In April 2018, protests erupted in Nicaragua, the result of fierce resistance to changes the government made to the social security system that reduced social security payments and increased taxes.
The protests started in the capital, Managua, but little by little they spread to the neighboring cities, among them a city close to the area where I live.
Very quickly the protests escalated to dangerous and almost uncontrollable levels, because they were met by counterattacks from the police and anti-riot forces. One of my sons lives very close to the area where the worst shooting took place.
I am part of a small but dedicated group of Christian Scientists in my country who were praying for a peaceful resolution to the protests. When the protests began, I took refuge in my bedroom, and on Wednesdays and Sundays I began to hold my own private testimony meetings and church services at home, since the government issued recommendations to stay off the streets.
When my son came to visit me shortly after the protests subsided, he was happy and smiling—and unharmed.
In my room with me I had the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy—which together are the pastor of the Christian Science denomination. Also, I had the Christian Science Hymnal. I kept these books very close and devoted a lot of time each day to delving into them. They were my constant companions and strengthened my conviction that because we are God’s children, we are always protected by Him. As God’s reflection we are always under His guidance and care. In my prayers I included everyone—the government authorities, the protesters, the police, the entire community, and the country.
One of the hymns in the Hymnal tells us that God, divine Truth, is our refuge. I read it many times and found comfort in these words:
Rock of Ages, Truth divine,
Be Thy strength forever mine;
Let me rest secure on Thee,
Safe above life’s raging sea.
Rock of Ages, Truth divine,
Be Thy strength forever mine.
(Frederic W. Root, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 293)
I also found inspiration from the first four chapters of the book of Psalms, which assure us of the security of God’s protection.
During the three weeks of protests in my area, I shared the inspiration from my spiritual study with the other members of the group of Christian Scientists here. I also communicated regularly with a Christian Science practitioner, who kindly prayed for me, and this supported my efforts to remain calm.
After entering into talks with the protesters, the government decided to revoke the social security resolution. I was grateful to hear many reports of the ways people felt protected during the danger, including my son and my other family members. When my son came to visit me shortly after the protests subsided, he was happy and smiling—and unharmed.
Since then, human rights groups have been pushing for electoral reforms in our country. Today in the news one hears of protests against corruption, inequality, and social injustice not just in Latin America, but in many other places as well. I pray, knowing that God is there, too, protecting and guiding everyone who calls on Him for help.
“Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalms 2:12).