03 Dec Honduran Presidential Elections
Today, Saturday the 2nd of December, we here at Mission UpReach in Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras want to ask you to be praying for peace in the midst of the present instability caused by disputed election results in the recent Presidential election. We think that living in Honduras for many years as US Citizen’s with our permanent residence in Honduras gives us somewhat of a unique perspective on both cultures. We are concerned for our host country. We are concerned for “el pueblo” which basically translated means “the people” sort of like our Declaration of Independence talks about “We the people….” The present unrest in the contested presidential election here is going to adversely affect the people regardless of which party winds up being declared winner.
Pray for God’s peace to be spread over the nation of Honduras. For that matter, pray that God’s peace will come upon this nation not just during the present political crisis but also over daily life. May God bless this nation with a society free of dangerous gangs and illegal drug trafficking cartels, less corruption and a more prosperous economy. For many citizens of the US it is a struggle to understand that newer democratic nations inevitably struggle with unrest during the process of change in administrations from one term to another. Partly that is due to our not reading US history well enough to know that democracy is only possible when there are strong institutions that exist in society that can provide some “shock absorbing” relief that is much needed in these situations in order to maintain stability. Honduras has a long history of democracy but it is punctuated with despots, dictators and outside countries pursuing their own interests at the expense of true, representative democracy for the Honduran people.
I encourage you to go back and read about disputed presidential elections in the US beginning in 1824, when John Quincy Adams won against Andrew Jackson, up until 2004. Back in 1824 the national situation was intense and Congress had to declare a winner. Then as late as 2000, when George Bush won against Al Gore, there was a lot of tension. A clear winner was not immediately evident. All of the recounting that was done in Florida with the discussions about “hanging chads” created a political crisis with very high emotions for both Republicans and Democrats. Thankfully, to date other than in the 1790’s and since the Revolution of 1800, we citizens of the United States of America have enjoyed elections decided by “ballets not bullets.”
I mention these things so that as citizens of the US of A we can be reminded to pause before we make comments and judgements about democratic countries like Honduras. We first need to stop and appreciate the years of struggle that gave birth to the present political system and freedoms that we enjoy. It has come at a great price of human sacrifice and decades of work on the parts of thousands of devoted patriots. We are standing on the shoulders of so many men and women in past generations that gave of themselves in order that we could enjoy the freedoms that we know today. We as a nation are not perfect but when you stop and consider other nations in the world we are certainly blessed with more freedom, more prosperity and more national peace than most nations will ever enjoy.
Team Mission UpReach, consisting of six different nationalities the majority of whom are Hondurans, lives and works in western Honduras. We love our host country and the people of Honduras. Most Hondurans are hardworking, honest, peaceful people. What is going on right now in the disputed presidential election results is creating chaos. And some unruly and unlawful elements have taken advantage of the political situation by looting electronic stores and destroying government offices. As a result, the government has declared a curfew from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM, which is effectively a dusk to dawn restriction of all public movement outside of one’s home. All of the members of Team Mission UpReach are in their homes with water and supplies for a few days in order to allow tensions to diminish over the coming days. I would encourage you to read Christy Owen’s article about her experience at: myliliarte.com/deaf-ministry-in-honduras. She shares a well-balanced, up-close perspective of what is going on in the Capital of Tegucigalpa.
Right now, while we have been restricted to our homes at night we still have power and water services. The Army is patrolling the highways and the police are patrolling the city streets in order to dampen the unruliness of some who would take advantage of the political unrest. Pray for Honduras and for the Honduran people. Wouldn’t it be great to see God show Himself as the Provider and Protector of the people here by intervening in this situation to bring a speedy and peaceful resolution to the standoff?
CEO, Mission UpReach