Many of you have asked about the safety of our missionaries and partners in Nicaragua. We are happy to report that they all are safe and being instruments of God’s peace in the midst of violence.
The following is news that Adalia Gutiérrez-Lee received from our partners and missionaries this week:
Drs. Laura and David Parajón, IM missionaries to Nicaragua serving with A Ministry of Sharing (AMOS), wrote:
“Since Monday, there have been no reports of violent demonstrations in the country and on Tuesday leaders from the Catholic Church in Nicaragua have accepted the invitation to be the intermediaries in the national dialogue called for by the Nicaraguan government, which we hope will lead the country to a peaceful resolution to the current crisis. Starting Tuesday, public transportation, most schools, businesses and organizations, including AMOS, resumed their operations. We have been in touch with all our staff and health promoters in the rural communities and all are safe and returning to normal activities.” Full article here.
Council of Evangelical Churches and Development (CEPAD) Director Damaris Albuquerque explained last week:
“Since Thursday, April 19th, our country has suffered from violence.The president authorized some reforms to the Social Security law, without consulting any of the sectors, that affected the retired people and increasing the amount that is paid by the employers and employees. This generated some protests, especially from the university students. The police reacted in an outrageous manner, clashing with the protesters.
“After three days of protests, President Ortega appeared on national TV, surrounded by members of the National Army, the National Police and Vice-President Murillo. He said that a dialogue would start between the private sector, the government and representatives from the unions. He didn’t once apologize for the undue force from the Police, neither did he offer a word of sympathy to the families of those killed. That led to more protests and then riots exploded on several locations of the capital city and in some of the municipal seats. Government offices were damaged, markets, supermarkets and other stores were pillaged. President Ortega again spoke yesterday on national TV, this time surrounded by the owners of the Free Zone factories, with a much conciliatory tone saying that everybody has the right to protest, speaking against violence and reiterating that the dialogue will start—without any conditions–with the mediation of Cardinal Brenes from the Catholic Church. However, during the evening the Police again fired against the students who are inside of the Polytechnical University (UPOLI). Students were killed and many wounded.”
UPOLI and CBN partners further explained:
“Poly-technical University of Nicaragua (UPOLI) and the Baptist Convention of Nicaragua (CBN) are praying and searching for solutions that promote reestablishing peace and reason among all Nicaraguans, and praying for God’s comfort and strength for the families that have suffered irreplaceable human loss in this situation of conflict we are experiencing.
“A committee composed of ten members, inspired by our Christian principles, is making pastoral visits to students and other citizens within its university campus to listen to their requests addressed to President Daniel Ortega: Demanding 1. Freedom of the students and people held in captivity, 2. Accountability of the students and people who have disappeared 3. Freedom of speech 4. Guarantee that, in case of demobilization, there would be no retaliation against them.”
“UPOLI and the CBN have advanced communications with national authorities that these students’ guarantees would be awarded whenever they so choose. This committee added: “we shared our concern for the urgency to end this crisis and reestablish national normalcy.
“We pray and seek from our national authorities to pursue with urgency the path of dialogue and the search of consensus to overcome this crisis.”
Your prayers and support are very much appreciated.