I recently returned from a week visiting with our scholars and partners in Nicaragua and what stunned me more than anything else about Nicaragua was the silence.  Since the death of more than 300 protestors in the streets last year, it feels like half the nation has left—and the other half lives with one eye constantly looking around the corner.  You can read more about conditions in the country in this recent AP News article.

Despite the hush that surrounded me, and despite the absence of any apparent sign of hope for change, the people I talked with seemed genuinely unfazed and even upbeat.  Their collective spirt brought to mind Paul’s admonition in his letter to the Corinthians:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, yet our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that is far beyond comparison.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor 4:16-18.

I met this boy while I was walking through the dumpsite in Estelí.

Here, Andrew and I posed with a group of our Nicaraguan scholars.

Living in a culture in which instant gratification is so prized, I was intrigued by the persevering spirit of the people in Nicaragua.  

One of the things that I heard repeatedly from them is how much they would like to have people from the U.S. return to visiting their country again.  We would like to send teams again from International Samaritan, but cannot in good conscience send teams of our traditional partners from high schools and colleges because of the State Department’s current travel warning. However, we are hoping to send a small team of adults to help with either medical missions or service projects in the Nicaraguan communities where we have been working for years.   

Please let me know if you are interested in leading or joining a team for a week in Nicaragua by emailing me at mike@intsam.org.

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