Schlossers ‘bring hope’ to people in Nicaragua: Couple from Jamestown has been working as full-time missionaries since January 2015
Bringing hope to people in Nicaragua is what one couple from Jamestown has been doing since becoming full-time missionaries in early 2015.
Paul and Mikki Schlosser resigned from their jobs to become full-time missionaries, and they went to Nicaragua at the end of January 2015. Paul said he and his wife work with the Nicaraguan Resource Network and have been leading mission teams to Nicaragua. They started going to Nicaragua 13 years ago for a week at a time.
“God had spoke to me about doing that (being a full-time missionary) about three times in my life,” he said. “I guess we got to the point in our lives that you know this is something we want to do full time. I said, ‘Quit running away from feeling God calling me to do that.’”
The Schlossers worked with short-term mission teams until the end of March 2015, and from June through the rest of the year, they spent time in the language learning school to study Spanish.
The Schlossers will spend eight to nine months a year in Nicaragua. They work with one mission team in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, but the rest of the teams they work with are stationed in Leon, Chinandega and north toward the Honduras border. Mikki said they work at different locations with different teams from the middle of January to the end of March and again from mid-July to the middle of August.
“We work with one team from Managua, but the rest of ours are one to five hours away from Managua,” Paul said.
The Schlossers started Faith Revealed, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that is involved with 23 churches in Nicaragua. They have been working with the Nicaraguan Resource Network, which is based in Indiana, and has about 50-plus teams and 700 volunteers who go to Nicaragua, Mikki said
“In praying about it, the name Faith Revealed came out of the Scriptures saying, ‘You know I believe we have faith,’” Paul said. “But how do you prove you have faith? Well it is through your works. So Faith Revealed was started as this is our revealing of our works for the Lord and so we started that in 2014.”
Paul said when mission teams in North Dakota go to Nicaragua, they will send the funds to Faith Revealed so the Schlossers can transfer the funds to Nicaragua. The mission teams will then have funds for their hotels, vehicles, translators, programs and projects.
He said Faith Revealed is set up so the Schlossers can work in another country and have mission teams go to different locations if they choose.
“It was born out of the need for us to find a way to support ourselves and facilitate helping the teams,” she said.
Over the years, the Schlossers have built churches, built parsonages for pastors to live in and built home for families in the community. They have also helped work on agricultural projects and do food distributions, and when food distributions are done, they will spend a half hour to an hour visiting with a family.
“When you say what do we do mission wise, I think we bring hope to the people of Nicaragua,” Paul said.
Paul said the average income per person in Nicaragua is under $400 a year.
“We are working with people that generally a lot of people have no hope at all because there is no jobs, there is no opportunities and a lot of the houses are black plastic, cardboard, guinea sacks, whatever you can find. Lots of dirt floors,” he said.
Paul said getting an education is highly appreciative and sought after by most young people in Nicaragua. Paul said the pastors who the Schlossers work with have started four schools with the help of U.S. partners.
“The schools we have, the average in the country is 10 percent of the students that graduate secondary school, 10 percent actually pass their college entry exam,” he said. “In our four schools, the long-term average has been about 43 to 45 percent, last year was 72 or 73 percent that graduate and take their college entry exams and actually are accepted into the universities.”
Paul said the Schlossers talk to churches about sponsoring students in Nicaragua, which is $35 a month. With that monthly fee, one student is able to get a meal every day at school, a uniform, and books, and the fee also helps pay for teachers.
“If people come down with one of the teams that are coming down to work at one of the churches, they have the opportunity on every trip to spend time anywhere from two to six or eight hours with those students because we will go on an outing or go out for lunch with them, and they will have the opportunities to meet the students, get to know them and at some point get to know their families and become part of their life versus just the picture you just put on the fridge,” he said.
The Schlossers will be in the U.S. until the first week of July. They will be working with churches and will also travel to North Dakota communities, Minneapolis and maybe to North Carolina to work with churches and provide information about doing mission work in Nicaragua.
“ We have some churches in Nicaragua that our lead pastor works with that currently don’t have sister churches here from the U.S., so our goal would be able to find churches that would want to come down and walk alongside those churches in a long-term relationship,” Mikki said.
The Schlossers will hold an information meeting to discuss a possible mission trip to Nicaragua in 2017 at 6:30 p.m. May 4 at First United Methodist Church, 115 3rd St. SE, in Jamestown.