Chris Hindal visited Nicaragua July 15–18 and had the opportunity to interact with the leadership of CIEMBIN, an association of independent Baptist churches. Bruce and Laura Edgar served as Chris’s hosts and translated wherever he went. The Edgars minister with ABWE and have served in Nicaragua for 10 years.
Bruce arranged for Chris to preach in two churches on Sunday, July 16. Pastor Luis has served for five years at the small congregation where Chris preached that morning. Although only 35 people attended the service, the church has sent out three church planters. The reproducing DNA in the CIEMBIN churches evidences the association’s ownership of the Great Commission. CIEMBIN has 41 churches and is currently planting 90 churches. The association faces a huge challenge of supporting these church planters, but this challenge has not stopped leaders from casting the vision and sending out their own for ministry.
On Monday, Chris met with seven of the eight pastors who have been chosen as the current leadership team of CIEMBIN. Chris explained to them the nature of the international partnership and showed them pictures of the activities of partners around the world. While Chris’s relationship with the CIEMBIN pastors is just beginning, their positive response toward the partnership encouraged him.
Ten years ago, Larry Smith, an ABWE missionary veteran, raised funds to purchase 160 acres of land and to begin developing CIEMBIN’s ministry center. Today it is complete with cabins for sleeping, a multipurpose building for meetings, a building with classroom space and administrative offices, beautiful athletic fields, and a swimming pool. The ministry center is a happening place, with camps operating every week both for outreach and ministry to the churches.
The ministry center is also the location of a church-planting institute that ABWE missionary Mark Henzler began. The institute trains men for church planting, meeting three days every month at the ministry center.
Praise God for this association in Central America that stands faithfully upon the Word of God and is committed to fulfilling the Great Commission.