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Prayer letter June 2018

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We are incredibly proud of our son!

Gabe graduated from High School

Life has a way of moving way too fast. This month we celebrate the graduation of our son Gabe and at the same time, we grieve the death of Mark's grandad, and simultaneously we are saddened over the turmoil in Nicaragua.

We are incredibly proud of Gabe. He graduated on June 8th and is headed to Cedarville. He is leaning towards a major in Cyber Security. Andy took online classes from Cedarville while living in Nicaragua with us. We are excited for them as they will be living on campus and will be roommates. We will miss them greatly but we are overjoyed for the next phase of life for them.

Sadly, Mark's grandad passed away June 6th. He was 97 years old. He brought us much laughter and joy. He will be deeply missed.

We are headed back to OHIO!!


We had plans to return to Ohio to drop off Andy and Gabe at Cedarville in July. Due to the death of Mark's grandad and the continued and escalated turmoil in Nicaragua, we are headed back this Wednesday, June 13th. We are excited to come home but we are sad to leave our home as well. In order to make sure we make our flight Wednesday, we have to stay in a hotel across from the airport Tuesday because of the unknown road conditions. Would you please pray for safety as we travel Tuesday and Wednesday??

Protesters behind barricade
Our friend Liam Starkenburg wrote a great summary of the events happening here.

The Situation in Nicaragua has not improved, and in a few regards, it has gotten much worse. On the political side of things, the widespread protests of Nicaragua are all demanding one thing -- the resignation of President Daniel Ortega. Several groups in representation of the university student movements, the campesinos (rural communities), the business sector, and the government have participated in a series of "national dialogue" meetings mediated by leaders of the Catholic Church. However, these dialogue sessions have accomplished little, since Ortega has clearly stated that he has no intentions of leaving his office and that is the main condition given by protest groups.
Barricades have cut off access to food and supplies in many cities​As a strategy to accomplish their demands, protesters have barricaded roads and highways around the country and certain regions of Managua. There has been a lot of talk about a ​paro nacional (national strike) in which every business, service, highway and road would be closed until Ortega resigns. Although this has not happened completely, roadblocks on almost every major highway outside of Managua have left many cities around the country completely without fuel and in danger of food shortages. Protesters and criminals have also burned government buildings, markets, vehicles and police stations in dozens of cities.
When the situation first developed in April, police reacted violently against protesters, killing dozens and injuring hundreds, and as a result, the situation exploded in an irreversible outcry against the government. Killings have continued almost daily since April 19, and the most recent figure is 135 deaths​, according to human rights groups.

Either because of redirection of resources, fear of revenge, or another government strategy, the police forces have nearly completely withdrawn from society. For the last two weeks, crime has gone rampant around the city, taking advantage of zero law enforcement. Even within the immediate 1-3 kilometers around our house and school, the last two weeks have brought dozens of confirmed reports of roaming bands of armed robbers assaulting gas stations, convenience stores, and many individuals. One NCAI expat teacher was robbed at machete point last Wednesday morning in the parking lot of a nearby coffee shop. Reports of motorcycle and vehicle hijackings are becoming increasingly common.
Everyone is afraid to be out after dark (and rightly so). Several people we know have lost their jobs or income because the economy has plummeted. Very few people venture out to go shopping or do anything but essential errands. People are advised to stock up on nonperishable food and household supplies to last at least a month. The country seems to be bracing for even more difficult times to come.
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