“children are a heritage from the Lord…” Psalm 127:3
The children of Nicaragua have captured my heart. Times with these children have produced my most treasured moments in Nicaragua. Ministry in Nicaragua IS ministry to children. More than 35% of the nation’s population is under 14. In Nicaragua, school is free and compulsory, but attendance is not enforced. Only 28% of first graders ever finish the sixth grade. Yet, it is the children – the next generation – who will restore and establish the Kingdom of God to this nation. They are brave and full of hope for a better future than what they have known. They are graced with a patience that many of us never attain, as if they have embraced the truth that through faith and patience, promises are obtained.
On my first trip to Nicaragua, we moved through the neighborhoods surrounding La Paloma inviting families to the first children’s outreach in Masachapa. Although it was during the school day, school age children greeted us at every door. At one door, parents proudly presented team members with their 12 year-old daughter. The girl was dressed as a prostitute and her services were offered to team members. Instead of attending school, the girl was trying to earn money for her family. Extreme poverty and the lack of available schools contribute to the low education rate in this nation.
You can make a difference. You can be an agent of grace, helping these children realize the promises God has for them. Your dollars can pave the way for children to receive a high quality education while the dire spiritual needs of the community are also being met. The Lord told us to “go and get the children.” That mandate has expanded from Franklin County to the children of Nicaragua. Remember the children in your prayers and your giving. They are truly our heritage from the Lord.
(First published 10.14.07)