Today our team was working in various medical, dental, and construction projects at the base in Sandino Nicaragua just outside of Managua the capital city. This is the city named after Augusto Sandino who lead a rebellion against the US occupation of Nicaragua at the early part of the 20th century and who was later assasinated. He is also the ideological leader of the well known “Sandinista” movement that is now led by the country’s former and now current President Daniel Ortega. You may remember this movement from the days of the “Iran Contra affair” with Oliver North and then President Ronald Reagan. The US was selling arms to Iran at the time and funneling money to support the “contra” movement in Nicaragua against the Sandinistas. The city of Sandino stands for the Sandinista movement.
It is in this city, where they fly the “Sandinista” flag at the entrance to the city where our team is working. Mike T. told us the story of how he came to this location and the trials that they have had to endure to hold on to this property. Truly amazing. Many years ago when they first acquired the land, Mike and his interpretor were standing at the road surveying the land when the interpretor began asking, “Why are you here? Do you know where you are? Sandino? Sandinista? You know Iran-Contra affair! You are North Americans!”
At the time, Mike had not put two and two together, but now looking back many years later, he knows that this was all God’s plan: to go into the heart of a place of poverty and great need, where the scars and perceptions of the past remain, and share the love of Jesus through practical demonstrations. The God we serve is above all politics, the revolutions of man and the aims of nations. His jurisdiction reigns over all!
Today we set up and worked a medical and dental clinic for the people of the outskirts of town in a “squatter town” that has just come up around the ministry base. This new village has been named, “New Jersusalem.” It is run unofficially by a former gang member in his mid twenties nicknamed “King Kong.” Our outreaches went great today and we served almost 200 people. I personally worked with a dentist from the US in extracting teeth from both children and adults. These were some desperate cases and because the cost of seeing a dentist is too much for most families here, they simply let their dental health go.
The other team along with a local doctor saw and treated people for a variety of problems from worms to the common cold. All those we served were thankful that we were able to come and provide the free healthcare and medicine. We did it all in the name of Jesus Christ, not for any other reason.
It is this principle that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” that has allowed Mike and Deborah along with their team to be able to minister on a consistent basis to this community just outside of Sandino. Their base will be a fixture in these people’s lives for generations to come. They will have a feeding program for the children, schools, ongoing clinics, fresh water for the community and more.
Even after many trials with this base over the years, the vision continues to move forward. Many teams will continue to come here to minister to a people who have nothing to offer in return by gratitude.
I hope to write more later, but I must go for now. Until then, pray for the people of Nicaragua, specifically the people of New Jerusalem who are living in great poverty.