THE HESTER J. HODGDON LIBRARIES FOR ALL PROGRAM
A COLORADO NONPROFIT CORPORATION
Dear Union Church Nica and San Juan del Sur Friends,
I am sure by now, even with as scarce as the news of Nicaragua’s turmoil has been in our national media, you are aware of how difficult it has become since April 18th when peacefully demonstrating university students were attacked by police and paramilitary youth and 18 people were killed. On May 30th, Nicaragua’s Mother’s Day, over 100,000 people marched peacefully to support the mothers of the 18 university students who were killed by police gunfire. Paramilitary groups opened fire on them and killed 18 more student leaders of the demonstration and injured nearly 100 others.
The death toll has risen to a documented 300 and higher, wounded protesters have been refused care at public hospitals and doctors and staff have been fired for refusing to turn them away. Medical units have been set up in churches.
The goal of major peaceful protests has been to halt commerce to force the hand of big business and those in power to oust president Ortega. Roadblocks made of torn up street pavers and burning tires have kept commerce at a standstill for almost four months. The American Embassy has sent home all but a few emergency personnel and most of the missionary groups helping throughout Nicaragua have left out of concern for the safety of their families. This is especially sad since many of them have long standing relationships in support of church and community; everyone in the Christian community is torn about having to leave and everyone is praying for stability to return soon.
Our friends at the International Christian Fellowship in Managua have a small crew left and are carefully and courageously giving supportive sermons. Our church and library mission in Ameya has Pastor Francisco Martinez preaching every day on a radio program in Chinedega and sends prayers and encouragement on What’s App!
I have been in contact with several missionary families and have been asked to speak at my church in Ft. Collins, Colorado and I recently spoke at a library conference about the turmoil. What has been on my heart the most is the need for prayer and God’s hand on this situation. I wrote a prayer while preparing for a talk at my church’s mission team meeting and I am sharing it with you on the pages below. Please use it as you would like.
San Juan del Sur and the friends you all made there are not in danger physically but economically things are a disaster and at a standstill. Most businesses depending on tourism and social activities have closed. 95% of the hotels (Yes, Villa Isabella is managing so far to stay open but without guests!), and many of the restaurants are closed. Most of the expats have returned to the states or their homes in Europe. Local schools are still open so the library’s book mobile is still trying to function but fuel is limited and expensive. The San Juan del Sur library remains open and is a haven for internet, phone and social media contact. Many of the town folks have lost their internet and phone service for lack of money when their jobs were lost due to the economic turmoil. In 17 years, I have never seen our beach street, the Malecon, this empty. No one has work and even the fishermen have very few places to sell their catch.
We are reaching out to you in remembrance of your times here and how you all resonated with the beauty and resilience of the people you met and helped and share so much with.
Our Foundation generates much of the Library’s operational income through service and educational project activities; just like the mission trip many of you participated in earlier this year. These programs are currently on hold because of travel restrictions. The loss of income from these revenue streams has severely jeopardized the library’s operations and future sustainability. Planning for these programs starts many months before they begin, and cannot be initiated in the current political climate. Without the necessary funding, the library and its services may be forced to close.
We have started a GoFundMe at: https://www.gofundme.com/fjbad-urgent-nicaraguan-lending-library
Please send a donation and a comment about your time here. Share the site with everyone you know and especially those who knew of your experience and encourage them to help. As you know, even a small amount goes a long way in Nicaragua. Share us on Twitter and Facebook and please sign up for our new Mail Chimp (http://eepurl.com/dCAu7D) newsletter to stay up to date with us. We are determined to keep moving forward and will be ready to spring back into action when the dust settles.
We Pray for the Church to both proclaim the Gospel and seek justice for the oppressed.
We Pray for a righteous government that seeks the good of its impoverished people.
We Pray for those who wish to Honor and Obey and Protect to stand firm in these terrible times.
We Pray for solace in the hearts of the grieving mothers.
We Pray for those who go without and live in fear for their lives and those of their precious children.
We Pray God’s Grace over All: The afflicted and the afflicting.
We Pray, Oh Lord, for a speedy return to sanity and safety. We know that like the devil in the end days, this ferocity
cannot win, Evil shall not prevail.
Heavenly Father, we humbly ask You to watch over your Nicaraguan Children who have such profound Love for you.
Your Hand is in all things and this too shall pass. All to Thy Glory,
We pray these things in your Holy Name.
In the name of all your Nica friends who bless you and wish you well –
Dios te bendiga!
The Hester J. Hodgdon Libraries For All Program is Tax Exempt under Section 501(c)(3). EIN:68-0531140
All financial contributions are tax deductible.