Ricardo Portillo

Missionary to Nicaragua

Posted On: 

November 16, 2018

Graduating Year: 

When God called us to leave for Nicaragua
back in 2012, we didn’t know exactly what
to expect. Yes we’d taken a survey trip, and
knew basic information, but God had some
‘unknown situations’ in store for us. Upon
the Lord’s leading, we moved to Nicaragua.
We were invited to work with another family
in starting a church in the city of Matagalpa,
and the Lord dropped a national family, recent
graduates of the Bible Institute, into our laps
ripe for the ministry. They filled our shoes there
and excelled. As church planting missionaries,
we inquired of the Lord where He would have
us serve next.

We’d heard of a city, by some called ‘The
Hot Place,’ by others referred to as ‘the City of
Universities,’ but what we saw was a city of 500,000 people
without the Gospel. There was a Catholic Church every two
blocks but no Gospel light. Knowing it was God’s plan for us,
we moved to Leon, Nicaragua and started Iglesia Bautista
Biblica de Leon.

Over the last 4 years, we have knocked doors, seen souls
saved and discipled, and grow in Christ. People we have led
to Christ are now soulwinning and discipling new Christians.
We are so thankful to have seen much fruit, and are excited
to have a church that is actively giving to missions. We have
been making trips with our church to another city with the
idea of planting a third church there, while at the same time
praying and planning to purchase land for our own church
property here in Leon.

Since April, the entire nation has been experiencing political
unrest. Marches, roadblocks, shootings, kidknappings,
torturings, and killings are a daily occurrence in our country.
Many foreigners and even Nicaraguans have fled the country
as the violence, job, and food shortages have affected the
entire nation. We saw the need of some of the single mothers
in our church of being literally without food or without even
a way to get to the store with their little babies due to the
danger in the streets. We went to the markets, bought about
$400 worth of groceries and delivered food to over 20 families
in our church. Some cried with joy, but one lady, the pregnant
mama of a girl in my wife’s Sunday school class, received the
food for her 6 children, but also received Christ as Saviour
that day.

Even so this has been a time where we have seen genuine
growth within the church family. We weekly fill our church bus
picking up people for church, but due to recent road blocks, we
haven’t been able to do this. However, many from our church
have shown great zeal for the House of God and commitment
by walking to church in the heat some 4 miles both ways. We
have seen hearts soften towards the Gospel, even amongst
the wealthier and staunch Catholic communities. Both my
wife and I continue to see souls saved weekly.

In the same way God gave us peace in coming to this city,
God has given us peace in staying at this time. We know that
God has us here for ‘such a time as this,’ and have confidence
He will use us as He desires and will lead us out should He
know we face real danger, according to His will. Some people
have urged us to leave, but we have chosen to stay unless God
specifically leads us out. Yes, there is tension and many are
afraid, but we have continued to see souls saved, hearts,
minds, and lives transformed, and our God glorified.

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