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My Time in Nicaragua

By Jonatan, RMM worker in Thailand
What follows is an account of Jonatan’s time at home in Nicaragua. As we read it, we were struck with the contrast of his initial departure three and a half years ago, compared to this time. He has committed to another three-year term and the likelihood of him seeing his family or anyone from his country during that time is slim. His tenacity in doing what he needed to do in order to return to Thailand is a testimony of his dedication to living there. It would have been so easy for him to say it wasn’t worth the risks he took. His family would have loved to have him stay, but he persevered and in the end was blessed with what he needed to return to Thailand.
– Larry and Dot*, Directors of Latin American Missions Partnership
After spending nearly three and a half years in Thailand, during which I did not see my family, I left on March 6 to go home to Nicaragua. I was very excited to see my family again and spend time with them, and also to see my friends and eat Nicaraguan food.

After a long and tiresome trip of almost 30 hours of flying, I arrived in Nicaragua on March 7 late at night. But that did not take away the excitement of getting to see my family. They were waiting for me at the airport, and I do not know how to explain the happiness I felt when I saw them again and I was able to hug them after so much time. I was a little surprised too, especially when I saw how much my younger brother had grown. He was not the same child he had been when I left Nicaragua. That night we traveled to our family home. I fell asleep shortly after leaving the airport, I was so tired.

The first thing I saw the next day were the faces of my two nephews, who had been waiting for me to wake up to welcome me. That made me very happy. That morning I drank the coffee that only my mother knows how to make, and that I had missed so much. I also received visits from brothers and friends who came to welcome me home. I was very happy to be home again.

My plans for the time in Nicaragua included being with my family, visiting the churches, and sharing about my work in Thailand. I also needed to renew my United States transit visa.

During the first weeks I stayed home, resting from the trip and spending time with my family. Around that time I attended a national meeting of pastors. I wanted to be share with the pastors about my work in Thailand and encourage them to become more involved in missions, though I could only share with some individually since there was not time for me to speak at the meeting.

Four days after the meeting, serious political problems began in Nicaragua. People were protesting against the government because of changes made to the social security laws that people considered unfair. As time went by, things became violent, and the police repressed those who protested. Groups of people began to barricade and block all the main roads in the country so people could not travel anywhere.

For weeks I was stuck in my community because there was no transportation. During that month I had planned to go to Matagalpa to spend time and share with the Iglesias Vida (Life Churches) and pastor Pablo Loaisiga. These churches were going to have a missionary training event, but due to the circumstances I could not go (and the event didn’t happen). It was very frustrating because I was excited about going and sharing with the churches there, as well as other churches in Nicaragua.

One of the most difficult things was getting my U.S. transit visa renewed. It had expired while I was in Nicaragua. There were many complications, but in the end I was able to fly to Costa Rica to apply there and everything went very well. I also had the opportunity to visit and share in some churches there. I stayed in the home of the pastor Francisco Medrano in Heredia and also went with him to Upala to an event promoting missions.

“Take care son. We’re going to miss you. We know that everything you are doing is out of your love for God.”I then returned to Managua where I spent one last day with my parents before I left for Thailand. The next morning we left for the airport. It was sad to say goodbye again, and to see their sad faces. I remember their words, “Take care son. We’re going to miss you. We know that everything you are doing is out of your love for God.”

During my time in Nicaragua I could not do everything I had planned such as visiting churches and friends. Instead I saw many things occur in my country that I never imagined. But I remain grateful to God for the refreshing time I had with my family.

Jonatan asks that we pray for the situation in Nicaragua to resolve soon, and for God to give his family strength and protection. Pray also for God to continue working in the hearts of his friends in the university, and that he can continue to be an example and light to everyone around him.

*Names omitted for security