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300 volunteers in Nicaragua help win 10,000 believers

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (BP)–Three hundred volunteers from
11 countries teamed with Nicaraguan Baptists and Southern
Baptist International Mission Board missionaries in a
January crusade that registered more than 10,000 decisions
for Jesus Christ.
“This has been an historic time. Never before in our
history has such a widespread evangelistic effort been
carried out,” declared Walt Morgan, director of missions for
the Nicaragua Baptist Convention.
The effort ran Jan. 9-19, but several days after it
ended, reports from churches were still incomplete.
More than 4,000 people participated in a stadium
victory celebration to close the crusade.
“I’ve never seen so many Baptists together here,”
Morgan said.
Volunteers from the United States, Honduras, Mexico,
Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Chile, Brazil
and Colombia — and even a Cuban pastor now living in
Georgia — fanned out across the length and breadth of the
country in teams of two to four people to work alongside
Nicaraguan Baptists in 105 churches and mission points. Some
had to travel for two days just to get to the site of their
Preliminary results indicated the “Jesus Loves You”
campaign will record more than 12,000 decisions for Christ
and 6,000 baptisms, Morgan predicted.
Bilingual students from East Texas Baptist University
in Marshall as well as students from the Nicaragua Baptist
Academy and students from other countries helped as
The volunteers were enlisted through International
Crusades of Dallas and the Noonday Baptist Association of
Marietta, Ga. Missionaries Jim and Viola Palmer and Keith
and Penny Stamps helped the volunteers reach their churches.
The Noonday association has been in partnership with the
Baptist Convention for two years.
The volunteers participating included 89 people from
the Noonday association, 83 others from the United States
and 128 from Central and South American countries recruited
through International Crusades.
Nicaraguan Baptists have been praying and preparing for
the campaign for months. Most of the churches used the
“Operation Andrew” program, in which a member lists and then
prays for the salvation of three to 10 individuals for
several months before the campaign.
During the campaign, volunteers and church members
visited these people. The volunteers shared their
testimonies, previously translated into Spanish. The church
member who prayed for the new convert’s salvation later
helps the new believer with a seven-lesson discipleship
“Our aim is not to do the work for the church but to
help the church in its task of evangelization,” explained
Francisco Nulez, vice president of overseas operations for
International Crusades.
Many churches moved their meetings outdoors to
accommodate the crowds.
Two neighbors from Acworth, Ga., had to come to the
little village of Chamguatillo to get acquainted. When John
Darnell, pastor of Autry Baptist Church of Acworth, saw
lawyer Robert Ingram, he recognized him because he knows
both Ingram’s father and uncle.
The experience of seeing Baptists from so many
countries working together affected both Baptists and
non-church people in Nicaragua, said William Delgado of the
Masaya church, noting, “It’s a real challenge to us.”

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  • Wally Poor