Nicaragua, the country we chose to make our home for a two year commitment has become a place of great hope for us. Missionary life has not been what we thought that it would be when we first embarked 8 years ago. But this post is not about our expectations, I’ll write more about later, but it is about the place where we have tried to create a home for ourselves.
Almost one month ago, we heard about a major protest in Managua. Since then, there have been continual marches, every single day. Some of them have not been very peaceful. Here is a video that captures what has happened over the last few weeks. I’m sorry that it is all in Spanish but it gives a pretty clear picture of the unrest.
During this time Mark and I have had to consider leaving with our family. Sometimes, I was pretty nervous. But when I would think about it and talk with Mark, we would always come back to the fact that, although, the two towns closest to us have seen looting, burning and unrest our town always remains peaceful. More than likely we would not experience violence, so we did not have a good reason to leave.
Apart of the consequences of the protest, that have been peaceful marches being repressed by the paramilitary and National Police. Towns have begun to blockade themselves in so that they can control who comes in.
Despite the fact, that we had decided that we were going to wait things out until our regularly scheduled time in July, we spoke with our director on Monday afternoon and we decided that perhaps we should leave now. It took us the rest of the afternoon to process what that meant. Does that mean within a couple of days or perhaps within the week? Should we totally move out of our house, or keep it? We went to speak with some of our friends who are the ones we like to talk with when we need advice. We had to check on the prices of flights. We talked with people about which way would be the safest way with the least roadblocks. By the end of the evening, we decided that more than likely, conditions could really get bad if the National Dialogue did not go well, and that we should leave as soon as possible. We took one day to pack up our house so that we could get on a bus into Costa Rica. Today we had to reroute because of roadblocks a couple of times and wondered if we would make our bus departure. We chose the earliest bus possible thinking we would not encounter any blocks. We have a good friend who picks us up in Managua with his microbus as we come back and forth into the country from the states. We arrived at his house at 3:45 am with no problems. A half hour later, we had to reroute twice because the people were beginning to build the roadblocks again. It has been one thing to see pictures of the blockades with men and their faces covered so no one can recognize them, but it is another thing to see them for ourselves up close and real. But Thanks be to God we made it through the Nicaraguan border without problems.
We are now waiting in Costa Rica until tomorrow were we will fly back to Kansas City.