Over the past number of decades, the Be in Christ Church of Canada has had a close relationship with our sisters and brothers in Nicaragua. Over the years, multiple Canadians have served as global workers in Nicaragua and our churches have partnered with the Nicaraguan church in constructing buildings, training and various ministry events like Kids Summer Bible School, etc. We have walked together and we as the Canadian Church are better for it! We are grateful for our Nicaraguan family. For the past 5 months (since April 18, 2018) Nicaragua has experienced protests, violence, loss of life and the interruption of normal living. Tourism has fallen and the economy is suffering. The BBC estimates that approximately 125,000 people have left the country as refugees.
The issues leading to the unrest in Nicaragua revolve around changes within their social security programs, significant increases in the price of fuel and concerns over a canal being built across the mainland from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast. A lot of the violence has been centred around universities and young people and approximately 400 people have died in the clashes.
Recently Trevor Main (Area Director for Central/South America) and I visited with the national church president and some of his team. Our purpose was to listen to our sisters and brothers in Nicaragua, to encourage them and to affirm with them that, while we are at a distance, they are not alone…to affirm that we stand with them in this season of suffering and turmoil. As part of our encouragement, we were able to give some funds from the World Hunger Fund to help their pastoral team. These funds were given by the generosity of the people of Be In Christ Canada.
In Nicaragua the impact on local churches has been real. Churches have shortened their worship services, reduced the number of services they have, and a number of pastors have left their ministry for economic reasons. Beyond this it has started to impact national church programs and finances.
So, beyond a little bit of financial support, and a short visit for encouragement, what can we do?
We can PRAY. Pray in three ways:
- For the peace of Christ to triumph over violence.
- Wisdom for the government as they lead through this season of turmoil.
- For the wellbeing of the Church of Jesus Christ during this time and that its prophetic voice can be heard by all as a voice for peace and reconciliation.
So, as the Church in Canada, let’s pray!
— Doug Sider is the Executive Director at Be In Christ Church of Canada.
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