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Protests in Venezuela

THE LIGHTS ARE ON, BUT THE OUTLOOK IS STILL DARK

8 April 2019

Venezuela has been in crisis for some time. Back in October we brought you an update from the TWR team who were working in very difficult conditions to keep speaking hope to their nation. You can remind yourself of this situation at this link.

The national crisis in Venezuela smoulders in the aftermath of a blackout that shut down cities for days, paralysing hospitals and leading to widespread looting.

Even though the lights are back on in most areas, conditions in this country wracked by years of political and economic turmoil continue to deteriorate.

“It is really hard to find medicines,” said Annabel Torrealba, a native of Venezuela and TWR’s director for north and central Latin America and the Caribbean. “It is hard to get clear information to know what is really happening, because the media is censored. The schools and some companies are closed still, as ordered by the government. The demonstrations on the streets in the capital, Caracas, continue.”

Hyperinflation and violence have caused Caracas, once a showplace among Latin American cities, to overtake war-torn Damascus as the cheapest major city on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living index.

Torrealba, who lives in the United States, uses social media to stay in touch with the ministry’s national partner in Venezuela when phone service there is working. Amid all the problems, including the blackout and shortages of food and transportation, the dedicated staff of RTM Venezuela (RTM is the Spanish version of TWR) keeps showing up for work and producing gospel programmes.

Steve Shantz, TWR vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, said, “Fortunately, they have a small generator on the roof of the office complex where RTM Venezuela is located. This allows them to continue recording. Since we use these programmes across the region, we are grateful that the office is somewhat operational.”

That generator, made possible by the generous help of TWR’s national partner in Brazil, enabled the RTM Venezuela staff to struggle through most of 2018 after the power supply to their office building was cut off. A technician finally arrived to reconnect a repaired transformer two days before the staff’s Christmas lunch.

When American Airlines recently became the last major U.S. carrier to end flights to Venezuela, two of the ministry’s most faithful translators were stranded away from home. Daniel and Kathy Jaimes translate four English programmes into Spanish and had been visiting their daughters in the US.

Even though millions of Venezuelans have left the country during its worsening crisis, Daniel Jaimes said in an earlier interview that “people come to church, and we want to be there to help them and give them spiritual food. That’s why we stay.”

Join us in prayer for Venezuelans

Venezuela and our ministry in that troubled land need your prayers. Will you take a few moments to place these requests before the Lord?

  • Pray that internet service will operate properly so the programmes produced by RTM Venezuela can be transmitted to TWR servers for distribution to other stations.
  • Pray for strength and peace in the lives of the staff members as they struggle daily to obtain food and medical help for their families.
  • Pray for Venezuelans, who have lived through their once stable and prosperous nation’s plunge into desperately hard times. Ask the Lord to bring about a peaceful resolution to the ongoing clash between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido for control of the government.
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