Connect Ministries came from a deep desire for every person to have the opportunity to connect with Jesus. The more I know Him, the more I love Him. The more I love Him, the more I love people and want each person to know the beauty God put in each person around them.
A few years ago I became very aware that many people have a deep knowledge of God but are not living and experiencing the fullness of a free life in Christ. I pictured the developed roots of a tree, signifying the salvation of a person, but above ground there were only a few branches, and no fruit. The tree without fruit is not living its full purpose; it was created to bear fruit. A tree that bears no fruit is torn out and burned to give room to fruit producing trees.
We desire for people to live in the fullness that Christ has for those that are saved.
In my first trips Nicaragua, I loved what I saw happening in the hearts and lives of those that came with me and of the Nicaraguan people. This love brought our family to live in Nicaragua in June of 2010.
I met Larrys Mendoza Cruz in July of 2007; he was a shy and young man with a desire to learn English. From that moment our friendship began to flourish. What we learned from one another was although we were from two different cultures, God had given us the same heart for Him and for others. I dreamed one day we could serve God together in ministry.
God began to make this dream come true in the spring of 2013, when both our hearts began to stir for the work we were doing.
When the family and I were confident it was time to step away from where we started in Nicaragua, the first thing that happened was Dwight (my husband) and I went looking for a new place to live. We drove by a property we previously knew about through a good friend. I immediately felt peace as this house was the reason I felt safe to come to Nicaragua in the first place, because a friend’s brother lived there.
When I saw the huge Guanacaste tree in the middle of the property I knew it was the place God wanted us to start. I saw the giant tree and I remembered the verse in Isaiah where it says, “you have been anointed by God to bring good news the poor… and they will be called oaks of righteousness a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor”. I imagined people that were hurting, hopeless and helpless becoming strong as they connected with God and other people; they became like the giant Guanacaste in the center of the property.
Was that enough to start anything? I wasn’t sure, but as soon as we said yes, God did more than we could have asked for or imagined.
Within a few months we already received our first participant in the mentorship program, a team of 23 people for a missions trip, and led many Bible studies on the property. Then after six months God opened the door for our scholarship program in our local community.
What are we called? What are we doing? What are our lives defined by everyday? As I thought about it, it was so simple. Everyday we connect people with Christ and each other, that’s it. That is what God placed in both of our hearts, simply to connect people. And the name came after that, Connect. So simple, quite boring but exactly what our hearts long for.