We are praying for you!
21 days of ... "Stuck at Home!" We mean, staying at home and self quarantining, social distancing and isolating, of course! We are stowed away in our house, just like most of you and have watched from our home here as the world has changed! WOW! One thing that remains the same though, is that beautiful, blue Nicaraguan sky and the HOPE that we have in our Lord Jesus Christ! ~March 15th was the last day that we worshiped outside of our home and this was the view as we drove to church, not having any clue what awaited us in the days and weeks ahead.
~Covid-19 Status. The government leaders here have not established any guidelines for mitigating the spread of Covid-19 and have left the borders open for travel. All the countries around us have closed their borders and have enforced quarantine restrictions. At this time the government has communicated that there have been 6 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country. Most of the private schools here have closed and many businesses and the Catholic Church are advising people to stay home in an effort to stop the spread.
It is a real threat that the medical system here could be quickly overwhelmed if the virus were to begin spreading rapidly. With Managua being the third largest city in Central America, with over 1.3 million people living within 210 square miles, social distancing becomes a real challenge. This beautiful country has been struggling with unemployment and severe poverty that was made worse by the civil unrest that took place just two years ago. As we await the full onslaught of Covid-19, we are praying for the sustainability of the fragile economic and medical systems.
~Our kids have been doing online school through the school here for the last 2 weeks. Even their music teacher has joined in on the on-line adventure! We are so grateful for technology! Right now, the school leadership plans to reevaluate resuming on campus classes on April 30th.
~This week, here in Nicaragua, is Semana Santa, Holy Week, and is pretty much like Spring Break back home. There's no school, until April 14th, businesses are closed and families are vacationing and hosting different activities.
~To evacuate or stay? We receive emails from the US Embassy regularly and they have done a great job at stating the facts and giving us accurate information to base our decisions on. Several weeks ago they were advising US citizens that were in country as tourists, to find a way home as quickly as possible. They recommended those US Citizens that live in Nicaragua, to either evacuate, or be prepared to hunker down for an "indefinite amount of time." We had been praying and seeking counsel about our decision and decided to remain in country. We believe that this is where the Lord wants us!
*Pray for the President and Vice President of Nicaragua to come to know Christ as their Savior, and for them to seek wisdom in leadership from the Word of God
*Pray for safety from the devastating effects that Covid-19 could have on this already very vulnerable people
*Pray for our children as they endure the isolation away from the norms of their lives *Pray for safety and good health for our family and for us to have good counsel and wisdom in making decisions
*Pray as we continue to develop relationships and pursue different ministry opportunities and partnerships
*Praise the Lord for TECHNOLOGY!
*Praise the Lord for all of the friends, family and supporting churches that have reached out to us
*For good health and the opportunity to see this amazingly exciting time in history!
As we have been reading in the book of Leviticus, we have been greatly encouraged, once again, by the Word of God, as we endure the fire.
1st Peter 1:7 says….
“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
Romans 12:1 says….
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship.”
Multiple times in Leviticus 1-9 & 13, as the description on how to make a sacrifice to the Lord is given, it says, “Then the priest will burn the entire sacrifice on the altar as a burnt offering. It is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord.”
We are reminded that an offering made by “fire” is a special gift! It is a pleasing aroma to the Lord!
As we set our lives before the Lord as living sacrifices, let us hold fast to his promises and suffer well! Because, in doing so, we are pleasing to the Lord and we gain endurance, allowing us to share the HOPE that we have, most BOLDLY with those around us!
We will continue to pray with you all, for each other and for our world.
All our love,
The Strong Family