March 2020 Missions Trip

March 2020 Missions Trip to Nicaragua

Top Left: Tom Keogh, Yesser Gamez, Angel, Andrey Semenyuk, Nazar Bartyanu, Joseph Naumchik, Serge Naumchik, Andrey Sushik, Andrey Nikitenko, Inessa Maslova, Victoria Mospanko, Valentine Semenyuk
Bottor Left: Dmitry Kolesnikovich, Marciel Arauz, Aljawhara Manzanares, Alex Semenyuk, Frank Gonzalez, Clifford Stamp, Vladimir Nikitento

We had 19 people in our team, 13 people from different parts of United States and 6 People from Nicaragua.

The preparation for our March 2020 missions trip started during our November of 2019 missions trip in Nicaragua. This trip did not have an open registration, it was only by invitation and referral, and by January majority of our team was put together.
Before every trip we commit with all of our team to prayer and fasting, and early in  January we started off with seven day prayer and fasting and then we committed every Tuesday from then on till our trip to pray and fast for our trip. I believe that prayer and fasting is essential and is a result of all of the missions work, we prayed that God would prepare our hearts to be used by Him, for God’s protection, for

communities that we were going to minister at,  that God would open the hearts of people to receive His word and for the church plant that we are working on.

communities that we were going to minister at,  that God would open the hearts of people to receive His word and for the church plant that we are working on.

Our missions trip

We arrived to Managua, Nicaragua on  February 28th and 29th and dived right in getting  everything aligned and prepared for our missions work with Miskito people.

For the next 3 days we worked at our ministry base packing candied for kids, sorting donated clothing into bags, dealt customs on getting our stuff back that they confiscated, installed a metal bumper with a winch onto ministry vehicle, purchased 2,000 pairs of crocks, picked up donated to our ministry 47, 520 meals from Convoy of Hope and shipped everything off on a truck to Waspan.

On Sunday March 1st Vladimir Nikitenko, Dmitry Kolesnikovich and Andrey Semenyuk ministered at 3 different church services in Managua. Also at all of these church services I asked and challenged people to donate clothing for Miskito people and people responded in a very positive way.


Monday, March 2nd in Nicaragua we were at a store getting supplies before our 16 hour drive to Waspan. While standing in a check out lane, we noticed a lady paying one person ahead of us was speaking to a cashier and pointing towards us, I was confused to why? Then she turned around came up to us and told us that she knows about all of the work our ministry does in Nicaragua and wants to pay for everything we had in our cart!

Wow!! she paid little bit over $200 US dollars for our supplies, which is a huge amount for any Nicaraguan or an American in US. This completely melted my heart and it was a sign from God and a motivation to work even harder for His Kingdom!

16 hour Drive to Waspan

Early morning on Tuesday we loaded our vehicles and drove 382 Miles (615 kilometers) that took us 16 hours.
First half of the drive about 191 Miles (308 Kilometers) Managua to Siuna took us 6.5 hours, majority of the road was descent with some what pavement, but from Siuna to Waspan there was no pavement and the next 190 miles (307 Kilometers) took us about 9.5 hours, we averaged about 20 MPH.
The drive was rough, took a huge toll on our bodies and we arrived in Waspan extremely tired. (In Waspan and in Sawa we stay at Tom Keogh’s place, the facilities that belongs to Seek the Lamb ministry)
It was 10:20pm, we unloaded our stuff from the vehicles, set up our hammocks on the third story of the building and called it a day.


Roosters and sunrise woke me up, I was so glad that we were in Waspan, the drive from day before seemed like it was all a dream or some would say a long nightmare. The day started out with new challenges, there is no gasoline in town and is getting delivered in the afternoon, the truck with our shipment was running late. We were suppose to leave for the tribes, but all of this affected our planned out schedule, so we shifted our schedules and planned out to take it easy, rest, load the boats and  go to a close by remote village to do a evangelical campaign with Jesus movie.

Around noon our truck arrived with all of the supplies, so I took few people with me to coordinate, we hired few people to unload the truck and load three boats. Two boats were loaded with food, clothing and shoes and the third boat was for us, our supplies and food, clothing and shoes for communities that we were going to minister along the way to our next base in Sawa. One of the loaded cargo boats left later that day to Sawa and the other 2 were going to leave the next day, Thursday morning.

We got back to Tom’s place and we were in a hurry to prepare late lunch, plov with the beef that we got from Harvin, everyone was involved in cutting up vegetables, meat and eating. It was the best plov that anyone has ever had in Nicaragua, plus on top of it Nuttie Tom’s wife made some delicious cookies.

After our late lunch / early dinner, Andrey Semenyuk, Inessa Malova and I stayed to pack supplies for the tribes and rest of the team headed out to a close by remote village named Saupuka to do a evangelical campaign with Jesus movie. The team returned excited, 350 people gathered to watch the Jesus movie and to hear the gospel. Aljawhara and Clifford ministered and invited people to receive Jesus.

Meet Tom Keogh

During our December 2018 missions trip, we needed a translator, Tom was refereed by Pastor Marciel and agreed to go with us on that trip. Tom and I instantly connected, we share the same passion for the lost and have developed a wonderful relationship and he has joined us on five Rio Coco missions trips. Tom has a powerful testimony how he gave his life to Jesus, it’s truly a testimony of grace.

Tom has lived with Miskito people since 1979 and it is here that he gave his life to Jesus, he is fluent in Miskito and Spanish, in 2009 he married missionary Nutie.  Tom and Nutie are part of Seek the Lamb Ministries and they impact Miskito people in a powerful way.

Tom has played a significant role in our ministry, with his experience, advises and knowledge of Miskito people has been a great blessing for us. Plus on top of it Seek the Lamb ministries are letting us use their facilities in Waspan and Sawa as storage and base for our ministry.

The boat ride

Thursday morning, we all got up really  early packed all of our gear, had peanut butter and jelly and plov from nigh before for breakfast. Then we all got together and prayed for the trip, I asked Nutie (Tom’s wife) to pray for us. It was one of the most deepest prayers that I have ever heard in my life, each word was so though out and meaningful.

Every day we wear different color ministry shirts, and this day Inessa choose orange shirts.

This was the last group picture that we took before we headed out and for the next 6 day we will not have any connection with anyone, we are going to places where there is no electricity or phone reception. So everyone called their spouses and  families, asked them to keep us in their prayers.

In our past trips we would travel for 6+ hours to Sawa, set up our gear at the base and call it a day, this time we decided to utilize our time and visit few communities along the way.
So we loaded all of our gear on the boat named Hercules (it’s 44′ long and 6.1′ Wide) and went down the river with our other boat filled with our cargo.(the 3rd boat with our cargo left day before) This time of the year the water level is low and the cargo boat went ahead of us, since our boat is larger we followed his tracks from behind not to hit the shallow water and get stuck.

Our Plan / Schedule

  • Since 2017 we have been coming to this most remote corner of Nicaragua, the Miskito Tribes of Rio Coco.
  • On the map are the pinned Miskito communities and the ones with the heart pin are the ones that we have been ministering to.
  • Our plan for this trip was to visit and continue our work in the fourteen communities down the river that are only reachable by the boat and 1 community close by Waspan.

About 2 hours into the trip the cargo boat got stuck in the shallow waters, our boat went around that area and avoided getting stuck. most of us got out and pushed the cargo boat into deeper waters.

After little bit more then 4 hours we were finally approaching our first two tribal communities Kiwastara and Auhyapura, the people recognized us from the distance and the whole communities came into movement, kids were running along the shores to a place where we parked our boats. When we pulled up to the shore the children and the people were lined up and eager to help us unload the boat, the whole Community was filed with excitement and joy, you could see their  smiles, you could hear it in their voice and some were simply jumping with joy. Clifford and I got out the boat and surveyed a place that we could set up for our program, typically its a place with a shade. Everyone was extremely helpful with unloading boxes of food, clothing, shoes, and our gear. Frank quickly set up sound system, Andrey Semenyuk took few of our teammates and together they set up the trampoline. Everything was getting set up, music was playing and people were gathering from all of directions.

We separated kids and adults. Aljawhara, Inessa, Clifford and part of our team ministered to the kids and at the same time other part of our team, Tom and I ministered to the adults. Then we would invite adults and children to receive.

This is how we minister at each community!

  • Our main focus is to bring the hope and the message of salvation through the cross that we have in Jesus Christ and plant a church in every one of these tribal communities.
  • These communities are extremely poor, people are malnutrition-ed, children have swollen stomachs, they don’t have much clothing, very few have shoes and they are involved in all sorts of witchcraft.
Children between 4-14 years old are at the center of all that we do and all of our programs are structured around ministering to them.
  • When we arrive to a community we look for a flat surface with some shade that we can set up our gear.
  • Everyone gets to work; offloading the boat, setting up the sound and trampoline.
  • We separate as far apart as we can, Kids and Adults so that there is no distraction
      • Then part of our team ministers to the Adults and other part of the team ministers to kids.
  • Adults: We usually get them together and speak a short simple message about Jesus and invite them to receive Jesus. (Usually all of them pick up their hand to receive Jesus) We pray for each of them and sometimes we will pray for healing.
  • Kids: With kids we have a program that we do for them with different performances, games and teach them songs. Then someone will speak a short message about Jesus and invite them to receive Jesus. Since there are a lot of kids we separate boy and girls and pray with them. (Mostly all of them will respond to receive Jesus)