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This is the New Iberian Mission Assocation (NIMA) January 2005 Update as well as the 2004 Annual Report. NIMA is an outreach of the Agape Christian Church and friends from around the world.


New Iberian Mission Association


2004 Annual Report
and January 2005 Update


10th of January, 2005

NIMA is an outreach of the Agape Christian Church and friends from
around the world.

Contact information:
E-mail: nima@zianet.com
Mail address: P O Box 15133, Las Cruces, NM 88004-5133
Phones: (505)647-2168 or (505)650-3915

Guatemala e-mail: amglory@amigo.net.gt
Guatemala phone for Nij’s: 011 502 630 8069


    Coach John Wooden has some wonderful advice for all of us as we b
egin the
year 2005. “I believe you ought to learn as if you’re going to live forever,
but you ought to live as if you’re going to die tomorrow. If I’ve learned
anything in my ninety-plus years, I have come to understand that it’s what
you learn after you know it all that really matters.”


Dear Loved ones in our Lord:

The year 2004 has drawn to a close, and it hardly seems like the year had
begun. This year was filled with activities, work and many blessings of our
Lord and Savior.

From my youth I remember a film called The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, well
this letter is the good, the bad and the scary.

Morning Glory Christian School closed down for break the day before
Thanksgiving. Two days after Thanksgiving I came down gravely ill once
again with the recurring infection in my left leg. So I spent the entire
month of December in bed battling infection and the consequences that
infection always brings with swelling and burning of the leg. Once the
infection is gone then I spend the rest of the time healing the burns that
the infection always causes. However this time I had a very welcome visit
from an Infectious disease specialist from Longview, Texas who was able to
identify exactly what is wrong with me. I have a rare genetic disorder
called Milroys Syndrome. That’s the bad news; the good news is that now
that we know what I have, the doctor gave me medication to take daily and
the proper indications of how to prevent the recurrence of the infections
that are so painful and devastating. Yesterday was my first day out of the
house for over a month. It was the official start of the Guatemalan School
year. I went to school and worked all day in the office attending to
business and parents. Today I was stronger and I ask your prayers for
continuing strength. This infection really took a lot out of me and has
left me extremely weak; actually I have never felt as weak as I do now and I
get dizzy a lot. I am always cold, freezing cold in fact, wearing double
sweaters and socks all the time and I can’t seem to get my blood pressure up
to normal. (It never gets much below sixty degrees here) However the more
I exercise and get active, my strength should begin to build up once again.

So much for me

During the break we reviewed test results and educational levels and goals
that we reached during the year. Those of you who have been with us from
the start will remember, Morning Glory began with the lowest possible
student achievement levels. Three years ago we ordered texts books for the
grades that we had at the time. We choose very basic and elementary texts
because our students would be lost with anything more. At the time I laid
out learning objectives for every grade based on the national requirements
for each grade level. Realize that the national requirements are a minimum
and not by any way excellence. In Guatemala there are five levels of
academic objectives depending upon the local requirements. The most
elementary are the ministerial requirements used in public schools, second
level is for schools in urban areas and higher educated public, the third
level is for private schools in poorer or rural areas, the fourth upper
middle class private schools and the fifth (our goal) the exclusive,
expensive private schools in Guatemala City.

The (bad) news is that by August (school is out in October) every single
class at Morning Glory had reached and surpassed the educational objectives
and had finished the year’s content laid out. That means our text books are
now way too simple for our students and our educational level. That put me
back at the computer once again to rewrite educational objectives and
content for nine grades. We called the text book companies in November to
review text books and evaluate our level.

The good news is that Morning Glory Christian School has reached the fourth
level in the Guatemalan educational system generally reserved for upper
middle class private schools. In four years we have advanced three levels.
We have ordered new text books for all grades and through reserve funds I
was able to buy for each teacher a complete set of text book for their
grade. We have asked the parents to help and buy the necessary books for
each child. I realize that this is a great sacrifice and there will be
those who cant buy the books for their children, for those children we will
use Photocopies and they will copy essential information into their
notebooks. For the preschool children because workbooks for them are so
expensive, during vacation Tabitha and Shirley (my other preschool teacher)
made over 500 worksheets that we are photocopying and binding producing our
own workbooks for a fourth of the cost of any others. These two girls have
worked really hard and have produced excellent worksheets as nice as any
published. Since we have over 150 preschool students registered-you can
imagine how hard the photocopier is working right now.

This year’s student body should level out a bit over 500 students. We have
530 students registered but there are always those who repent at the last
minute and decide to back out of the commitment that we at Morning Glory
require of our students and parents.
We are adding one new class and Neidy will be working fulltime in the office
helping me keep up with paperwork and books. This increases our staff by
two new teachers. Because of budget concerns this year no one got a raise
and we are still working on bare bones.

The second floor rail is almost finished and will be up before school starts
so I can rest a bit easier and not worry so much about kids falling off the
second floor porch. The rail has been ordered and paid for since October
but Guatemalan time is always so frustrating for me. During November it
occurred to us to check the septic tanks for the hospital and the school.
Oops all the tanks were inches from overflowing so we had to call for the
“yucky” trucks, as Melody called them to come out and clean out the tanks.
Dr. Ramiro made the joke about having to add to our budgets the cost of
hauling off ……. every year. Since the school tank doesn’t have capacity
for the six new toilets in the new classrooms we had to build a new septic
tank during November and December for the school building. I paid for this
out of reserve funds left over from last year. It is finished and we are
now laying the drain pipes and water pipes and Lord willing and God
providing the funds we will start the year with at least four more bath
rooms. It sometimes has been really hectic with only four toilets for close
to five hundred kids especially during medical clinics when all the people
waiting use the school bathrooms also. Queno remodeled the old bathrooms in
October and converted the useless shower stalls into another bathroom and a
urinal for the boys.

Now for the bad, bad news. This break has been disastrous for us and our
vehicles. The last day of school the red van died at school and refused to
move. The steering column had totally broken apart from vibrations and use
on the roads, or so we thought. We bought a whole new steering column but
the van still didnt work, we took it to another mechanic who discovered
that the whole hydraulic steering system was freezing up and that is what
had ruined the column. For about three months I had felt a weird vibration
when turning tight corners and three different times I took it to the
mechanic for checking to be told each time that nothing was wrong and it was
my imagination. (Guatemalan mechanics don’t listen very well to women)
Guess what something was wrong and very wrong. We replaced the hydraulic
system, (don’t ask me details but believe me it was expense) No more than I
got the van back and drove it two days and I sent it back to the mechanic,
the car reeked of gasoline and chugged up the hill. We had to repair the
carburetor and replace all the gasoline hoses that had worn down through
time and several were beginning to leak. As soon as we finished the
carburetor it was time to work on the brakes. Finally two weeks before
Christmas the red van was running like a top. But we no more than got the
red van going when the Trooper died, dead. It is still in the hospital
getting a valve job, a ring job, a head gasket, including boring the block
and new cylinders and a new clutch. The worst news is that the motor on the
Trooper is so old and so worn even with all this the mechanic won’t
guarantee how long it is going to stay running. After all it is practically
18 years old and every year on Guatemalan roads is like three on American
roads. To top everything all off today Joel Longoria (a great help on
loan from Lewisville, Texas) came in and told me that I have to replace the
brakes and plane the drums on the back wheels of the white van and we need
six new tires before school starts. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry
so I just cried. I had just written a check for Queno to pay for the
Trooper cleaning out the last of our emergency funds. So I am broker than
broke.

The good news is that God is faithful and He knows our every need and even
though some times (usually and most times) He takes us right to the edge
testing our faith. He always provides and God’s children never go hungry.
We have to make a tough decision with the Trooper, this year it has cost
more to keep it running than it is worth, do we keep fixing it? or should
we sell it while we still can get something for the car? But then what does
Queno do for a vehicle. Do we go into debt? We are praying for guidance
and direction. If anybody has a good idea let me know!

Now for the scary news. At least for me. Morning Glory Christian School
has grown much beyond my expectations or wildest dreams. We have
established standards and a level of attention that has put us under the
light of public scrutiny. In many ways this is great and excellent but
remember; that nobody in the class likes the person who ruins the curve of
mediocrity. It also makes for envy and certain anger among those who would
rather that nobody mess up the status quo. Most public school teachers
don’t like us very much right now. The great side to that is that parents
want their children in our school and are willing to make any sacrifice to
keep them there. My parents are my greatest allies. We are accomplishing
goals that teachers have sworn for years were impossible. Poor Mayan
children from a rural village are producing and learning as well as or
better than upper middle class children with well educated parents. Believe
me, that is breaking down national pre conceived premises. We are proving
that with dedication and hard work we can educate children on a bare bones
budget. Parents and the area(educational) supervisor are begging and
pushing me to add a secondary school to our program. (Editor’s note: Lori
is being modest here. The national educational commission has recognized
MGCS as having the lowest drop out rate in certified schools and the highest
ratio of girls in school. The government is sending out representatives to
monitor the new school year to see if what Lori is doing with MGCS can be
incorporated into other schools. The school is the pride of the community,
and gaining national attention.)

Last night I was listening to a sermon before going to bed. I always have
been a worrier and faith never comes easy for me. The preacher used a
sermon illustration about a man who walked on a tight wire above the Niagara
Falls. The first time he just walked across, the second time he walked
across blindfolded and the third He walked across with a man on His
shoulders. Faith is just that, getting on God’s shoulders and walking
across the Niagara Falls. I try so hard not to look down, to keep my eyes
on He who is carrying me but believe me this Lady is still a scared little
girl inside. God is doing so much, so fast and so great that I often doubt
that I am up to the job that He is laying before me. Especially at times
when Satan attacks and I get sick and weak. It takes everything that is in
me to stay on God’s shoulders and not run away and hide. I NEED your
prayers because honestly right now I am scared. Loving, teaching,
discipline and training 500+ children is a big job. Not even to mention
keeping them safe, I leave that to God. Paying, training and administrating
20 employees and keeping them from fighting with each other is even a bigger
job. Dealing with over 500 parents and relatives can be really taxing and
if you add medical clinics, church work and committee duties it gets
overwhelming. I’m still Mom to a 14 year old son in all his adolescent
glory, wife and grandma. Keeping three vehicles running and safe on these
roads could scare anyone. ( editor’s note: Roads in Guatemala remind me of
the one lane roads over the Sierra Nevada’s of 60 years ago, or the back
woods roads in the Ozarks in the 30s, only with higher mountains and steeper
drop offs.)

I am so grateful to each one of you for your prayers and financial
assistance. Each dollar you send is so important and keeps this work going.
I stand in AWE at what God did though you all in 2004. It is incredible!
But 2005 brings even greater challenges and more mountains to climb. We
desperately need to expand the outreach of Morning Glory Christian School.
I couldn’t ask more from our faithful supporters but if we are to continue
the work we need more like each one of you. So once again I ask you to
spread the word. Tell others about Morning Glory, share the work with
anybody you can think of. Give others the opportunity to receive the
blessing that God sends to those who give.

Come and visit us, get a vision of what is happening. Guatemala is a great
place to visit. It doesn’t matter what you do, just come and love on my
kids, it will change you forever. I don’t know how long God will leave me
on this earth, but I do know that He will not take me home until He has
finished the good work that He started. But knowing that I am not immortal
I am working hard to train those who will come behind me to carry on the
work at Morning Glory Christian School. Once again I am trusting that God
will provide the right person in His time. In the meantime Neidy and
Tabitha are learning all the ins and outs of paperwork and administration.

So at the start of this New Year I once again find myself asking for your
prayers and help. I know that when we are physically weak it is very hard
to be spiritually strong and full of faith but I need an extra push right
now.

God bless each one of you and may He fill you with His abundance and Grace
in 2005.

In His Love

Lori Nij


Continued on next page…


Jean Sibelius gave us some good advice via an e-mail from Tom
Reynolds,minister of Celebration Christian Church: “Pay no attentions to
what the critics say. remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a
critic.”


    I have been asked when I was going to get the e-business going.
The truth
of the matter is very simple; I have shelved the idea. I have more work
with Agapé Christian Church and New Iberian Mission than I can get done.
God is blessing us with growth and exploding needs both here in Las Cruces
and in Guatemala.

    In our last update we gave you a real good review of the medical
clinics and
the progress of our Community Christian Hospital on campus. The Morning
Glory Christian Church is in the nebulas stages, and as we get more workers
on campus and more trained, there will be more progress. Lori mentioned
Joel Longoria from Lewisville, Texas. I need to tell you the rest of the
story. Joel is an adult truck driver-mechanic from the Dallas area. He is
Latino and speaks a great mixture of Spanish and English that is
respectfully called Mex-Tex in that area and well understood in Guatemala.
He is a good Christian man that Mark Worley of Dallas Christian College
recommended for a sabbatical from his regular life. He has become resident
mechanic to get all of our equipment in safe road shape for the 2005 school
year. He has become best buddy and trainer for Herbert Nij (a 14 year old
that loves anything mechanical), and Colacho our school driver. He has been
training them to maintain the vehicles and how to spot coming troubles
before breakdowns. Herbert and Colacho have become 15 hour-a-day shadows to
Joel. Joel has been a blessing in so many ways. He has saved the mission
hundreds of dollars in vehicle repairs and has shown that a Christian man,
no matter his talents and gifts can be a great servant for our LORD. If
any of you reading this wonder, “What on earth could I do if I went to visit
the school, hospital, church in Guatemala?” Let me assure you there is work
for everyone. We are so very thankful to Joel and his influence will be
felt long after he is gone. Herbert and Colacho will be trained to do the
work that is so necessary. Thank you Joel, some of God’s greatest men ha
ve
grease under their fingernails.

    The beginning of 2005 brings us to some critical decisions and pl
ans for the
years that are ahead. Lori is the master of taking the funds sent to her
and making every nickel holler “uncle” before she spends it. Last year we
purchased the modern copy machine and it has paid off in many ways. Lori
mentioned Tabi and Shirley photocopying the preschool work books and binding
up the 500 pages into 150 books for preschoolers. Dr. David Jeremiah spoke
the truth the other day when he said,
“What God requires us to do, He enables us to do.” This ministry that we
call New Iberian Mission Association began over 40 years ago at the northern
tip of the Iberian Empire in the Western Hemisphere, the Navajo Four Corners
country. Lori was in grade school at the time learning to sing Jesus chorus
in Navajo and helping bring Jesus to very red-brown skinned children. Soon
after the beginning of the Navajo work, David Scates and Vernon Hollett took
the work to great heights; today the Navajo churches are all ministered to
by Navajos, and they send their own missionaries now, and are mostly self
supporting with the gentle guidance of Vernon Hollett out of Farmington, NM.
Some of our financial and prayer supporters have been with us since that
time. If you look around it is easy to observe that I am in my 70s, and
Lori will be 50 very shortly, and the same thing has happened to those early
supporters. They have grown gently gray and beautifully wrinkled. They are
all in retirement and their gifts have been accordingly adjusted. Our
expenses go on.

    Since that time, the center of the New Iberian work has moved on
to Mexico,
then to Central America. We have added a great number of new supporters as
the work have grown. We are a very blessed mission of the Lord Jesus
Christ. This brings me to a very critical decision. How are we going to
raise the needed funds to continue a school the size of Morning Glory
Christian School and expand it to where God in leading us? With my work in
building a new church here on the west side of Las Cruces, I have little
time to travel. Travel is very expensive and the income from trips as a
rule does not justify the expense of travel. (With the exception of planned
mission fairs and report to churches already supporting the work.) Lori and
Queno are busy 12 months out of the year and they have no time to come to
the United States or to Europe and travel to raise funds. Talk about
expensive! That is just not cost effective at this time. However, Lori
offers a great idea. Guatemala is a wonderful place for a family vacation.
Airline travel can be bought in advance and we have discovered our greatest
“praise teams” are made up of folks that have experienced Guatemala first
hand. We have places for you to stay and there is work for everyone or just
a time to as Lori says, “Love on her kids.” No church and their missions
committee will ever be the same after seeing first hand what is happening on
the Altiplano. I would like to challenge a number of our supporting
churches, “If you have not been to Guatemala in the past 5 years, come see
for yourself what is happening.” It would be so much cheaper and far more
productive for a congregation to send one or two people to Guatemala than to
bring the family here for an hour long church service.

    The next challenge is to churches and individuals that are being
blessed by
the LORD take a look at your budget and see if the work of New Iberian
Mission has increased since you last set a budget goal for us? Have we
faithfully kept you informed of what is going on? Have we been good
stewards of the funds that have been forwarded? Are we doing the work of the
great commission? Are we being faithful to the teachings of the Jesus
Christ and the Apostles? If the answers are positive let me challenge you
to review the budget amount given and see if you can with the LORD’S
blessing and direction increase your gifts in the coming year. I can tell
you now, that we are not going to have to close our doors if you can’t, that
no one is going to go hungry, and we will continue on with whatever help
that the LORD sends our way. However there will be so many missed
opportunities. Several of our supporting churches and individuals have
already answered the above questions and have increased their 2005
commitments without even being asked.

    We live in a crisis world, and with tremendous needs. This past
month and
the tsunami disaster in Asia with over 150,000 dead at this time brings us
to attention. I pray that you and your congregations and individuals will
join Morning Glory Christian Church, Agapé Christian Church and the Pinne
y
family in sending money to I.D.E.S. our Christian Church/Church of Christ
emergency and disaster first responders, to bring aid to the suffering in
the name of Jesus Christ. (Contact IDES at P O Box 60 in Kempton, Indiana
46049 or phone (765)947-5100 or e-mail <ides@ides.org>.) There i
s ability
to help many and room in our heart to love many.

    If you have any question about the work of Morning Glory, or the
about how
the money is spent, or about our programs, please contact me at our Las
Cruces office. I got several letters saying that they have contacted Lori
and never got an answer. We do not want that to ever happen. Some
times
the electronic or regular mail system gets messed up between here and there,
she is always fantastically busy. Sometimes it is like my house, messages
that are left for me gets mixed up with diapers, feeding time and crying
kids at the day care center and I get the mail or the message several days
later. I do not have anyone under my direction that is not doing the work
of two or three; and at times things do fall through the cracks. If you
contact me and then get back to me if I foul up, I will get your answers.
That way all the blame will be on me if things do not go right. My 650-3915
number is on 24 hours a day seven days a week.

    This has been a great year for many of our friends through out th
e world.
The First Christian Church in Orangefield, Texas celebrated their 75th
anniversary as a wonderful mission minded and loving church. Orangefield
FCC is among our original supporters of Lori from the days she was teaching
at Colegio Biblico in Eagle Pass. Washington Boulevard Christian Church of
ages past, now known as Parkside Christian Church in Beaumont, Texas also
having been with us since early times, is in an exciting adventure. They
are in serious discussion with a Beaumont Church of Christ (non-inst.) about
combining the two churches for a more dynamic expression to the community
and outreach to the world. Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17 is coming
more and more to an age of fulfillment. This is our story, this is our
song, the joyful cooperation of brothers in Christ to get His work done.
Valley View Christian Church in Dallas has a new pulpit minister and they
are planning a short term mission to San Raymundo in July of this year.
First Christian of Vidor, Texas, Lori’s home church during her High school
and college years just sent for information about adopting two students in
Morning Glory. This is the church that raised the support to send Lori on
her first mission trip to Hawaii. There Lori did her student teaching,
missionary apprentice work and early Tran cultural work. That mission work
in Hawaii is still a supporter of the work in Guatemala. God is also
blessing the work of Harold and Enid Fowler and the church of Christ in
Metelica, Italy, they are continuing in a very need translation work of
Christian material for the European churches. Due to the exchange rates
from Euros to dollars the churches recent gifts have been a great financial
blessing. God is blessing from around the world. David Jeremiah is right,
“What God requires us to do, He enables us to do.”

    Again thank you for all your help, prayers, and support this past
year. I
pray that you will be blessed and that “God will supply all your needs
according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Love:   Herb Pinney.