Will you please keep praying for Nicaragua? We just ended a call with good friends there. We are not posting their picture or names because they, like many others, have changed their facebook information. This is because there are many who have spoken against the government are now missing or confirmed dead.
Yesterday there was a national work stoppage. You can google Nicaragua and see pictures of deserted streets and stores. These are places we know and shopped. The Nicaragua government is controlling most news outlets and painting a different picture than the people. The truth is that the US has already frozen $800 million dollars that Nicaragua president, Daniel Ortega had in US bank accounts. The States sent a negotiator to talk about his resignation, but no one knows what the outcome of that meeting was.
Our friends are fortified in their house, laying on the bottom of a bunk bed with many things piled on the top bunk. Why? Because just the other day a bullet came through the roof a their friend's house next to his bed. It is not safe for them to leave their house. He has gone nearly two months without work because they live in middle of the hotbed.
We ended the call with prayer, and while we were praying we could hear gunfire from the street. There is much fear and little peace in Nicaragua. There is distrust of the government and president. We shared that we are waiting for one day that the Prince of Peace will rule this world and we can have every confidence in him.
Please keep praying for Nicaragua in the midst of this crisis. Pray for safety of the innocent. Pray for a quick resolution. Pray that believers will shine bright in this dark time.
Country shuts down in protest against the president
Nicaragua has been in violent turmoil for nearly two months. Today marks another milestone as there is a national protest. For the next 24 hours, everything will be closed. Already highways have been restricted. Food has been scarce, foreign businesses are not importing into Nicaragua, people are suffering. There has been an unofficial curfew of 6pm. It is just too dangerous to be out on the streets after that. I was told that the Nicaragua I knew is now very different. It is a dangerous place to be. There are virtually no North Americans left in the country. Most missionaries have evacuated.
It all escalated when Ortega changed the benefits that retirees would receive. That was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. People came out in protest and the government responded with excessive force. There have been at least 135 killed in the last two months. The government is accused of using para military groups to attack protesters. Police are accused of not protecting the people.
In a call for change, the people decided to shut down everything. Stores, banks, transportation, businesses are all closed. In a country where many people buy food daily, this is difficult. If the national shut down endures, people will be hungry.
How does the church respond?
I talked with pastors Marco & Osman this week. When word came down of the national stoppage, they went to buy provisions for those who may have need. La Gracia (Grace Baptist Church) will have food available for those in their community who were not able to get food.
In the hour of crisis, the church seeks to point people to Christ!
View the video below for further insight of the conflict in Nicaragua: