What an honor it was to spend all last week in beautiful Nicaragua. Their country has been under intense persecution for sometime but after Ruth and I seeing it up close and personal we agree the people are gracious, the scenery gorgeous and the leaders share a burning desire to please God and hunger for peace, revival and the Word of God. Our dear friend, Dr. Antonio Bolianez shared with us earlier this Spring that he would be reuniting with President Daniel Ortega and felt led to mention our names to him and we should meet. The Lord used him to make this recent meeting a reality and we were honored to fly to Nicaragua and connect with the entire government and their wonderful citizens. Leadership not only loves people and leads others but opens doors for others and from the moment we boarded the plane heading south we had the best time.
Ruth and I along with two other pastors from Atlanta, GA were the delegation represented on this trip and it was an honor to share God’s love, Word and Faith initiatives with their leaders. The first day we were blessed to have a meeting with the Mayor, politicians and their Ambassador to Israel. God really blessed our time of fellowship together and we met several of their Cabinet Members. It was an honor to hear their hopes and sympathize with them in their hurts. We took an inventory to see how we can partner and bless them in a future trip. We took a boat ride and saw several of the 365 islands that is part of this majestic country and they also have volcanoes and the landscape and views are breath taking. During our trip we also had a meeting with several area pastors and politicians and met the man who owns the TBN studios for all of Nicaragua. The Ambassador to Israel and some other Cabinet Members were present and I was asked at the conclusion of the lunch to share the Gospel and with no notes or notice I recalled the verse, “be instant in season and out of season.” Immediately stood to my feet and whispered a private prayer that the Holy Spirit would use my brief words to touch hearts. I proceeded to speak Truth to power in love and preached the simple Gospel message. I shared how the RED blood of Jesus could take our DARK sins and wash us as PURE as new fallen snow. God gave me confidence to extend an invitation on the spot with dignitaries present and it has been said, “You have not preached the Gospel until you invite others to respond.” Despite Satan teasing me during my remarks that no one would respond we had THREE professions of faith and one of those receiving Christ as Lord and Savior was one of their high ranking officials. Glory to God! The Gospel is the power unto salvation.
We were taken from there to have a private hour meeting with the President and Vice President of their Congress along other leaders, Ambassadors and officials. Sitting next to their President at the table through a translator we were able to encourage them and offer hope. The Christians have been persecuted immensely and the pastors and politicians alike both told me they want to honor God, they desire peace, long for revival in their land and they are very open to implementing a Bible study to bless their government and their public servants. The President and Vice President of the Congress was so gracious to us and the Vice President presented Ruth with a beautiful basket with various gifts and she was moved to tears (picture above). It was obvious the politicians present in that meeting were tired from the hostility thrown at them the last year but I am pleased to report both their faith in God and desire to lead their country is stronger than ever. During our discussion I noticed we had the same number of us in our small delegation to the public servants of their government leadership in the room. The Lord impressed on me to have each of us stand behind them and I asked them to pray specifically for the ones in their presence. Before petitioning God, I shared that this will be symbolic long after we leave the room that we as Christians stand BEHIND you in prayer and until our next return we will be BESIDE you in your journey with Jesus and never forget most of all that God is IN you both now and forever. You could feel the Presence of God in that place and when we concluded we were hugging one another. I shared with them that I wish we had a basin of water in the room because Jesus taught us that servant leadership is the best. Even Dr. John Maxwell would agree and he’s beloved around the world on leadership. I told them the “greatest among you is the servant” and it would be my high honor to wash their feet. We came as servants not celebrities and we are ambassadors of Almighty God. As we left, TV reporters were awaiting for us outside in the hallway but I told my wife, Ruth to have this moment alone. She has selflessly stood by my side all these years and she is a leader long before meeting me and true leadership not only delegates but sometimes steps aside to let another shine. With her Spanish background and formerly living in El Salvador she was the perfect one to address the media. She was incredible!
Immediately following that meeting we were taken across town and then learned we had a private meeting with their Secretary of State and Supreme Court Justice at a table with them in his office. They were most hospitable to us and they also relayed their desire for peace and longing for hope and better days. I have been invited to speak on six continents and their streets were clean, safe and peaceful. Sadly, many other places like the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Jamaica and other nations are extremely dangerous especially to visiting Americans. We are living in violent times and our only refuge and safety is in the shadow of God’s grace and protection. We were scheduled to meet President Ortega but was it was rescheduled because he attended and spoke the eulogy at the funeral of a citizen who was murdered. We heard his remarks on the radio and when we met him the next day I thanked him for his remarks and he was both presidential and pastoral in his address. That evening we were invited to another dinner with much of their Cabinet present and what an honor to break bread and interact with each of them. The hospitality and generosity was both First Class and second to none. Our son, Andrew was having his fourth grade award ceremony on the last day of the school year and Ruth flew home by herself to be present with our son as he received his awards. Nothing like a mother’s love and I am so proud of my family.
The very next day the three of us remaining was summoned to the private residence of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo. She is both the Vice President and First Lady of Nicaragua and they were gracious and kind and she shared, “we don’t want more politics. We want peace, revival and the Word of God.” We talked about several faith initiatives and how we desire to bring relief to help their citizens but also see REVIVAL transpire during and after our departure. The pastors, politicians and people long for better days and desire to please God. We had a wonderful dialogue and time of fellowship and was blessed to leave them with gifts and they have invited us back for further ministry opportunities.
As we got ready to leave it was an honor to close in prayer with this power couple and they personally walked us to our awaiting car. I noticed a couple armed guards outside and approached them and shook their hand while thanking them for their service and providing protection. I shared my Dad and family have been in law enforcement in our Nation’s Capitol for over five generations and “blessed are the peacemakers.’ As we jumped into the car and a final waive to the President and Vice President we were whisked off to the airport with a police escort and sirens blaring. They had already took our passports to clear us for departure and that is the way to travel with no bags or worries and only board the airplane. When we arrived at the VIP reception I noticed the Chief of Staff to the Vice President had a large wrapped package. He said, “Frank – this is for you from the President and VP.” My heart skipped and my mouth dropped and my eyes almost popped out of my head. I was so touched and we came to give and they gave. You cannot out give God. The picture below is the hand painted picture of a lighthouse and the irony is it closely resembles the one in our front yard. You will notice a fisherman who caught a fish and it encourages me to continue to be a light in a dark world and keep fishing for the souls of mankind. Everyone from the custodian to Commander in Chief need Christ.
Days before our departure to Nicaragua some folks were complaining at home that a pastor in Virginia prayed for President Trump. The Lord gave me a word, “If we only minister to folks who look like you, dress like you, talk like you, think like you or vote like you than you are not LOOKING like the Lord.” Paul was all things to all men that some would be saved and this picture above forever will be special to us and displayed in our home. The Lord set the table for us to have a wonderful relationship with this great Country and their President and political leaders and please pray for them, that the persecution across the board stops and if you would like to assist with resources to bless Nicaragua please reach out to our office 410-973-1208. We are so thankful to God for making this trip possible and grateful for Dr. Bolianez who selflessly opened the door. President Reagan was correct, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.” We are hoping to return soon and encourage all in their walk with Christ. The Answer is not in any government but God Almighty. It is Jesus alone who changes hearts, transforms lives and can better a society. Saul had an amazing “Damascus Road” experience and was converted and became the Apostle Paul. Lord willing with God’s grace and willing hearts and we may see thousands saved and millions drawn closer to Christ. The Gospel compels us to look for a way in not out and the first two letters of Gospel spell GO! To God be the glory – great things HE hath done. God bless Nicaragua.