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Six Years Later

Six years ago I visited a place called Rama Cay, in Nicaragua. The invitation came from an organization that was working with an impoverished community living on this small island. They were without clean water, decent housing, or sanitation. They were also without the Gospel.

When this community of indigenous Rama people had first encountered Christians, it had not gone well. They saw Christianity as a threat to their culture and spiritual beliefs, and those that converted were shunned and persecuted. Having worked among the indigenous Wounaan in Panama since 2002, we knew we needed to show respect, to speak with clarity, and to serve with grace among tribal peoples. So we began by installing toilets.

Over that time, trust was built, and friendships formed. But when some of the community expressed a desire to learn more about Jesus, this caused friction. The community became divided; even those who professed faith in Jesus became suspicious and jealous of one another. It was discouraging, but I remembered the beginnings of our ministry in Panama, when Christianity had likewise been seen as a threat, and we had been similarly slandered. So, even as we left to return to Panama, we were determined to keep praying for the people of Rama Cay. 

Now, six years later, we are seeing the fruit of our prayers. Fourteen members of Rama Cay have expressed interest in attending our school, including the mayor’s son! There are many obstacles to overcome. Because Nicaragua restricts many freedoms, including religious expression, the Rama are hesitant to be open about their faith. We are planning to travel with those that wish to come to Panama, and our partnership with three other strategic ministry organizations here will greatly help us get them across the borders safely. We know God’s heart is full of love for the Rama of Nicaragua, as ours have been, these past six years.

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