The EMC first sent missionaries to Nicaragua in late 1966. Between 1966 and 1992 as missionaries served in church and health initiatives, local congregations were started, and they together formed the Fraternidad de Iglesias Evangelicas Menonitas de Nicaragua (FIEMN).
What is the state of the church today?
At the FIEMN annual assembly held on Jan. 11, Pastor Francisco Cano, who chairs the Pastoral Council, shared the church's state with the 120 people in attendance.
The FIEMN has 22 churches and 16 church outreaches. Pastor Francisco reported that between 2006 and 2010 there was little growth in the conference. In the past three years, however, growth has increased, but he emphasized that there is more that they could be doing.
The FIEMN churches recently submitted their church reports to the council, which shows that there are 1,071 baptized members in the 35 churches and outreaches who reported. Forty-five adults were baptized in 2013.
In addition, the 13 church outreaches who reported say that there are an additional 427 adults who attend services, but who are not yet baptized.
The churches reported that there are 248 youth in their congregations. One concern is the decline in Sunday School attendance.
The FIEMN is growing in their autonomy and demonstrating this by being self-administrating, self-propagating and self-theologizing. We recognize, however, that the financial challenges are the most difficult. Many of the church members have low income and conference giving is minimal.
As Pastor Francisco reported at the annual assembly, his passion for spiritual growth of believers was expressed clearly. Let's continue to pray for Pastor Francisco as he leads the FIEMN Pastoral Council.