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Cross-Cultural Exchanges | Nehemiah Center

Cross-Cultural Exchanges

Living, learning and serving in a cross-cultural context allows for
practical experience and an opportunity for growth

Cross-Cultural Exchanges


Living, learning and serving in a cross-cultural context allows for practical experience and an opportunity for growth in the life of university students. The Semester Program in Nicaragua (SPIN) is a unique program for college students developed by the Nehemiah Center in collaboration with Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa. Students live with a Nicaraguan host family and learn firsthand about their culture and the challenges of living in a situation with few resources.


  • Three months of living cross-cultural experience in Managua and Leon, Nicaragua
  • Living with a Nicaraguan host family in their modest living conditions
  • Learn about the culture first-hand — from Nicaraguans
  • Developing life long friendships with Nicaraguans young and old


  • A fully accredited course through Dordt College, Sioux Center Iowa
  • An opportunity to grapple with issues surrounding poverty
  • An in-depth experience in the integration of a biblical worldview into your life
  • Learn the history, the culture, the language, the food, the entertainment, the experiences from those who live it
  • Embrace Nicaraguan culture, sports, and lifestyle
  • Enjoy the biodiversity of ‘the land of lakes and volcanoes.


  • Serve alongside of fellow students and Nicaraguans as everyone searches together how God works in their lives, in the lives of others, and in the transformation of communities.
  • Gain experience in your own area of interest

Program Objectives

    • To develop an awareness of and respect for the diversity of peoples and cultural traditions in Nicaragua and surrounding Central American communities, and to understand the contemporary political, economic, ecclesiastical, and social structures of this region of the world.
    • To acquaint students with the historical interweaving of culture, politics, economics, and communities of faith in Nicaraguan society.
    • To assist students in recognizing different cultural systems and beliefs, and in evaluating their own North American culture from other perspectives.
    • To learn or improve Spanish language skills through formal instruction and conversations with host families and other Nicaraguans.
    • To enable students to think and live as Christians in a world culture.
    • To develop skill and sensitivity in cross-cultural communication.
    • To encourage a heart for service through service-learning experiences.

For more information about SPIN contact us at spin[@] or visit us here

Cohort of Missioners

Participating in a gap year or engaging in a year of travel by taking a break from academic studies has proven to help young adults become more mature, create a greater sense of self-awareness, direct their career path and excel academically. The Cohort of Missioners program offered through the Nehemiah Center is a year-long experience in which participants, known as Missioners, are immersed in the Nicaraguan culture by serving with local programs and initiatives at the grassroots level. Each participant is linked to fellow Missioners throughout Central America with whom they will communally participate in service, intensive learning, reflection, and spiritual formation.

Being part of the Cohort is lived out by:

  • Worshipping with the international church and developing spiritually.
  • Learning from community leaders about change from the inside out.
  • Walking alongside the last, the least, and the lost in whatever ways are possible.
  • Living out the change you want to see in the world and in the community.
  • Creating networks and relationships.
  • Loving God and your neighbor, but not on your own terms.

To learn more about the cohort of missioners, check out the program website here.

Church Friendships

Often times relationships developed between North American and Nicaraguan churches is based on a financial transaction. The North American church raises the funds and sends it to the Nicaraguan church who receives the gift. In contrary to this, the Church Friendship Initiative is an opportunity to cultivate cross-cultural sister church relationships between North American and Nicaraguan churches to benefit the global Church of Christ. It focuses more on the relationships developed than on financial transactions. This initiative appreciates the unity and diversity of believers throughout the world, along with creating a space for mutual learning.

The purpose of these sister church relationships between Nicaragua and North America are:

  • Mutual learning
  • Appreciation for the global body of believers (Eph 2)
  • Contribution to the health and growth of the church in Nicaragua through training, working together in a diverse group, dialogue related to ministry issues, and prayer and ministry support long-term from other churches
  • Contribution to the health and growth of the church in North America through orientation and teaching, dialogue related to ministry issues, and prayer and ministry support long-term from other churches
  • A form of training Nicaraguan churches using North American funds with the Nehemiah Center as a channel until the churches grow in trust and commitment to each other

Current Church Friendships:

1. Churches in Chinandega, Nicaragua – Faith Christian Reformed Church, Pella, Iowa

2. Churches in Leon, Nicaragua – Immanuel Christian Reformed Church, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

3. Churches in Acahualinca, Managua, Nicaragua – Central Reformed Church, Oskaloosa, Iowa