Welcome to

Aqua de Vida

The purpose of Aqua de Vida Ministry is to teach people the love of Jesus Christ, giving people a glimmer of hope with food pantries, while repairing broken water wells in Nicaraguan communities where they have no bacteria-free water to use or drink.

In Nicaragua, 80% of the populace live on just under $2 every day, 33% of the youngsters have constant ailing health, and a shocking 9% of the population experience the ill effects of serious lack of healthy sustenance.

With your help, we can change this.

Who We Are

Aqua De Vida Ministry started when God put a burden on Shane Hiershe’s life. Shane grew up in the inner city of Kansa City Missouri and his childhood was a difficult one. Like many struggling young people, he was exposed to a culture of crime and drugs and learned to survive the best he knew how. His family had moved to Florida and Shane stayed behind in Missouri. When Shane’s father died, he moved to Florida to be near his mother. He worked odd jobs to make ends meet, but many of the habits he picked up as a kid still dogged him as an adult. One of Shane’s methods of coping was drug abuse. If you have read about the Apostle Paul’s encounter with the resurrected Christ on the Emmaus Road and the transformation Paul experienced and imagine what that might look like in a modern context then you will appreciate Shane’s Story. Shane had left his home one Sunday morning with the intention of buying drugs and getting high. As he drove his vehicle through the small town of Freeport Florida, he felt something he had not experienced before. He felt an irresistible compulsion to stop into a local church, and he ended up in front of Portland United Methodist. He did not just feel compelled to stop, but to go into the church. Once inside he had an encounter with God that led him go to the front of the church and he threw himself down on the floor in total surrender to God. This would be remarkable enough if the church were empty, but it was in the middle of a church service.

Shane’s conversion to Christianity can best be described as a radical transformation. He never looked back. The chains of drug abuse were gone, he was cleansed, and he had a burning in his heart to find what God wanted from him. The calling Shane heard was Missions, he got a vision for a ministry to Central America and the idea of Aqua De Vida was born.

Jonathan O’Hara and Shane met a few years ago at a church while worshipping together. Shane and Jonathan became friends and would run into each other on and off over the course of time but were not totally familiar with all that went on in each other’s lives. One day, Shane felt God leading him to return to the church in which he first found Jesus. He was struggling with what he felt God wanted from him, and felt he was not getting “fed” at the place he was serving. Shane went back to the Portland Methodist Church and who did he see? His friend, his brother in Christ, Jonathan who was now Pastor Jonathan of that same Church where Shane was filled with the love of Jesus. It was then that Shane knew that Jonathan was a mentor to follow. In Jonathan Shane finds someone who speaks the truth and gives out firm love much like Shane experiences with God the Father. Shane also knew that he both wanted and needed Jonathan as the president of his ministry, because not only was he a pastor, and a pastor at the Church in which Shane first found Jesus. Additionally, Jonathan had been on multiple mission trips in different countries but has also done a lot of local outreach work.

Shane met Jeff Hyma through Destiny Worship Center, where Jeff led a men’s Bible Study that Shane attended. During these meetings, Shane and Jeff formed a friendship. Jeff knew Shane was working hard and saving money for his ministry but was not as busy as he could be. Jeff had some projects that needed doing and hired Shane to help. In addition to leading a Bible Study Jeff also leads men through Neal Andersons Steps to Freedom in Christ. In becoming acquainted with Shane, Jeff noticed that Shane still had spiritual and emotional wounds that may be keeping him from experiencing fullness in Christ. Jeff offered to take Shane through Steps to Freedom in Christ. Shane agreed and another mentoring relationship was formed. When Shane completed the Steps to Freedom he asked if Jeff would be willing to help with the ministry. Jeff agreed with one condition, he would agree as long as his wife Dawn could also be a part of this ministry. Having gotten to know Dawn he agreed. Shane appreciated Dawn’s kind heart and spirit and was encouraged by the thought of having the great team of Jeff and Dawn together in support of his ministry.

Shane also met Ricky Carter at Destiny Worship Center. They did many things together. Ricky is a country man, and Shane was a city boy living in the country. Shane did not feel he fit in, so he looked upon Ricky as a role model. He liked that Ricky was very skilled in so many ways. Having served time in the Paratroopers, Ricky is a man who is easy to respect and admire. Ricky was a former Paratrooper, but also a woodsman who can hunt, fish, cook and fix absolutely anything. But, beyond all these great skills Ricky is a dear brother in Christ and a role model as a father a husband and a as a man of God. The depth of trust that Shane has in Ricky made him an easy choice as a board member and a valuable resource for the mechanical aspects of the mission of repairing wells.

Shane also met Connie Jones at the Portland United Methodist Church. They got to know each other over time at Church. Shane found out that Connie’s father had visited Nicaragua and purchased land there with the vision to build a farm so that local people could work, supply food for the families, and become more capable of feeding themselves and others. Nicaragua was where Shane felt God calling him so he felt a connection to the ideas that he shared with Connie’s father. Shane hopes to carry on with some of the work Connie’s father started.

And by the grace of God, and in keeping with God’s plan, these people were all brought together and formed the Aqua De Vida Ministry.

Being a missionary is incredible and allowed for self-discovery, revival of trust in God and the Holy Spirit and the creations of life-long friendships. It’s a blessing and honor to be a disciple on the mission field bringing fresh clean water and spreading the love of Jesus to the people of Nicaragua. To be ready and able to tell others about the hope that Jesus has brought to our lives.

Certain things in life are absolutely necessary. We need air to breathe. We need water. We also need hope. Life without hope is difficult, if not impossible. The Bible describes the Spirit as “rivers of living water”

Jeff Hyma

What We Do

Teach People About the Love of Jesus Christ

Certain things in life are absolutely necessary. We need air to breathe. We need water. We also need hope. Life without hope is difficult, if not impossible. The Bible describes the Spirit as “rivers of living water”

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
~John 7:37-38

Aqua de Vida teaches God’s love is perfect. How His love never changes. How God doesn’t stop loving. God’s presence is everywhere at the same time. We are Jesus’ hands and feet, representing him to the world. And when we love as he as loved us, it will make the difference. Love is much more than a feeling or an attitude, love is an action. When we love, we show it by our hearts by teaching the word of God. Showing them that if they place their hopes, their future, their dreams and especially their burdens down at the feet of Jesus. Aqua de Vida has been blessed with seeing how God uses us,   to bring hope and help time and time again. When we demonstrate Christian love to the villages, to the ones that has felt abandoned and lost, it distinguishes us as believers from the rest of the world.

By spreading the love of Jesus, we show that God choses to love us, not because of anything we have done, or will do, but simply as a choice of His grace toward us. And, because God loves us, He wants us to choose to love others as He does. One of the best ways to see that is to look at Jesus’ life. When we read the life of Jesus in the Bible, we see that Jesus is the walking, talking, vision of who God is, what He does, and how He loves. How God loves people. Jesus was saying to His followers, “Want to know how to love? Look at me.”

Fix Wells to Provide Clean Drinking Water

Our most dramatic changes in life will come from Gods initiative, not ours. God has a purpose for each of us. We are to be “Fishers of men”. This is when it’s important to shine and teach the Bible. For all children and people to be filled with the love and admiration of this life that was bestowed to us by God sending His only begotten son to die for us, Jesus Christ. At the same time teaching them how to repair the water wells so they not only maintain the ones we repair but can teach others the same. Hence, being “Fishers of men”. Allowing our words to lay upon the lost, allowing our actions to reach the unreachable, allow our love to bring strength to the weak.  All for the honor to serve our Father God here in Nicaragua.

Jesus saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you “Fishers of men” -Matthew 4:19

Aqua de Vida Ministry has been in Nicaragua repairing water wells supplying over 1500 homes (6400 people) in 45 different communities with fresh clean batería-free water instead of taking a rugged walk to a river filled with pesticides, which we call “black water” carrying buckets on their heads for miles at a time, causing kids not to be able to go to school because of having to help mom, depriving them of a future, along with many other issues and hygiene.  There are no toilets where we go but holes in the ground and homes made out of metal sheets and wood. Some have the concrete blocks. Fresh clean water lifts them up in spirits and brings back hope to the lost.

While repairing the wells we speak to them about the importance of having Jesus in our lives. Step by step explaining the process of each well component and how to properly maintain it for a longer, durable life span so they can be able to use for generations ahead while being “Fishers of men”

Each morning we start with bible studies, following up with any prayer request. Aqua de Vida feels that we as Christians cannot be afraid to speak, we cannot be afraid to walk, we cannot be afraid to proclaim the Gospel that set us free. We need to be bold servants; we need to be proud children of our Father to show light to the dark. We are “Fishers of men” cast out the hands and reach to the people, if it won’t be us then who it will be.




Giving People a Glimmer of Hope with Food Pantries

Ever been hungry?  Hungry for food? Hungry for hope? Anyone around you need a relationship with God? His word is the food we need to be filled and never empty.  

We are told that Jesus saw a great big crowd of people and He had “compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.”

The world tells us to respond with the same attitude in which we are treated; Jesus says to respond in love and in service.  God is in the business of helping those who CANNOT help themselves. The need for hope that things will get better from their condition and the help with food gives them this glimmer of hope.

For I was hungry, you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty; you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger; you invited me in
~ Matthew 25:35

Poverty has stricken a core within the people here in Nicaragua. When a person loses hope all things come to an end, depression sets in, no sense of worthiness, feeling of abandonment but once you find hope, it becomes the energy that motivates the soul. As believers, our hope is found in the promises of God. Jesus is so identified with the poor that he takes our actions of them as our actions on him. If we want to call ourselves true followers of Christ, we must act on the teachings related to feeding the hungry.

It’s an important ministry which I believe Christ is calling us to do. Our teachings include doing God’s work in a humble manner without expecting anything in return. Aqua de Vida Ministry is blessed with the opportunity by donors and sponsors to go back to the mountainous areas of Nicaragua and also to lost areas where it seems they are forgotten to bring fresh vegetables, fruits, rice, beans, bread and proteins. This gives the people a glimmer of hope, a sample of the generosity and love of Jesus. Having Bible studies with them daily, reading the great book of promises and hope, they are given insight into where hope comes from. Everyone needs to be reminded from time to time of the hope that God, Jesus and the Bible offer to us in our daily lives.

Aqua de Vida Ministry feels the need to address those and be prepared to minister to the poor and hungry wherever God calls us to minister them here in Nicaragua. Simply put, being poor is not having enough food, clothing, and shelter for your family. It is an urgent need for more money and materials. Being poor can also be described as being without a dream that will take you out of poverty, which means the children will have no means to succeed in life. That is not the way God lives and neither does He want us to live that way. Aqua de Vida Ministry has come up with an idea to bless people with bags of hope.

 Out of the blessings of the LORD, we are able to let the river flow and touch lives of people we may never know.  Aqua de Vida goes out to search for the lost. Where this is could be the last time they eat, the last time they hope, the last time they could feel the love of Jesus through us. Through our touch. Through our smile. Through our love. Being the Hands n Feet of Jesus.




Water Wells Fixed
… In 50 Communities
Homes Provided with Water
People Provided with Water

Donate Today

Your donations make it possible for us to continue our work in Nicaragua, restoring hope with faith in Jesus Christ while repairing water wells. Returning bacteria free drinking and cleaning water to thousands of people in multiples of communities, all for the glory of God.

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