las decisiones sobre los maestros y director que vamos a contratar, Dios me recordó de otra razón por la cual el matrimonio fuerte es importante – para poder lograr nuestros propósitos en el reino de Dios.

Estoy muy consciente de lo que Dios me ha llamado a hacer, especialmente en esta etapa nueva de nuestras vidas y ministerio en Nueva Guinea, pero en esto estoy continuamente consciente de mis fallas y debilidades y como necesito los dones de otras personas. Dios nos ha dado un equipo excelente con el cual trabajar, pero entre ellos sobresale mi esposa, porque ella es la “ayuda idónea”, o sea, no solamente alguien con talento, sino la persona exacta que necesito. Veo que cuando nuestro matrimonio es fuerte, no solamente somos bendecidos y vivimos en paz, sino también, la obra del reino avanza. Cuando nuestro matrimonio es débil, puede ser que sobrevivamos, pero la obra del reino no florece.

Una breve exhortación a ustedes – esposos. Vivan sus vidas, platiquen, aún estén en desacuerdo cuando es necesario, pero que siempre sigan adelante respetando el don que Dios les ha dado, no solamente para su propio beneficio, sino para el del reino de Dios. Que Dios les bendiga ricamente en todo.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

El Mes de la Patria

On September 15th, all the Central American countries celebrate their independence from Spain in 1821. Nicaragua was part of a Central American union headquartered in Guatemala that included from Costa Rica to Chiapas in México.

All the schools in Nicaragua celebrate both this date and the 14th where Nicaragua defeated William Walker in the battle of San Jacinto (I told them of our Texan San Jacinto).

In each classroom of each school, the custom is to make a mural with patriotic pictures and even national symbols (tree, bird, etc.).

In the middle of political problems, Nicaraguans are very patriotic - something that all people of all nations need to be. Even when we don't like what our leaders do, we are patriots, and we pray for our nation and work for it's benefit.

Monday, August 16, 2010

It can't be....

Hard to believe that our youngest (of four) has graduated from college - and we being so young. Anyway, we are proud of our son Jonathan and wish him well as he starts grad school.

We are enjoying our visit to the states. We shared in Life Journey Church yesterday. This is a very cool church if you are looking for a church in the Prosper area.

Later this week we head off to New Mexico, then back to Texas, and then back to Nueva Guinea. We will be sharing at Manto de Gracia (Grace Outreach) in Plano on Sunday the 29th. If you need to contact us, my email is

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Going to the USA

Sigue una versión en español...

Barb and I will be in the USA for the last half of August - the main reason, besides visiting family and friends in Texas and New Mexico, is to see our son Jonathan graduate from UNT.

We have a fairly tight schedule, but if you want to contact us, the best way is by email

Sunday morning, August 15th, we will be ministering in Life Journey Church (Jim and Vicki Lugar) in Prosper, TX, at 10:30 am. For more information, visit their website Life Journey Church. Sunday morning, August 29th, we will be at Manto de Gracia church in Plano. For more information see the Grace Outreach Center website.

Remember, as in all of the kingdom of God, there are many opportunities in Nueva Guinea. We especially have construction projects. If you have a church group interested in helping, please contact me.

For support information, visit the Zoya Website

Don't forget the importance of daily Bible in your life. A great option is to download the daily podcast of the Word, and in a year you will hear the entire Bible. Check it out if you haven't already Daily Audio Bible

Bárbara y yo estaremos en los EUA en la segunda parte de Agosto - la razón principal, además de visitar a nuestra familia y a nuestros amigos tanto en Texas como en New México, es ver a nuestro hijo Jonathan graduarse de UNT.

Estamos bastante ocupados, pero si tú quieres contactarnos, la mejor manera es por email -

El domingo, 15 de Agosto, estaremos ministrando en Life Journey Church (Jim and Vicki Lugar) in Prosper, TX, a las 10:30 de la mañana. Para mayor información, visita su página web Life Journey Church. El domingo, 29 de Agosto, a las 10:30 am, estaremos en Manto de Gracia en Plano. Para mayor información, habla con Sandra Sneed en la oficina.

Recuerden, como en todo el reino de Dios, hay muchas oportunidades en Nueva Guinea. Si tienes un grupo de una iglesia interesado en venir, que me avises.

Para mayo información en como ayudar en forma financiera, visita la página web de Zoya Ministries

No se les olvide la importancia de la Biblia en su vida. Una buena opción es bajar el audio de la Biblia diaria. Así, en un año, tú habrás escuchado toda la Biblia. Visita La Biblia Diaria y escoge Español.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Today is the day

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2 Corinthians 6:2 says “For He says:’ In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation’ ”

A short meditation today to encourage all of us to take advantage of the day. You don’t always have to do something that people consider great, but we do need to make steps forward in our walk with God and our service in the kingdom. This week, as we were looking at the possible future construction in the Christian school, it was easy to become overwhelmed, especially since as we live by faith, we don’t always have the resources in our hand right now. But then I remembered when we first thought about the school and watched the economy in the USA go down, how God accomplished the first phase. I also remember as we dug the first holes, it was hard to see the finished product. It is the same in the lives of each of us – it may be hard to see the final product, but it is not hard to stick the shovel in the ground and do something. I encourage you all to take steps today forward – do something to draw closer to God. May God richly bless you in every way.

A blast from the past for those interested – a teaching from 2005 about not waiting
Our friend Pharaoh
Sorry about the poor quality, but it is what it is.

Speaking of steps, I ask you all to pray for our friends and missionaries, Jon and Robin Perrin, who are making faith steps to start a new church in a very unchurched part of Germany. We believe that it is the “acceptable time” for Freiburg. You can visit Frieburg church plant for more information.

2 Corintios 6:2 dice “Porque dice: En tiempo aceptable te he oído, y en día de salvación te he socorrido. He aquí ahora el tiempo aceptable; he aquí ahora el día de salvación’ ”

Una breve meditación hoy para animarnos a todos a aprovechar de cada día. Tú no siempre tienes que hacer algo que se considera grande, sin embargo, siempre te toca dar pasos hacia delante en tu caminar con Dios y en tu servicio en su reino. Esta semana, cuando estábamos considerando una futura construcción en el colegio, me di cuenta de que tan fácil sería desesperarnos, especialmente porque vivimos por fe y no siempre tenemos en mano los recursos necesarios. Pero, me acordé del día cuando tomamos la decisión de construir y a la misma vez mirar a la economía de los EUA ir para abajo. Pero, en todo, Dios logró el primer paso. También, me acuerdo de cuando metimos la primera pala, como era difícil ver la posibilidad de un edificio terminado, pero, ya está. Es lo mismo en las vidas de cada uno de nosotros – puede ser difícil ver todo lo que Dios quiere hacer en nuestras vidas, pero no es tan difícil meter la pala y hacer algo. Les animo a todos dar pasos de crecimiento hoy para crecer en Él. Que Dios les bendiga ricamente en todo.

Estoy incluyendo un link a un sermón del 2005 hablando de este tema. Aunque creo que lo prediqué en español, sólo tengo la grabación en inglés. So Sorry.

Nuestro amigo el faraón

Hablando de pasos, pido sus oraciones por nuestros misioneros y amigos, Jon y Robin Perrin, quienes están dando pasos de fe iniciando una congregación en un área difícil en Alemania. Creemos que es el “tiempo aceptable” para Frieburg. Puede visitar Frieburg church plant para mayor información.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Our eventful front yard

This cow is not dead, just tired of walking
tired cow video

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The bridge

As we finally kicked off our pre-kinder (to finish this school year before starting next February with kinder, 1st grade, and 2nd grades), we realized that kids coming from the local barrio had to cross a creek that can be somewhat formidable when it rains hard. With Nicaraguan ingenuity, two trees close to the spot were cut down, then moved together, and then we nailed planks left over from the wood that was cut for the school ceilings. Pretty good engineering for a days work. The pics give a quick history, and if you want to see a partial video, link to tree cutting.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Tank

How many Nicaraguan Aggies does it take to raise a water tank? Check out the video, but only if your server can download quite a large file:
Raising the tank

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Psalm 13

Today's reading from the Daily Audio Bible was Psalm 13. I was remembering when I first looked at that Psalm seriously and how it ministered to me. I'm linking a teaching I did in 2005 from Psalm 13 - a blast from the past How Long Oh Lord

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Puestos los ojos en Cristo

Sorry Gringos, I'm using this post to share a reflection with my Spanish speaking friends.

Estimados, tuve unos pensamientos que quería compartir - los pueden escuchar en
Puestos los ojos

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Living in Community

2010, June 30

As many of you know, we live in a small home that is on a larger property where the family Amador Barrera lives – family of mom, dad, 5 kids, and 8 foster children. Behind the “large house” where they live is where we are constructing the school and hopefully, one day, a guest home. The long term plan is for us to live in the guest home and convert the home where we now live into the permanent medical clinic. It’s well situated for a clinic, being on the main street.

We, the Kellys, have 4 kids and both come from fairly large families. However, this is our first real experience of living in community – not communal living, as we have our own home, but definitely living in community. We often share meals, watch soccer together, and the kids feel comfortable with being with us and coming to our home, go places together, and pray together.

I was concerned about entering into this at first, not only because of my being somewhat of a loner, but also because of the cultural differences, one of them being that Americans value their personal space more than most. We are very fortunate that the family we live with is very flexible and relational and at the same time understanding of one’s own space.

I'm not saying that community living is necessary for everyone, but as usual, I am learning a few lessons from our experience and wanted to share them with y'all:
1. Life is meant to be lived with others. Christianity is not an activity we do
    with others twice a week but a life that we live daily.
2. When I live in community, God has a chance to form me easier. This is why
    some people only go to a church until people get to know them, then “The
    Lord moves them on”. This is also why small home groups are definitely
    important in a Christian’s development. Chuck Missler claims that people
    who participate whole heartedly in home groups always mature
    faster in the Lord.
3. The natural human tendency is to run when the Lord, through relations with
    others, reveals something ugly in us, but as we learn to run towards God and
    not from Him, and let life,situations, and relationships form us, we are
    better prepared for our purposes in life. One of my favorite verses is in
    Jeremiah where God told the Israelites “And they have turned to Me the
    back, and not the face; though I taught them, rising up early and teaching
    them, yet they have not listened to receive instruction”.

While I am far from the mature Christian that God wants, I want to whole-heartedly throw myself in the process. I encourage each of you to follow God, enter into relationship with others, and grow. Although one becomes a Christian by himself, asking Jesus into his/her heart, he only grows in relationship to others. May God richly bless you in your process.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Small blessings....

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As most of you know, Barb and I are city people and this is our first time to really live in a rural setting. There’s lots to get used to – we know this because going to Managua seems like going to the promised land. But with all this, there are so many cool things about being in a small town. One is that it’s definitely safer and easier to get to know people. Today, we experienced another benefit – fresh, and I mean fresh, meat. We went to the market at 6am to buy some meat to make a special meal for the family and we got cuts from a cow slaughtered at 2am. Doesn’t get any better than that. See the pic of our local meat cutter – Doña Magda.

May God richly bless you today.

Como la mayoría de ustedes saben, Bárbara y yo somos productos de la ciudad y aquí en Nueva Guinea es la primera vez para vivir en un lugar rural. Tenemos que acostumbrarnos a muchas cosas nuevas – esto sabemos porque cuando vamos a Managua, es como ir a la tierra prometida. Con todo esto, hay muchas bendiciones en un lugar rural. Uno es que la vida es más segura y es más fácil conocer a la gente. Hoy experimentamos una de las bendiciones especiales. Fuimos al mercado a las 6am para comprar carne para hacer una comida especial y compramos carne de una vaca recién matada – a las 2am. No hay carne más fresca que esta. Vean la foto de Doña Magda – la carnicera del mercado.

Que Dios les bendiga ricamente hoy.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thoughts on the Rhythm of Life

A Spanish version follows:
Una versión en español sigue:

On thing that I have learned about God's kingdom is that there is a flow, and if you get into that flow, you not only are more at rest, but you are in a position to really do something.
Matt Chandler talks about the rhythm of life, how God designed it, how man corrupts it, and how to really live in it.

We made a trip to Managua Thursday (we live about 5 hours away) with the following plan: Thursday afternoon, buy things for the school, for the vacation Bible school, the upcoming medical groups, and then drop the truck off Friday morning for repairs while we kept our appointment with the Ministry of Education, pick up the car at noon, but a 5,000 liter water tank, put it in the truck and go home - a real gringo plan.

Well, Thursday afternoon, after arriving in Managua, we were told that the education minister could not meet with us and she'll let us know when it it is convenient for her. We did our heavy duty shopping, but the Friday morning repairs went into Saturday, and we barely made it to the tank store before closing (see pic - glad we got a truck not a van). My Nicaraguan friend just said "Welcome back to Nicaragua". There is a flow here.

Now, I'm not justifying anything, but there is a spiritual lesson - the kingdom of God too has a flow, and it's not always what we think it should be or would like it to be. In John 3, Jesus explains that the ways of the Spirit and those led by the Spirit are very distinct and even unpredictable.

I'm not trying to make a big deal out of an inconvenience in our lives, but seeing the lesson and thinking on Matt Chandler's teachings (check it out on iTunes), I wanted to take this moment to encourage everyone to be more aware of the rhythm of the Spirit than of your own desires. This will help you in your families, your marriages, your jobs, etc. When there is no good option that I can see in one of these areas, I need to look to God to see what His way is. This is called walking in the Spirit.

May God richly bless you in all ways. I ask your prayers for our good friends John and Karen Bull, who have just returned from the mission field to live in Texas. They are quality people who will be entering into the next phase of their lives and ministries.

Una cosa que he aprendido sobre el reino de Dios es que hay un fluir, y si uno logra entrar en el fluir, no solamente puede descansar, sino también, está en mejores condiciones para lograr cosas en el reino. Matt Chandler habla de los "ritmos de la vida", como Dios los diseña, como el hombre los corrompe, y como aprender vivir en ellos.

Hicimos un viaje a Managua el Jueves pasado (Vivimos como 5 horas de la capital) con el siguiente plan: El jueves, por la tarde, comprar cosas para la escuela, para la escuela de vacaciones, para el grupo médico que viene. El viernes, dejar la camionetta con el mecánico en la mañana (me dijo que todo se hace en medio día), ir a una reunión con el ministerio de educación, recoger la camionetta al medio día, comprar un tanque de 5,000 litros, montarlo en la camioneta con todas las cosas que compramos y regresar a Nueva Guinea - un plan netamente gringo.

Bueno, el jueves por la tarde, después de llegar a Managua, nos informaron que la ministra no pudo reunirse con nosotros, pero que nos avisaría cuando le era conveniente. Bueno, por lo menos pudiomos hacer el resto. El trabajo mecánico, de medio día, duró un día y medio y apenas llegamos a tiempo para comprar el tanque, que tuvimos que recoger en otro pueblo (ver la foto - bueno que compramos una camioneta y no un van). Mi amigo nicaragúense sólo me dijo "Bienvenido a Nicaragua". Hay un fluir aquí y no es el mío.

Bueno, no estoy justificando nada ni a nadie, sin embargo, hay una lección espiritual - el reino de Dios también tiene un fluir y casi nunca es lo que pensamos que debe ser ni como nos gustaría que fuera. En Juan 3, Jesús explica que los caminos del Espíritu y los que lo siguen son distintos y a veces no predecibles.

No estoy tratando de hacer una gran cosa de una inconveniencia en nuestras vidas, más bien para aprovechar de la experiencia para ver una lección espiritual. Quiero animarlos a todos estar más conscientes del ritmo del espíritu que de sus propios deseos. Esta actitud les ayuda en sus matrimonios, sus familias, sus trabajos, etc. Cuando no hay una opción buena, me toca entrar en el fluir del espíritu. Esto se llama "Caminar en el espíritu".

Que Dios les bendiga ricamente en todo. Pido sus oraciones por mis amigos John y Karen Bull quienes acaban de regresar del campo misionero para vivir en Texas. Ellos son personas de calidad y van a estar entrando en la próxima etapa de sus vidas.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thoughts about serving

Being back in Nicaragua and dealing with authorities, government and others, I have begin to think again about what it means to be a Christian, especially a leader, and serve those that you are leading.

The natural tendency of the human with power is to wield it for their own benefit. In the beginning of the USA, elected officials were referred to as public servants, those with a fiduciary responsibility to look after the well being of their constituents instead of their own. But with time, this has definitely been lost and we are where we are.

In the daily Bible reading, I read the story of Naboth and Ahab and how Ahab became upset that Naboth would not sell him his vineyard. As he was pouting on his bed, his queen, Jezabel, came in and basically asked him "Aren't you king?" - in other words, "you are king and can do whatever you want". This is the attitude that many leaders tend to develop, and as I mentioned earlier, it is the natural tendency of the flesh. For this reason, the command of Jesus is of utmost importance - we must DAILY die to selves, take up our cross, and follow Him. If we slip from this routine, we will follow the tendency of all flesh.

On the home front, we have purchased a used (they say here "semi new") Mazda pickup truck - already had to use the 4 wheel drive. It has a few things wrong that we will be correcting, but the motor is solid as is the transmission.

May God richly bless you this day.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Permission Granted to Start School

As most of you know, we've been working through getting permission to start the school in Nueva Guinea. The current government has made establishing new private schools very different, but God's grace and timing seemed to be with the project.

The key person turned out to be the regional education delegate of El Rama. Even though there had been some controversy about the new school, she agreed to meet us in her home, and on Sunday, May 23rd, several of us, including Mark Miller from our church in Plano went to see her. The visit went well and the following Wednesday she came to the site to see the school, which was a bit unusual.

Today, Friday, June 4th, she called from Managua giving us the green light. We just have to do the formal paperwork with the Ministry of Education. Needless to say, everyone here is thrilled.

Thanks to all for your support and prayers.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Finally in Nicaragua

We made it to Nicaragua on Wednesday, May 19th. Mark Miller came with us and was a great help.

We spent the first couple of days in Managua, starting the search for a car. Prices, of course, are high, but we're not quite sure what type of vehicle would be the most useful. I originally wanted a van to be able to haul folks, but it would be somewhat impractical where we will live.

We made a quick trip to Nueva Guinea, and then by the grace of God, we were able to meet the regional delegate of the Ministry of Education (Sunday, about an hour from Nueva Guinea). With the government returning to it's socialist roots, it has become complicated to open a new Christian school. But we think she understands that it would be a help to the community, and although she is in a bureaucratic position, she is an educator at heart. Please pray for the final approval.

Will post more next week as we return from Managua to Nueva Guinea.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Getting ready for kindergarten

In April, 2010, a small group from Texas painted the inside of the 1st school building and added murals to the pre-school walls. We are hoping to start the pre-school classes this July with Ana Cecilia Amador as the teacher.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nueva Guinea Project

While we believe that the work of evangelism is of utmost importance, we also know that making disciples is a process, and must be maintained from generation to generation. To be able to continue impacting a community, city, or nation, the kingdom of God must be established in every area, not just the churches. Part of Central American church history shows that while the Christians were arguing over rules and regulations, the socialists were taking over the education system.

In our judgment, a good education with a Christian worldview is the best method to make a permanent and continual change in the atmosphere of a community and even a nation. This includes businessmen, farmers and ranchers, laborers, and professionals.

Nueva Guinea

Nueva Guinea is an agricultural hub in what is called the RAAS - Spanish acronym for the "South Atlantic Autonomous Region" of Nicaragua. Nicaragua is divided up into 15 "departments" and 2 autonomous regions, which are on the Atlantic side of the country. The reason for these autonomous regions is that the eastern coast is quite distinct from the rest of the country. Having said this, Nueva Guinea, while part of the eastern region, is more western Nicaraguan than coastal, and there is talk of making it a separate department some day, which would be called "Zelaya Central."

Nueva Guinea was heavily affected by the Nicaraguan civil war in the 1980s, and many of its residents fled to Costa Rica. Since the elections in 1990, FUNAD (Spanish acronym for "Nicaraguan Foundation for Aid and Development") has been involved with making small business loans and helping children without families, and will be the Nicaraguan covering for the new school. FUNAD is currently overseeing a grade school in another rural community called "San Juan de la Concepción," in the department of Masaya and has developed a good model. Our Manto de Gracia sister church in Managua has done many projects in conjunction with FUNAD.

FUNAD has a family placed in Nueva Guinea (Rodíver & Victoria Amador). They have run a home for children since the mid 90s with more than 50 children having been in their care at some time or another, in addition to 5 of their own. They are very quality people that have earned the respect of the community.

Colegio Cristiano Manto de Gracia
Phase 1 of the construction of the new school has been completed. While we have had the approval of local and regional education authorities, the centralized government has been causing delays. We plan to initiate our pre-school this year, and add a grade every following year until we have all 11 grades (11th grade being the last year of high school in Nicaragua).
The school's vision has the following distinctions:
  1. In addition to Christian education classes, we want to instill a Christian
    world view, as opposed to the socialist one that most Nicaraguans, even Christians have.
  2. We want our students to be fully bi-lingual by the time they graduate high school.
  3. We want to have a quality music program, with every student learning to play an instrument.
  4. We want to have competitive sports teams.
  5. We want to have the most quality science program possible.
While these may seem basic for American schools, they are significant goals for
Nicaragua, especially in this rural community.

Clínica Médica Manto de Gracia
The second part of the vision for the community of Nueva Guinea is the establishment of a medical clinic for the poor of the community.

In the summer of 2007, Zoya ministries sponsored a week long clinic at the FUNAD home, and it was then we realized that a permanent place was needed to be able to give longer term care to the needy.

The clinic will have the following distinctions:
  1. Give medical attention to those needing it along with the necessary medicine. In Nicaragua, people seen by doctors or even people in hospitals, often can't find or afford necessary medicines.
  2. Give consistent follow up.
  3. Include health education and basic information about life styles, foods, etc.


Initial construction costs for phase one of the school (a large building with 4 classrooms, a separate building with restrooms, electricity, plumbing and a septic tank) have been covered by donations from individual donors. Future projects include the second building, a courtyard/basketball court, and a building that will include the administration and a computer lab, with a projected cost of about $150,000. We also are considering building a small hospitality house for construction and ministry groups that will work with us - groups both from the USA and other Latin American countries.

School operation

Since we want to give a quality education and Nueva Guinea is a poor area, we will need financial support for the school's operation. We are in the process of developing a sponsorship program, but at this time, will not have a system of linking a sponsor to a child. While this system can work, there are many complications. We will probably look for teacher sponsors, and sponsors for general operations.

Financial partnership:

If you would like to help with either the project or our (the Kelly’s) personal support, you can do so through Zoya Ministries.
Make checks out to Zoya and mail to:
Zoya Ministries
PO Box 260381
Plano, TX 75026-0381

Please mark checks for either Nueva Guinea Project OR Bob & Barbara Kelly.

You can also give at the donation page of the Zoya website.

Any questions can be directed to Bob Kelly,