For many Nicaraguans, the effects of the past year’s political violence, upheaval, and uncertainty here were traumatic….We join the many who also say “God is faithful and will get us through this.

Loss of life and injuries, business closings and jobs drying up, migration, breakdown in relationships of all kinds, and for everyone, an unclear future, not just for themselves and their families, but for their country as a whole. We join the many who also say “Dios es Fiel” (God is faithful) and will get us through this.

In spite of this dire context and because of our belief that God is faithful, World Renew and our local partners continue to move ahead here and the community of Boaco Viejo is a great example.

Farmer field-schools continue to promote alternative practices to increase food production. Savings groups are pooling their capital to make small loans to their fellow members who hope to improve their livelihoods.

The community cleaned and deepened their community water well.

Health promoters are being trained to work with mothers to address culturally-sensitive practices that may jeopardize children’s thriving.

Karla, pictured above, is a young mother who had been told she should start feeding a baby solid food by three months old. “My mom says that, in her time, folks didn’t know about giving babies special foods,” says Karla, “and even less that you should wait until they’re six months old to give them solids, so they even gave newborn bottles with sugared water, juice or coffee.”

But Karla attended a mother’s group supported by World Renew here and says “I learned that it’s better to wait longer because babies’ stomachs aren’t ready for anything other than breastmilk,” she reports. “So when my mom and mother-in-law pressured me to give my daughter tea or pudding, I resisted. I breastfed my baby exclusively till she turned six months.”

The facilitator of the mothers’ group was so impressed that she invited Karla to share her experience and give advice to others in the group. “Best of all,” says Karla. “my daughter still nurses, and is growing strong and healthy, and I hope my neighbors’ babies will be too.”

These successes are joined this year by our new focus on the restorative practices of trauma healing, conflict resolution and domestic violence prevention. A core group of volunteer trainers are being equipped to facilitate sessions on these themes in their communities. God is faithful and will get us through this (Dios es Fiel y Siempre Nos Sostiene)


Now on to a more personal note…

We have come to the decision that it is time for our family to permanently leave Nicaragua and return to Canada.

It was a big decision after living abroad for 28 years, but we are confident that it is right decision and that the Lord is directing us. As a family, 2019 will be a year of a lot of change for us.

Nicaragua has been our home and we will be saying goodbye to many friends, a rich culture and a beautiful country.

In July, we plan to settle in Southern Ontario. Our sons will attend school in September and we anticipate being part of the Ontario workforce again.

The VanderWees family in Nicaragua

Join us in Prayer

  • Offer praise to God with us for:
  • the faithful giving to World Renew which has made possible to provide for communities and partner staff during this unstable time
  • God’s daily provision and people’s generosity that we witness and hear about here

Please Pray with us for:

  • healing from the trauma of the past year, a solution to Nicaragua’s political crisis, and the righting of injustices here
  • Our family as we move from our home here and transition to Canada
  • World Renew as an organization as they search for my replacement in Nicaragua


From the ends of the earth I call to you
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I

For you have been my refuge
A strong tower against the foe

I long to dwell in your tent forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings

–Psalms 61:2-4