Dear Friends of Quest for Peace and Covenant House Casa Alianza in Nicaragua:
These weeks we have been witnessing with great anguish the violence and anarchy that has erupted in Nicaragua which has set the government and its paramilitaries against students, workers, the poor and the Catholic Church.
Since April there have been over 300 murders and assassinations carried out against the Nicaraguan people who are protesting the Ortega dictatorship and its brutal repression of voices calling for social justice. Today, as the Catholic Cardinal and Bishops continued their attempts to mediate a pause for peace and the release of students and priests from a church under siege, even these representatives of Pope Francis were attacked and wounded.
Many of us who are reading this post have worked for decades to support the emergence of Nicaragua since the revolution for liberation which has been so betrayed by its leaders. Through Quest for Peace, and outreach from the worship community of the Benedictine Grange, we defied embargoes to send humanitarian aid there, we have supported the establishment of schools and clinics there. Lives were changed; our lives were changed.
But the most wonderful initiative we have supported there has been Casa Alianza, one of the houses of rescue and relief sponsored by Covenant House International.
Many of us have traveled to Nicaragua to befriend the young children, child mothers, homeless and hungry street children served by Casa Alianza. Children have been rescued from trafficking and from an unimaginable life of desolation and abuse.
During this season of dramatic blood-letting repression by the government, Casa Alianza has suffered unspeakable violence to its workers, and its children. Now more than ever in its history is it under siege with so many other beacons of hope in the country as the regime and its paramilitaries crack down on any church related ministries and works that labor of social justice.
For this reason I am appealing to you, my Friends, to make a generous offering to Covenant House Nicaragua now, so we may be part of the rescue of light in this dreadful dark night the people and especially the children are undergoing there.
Will you be as generous as you are able? We are not helpless to aid our afflicted friends whom we have supported for decades. But now the need is the greatest and I am imploring you to let us carry on our ministry of solidarity to these most vulnerable children and to the staff and workers at this life-saving place, this harbor of hope: Casa Alianza.
Kathleen Deignan, CND