GRATEFUL for Our Next Phase
Greetings and blessings to you, our faithful support team. We hope that you and yours are well as summer vacation wraps up. We wanted to catch you up to speed with Covid in Nicaragua, our area, and our current and short term ministries.
We are delighted that coronavirus has been calmer in Nicaragua for the past 5 weeks, after a very difficult May & June. The (state) department where we are located, Chinandega, had the first positive case, and had one of the worst outbreaks in the entire country. And we are grateful that our municipal Chichigalpa and Chinandega are both much improved over the past 3 weeks.
Chichigalpa has only transported one critical case to the España Hospital in Chinandega in the month of August. Unfortunately, that patient passed away, but at the same time is the only Chichigalpan death from Covid in August thus far. That was just the third coronavirus death in Chichigalpa since July 15, and regrettably the other 2 departures were family members of our New Song Mission family. While we empathize with them, we are also thankful for the decline in deaths (averaging one per week in past 3 weeks) compared to around 100 over a two week lapse in Chichigalpa in June.
There are currently only 2 patients in our local Chichigalpa hospital, and thankfully both are stable. The Department Hospital, España, has only received 3 critical cases in August (the one mentioned above who passed from Chichigalpa) and 2 who are receiving oxygenation and ventilation treatments. This same hospital needed an entire wing to treat covid patients six weeks ago, is currently serving them in a single room. We thank God for this great report and each of you for your prayers.
We are continuing to educate, practice precautions, and play our part to keep contamination down as there are still people with symptoms being treated at home in the communities we foster. We are implementing mission-led phases to gather and observe with hopes to not see another outbreak.
New Song Mission Nicaragua’s current phase & new phase Aug. 17:
- Today is the 5th Sunday of our weekend service (1 gathering per week) at each of six churches. Church leadership is planning a weekday in-person meet-up (2 gatherings) adding after Aug. 16. The online prayer, outreach, and bible studies from April are growing, and will continue as more in-person schedules increase
- Administrative and Property staff began part time shifts Aug. 1 and plan to go full time Aug. 17
- New Song Clinic has provided provision each month and worked by phone during June & July. They have also successfully shipped and received dental equipment, and stocked PPE. The Clinic re-opened its full time schedule on Aug. 1 (full day M-F & Sat. mornings) with dental, general, & internal medicine – as well as specialists by appointment.
- Schools are now receiving students five days a week with shorter hours and reduced class sizes. Our education leadership provided school supplies in July, and are meeting to decide how to restart tutoring and small group procedures for after Aug. 17.
- Sports & Rec leadership placed the Baseball Academy on hold in April (just a month into its start) but have done a great job during the break giving the complex a full makeover. They have painted, installed drain systems, and manicured the landscaping and fields beautifully. Last week, they visited each participant at homes with a care package and informed families of Aug. 17 schedules to train small groups rotating days/hours where a single kid comes 1-2 weekly.
- We are coming out of summer (which is usually our most visited season) with the least visitors in our mission’s history. We have not hosted anyone since March 7, and commercial airlines are still not flying to Nicaragua until at least September. Others have already said October at earliest, and we feel it is likely all of those dates could still get pushed back with new policies, costs, and strict requirements passed in Nicaragua for citizens and even more for visitors.
Please continue to pray for wisdom and discernment, as well as health, for our leadership, as we trust God and move forward in these unprecedented times. We will continue praying for you and yours.
We hope you have a blessed week. God bless those who are traveling and vacationing with later start dates for school. God bless those who are entering school this week in-person, online, and hybrid models. God give them grace upon grace as they navigate these challenges, trusting You and knowing Your goodness through it all!