I wanted to let everyone know that the work here goes on. As many have probably heard has been a lot of changes in the Nicaragua to which we first came. I will not for obvious reasons not get into the politics of it all. But I did want to share a story about one of the consequences of those changes. Whether or not there are direct correlations to be drawn is frankly up to those who study these types of things. It is, as they say in the military, above my pay grade.
One of our staunchest allies in the work we do is a local pastor and his family. We met them on the first trip we took here and they have been invaluable in the continued ministry of Uno Mas. And beyond that they are good friends.
They endured a tragic loss in their family as well while I was in the U.S attending my brother’s funeral. The pastor and his wife were visiting the cemetery as a remembrance of their lost son. They were on a motor scooter. While inside the grounds they were approached by muggers. They threatened them and tried to rob them of what little money they had. The pastor gunned the scooter and they got away for a second. The would be villains ran off but our friend lost control of the bike and ran into a tree.
The results of this were that a man who already has back problems re-injured his spine and required two days of hospitalization. His wife, who is responsible for the running of a large family, broke her foot. There were other injuries but those were the biggest.
Why do I bring this up? Well first, of course, is that you hold the family up in your prayers not only for their loss. But also for their injuries. Secondly, this event speaks to root of why we are here. Why I am in Nicaragua. Why you are so important to the work. It speaks to the heart of our mission.
Why are we here? What are we doing?
The ministry approaches the issue in two different directions. We have a feeding program, we help facilitate potable water systems, and we teach English to the forgotten of Granada so they can get better jobs that allow them to feed their families. Hunger and thirst can prompt people to do wrong. Even if they know it’s wrong. This is how we try to fulfill Christ’s command to feed the hungry, heal the sick, give water to the thirsty. This our effort not only to help the poor, but also follow Jesus’ mandate.
We also spend a lot of time in evangelism and bible study. Why? Because no heart has ever been changed with money, or a job, or a meal, or a sip of cool water. No, lives change when they are renewed from within. A person will only change if that person is willing to submit to change. Fear is replaced by peace. Evil is replaced by good. Anger is replaced by love.
Now I know that we cannot change the fact that mugging will always occur. We cannot feed every poor person in Nicaragua. We will not stop all that ails the society here, any more than we can expect to change every heart and stop every crime in the U.S.
What we can do is what we were commanded to do. Be love, not just show kindness or sympathy or even empathy. Be love. Be love in a world engulfed in hate. Be love to the most unlovable. Be love even when it goes against every instinct and sense that is in our being. We are called to simply … be love.
Thank you for helping do that. I will keep you informed on the progress of our friends. Until next week…
Dios los bendiga.