The Mayangna: A People in Crisis

Posted on: 
September 1, 2019

The Mayangna people of Nicaragua have felt their vulnerability for many years. Now, as war rages throughout the country, they are not sure if they will survive. God cares for the oppressed, the underprivileged, the voiceless. How would He have His people respond?

The Mayangna used to be a hunter-gatherer people, moving from place to place through the jungle. But for decades now, they live in one place and raise their food on plots of ground. Land is a crucial commodity. The Mayangna both cling to the land for identity and depend on it for survival.

But others eye that land too. Dishonest people facilitate illegal land sales. Sometimes land-grabbers simply take what is not theirs.

This Summer’s Crisis

That is what happened this summer in one Mayangna region. Illegal settlers took over the land. Mayangna leaders requested that the government remove the settlers. Unsuccessful, they promised to attack the settlers in three days and fight to the death unless the government intervened.

Hundreds of people—including ABT supporters—prayed. God moved, and circumstances influenced Mayangna leaders to pursue more peaceful methods.

The Continuing Crisis

But the crisis is not past. Like so many indigenous peoples, the Mayangna face insurmountable challenges to survival. So many outsiders want to take advantage of them.

For people in this situation, the future appears to be swallowed up in despair. Many see no way out besides prostitution and drugs. Social and moral outcasts, generations grovel in their hopelessness, eventually losing their language, identity, and desire to thrive. Suicide rates soar, especially among teenagers.

A Whole-Person Gospel

Serving a people group means caring for more than their spiritual well-being. It includes helping them find ways to survive and thrive, and promoting opportunities for the disadvantaged.

This conviction is why community development is part of ABT’s mission. In bringing the gospel, we must not ignore social, educational, economical, nutritional, or health needs. The best ways to help will vary. But some underlying principles, such as honoring them as creative and capable people, don’t change.

Help for the Mayangna

How will God’s people help the Mayangna find a way? Will it involve ABT’s community development? We don’t know. Will you join us in praying for them?

Visit the Mayangna Project page to learn more about this project.

  • “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
  • “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witness of these things.” Luke 24:47, 48
  • “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
  • “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3
  • “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel.” Ephesians 3:6
  • “That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21
  • “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” Mark 11:17
  • “Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8
  • “Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.” Revelation 7:9
  • “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
  • “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
  • “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25
  • “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10
  • “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.” Psalm 22:27
  • “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Numbers 14:21
  • “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” Psalm 96:3, 4
  • “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
  • “That all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.” 1 Kings 8:60
  • “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11
  • “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” Psalm 86:9
  • “For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11
  • "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
  • "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3, 4
  • "You are worthy. . .; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God." Revelation 5:9, 10