God brought many people to Himself, even amidst the nation's suffering . Numbers of believers increased through mass evangelism, saturation evangelism, and local church outreaches. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and hurricanes led many to question life and eternity. War, conflict, and political struggles turned many towards the compassion of Christians, and hope in Christ. Evangelicals grew from 2% in 1960 to 30% today, and growth continues. Pray for Nicaragua's many evangelicals to be a genuine blessing to their nation.
Nicaragua's divided past still influences the present. The traumatic events of 1979-1998 divided politics (left- and right-wing), communities (the Hispanic-Mestizo west and Creole-Amerindian east), trade unions, churches and families. The situation is changing, but there is still lingering distrust along these fault lines that needs to be overcome.
Poverty is a deep-seated issue that is both the cause and the result of many political troubles. After years of civil war, Hurricane Mitch further devastated the nation's economy and infrastructure. Economic wisdom and long-term development are needed. Many economic uplift programmes have been launched by CEPAD (The Evangelical Committee for Relief and Development), AoG and others. This longstanding state of poverty also shapes the spirituality of Nicaragua, with both liberation theology and prosperity theology playing major roles.
Involvement in politics. Evangelicals - a quarter of the population - are beginning to wield considerable (and overdue) influence in the public sphere. Many in the government are becoming believers, and both the Catholic Church and some evangelical megachurches have significant political muscle to flex. Pray that believers might have the wisdom and determination to be a righteous influence on the nation.
Young people have grown up in a country ravaged by war and disaster and distorted by political ideologies. Stable families are rare. Not many churches are equipped or committed to meet their needs, despite the fact that 75% of the population is under age 30. CECNIC(IFES) has 22 groups in the universities where, along with YWAM and Cru, they are active in evangelism and mission trips. There are even three evangelical universities; pray for a redemptive and transforming impact on society.
Missions vision is still in an early stage. There are a number of national agencies, linked by Movimiento Misionero Transcultural Nicaraguense (MMTN). This is driving a greater movement not only toward mission sending but toward unity in the churches involved as well. Pray that MMTN might be used of God to bring churches together and to ignite a strong missionary-sending movement.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.