Thursday, December 15, 2022

Children's Ministry Around the World - Nicaragua

As we continue to look at Children's Ministry and the lives of children from around the world, today we "journey" once again to Latin America with a "stop" in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American isthmus and has been home to many people groups; including the Mayans and Aztecs. A beautiful country with coastline on both the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean, there are also mountains, volcanos and rain forests which make up the country of Nicaragua. According to World Population Review there are currently 6.2 million people who call Nicaragua their home; 84% of them live in urban areas.
Dictators, juntas and civil wars brought years of corruption, unrest and crushing poverty. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 68% of the people struggling to live on less than $1 a day (Rural Poverty Portal). Drug trafficking, violence, kidnappings, exploitation and trafficking of children along with child labor are all serious issues which make life difficult for the people of Nicaragua. Drug traffickers bring their drugs through Nicaragua and often make children serve as “drug mules” transporting their drugs for them. Natural disasters from volcanos, earthquakes and hurricanes add to the problems faced by children, families and churches in Nicaragua.
As far as schooling in Nicaragua, it takes an average of 10.3 years to complete the mandatory six years of schooling, and only 29% of children complete primary schooling. (Compassion). Most of the people, 58.5%, in Nicaragua identify themselves as Catholic, but the numbers are declining while those who identify themselves as Protestant, 21.6%, are increasing (World Fact Book).
With the poverty levels where they are, churches, especially small, rural churches are not able to afford full time children’s ministers, so, providing Bible clubs, food, shelter, medical care, substance abuse treatment, tutoring, job training and other outreaches are all ways to minister to the children and families. As you think about Nicaragua, where 6% of the people are unreached (OperationWorld), please pray for –
  • The safety of children – so many are exposed to violence, exploitation, and despair.
  • God to draw believers to Him.
  • Churches as they serve the children and families in their area and country.
  • People to go serve the church in Nicaragua.
  • The Nicaraguan church to be a light to their communities!
Nicaragua needs to know God loves them! While you may not be able to travel to Nicaragua to serve the church, you can pray and, “When a believing person prays, great things happen.” (James 5:16 NCV) Let’s pray and trust God for great things in Nicaragua! 

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