We will spending much of our time in Leon, Nicaragua working with the Saeli's. I first met Mike and Maria during my first trip to Nicaragua in 2004. At that time they were serving with Mercy Ships, Nicaragua. When that base was closed in 2005, they felt the call to remain in Nicaragua and continue to work with the people they had come to love. They became full-time staff with Food for the Hungry (FH) in 2006.
(The following bio appears on the FH website)
Mike grew up on a dairy farm in New York, while Maria grew up as a pastor’s daughter in Tennessee. After getting married, the Saelis lived on a Pacific atoll in Micronesia where Mike taught math and sports, and Maria served as a school nurse. In the years following, they returned to the farm and raised three children, but the idea of serving again in a developing country persisted. They longed to encourage others to enter a life-changing relationship with the Lord.
Mike and Maria both served in leadership roles in the local church, went on short-term missions trips, and felt the Holy Spirit calling them to serve full time in Latin America.
The Saelis have been working in Nicaragua since 2002. Mike is enthusiastic about joining FHI since his background in organic agriculture fits perfectly with the sustainable model of transformational development. Maria’s background in public health, school nursing and hospice will allow her to work with FHI by encouraging good nutritional and health practices. The Saelis will also work as a team to promote healthy marriages.