Monday, October 6, 2014


We have passed the half-way point! Even with rain most days, the workers have been able to accomplish much. We are so grateful for their perseverance. Here are some pictures of the progress...
Andrew looking on as Oscar works inside the port hull

Adding fiberglass panels to the front of the main cabin

Two brothers with a vision

Roof completed on all cabins

We want to thank all of you who have prayed and given toward this amazing project. The folks here are so excited to be able to reach the many up-river communities with medical care and the Gospel.

Depending on the weather and funding, we hope to launch the boat in early 2015.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

And life goes on...

Much has happened here since we last posted ...

We are more than half-way to our goal of raising the funds to build Herman's house! The church has decided that we should build them a new house instead of taking apart a house that is already built and move it to the lot given to Herman and his family. We agree whole-heartedly! Hopefully we can break ground soon...

Joining the two hulls with 20-foot beams

Today was a big day for the boat building...the two hulls were joined together using five 20-foot beams. It's looking good! The next step is to design and build the cabins. They will move the boat once the beams are secured to a location for easy launch. All of this is a challenge to do during rainy season.

Donna is teaching two classes at the university: writing and an adult ESL class for the university staff. The Administration has decided that all the staff need to speak English. So you can imagine these folks after working a full day and then having to go to language class...we do a lot of laughing! 

We had a great trip last weekend with the Verbo worship team and dance team to a Verbo church in Muelle de los Bueyes, a town about 100 miles NW of Bluefields. We visited families and had the opportunity to pray for many for healing and encouragement.                   

Here we are on the Panga ride to Rama...we then took a van to Muelle de los Bueyes

Our hosts, Pastor Francisco and his wife Lezbia... wonderful, wonderful new friends

Juanita, Emelina, and Francisco...a precious family in their 80s. They were so full of faith as they shared how God has healed them of various things over the past few months.

Some of our group with some of the young people from the church in Muelle de los Bueyes (Pastor Ed is in the center)

We have been so very blessed by the giving of so many of you and the faithful prayers being offered for us and our work here. God is certainly moving and we are loving that we can be a part of his work.

One of the ways we are seeing him work had a tragic beginning...the 20 year old son of a couple in our church was killed 3-weeks ago in a boating accident. It really hit everyone very hard. But the victorious side of it is that about 8 young people, his friends and cousins, have come to the Lord and been baptized as a result of this loss. 
Please pray for Lisette and Umberto as they work through their grief.

Other prayer requests:

  • wisdom for Dan and the boat builders as they work on the next phase
  • enough dry days for both the boat building and Herman's house
  • funds to finish construction
  • language learning for these old brains of ours
  • open doors into the local community
Thanks for reading our blog...please pass it on to anyone you think might be interested in what we are doing.

Yours in Christ,
Dan and Donna Letton

For contributions to the project or for our monthly support, please visit the Global Outreach website:  and find us under "Missionaries". 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Urgent Need!

Meet Herman and his family...Silvia (14), Rico (5), Herman and Fanno (7) ... Luis (11) wasn't here for the picture.

They began coming to Verbo Church about 2 months ago. Herman is blind. We met him and his family when he came up after the service asking for prayer...he wanted Jesus to heal his eyes. When he was 10 years old, he was hiding from the Sandinista soldiers who had come to draft his brother. Herman climbed into a tree and when the soldiers found him, they shook the tree until he fell out. He landed on a stick that punctured his eye. He lost the sight of the other eye later from another accident. We prayed for him that day and every Sunday since that the Lord will answer his cry.

But, honestly, blindness is only part of their trouble. The mother had brought the family over to Bluefields from north of Managua and then abandoned them. They have no way of making money, but Herman insists that he is a good farmer and if he had a piece of land, he could grow food. They live in a borrowed home (they have no money for rent) about 1/4 mile down a very bad dirt road, which makes it more than difficult for Herman to go anywhere. Silvia has become "mom" and does all the cooking, and washing as well as her school work. Even with all the obstacles facing this little family, you can't imagine how caring and loving they are to each other; with not an ounce of bitterness or self-pity.

The church is helping them with food, but the most urgent need is a house that is safe and dry and their own. Pastor Ed has said that there is a house on the church farm that can be taken apart and moved to a lot that has easier access for Herman. The cost to move the house, dig a well and a septic tank and buy some furniture will be about $4,000. 

We have set up a special fund with our organization, Global Outreach called "Letton House for Herman", account number 4287. 100% of any donations made to this account will go to helping this family.

You can send tax deductible checks to: Global Outreach, P.O. Box 1, Tupelo, MS 38802; or go online and make donations that way. We so appreciate anything you can do to help. 

We would also ask you to pray...not only for the finances, but also for Herman's healing and for the Lord to guide and protect this dear family. 

Please pass this on to anyone who might be interested in helping.
God bless you...Dan and Donna

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Making progress between the rainstorms!

It's all a matter of perspective...what might seem to us as slow progress is lightning speed for least that's what friends here tell us. So we are grateful! And every day without rain is a blessing. We have entered the rainy season, but we are hoping for some dry mornings or afternoons to work. 

The builders are really having to use their creativity as we are deep in "uncharted waters". But when we asked Santiago the other day if he liked the challenge of building something he had never built before, he said yes! he did.

Here are some pictures of the most recent progress:

Cutting to prepare one hull to fit the other half.

Piecing the halves together with fiberglass cloth and epoxy.

Pastor Ed and Dan checking on the progress...
We so greatly appreciate your prayer support as we move forward with this project...the most urgent prayer needs right now are:

  • dry days (or even partial days) to do the work
  • funds to complete the boat (we are close to half way there)
  • language study
  • wisdom to know how and where we fit into this community 

If you would like to give toward this project, funds can be sent to: Global Outreach P.O. Box 1, Tupelo, MS 38802. Or directly on the website: Account # 1056.

Please pass this blog on to others you think would be interested.

Blessings! Dan and Donna Letton

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Boat Progress Photos

Aaron begins cutting out the interior

Interior before cut-out

Removing a bulkhead

A well deserved break...

Clean-out complete!

Exterior all sanded and cleaned up...

Ready to use as a mould 

Aaron, one of our experienced boat builders

Dan with Santiago, the Project Manager

The plan for our 37' "Pangamaran"

Saturday, April 19, 2014


We just found out yesterday that an individual has given a very generous donation to our ministry! This will allow us to start construction on the boat we have been wanting to build and will probably cover most of the costs.
Dan checking out a local panga.
Several aspects of this donation illustrate the Lord's sovereignty and faithfulness:

For several months, I had been studying various designs, trying to discern which one would be the best. JUST LAST WEEK, I was able to meet again with the boss (Frank) of the largest boatyard in Bluefields. I began describing the idea I had of building two 30' fiberglas dugouts from their mould, then joining them together to build a catamaran. Frank said that he had a different idea that he wanted to show me. He went on to describe the process of cutting an existing Panga in half lengthwise, then building these two halves into the catamaran hulls and adding a cabin. This is an idea that I had toyed with some weeks earlier, but did not think it would be feasible. Frank believes that it IS feasible, and the cost would be much less because we would be building it out of an existing boat.

A Panga...

...And more Pangas.

So.......IF we had gotten the funds earlier, I might have started to build a different kind of boat which would probably have ended up costing more and taking longer to build.

Usually the rains do not start until June; this will give us several weeks of construction time to get the boat finished before summer!

This design and building process will allow us to build a boat that can be powered by sails AND/OR outboard motors, something I had hoped for all along. With gasoline costing around $6.00 USD per gallon, it would be good to have a way to conserve fuel.

Needless to say, we are VERY excited to see the Lord working in all these ways! Thanks to you all for your continued prayers and financial support.

May the Lord bless you all as we celebrate His resurrection and eternal victory on our behalf!!

Dan and Donna

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dan's Trip to Tasbapauni

This past week, I did some work in a smaller town (village) 60 miles up the coast from Bluefields. Tasbapauni is home to some very interesting people. They are a mixture of African descendants, Misquito indigenous people, Creole-speaking Caribbean people and the Spanish.

Typical transportation for people living up-river

There are no streets in Tasbapauni, only sidewalks, because there are no cars-- only bicycles, cows, horses, pigs, chickens, dogs, birds, the resident parrot, and lots of boats!

I went there with a friend from Cayman, Eddie, to help him with a project. A few months ago, he had the boat builders make him a 30' dugout canoe from a single large log. The landing place for his boat and the other boats in the village had become overgrown with weeds and filled in with what flows down from the village in the rainy season. It was the blackest, foulest mud you can imagine! The project was to dig out (by hand) this canal so that the boats could get to the landing.

The first day...sludge!

Pulling out all the water plants that have clogged the canal...

Each day after work, we would take a 200- yard walk from the lagoon side to the Caribbean side and plunge ourselves into the salty waves, cleansing ourselves of the black, sticky mud. By day three, we had successfully deepened and widened the canal all the way out to the lagoon.
After a hard day's work...
We stayed with a local pastor and his family. They graciously fed us and housed us for those three days. Our fare consisted mainly of turtle meat, rice, cassava, and beans. There were no fresh vegetables.

During this trip, the Lord reminded me of several things:

1.) It is not the PROJECT that is most important; it is developing relationships with the local folks during the PROCESS that is most important.

2.)  I need to walk in the Spirit every minute of every day, so that I can be more aware of what is happening around me in the lives of those we touch.

3.) All our resources, talents and experience need to be made available to the Lord and His Kingdom work. We need to "hold on loosely" to our possessions, money, and reputations.

4.) Often, the Lord puts us in a position of weakness and dependency that is humbling and challenging, but the lessons learned are worth it.

My hope and prayer is that I can apply these reminders to my life and my involvement in the communities in and around Bluefields.

I am planning another "exploratory" trip up-river for later this spring. The Turtoguero district (north and west of Tasbapauni)  has very little medical infrastructure, so I want to do a survey of several villages in that area and then we may be ready for our first medical team. If anyone is interested in going on this trip, please let me will probably be in the fall.

We want to thank you again for your support through prayer and financial giving. You are all such a blessing to us.

Prayer needs:
- The resources needed to make the exploratory trips...the logistics of open doors, transportation, translators, etc.
- Finances for the boat/boats we feel are needed for the ministry here.
- For Donna's English class...resources, creativity, and the relationships that she will make.

Friday, March 28, 2014

First week...

It feels like a lot longer than a week! But we arrived here a week ago yesterday afternoon...and I must say, we are feeling pretty settled in. (for all of you who are still battling is so lovely and warm here, with constant breeze blowing off the water.)

BICU Campus
Donna has a job! She had contacted a local university last fall about teaching, but it was hard to make plans when we weren't sure exactly when we would get back. So she emailed on Monday and went in on Wednesday and came home with a job: teaching a new course on English Literature to those working on Saturdays to get a bachelor's degree. It will be a 4-hr. a day course, so a challenge, but an interesting challenge. She'll have about 20 students from 20+ to 30+ years of age. It all starts April 12th!

The next item of news is a trip Dan is going on...

These are the people they will be working with..

...and the types of villages they will be visitig...

Tomorrow he and a friend from Cayman Islands who works here are heading up-river for 10 days. They plan to do some work on Eddie's dugout canoe and then visit some villages where Eddie has been working. The people are extremely poor in this area so there is much to be done.

Please pray:
- that Dan and Eddie will have a safe and fruitful trip.
- that Donna can gather all the materials she needs off the internet and that she can organize the course so that it will be interesting and enjoyable.
- we are submitting a grant application to Samaritan's Purse for the boat we want to build or buy. Pray that we have a favorable response from them.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Finally arrived in Bluefields...

After a month of traveling...Tupelo, MS...Cabot, AR...Arlington, TX...Managua, Nicaragua...we have arrived at our new home, Bluefields! It was a good trip over from Managua...front seats for the 5 hour bus ride and cloudy skies for the 2 hour boat ride. Beautiful scenery and friendly people. 

Stopping for snacks along the road

Before we left Managua, we were able to get prayed for by Margarita, Ruby's sister, to send us out to her hometown. She still has family in Bluefields...a sister and a son. We are hoping to make contact with them soon.

Dan and Donna with Miss Margarita...

So we are here! A lobster lunch was waiting for us at Ed and Ligia's home/guesthouse. And we were able to mostly unpack 5 suitcases and 2 trunks yesterday the rest done this morning while Dan made the rounds of the boatyards. It is so good to be back! We will keep you posted as His plans unfold for us.

Please continue to pray for:

  • Finances - for the boat and our monthly support
  • Boat design decisions as well as who the builder should be
  • Language study
  • For relationships to develop with the community here
Dan and Donna

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Letton's Newsletter

Here is our most recent newsletter for those of you who have not received it by snail-mail. If you didn't receive it and would like to get our next one, please send your address to:

We will be posting updates on this keep checking.

blessings, Dan and donna