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Triadelphia Members Impact Nicaraguan Town for Jesus
Story by Carrie Purkeypile; Photos by Dick Duerksen
Paul and Cynthia Possinger play Appalachian dulcimers, and Steve Folsom plays the guitar during one of three simultaneous evangelism events hosted by the Triadelphia group in Nicaragua. The guitar was later donated to the local church.
“We're just a mission-minded church. And when it comes to doing something mission [oriented], I think we go all out,” shares Paul Possinger, a member of Chesapeake Conference’s Triadelphia church in Clarksville, Md. “We didn't want them to have just a church; we wanted them to have something that really represented Christ for this area.”
Possinger was among a group of volunteers from the Triadelphia church who recently took their mission project to a whole new level. The church group visited the small town of Tola, Nicaragua, and not only built a church, but put all their efforts and resources into going above and beyond what is expected on a typical mission trip.
The Triadelphia group teamed up with Maranatha Volunteers International to build a One-Day Church for the Tola congregation during the Christmas/New Year season. They also raised all the funds needed to finish the church walls and floor, as well as purchase medical supplies for daily clinics. In addition the group ministered to children and conducted evangelistic campaigns at three different sites, simultaneously.
Jim Ayer, vice president for Adventist World Radio, a Triadelphia member and assistant project leader, visited the building site months before the project and was impressed by one young woman who seemed to be the driving force in the small Tola congregation. At the time, they were meeting under a mango tree each Sabbath.
“You know when I met Arlen, she was the head elder of the local church,” says Ayer.
Arlen Tatiana Gallo is a passionate 26-year-old leader who had a dramatic life change after accepting Christ as a teenager. She and the small Tola congregation prayerfully raised the money to buy property for the church by collecting hundreds of small donations, and contributing to the fund themselves each week.
“She showed us the property and told how they’d come together and it was such a miracle to buy the property,” recalls Ayer. “Then we shared with them [that] we’re not only going to put up a frame of the church and a roof, we were going to build the entire church and pay for it all. And she began crying and we almost cried … And at that moment, Janeen [my wife] and I knew that God was in charge of this.”
The 47-member Triadelphia team also had many participants from other locations, including the Second Hope medical team from Walla Walla, Washington. Local people were fitted with more than 4,000 pairs of vision-correcting glasses as part of the outreach activities. The available experts also presented health information relevant to the area at each nightly meeting.
As the church was dedicated on the last Sabbath of their project, Triadelphia volunteers packed into the brand new building, along with all the local members and their friends and neighbors. Many new faces smiled as babies were dedicated, couples were married, and several were baptized that day in the new church. The impact of their multifaceted approach to sharing Jesus was apparent.
Omar Perez, the local pastor, said, “This has been unbelievable. Beyond my dreams! The radio and TV stations are talking about what is going on there, and the people know now that we care about them.”
Ayer is content. “For me that is what it’s all about. Absolutely impacting the culture for Jesus Christ.”