“My name’s Jon and I’m currently spending my last month of the World Race at the Nicaraguan AIM Base, REAP Granada. Right on the outskirts of Granada, Nicaragua there is a farm. This isn’t just any farm that raises animals or grows vegetables and fruits. This farm is constantly working to unite and equip the community through God’s mission. This farm has provided a home and safe haven for those in the community in more ways than one. It seems like every area of this land is used for a different, specific purpose. Through the recent political unrest and economic crisis, REAP Granada seeks to unify and equip the local pastors, providing hope for the future of Church. The ministry vision long outlives the AIM Base. This ground will hopefully become a thriving ministry, run by solely the Nicaraguan people. I could elaborate on the captivating stories of each individual ministry here at the farm, but, instead, I would like to invite you along for the ride. This is your typical day on the farm.
Each day at the farm begins in the driveway. Locals pour into work in the kitchen, the fields, and in local ministry. Trucks pick up kids along the way that have come to know the farm as a safe haven. People pack up to leave for the many ministries that happen outside of our gates. This includes the community center, located in one of the more dangerous corners in the neighborhood, which needs hope now more than ever. It has become an area for kids to gather and build community in a safe environment while learning more about who God is. Other daily ministries may include visits to the dump to encourage and participate in a feeding program for the families that live there. This provides an opportunity to evangelize alongside local pastors.
Upon return, my squad and the long term team make our way to the kitchen and dining area, where we are fed by local women. These ladies are employed to not only feed hundreds of people on any given day but also to pour into one another spiritually. Some of those that sit down for lunch may be the local men that put in the hard work on the farm. These men start their day in the fields bright and early, working to create a sustainable farm in the future. They are discipled by the long term team, calling them higher into living above reproach. As the afternoon begins, I can hear cheers from the neighborhood soccer, kickball, or softball league. Fields on the property host hundreds of people and devotionals are held before each game. Unity is established as kids learn how to engage in the community through healthy activities. These fields have become a safe place to play, bringing in dozens of kids and families in on any given afternoon.
One of the goals of REAP Granada is to unify pastors across all of Nicaragua, starting with those they can physically touch in the neighboring barrios. Pastors tend to view each other as competition. With the level of influence each pastor carries individually, REAP has recognized the potential of overall community impact that could stem from their unity as a whole. Ephesians 4:2-3 says ‘with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ This is extremely necessary in the current political and economic state of the country. To create a culture of unity, the farm holds pastoral conferences and retreats in the pavilion and dormitory. This gives the pastors the opportunity to come together as the body of Christ, not just working as individuals in a suffering community. We just witnessed a conference on the Holy Spirit that involved 8 of the churches and had over 200 people in attendance. This is now the new normal. The churches unifying themselves and their congregations to come together, learn together and grow together.”