God’s Provision and Protection and Peace In the Mist of Unrest In Nicaragua
Gods light dispelling the darkness.
God bless You, Here is a Testimony of a believer I came into contact with through other believers, this believer is living in Nicaragua. On April 18th 2018 demonstrators in Several Cities of Nicaragua began protest against the President Daniel Ortega’s Decree of Social Security Reforms. to get a full picture of what is Happening in Nicaragua right now Here is a Link to a timeline of events on Wikipedia Click Here
Below Our believer friend gives the back ground of how they came to be in Nicaragua and how God has provided and protected and given peace in the situations faced and are facing. read and see what God is doing right now as people are looking to God and praying to the most high God with whom there is nothing impossible.
Let us all Join In and Pray for this wonderful believer and the people of Nicaragua
Bless You Laurence x
In 2015 I was living in the States. An organization that I was familiar with in Nicaragua was hiring for their office in the capital city of Managua. I prayed about it, & decided to apply for the job. In many ways, it seemed like it would be a dream come true. Nicaragua has been a big part of my life for almost twenty years. I worked with & volunteered with various non-profit groups in Nicaragua, & I conducted research there during graduate school. God had given me a very intense love for the country, people, & culture. At the same time, there were a lot of logistical factors that would have to be maneuvered around in order for me to take a job and move to another country.
I was offered the position. Even though going to work in Nicaragua was my dream & what God had put on my heart, the date was not right for me to start the job. They wanted me to be in Nicaragua by December, but I was in a lease until March. In addition, I would need time to sell my car, & get rid of my personal belongings. I took all of these concerns to God. One by one each obstacle was removed. Everything fell into place. The organization agreed to hire me in January where I would work remotely until I could move. This gave me the time that I would need to sell my car, get rid of what I owned, as well as gather things that I would need like health records & other documents that I would need to take with me. God opened every door so I accepted the job.
When I arrived in Nicaragua I was taken to the resident house where I was contracted to live for the next three years. The house was dirty, cluttered, & disorganised. The previous people in the position had left a lot of items in the house. It was full of Buddha & Hindu status. Books on satan, satan worship, & spell casting were on the bookshelf. This was not what I had expected to walk into. The first thing that I did was take all of the items that were contrary to God & His Word and burn them on the front porch. The next morning one of the staff members asked me what I had done & I told her that there would be no other God in that house other than the God & father of my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. From that moment forward a two-year long spiritual battle that was beyond words started. I had never experienced anything like that before in my life.
The organisation that I worked for was in panic & confusion. Board members constantly fought, people joined & quit the board routinely. The paperwork was a mess. There were years of accounting left undone. A great deal of money was unaccounted for. The organisation was on the brink of ending. The workload that was required of me was ninety hours a week, often more. There was no stability in the organisation. I decided that no matter what I would put God first, He had
shown me so many miracles in getting me there & opened so many doors that I was sure that He had brought me here, & yet at the same time this was not the blessing of a wonderful job & comfortable home that I thought I would be getting. I was following God’s word, praying for people, sharing His word across Nicaragua. Part of the job included running a guest house. I learned that a spiritualist group met there on Thursday nights. I cancelled their meetings. I went through the guest house & prayed in every room. I removed the same evil clutter that was contrary to God’s word as I had in the house I was living in. Meanwhile, the job just got worse, not better. People in the organisation tried to scare me. I was threatened. People lied about me. False accusations were made about me. Over the next two-years, the only outlet I had was online Fellowship via Skype. My Christian friends all recognised that I was in spiritual warfare, but I could not understand why I was being so persecuted.
After almost two years of struggling to work for the organisation, and committed to finishing out my contract with them because that is what I had agreed to I was told suddenly that the organisation would be breaking my three-year contract. In addition, they would not move me back to the United States. They would not pay me my severance. They would not pay me my vacation time. They would not honour any of the aspects of my contract. The organisation also owed me a great deal of money. The person who was responsible for payroll had not been paying me correctly & the organisation ended up owing me thousands of dollars in back pay which I had been waiting for. for months. Finally, with an entirely new board, they announced they would be evicting me from where I was contracted to live and I would have nowhere to go.
Those were very difficult days. I was confused. I had done everything “right”. I prayed for each staff member every morning. I worked incredibly hard. I did my job diligently, & did my very best. I was in the middle of another country, & no idea what I should do, & waiting for them to pay me I had used up my personal savings. It might seem to any onlooker like I had done something wrong. Corrie Ten Boom once said, “it is in the hardest classes in school where you learn the most.” Sometimes the persecution that Satan is using against you is what God will use later to bless you.
One woman, new to the organisation, called me one morning & said that I would be forced to live on the streets of Managua with nowhere to go & no one to help me because no one cared about me. She told me that I would be hungry, freezing, alone & homeless. Our God is great, & our God also has a great sense of humour. After getting off of the phone with her I was sad & depressed. I didn’t know what to do or where I would go. Then God reminded me that what she had said were lies from Satan. He also reminded me that Managua was in the tropics with an average temperature of 32 Celsius/90 Fahrenheit. I laughed for the first time in weeks at the image I had painted in my mind, that I had created using her words. I was imaging myself bundled up in the freezing cold trying to survive the brutally cold streets of Managua. I had allowed the lies of the adversary into my mind and I had believed them. God blessed me by showing me that they were ludicrous, they were lies, & He reminded me that He will never leave me or forsake me.
I had to find a place to live. I gave the situation to God & stepped out. With the very small amount of money that I had left from my personal savings, I took a bus to the north of Nicaragua where I had worked during graduate school. I wanted to leave Managua and I had friends in the north. On the bus ride, I told God exactly what I needed. I needed an apartment that came furnished,with appliances-including an oven, that would allow pets & I asked God for a little garden for my kitties to play in. Nicaragua is a developing country & a lot of things that are available in places like Europe & the United States don’t exist here, or if they do, they are hard to find outside of the capital. Apartments are scarce if you can find one they don’t come furnished, & they defiantly do not come with appliances. People in Nicaragua as a general rule don’t bake so ovens are uncommon. I may as well have asked for a sandcastle to live in, it was just as likely.
I arrived in the small city of Estelí early in the morning. I had a list of a few places that were advertising rooms for rent. The first place I went to was a large house that had been converted into apartments. The owner showed me the room. Walking in the first thing that I saw was that it came furnished. It was not a room, but a small efficiency apartment. It included appliances. It had an oven. It had gated garden full of flowers. When I asked about pets the landlady said that it would not be a problem, she would allow cats.
Although I knew that God had answered my prayer, I was still hesitant. I had to have a place to live, but the rent & the deposit together would be almost all the money I had. I thanked her for showing me the apartment & I decided to go pray. I spent time talking with God about it. I finally accepted that it was the place for me because of my requests to God that He provided. I may not have had the money that I thought I needed, but I thanked God that he would meet all of my needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus & went back & signed the lease. After I signed the lease & paid the rent & the deposit I had $40. That was the total amount of money that I had on this earth. My savings was gone. My life in the United States was gone. I had no idea what was going to happen. I had nowhere to go back to. I just had to move forward. I kept saying out loud “My God will never leave me or forsake me”, & I never told anyone about my situation. I could see beyond it. I knew that God was, and is, my provider & my protector & I just kept thanking him for meeting my needs.
I moved my focus to try to find a job. I needed to find work, & there is very little work in Nicaragua so I started applying for jobs in the United States. I applied for jobs in Florida, I applied for jobs in Massachusetts, I applied for jobs in Texas. I got interview after interview, & they all went really well. But strangely I never got a job offer. I worked very hard applying for jobs. I tailored every resume & cover letter. I even applied for jobs at organisations that I knew and where I had contacts. I couldn’t understand why God was not opening up an opportunity for me to find work and leave Nicaragua. After doing it on my own I went & talked to God about it. I told him I didn’t know what He wanted me to do. Not only did I not have work, but my student loans from the United States would need to be re-filed very soon. Once a year, for repayment, I must verify that I am working for a U. S. based not-for-profit organisation, otherwise I must pay a very high monthly bill. I asked God to help me.
Finally, through an arbitration process the organisation that I had worked for agreed to pay my severance. It was a very small part of what they owed me, but I was thankful that God got me a severance. I now had some money for food and rent. Then I faced another obstacle, living legally in Nicaragua. Had applied for Nicaraguan residency almost two years before, but it had never been approved. I had to go to Managua every thirty days and apply for a thirty-day visa extension. When I was living in Managua going to immigration every month was a hassle, but now that I was in the north of the country it would be extremely difficult & expensive. Then one day the Nicaraguan immigration contacted me. They approved my application to become a legal resident. They told me that I had to appear in the office
the next day or forfeit my chance for residency. The cost of the residency was not cheap. I really wasn’t sure what to do. If they had called previously I would have had to forfeit it because I would not have had money for it. I had prayed about that residency for almost two years, but why would God open that door right at that time? I decided to step out & follow where God was leading me. I took the money I had, & I got the one-year Nicaraguan residency.
Shortly after getting the residency a Christian pre-school that I had never heard of called me. They asked me to come in for an interview, they were hiring an English teacher. I don’t know how they got my name or phone number. It seemed to be from God, but I really had no idea why God wanted me to work in a pre-school. Weirdly I have this background tucked away that I had forgotten about in Early Childhood education, that God had set up for me long before I had ever travelled to Latin America. The interview went well & I was offered the job. In addition, they were a legally registered non-profit organisation & agreed to write me a letter verifying my employment with them as soon as I signed the contract the following week. The letter was submitted & my student loans were re-filed & everything that I had been praying about was taken care of. Other schools contacted me, I started getting private English students. My schedule was full. I was soon earning a good income.
My day-to-day life wonderful. I went through a sort of recovery time after going through the spiritual warfare I had been in for the two years previous. I’ve never been so thankful to not be somewhere in my life. My days were just beautiful. I got up in the mornings & drank coffee & watched the sunrise. Then I went to a preschool where children were taught about God’s love & how to pray in the name of Jesus Christ. I bought fresh fruits & vegetables in the market & just enjoyed living in the moment. My kitties enjoyed the yard & garden that we now had access to. I loved the mountain view at sunset. My landlady, who also lived next door to me became friends. She is a Christian & we would talk about God & sometimes pray together. I wondered how long this could go on, I knew I could not just live day-to-day teaching preschool forever, but God just seemed to be keeping me where I was.
On Thursday, April 12th protests had exploded around the country including Estelí where I live. I had Fellowship that night & I Skyped into the group that was meeting in Nyack, New York. Meanwhile, although I was far away from the main events taking place outside my apartment I could hear shooting & mortars being fired in the distance. After fellowship ended I saw that several friends had been trying to reach me. One friend contacted me, there had been a shooting in the park. Students had been protesting when someone from a building opened fire on them. The city was going into a panic. Shots & mortars were being fired closer to where I was now, and a pickup truck full of armed men drove down my road. Violent attacks on unarmed protesters was being reported all over the country, not just where I was. Another friend contacted me and told me that an angry mob was going to take over the small public hospital. Moments later another friend of mine who was at the hospital with her father contacted me. She was terrified. “What’s going on?” she asked me.
“They are bringing in people who have been shot, & people are running into the hospital yelling, I’m really scared!” I went next door to my friend’s house & we immediately started praying. Having just finished Fellowship with a group of believers I was calmer than I would have been under the circumstances. I called believers in the United States. Believers called more believers. We had a lot of people praying. While Nicaragua was spiralling into street wars, we were praying & lifting the situation to God. After a while, a comforting feeling of peace covered where I was. Physically felt like a large blanket of love & comfort came down over us. The mob did not attack the hospital. The people who were surrounding the hospital left. The streets became empty & quiet. Estelí became peaceful & still.
The next day people talked about what had happened, & I frequently heard people talk about that feeling of peace that had come over the city that night. People everywhere felt it. The government cut off all independent news sources. The only news source was State-run TV or the internet. I watched videos, often live, that were being filmed from people’s cell phones. Allover Nicaragua trucks, loads of armed paramilitary troupes dressed in all black were going to communities & violently attacking schools & students. Crowds were being shot and arrested. Police& paramilitary were firing indiscriminately. Communities started building barricades in the streets to keep the police and paramilitary units out. When they did arrive in towns the people were throwing sticks, rocks, & Molotov cocktails to defend themselves. Street war, & violence had broken out over the entire country except for the north where I was. A week before life had been normal. Absolutely everything had changed.
On Sunday everyone was tense. People were reported as missing. Videos of the violence taking place around the country had been circulating all weekend & the scenes around the country looked like we were in a civil war. Those that were fighting covered their faces with bandannas & ski masks to avoid recognition. People were frantically buying food fearing a food shortage & business started covering their shops with shutters. The beautiful colonial cities were being burned. In the middle of the destruction, the people of Nicaragua declared a national day of prayer for the country. Churches that night were packed & people all over the country joined in prayer about the situation. By this point, I had been awake for almost 72 hours.
Monday was declared a national day of protest. Protests had moved away from the social security reforms & now were growing to protest excessive use of force on citizens. Nicaraguans flooded the streets, rivers of people carrying their countries flag & demanding peaceful change in the country marched in every city. Almost everything was closed, school was cancelled across the country. A lot of foreigners started evacuating Nicaragua. The United States Embassy started to evacuate non-essential staff & family members, and Peace Corp volunteers were pulled out of the country. Not-for-profit organisations across Nicaragua start evacuating their workers & volunteers. The apartment where I am living, a few days before filled with Americans & Canadian, was now empty of residents.
Throughout the week things continued. The neighbourhood where I used to live in Managua was destroyed. It looked like a bomb went off. It felt as if the country was on the brink of civil war. Three days of mourning were called to honour the victims of police & paramilitary military violence. The protests turned into vigils, people wore black & held candles & flowers instead of protest signs, but they continued to fill the streets. The following week I had just lived the longest week of my life. Lives lost were estimated to be sixty or more, but no one knew for sure because of the number of people that have “disappeared”. My internet was cut off. I don’t know if it is connected to events, but there had been threats that the government would have it cut off. I went days without contact with anyone outside of Nicaragua. I asked God to help me get online, I just wanted to let people know that I was okay. A few minutes
after I prayed a friend came to my house unannounced & gave me a router from a private company she owned for me to borrow so I could access the internet. God answers prayers & I have been reminded of that more & more during these events. The Christian preschool finally decided it was safe to have class again. The morning when I arrived I was told that we would only have class until 10 AM because of a scheduled protest. In that short span of an hour & a half of class something amazing happened.
The school administer came to me to talk about what had happened that morning on the school bus. “The children were acting out shooting each other, & talking about killing.” She asked me what I thought we could do. She suggested that we should talk to the children about war, death, guns & violence. I thought about it & realised that you can’t cast out darkness with more darkness. I suggested that we introduce light. “Let’s talk about God, peace, & love. Let’s counter what they have been seeing & hearing with God’s love.” She liked the idea & a few minutes later she got a Bible & gathered all of the children around us. She started to talk to them, starting by reading from John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled & do not be afraid. ” After she read she told them that Jesus gives us His peace. She talked for a few minutes & asked the kids if any of them had watched TV recently. One little boy who is three-years-old said yes, he watched TV with his dad & saw the policemen on motorcycles killing the people with guns. That was the first time since all this had started that I almost cried. Many of the kids started talking about the violence they had seen. The school administrator looked at me & asked “What do you think of
when you think of peace?” I responded saying that I think of Jesus Christ who is the prince of peace. She quickly engaged the children in a conversation about how Christ is with us. He loves us & how he gives us peace. She told the children that if at anytime they hear or see anything that is scary or bad they need to remember that Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. “Let’s practice,” she said to the small children sitting all around us. “I will say a word that you might have heard over the last few days, & if it is a word that is scary or bad you tell me that “Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace”, & when you say it, remember that He gives you His peace inside of you. She started to list off words that the children had said just a few moments before. “War” she said, the children responded in unison “Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace.” “Fear” she said, again the children responded “Jesus Christ is the Prince of peace.” “Worry” again their little voices said out loud “Jesus Christ is the Prince of peace”. She continued for several minutes & ended by reading again from the book of John. After we all prayed the bus came to pick the up the children. It was such a short school day. The school administration offered me a ride on the bus so that I wouldn’t need to walk outside that afternoon.
As April turned into May attacks on students on campuses and the general population contained. Two Universities were attacked one evening, & the events of that night were at first freighting beyond words & later so inspiring I still get tears in my eyes when I remember it. Students were holding a peaceful sit-in in their University. People posing as supporters of their protest brought in bottles of water and bananas for the students. The water and bananas were poisoned and
filled with needles. Some students were hurt, others the students who became violently sick. While the students were reacting from the internal attack on them, a group of people came in with silencers on their weapons & started shooting at them. While these horrible evil acts were being perpetrated on campus something amazing happened. Students sent out videos of the university under attack on social media. Nicaraguans seeing what was happening bravely left their homes in the middle of the night, some getting into their cars & driving over an hour to the university. The Nicaraguan people came together united in protecting the youth. People from all over Nicaragua rushed to help. They surrounded the school using their vehicles & bodies as shields against the attackers and they also started reporting updates on social media about what was happening. Every time I saw an act of violence or evil I immediately watched people come together & counter it. A battle of violence, chaos, & evil versus peace, light, & love is happening spiritually & in the physical world in the streets here in Nicaragua. I also started to see that the two-year spiritual battle that I had recently come out of was a sort of “boot camp” for a much larger spiritual battle that was now taking place in Nicaragua.
On a day when it felt safe to go outside, I went to a nearby store quickly to buy supplies. I was not really sure how much food to buy. Right now (because there is an ongoing threat that the water and power may be cut off at any time) I focused on inexpensive nonperishable items that could be cooked on a gas stove. Rice, beans, and pasta mostly. After returning from the store I looked at my purchases and realised that I don’t have any fruits or vegetables. I mention it to the Lord in passing. It wasn’t even a real prayer. I said out loud something to the effect of “I don’t have anything healthy to eat God, you’ll have to bless this food for nutrition.” A few hours later a girl that I know stopped by my house. Her family are farmers and live deep in the countryside. They brought her a lot of food from their farm that day. More than she could use before it went bad, so she brought me a huge bag of fresh fruits & vegetables. God’s provision continues to amaze me.
Looting in several cities started, although it was not the general population that was responsible. Groups of people were sent out with orders to loot & destroy property. Videos surfaced showing horrified citizens learning of this happening in their neighbourhood and people rushing to protect the stores. Citizens even started taking stolen property away from thieves & returning it to the stores. With every evil work, I saw people counter it working together to bless and protect others.
One afternoon after coming in from work I messaged my landlady to let her know that I was home, something that we have been doing since the unrest started. I got a reply saying that I should not go back outside. A caravan of trucks full of police & paramilitary was sent from the capital of Managua to Sebeco, a small farming community of 35,000 people located about thirty minutes south of Estelí where I live. When the paramilitary arrived, they started opening fire on unarmed civilians. I was able to pull up videos on social media of people hiding, using their camera phones to film the massacre & uploading the videos. Rumors started to circulate that the paramilitary were then going to head to Estelí next, fear grasped the community. I again reached out to believers for prayer. Prayers for the people in Sebeco, prayers for God’s hand of protection over Estelí, prayers for all of Nicaragua. Citizens in Estelí used vehicles & debris to block off the Pan-American highway to prevent the caravan of paramilitary from entering the city. Meanwhile, news came to us from Sebeco that the local hospital was not admitting people who had been attacked so the church was taking in the causalities & trying to treat them inside of the community church. Two things were known at this point. Paramilitary had been sent out to kill, & the government-run hospitals were denying entrance to the wounded. The level of evil just stunned everyone. In Estelí, I spoke God’s word to people who
were scared. I prayed with people and I prayed for people. I spoke God’s promises out loud. I played praise music in my apartment. No one knew where the paramilitaries were, but we knew that they were coming north, & we knew what their mission was. Around 2 AM I could hear mortar fire outside. They were so loud that my windows shook. A battle between the people at the barricade & the paramilitary was happening not far from my house. Using social media friends told me what was going on outside. The scenario sounds exactly like what happened in Sebeco, people were attacked, & the injured were not taken to the hospital. I continue to pray.
By the morning Estelí was peaceful. The paramilitary seemed to have come & gone. Unlike other communities the battle was brief, & then over. Some stores were opened & people seemed to be going about their daily lives. As the country was exploding with increased assaults on people & violence, Estelí has ben left alone. Meanwhile the paramilitary were attacking the cities of Matagalpa & Juigalpa in the north. Again videos from cell phones were shared on social media. We tried to discern where the videos were from by identifying landmarks, & then group similar videos together to get a complete picture of what was happening. This is the new news source. This information is then used to warn people in areas what is happening, & to get people in areas help. This is how you learn if it is safe to go outdoors. This is how I know who to pray for, what community to life up to the
Lord. Once again in the middle of darkness I see amazing things. If a location is under attack a video is sent out, & nearby communities are alerted. People pile into trucks & cars & go to help the people in the community who are being attacked. I see videos of people creating human shields, prayer chains, mothers get on their knees in front of armed men & start praying. Others fill their cars & trucks with wounded & transported them to get help. Nicaragua is a poor country. There is no ambulance service. The people cannot call the police for assistance, the police in many cases are the ones that are attacking. I spend my days locked inside, looking for live videos & focusing on praying for everyone involved. I find myself praying for peace, for safety, for confusing the adversary & his plans, for protecting people, their children, & their homes. Whenever there is an attack groups of us start praying for the community, the people, for anyone involved & asking for God’s peace & love to fill the situation & drive the darkness out.
As I watch this darkness unfolding I have mixed feelings. I’ve watched people walk out willing into gunfire with nothing to physically protect them other than sticks and rocks. The country where I am living has turned into a war zone. Some days it is not safe to go outside. On the other hand, I have prayed over active situations & seen great miracles. I feel so blessed & encouraged to watch the Nicaraguan people put God front & center. While people continue to peacefully protest they write scripture on their protest signs. Many here recognise this as a spiritual battle & ask for others to pray that God’s love & light will cast out this darkness in the name of Jesus Christ. So many people here have inspired me that I don’t think that I could admire a peoples stand with God the father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ more than I do right now.
Friday, May 18th, 2018 marked one month exactly since the unrest started. Communities have continued to be attacked by paramilitary. Roadblocks to stop the flow of traffic & weaken the economy in an attempt by citizens to force the government to step down have been put up across the country. A two-day truce was agreed upon by the government, students, & other groups to allow people to buy more supplies. The government agreed that it would not attack the people & the people would have the guaranteed right to peaceful protest if they would agree in exchange that all roadblocks would be taken down to allow free movement for food & supplies over the weekend. The agreement is made. The next day huge National protests happened in every city. People poured into the streets all over Nicaragua. On Saturday night 48-hour truce was broken when another university was attacked. The Inter American Commission on Human Rights confirmed the attack. Roadblocks across the nation went back up. Now, movement around the country is almost impossible.
One day I got a phone call from my neighbour. She told me to stay indoors & shut my door. I didn’t ask why, but when I stood up I saw out my window. Down the street were approximately twenty men whose faces were covered. They were loaded into the backs of two pickup trucks & they were armed. I stepped back from the window & prayed. This is not the first time that trucks loaded with armed men have been in my neighbourhood, but this time it is in the middle of the day. I later learned later that they were planning to attack the roadblock located at the south end of the city. That afternoon I experienced three things for which I am very thankful to God. The first was that I had several students coming to my house that afternoon for a group English class. They had just contacted me to cancel their class that afternoon. If they had not have cancelled they would have been walking down the street at the same time that the men planning the attack were at the end of my road. In addition, someone in my neighbourhood knew that roadblocks across the country were being attacked that day so when they saw the men, the person contacted the people at the roadblock & alerted them. The citizens that formed the roadblock left before the attackers arrived. Not one person was hurt. Finally, no matter what has happened, through prayer & believing we have seen that Estelí has remained calm & peaceful. Most of us are still able to go to work & live fairly normal lives. Every day I see God’s blessings in this situation.
I continue to contact believers when I see a live video of violence or attacks so that they can join me in prayer for God’s peace & love to surround the situation. In Nicaragua we are praying that in the name of Jesus Christ the evil influences & the acts of the adversary who came to steal, kill, & destroy will be ended. We pray that Nicaragua will be covered & protected by the hand of God. We are praying that God’s victory here will be swift & mighty & that we will know that it was God & not a human act. We claim this country in the name of Jesus Christ for the glory of our God & the moving of His word.
God Bless You.