What’s in a Name?

We are inspired and driven by Matthew 5:16  letting our light shine through good works so people will recognize and glorify their loving heavenly Father. We also feel a sense of urgency. The world needs us NOW. So, our name is combination of our guiding verse and our urgency: Mathew 5:16 + in action today = 516NOW

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:16 

There is real synergy of operating under a single banner and seeking to meet the full scope of a community’s needs: physical and spiritual. As we have continued God’s work, we have seen the community rallying around 516NOW.

  • A box of 516NOW t-shirts was stolen in 2012 and the shirts started showing up all over Palacagüina
    (Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm, but God intended it for good)

  • The clinic painted the 516NOW logo on the side of the building and the local baseball team (former national champions) had the 516NOW logo put on their jerseys and it will soon be painted on the baseball stadium.
    (Psalm 64:9 …they will proclaim to works of God and ponder what He has done)

  • Outside organizations visiting Palacagüina (World Race Teams, churches from Nebraska & Canada, and college student groups) all operate under the 516NOW name.
    (Psalm 20:5 … we lift up our banners in the name of our God)

  • In the summer of 2013 a 516NOW mission team was welcomed to the city by a parade through the center of town.
    (Psalm 84:11 … the Lord bestows favor and honor…)

How God brought us to His mission & our unique approach

516NOW began in early 2011 when John Barrett, David Rhodes, and another gentleman took an exploratory trip to Nicaragua. The group met with Jaime Blandon – an old contact with whom David had worked while serving at another church. David’s church and Jaime collaborated to construct seven church buildings in communities around Condega, Nicaragua. As they toured those sites, several churches were closed or had dwindled dramatically in membership. God’s message was clear – simply constructing church buildings wasn’t going to be enough. However, in neighboring Palacagüina, a local church was meeting in a rented home. Out of space and facing an uncertain future, as the landlord was attempting to sell the building, it was also clear that God had church building in mind for this town.

That summer, John and David led a Milestones Church group to Palacagüina and major progress was made on the construction of a new church building. Dental services were provided to residents, local pastors were trained, and a children’s program was conducted. This multi-pronged effort was the first indication of the broad-based ministry that was to become the foundation for 516NOW.

In early 2012, John, David and Scott Votey met with community leaders: the mayor, superintendent of schools, chief of police, and director of the medical clinic. After expressing a desire to share the love of Christ by helping meet the needs of the community, they all welcomed 516NOW’s involvement. The mayor shared a list of one hundred goals she had for the community and invited 516NOW to help with any or all of them.

With a clear vision of the opportunities for ministry and growth, the team discussed the opportunity that God was providing during a lay-over in Atlanta. Each noted that core ideas expressed in the book When Helping Hurts were confirmed by the recent trips to Nicaragua. Matthew 5:16: “Let your light so shine before men that they see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” came to mind and perfectly described their mission. They all agreed that the time to follow God’s prompting was urgent and 516NOW was born. <See Projects for a list of accomplishments>

The amazing thing that God has shown is the real synergy of operating under a single banner and seeking to meet the full scope of a community’s needs: physical and spiritual. As we have continued God’s work, we have seen the community rallying around 516NOW.

  • A box of 516NOW t-shirts was stolen in 2012 and the shirts started showing up all over Palacagüina!
    (Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm, but God intended it for good)

  • The clinic painted the 516NOW logo on the side of the building and the local baseball team (former national champions) had the 516NOW logo put on their jerseys and it will soon be painted on the baseball stadium.
    (Psalm 64:9 …they will proclaim to works of God and ponder what He has done)

  • Outside organizations visiting Palacagüina (World Race Teams, churches from Nebraska & Canada, and college student groups) all operate under the 516NOW name.
    (Psalm 20:5 … we lift up our banners in the name of our God)

  • In the summers of 2013 & 2014,  516NOW mission teams were welcomed by the city with parades through the center of town.
    (Psalm 84:11 … the Lord bestows favor and honor…)

The mission of 516NOW continues to develop based on those core ideas birthed in the Atlanta airport in 2011. We believe that the pattern of development that is being implemented in Palacagüina is vital, sustainable, and transferable to other communities within Nicaragua and around the globe. While 516NOW is still in its infancy, we believe future possibilities are as wide as the needs of the world and as feasible as the unlimited supply of God

Our Mission

“516NOW exists to help build holy, prosperous,

sustainable communities in every country of the world”

(starting with Palacagüina, Nicaragua)  

We are inspired and driven by Matthew 5:16 – letting our light shine through good works so people will recognize and glorify their loving heavenly Father. We remove obstacles that prevent people from seeing the saving grace of Jesus Christ and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.  (See also our HISTORY)

We seek to glorify God through good works to improve the quality of life for people in need by:

  • Working together with people in our target communities

  • Ensuring that all projects are sustainable

  • Pointing to God and glorifying Him in all we do

  • Facilitating the involvement of key individuals inside and outside our communities

WHAT WE BELIEVE

About the Scriptures

We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that men were moved by the Spirit of God to write the very words of Scripture. Those words are authoritative in all they address.

About God

We believe in one God who exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe that Jesus Christ is the second member of the Trinity (the Son of God) who became flesh to reveal God to humanity and to become the Savior of the world.

About Humanity

We believe that all people were created in the image of God to have fellowship with him but became alienated in that relationship through sinful disobedience. As a result, people are incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through their own efforts.

About Salvation

We believe that the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, provides the sole basis for the forgiveness of sin. Therefore, God freely offers salvation to those who place their faith in Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection for their sins.

About the Christian Life

We believe all Christians should live for Christ and not for themselves. By obedience to the Word of God and daily yielding to the Spirit of God, every believer should mature and be conformed to the image of Christ.

About the Church

We believe that the church is the body of Christ, of which Jesus Christ is the head. All genuine Christians are members of that body.  The purpose of the church is to glorify God by loving him and by making him known to the lost world.

About Mission

We believe the love of God compels us to take not only the message of Christ but also the heart of Christ to the world.  We therefore unite with others in the Body of Christ to address issues of justice, poverty, and deprivation wherever possible.

Operating Philosophy

Our Operating Philosophy has four primary aspects:

Holy:

The word, “holy” signifies something that is set apart –especially something set aside for God. 516NOW has done, and will continue to do, many humanitarian activities but our aim is more holistic than simply giving aid or helping provide for temporal needs. We seek to so lift up the name and work of Jesus so that the entire community is touched by the redemptive power of Christ. We will work towards the goal of more and more people identifying as followers of Christ and the community progressively resembling the character of Christ even among people who have not yet chosen to follow Him.

Prosperous:

A prosperous community is one where basic needs are routinely met. Those needs include but may not be limited to: adequate housing, competent health care, adequate nutrition, appropriate clothing, competent education, basic freedoms, reasonable opportunity, adequate employment, self-sustaining income and reasonable security. While it is our desire that every person enjoy a relationship with Christ we maintain that all persons, whatever their religious beliefs, have been created by God in His image and providing adequately for their needs is the will of our Father in heaven. 516NOW will invest in projects promoting this kind of prosperity without demanding any specific religious response, believing such work in and of itself glorifies our Father in Heaven.

Sustainable:

A community must develop internal capabilities and competencies to support itself. Any person or community dependent upon outsiders for financial or other support will always operate under a yoke of poverty. 516 NOW actively seeks to identify, engage, and support sustainable initiatives so that communities can operate independently and successfully on their own. Our city missionaries understand that they are in a temporary position, and are continually identifying community resources to develop so that their ultimate departure from the community will not disrupt or slow the community’s progress in becoming more holy and prosperous.

Communities:

While 516NOW is a religious organization that always seeks to partner with Christ-centered churches, our focus is broader than any church. Although we will always seek to partner with a church or churches, it is not our intent to confine ourselves to work with or for churches. Our goal in whatever context we minister is to bring blessing to the entire community. We seek to do good works in the name of Jesus so that everyone will be drawn towards giving glory to God.

 

Guiding Principles

We have nine Guiding Principles:

Partners, not Recipients

We view nationals in each area as partners in our endeavors, not merely recipients. While we reserve the right to direct our energies and resources as we believe God directs, we enter each ministry field as servants – not dictators. We seek, and highly value, the perspectives and direction of the people in each community where we minister.

Community Ownership

Once a project is completed, we seek to quickly relinquish control and ownership to responsible persons or organizations in the community.

Orchestration

We make the work of others matter more. We identify others who have already developed valuable skills, knowledge and competencies and introduce them to communities with great need. Many times, these individuals and organizations are like talented musicians that are glorifying God, but when brought together with others playing different instruments, the result is a symphony that could not otherwise be played.

Self-sustaining

We give priority to projects that are self-sustaining. While we are certainly willing to offer temporary assistance in areas of dire need, we always seek to minister to people in ways that empower them to meet their own future needs rather than cultivate an environment of perpetual dependency.

No Strings Attached

While we desire everyone to have a relationship with Christ, we guard against offering help in ways that would encourage superficial or constrained faith commitments.

Unapologetic Faith

While we purposely refrain from offering temporal inducements for faith commitments, our personal commitment to Christ is public and unapologetic. We will not participate in projects that demand or constrain us to deny or hide our faith.

Stewardship

We seek to be good stewards of any assets entrusted to us and generally give precedence to those activities that will bring the most significant return on investment for the communities we serve.

Credit to God

We acknowledge that every good and perfect gift comes from God and seek to give Him the glory for anything we accomplish. This does not mean we refuse to give credit to whom credit is due, but our mindset in each endeavor will be to deflect praise and honor towards our Heavenly Father.

Responsibility

We accept the responsibility that being a faith-based organization implies. We expect persons associated with our ministry to conduct themselves within biblical parameters of integrity, ethical conduct, moral responsibility, and spiritual faithfulness. While we always seek to function in an atmosphere of grace and restoration, personnel accept that certain behaviors or attitudes may disqualify them from service.