No CRCNA staff members have directly experienced any violence, though all are embroiled in the difficulties that come with the country being in turmoil.
Many staff and partners had plans to leave the country during the summer months, and some have decided to leave earlier than planned due to the rising tension. A few families and staff still in Nicaragua are discerning whether or not to leave. At this point, the CRCNA is not evacuating all staff from Nicaragua; decisions are being made on a case-by-case basis by the staff themselves.
As protests intensify, missionary reports paint a picture of roadblocks, burning tires, violence, and sorrow.
Across the country, protests demand the resignation of the Nicaraguan president. Protests disrupt travel, business, services, and other areas of life. Missionaries report roadblocks on almost every major highway leaving many in danger of food and fuel shortages.
Still, Nicaragua seems to be bracing for more difficulty yet to come.
Resonate and World Renew, monitoring the crisis for nearly two months, are working to support staff in the country and make recommendations concerning security. At the onset of the protests, Dr. Steve Timmermans, executive director of the CRCNA, established a Crisis Monitoring Team for Nicaragua.
“We would ask that you continue to pray for the people of Nicaragua, who have been experiencing increased violence in their communities,” said a joint statement from director Zachary King of Resonate and director Carol Bremer-Bennett of World Renew. “This has hindered the way Resonate and World Renew can work in the country, as it has become more dangerous to move about, even in daylight hours.”
Missionaries providing updates from their own communities describe a country in trouble.
“Our hearts are devastated! Nicaragua is only a shell of what it was barely two months ago,” said one missionary couple.
Others shared, “We haven’t lived this story before, the story of the beloved home country spiraling into chaos, violence, and ruin… It is admittedly hard to be on vacation when things back home are anything but normal.”
“Everyone is afraid to be out after dark,” read a recent missionary update. “...[T]he police forces have nearly completely withdrawn from society. For the last two weeks, crime has gone rampant around the city, taking advantage of zero law enforcement.”
All of the Resonate and World Renew staff and partners in Nicaragua ask for your prayers. Anxious for their friends and colleagues in Nicaragua, they are keenly aware that their Nicaraguan brothers and sisters have no “alternate reality to which they may escape.”
Please pray for your missionaries as they process unplanned travel, uncertain circumstances, and an unknown future for their ministry. Please pray for ministry in Nicaragua as many organizations must cancel functions, reduce hours, or even close down indefinitely.
Please pray also for the people in Nicaragua who struggle each day with providing for basic needs like food and water and face danger from increasing violence and lawlessness. Pray for peace, resolution, and lasting change.
“We hope in a God who makes all things new, “ wrote one missionary. “So we pray fervently that resolution would be found for Nicaragua, and that God's hand would be over this country we love so much.”