The Ministry Behind Red Tape

The Ministry Behind Red Tape
Christine Ellis
Jul 15, 2021

Over and over this week we have gotten the same question, “How were you able to get into Nicaragua?” We have talked to so many teams who had originally planned to serve in various areas of the country, but they were denied permission to hold clinic, temporary licenses, or customs clearance for their medicine and supplies. The need in the country is dire, but few are able to help.

Meet Maria. She has worked with us since 2018 to patiently walk us through the daunting process. Nicaragua has always been one of the hardest countries for us to get permission to work in, but government unrest and the pandemic have complicated matters even further. Thankfully, Maria doesn’t take no for an answer. She has made trip after trip to the capital, sitting in stuffy offices and being denied time after time. She patiently takes the long lists of reasons she was given for denial (many of which seem to make little sense), and she tackles them one by one. Over and over, she goes back, the new requirements in hand, only to be handed a new set. Maria has favor with government officials here, but more importantly, she is a woman of prayer. Most people throw up their hands in frustration, but Maria perseveres with a smile. She loves her people and her God. Both are served by her efforts.

Most people would never know that we couldn’t be here this week without someone like Maria. We often thank God for the medical professionals and non-medical volunteers who come from the US, the pastors who host our teams, and the interpreters who ensure every patient is heard. But behind each trip is someone who tenaciously persevered so that these teams could hit the ground. Everything can be ministry, even cutting through red tape.

Will you join us in thanking God for Maria and others who serve Him in this role today?