Statement from the Board of Directors

Dear friends of CINAFE,

Here at Fortress of Hope, we have always striven to follow God’s calling in every decision we make, in order to run a children’s home that truly does His work. Over the last ten years, God has opened doors and we have walked through them. We have witnessed the transforming power of his love as it has changed the lives of the children in Nicaragua, the staff carrying out the day-to-day operations, teams who have visited and served, and the donors who make this work financially possible. It is our hope that you have been personally touched by this ministry and that you have seen the lasting impact that Fortress of Hope has made in the lives of countless people.

Throughout the Bible, we are instructed to care for those who cannot care for themselves. This instruction is found from the beginning of the Old Testament to the end of the New Testament, most clearly stated in James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” As an organization, we felt called to begin Fortress of Hope in Nicaragua to do exactly that.

Unfortunately, after ten years of faithful service, we believe that the time has come to close Fortress of Hope. Three months ago, we never would have expected to be sharing this news; however, recent events in Nicaragua have caused us to spend time in discernment for the future of the organization. Last month, the Nicaraguan government changed the requirements for NGOs operating in the country, mandating that all board members be Nicaraguan residents. Of our five board members, only one is a Nicaraguan resident. Furthermore, the government ruled that all funds for organizations like ours must be run through the government, meaning that we would not have the final say in how to use our money. We could not find any way to work around those demands without losing the accountability that our donors expect and that we believe is vital.

For that reason, Belen Ministries will be closing Fortress of Hope on July 24th, 2017. Thank you to each and every person who has played a part in the work that Fortress of Hope accomplished over the last ten years. Since the first two children arrived on April 22, 2008, over 135 children have passed through our doors, finding a place where they could be safe, loved, and told about God. Thank you for your prayers, which helped keep our doors open longer than many expected. When we began, there were 200 orphanages in Nicaragua, and today there are less than ten still in operation. We are grateful that God allowed us to serve the children of Nicaragua for this long. The ministry of Fortress of Hope could not have happened without your contributions of time, prayers, and finances. Thank you!

As always, we remain open to God’s calling and where He leads. We do not know what the future holds, but we will be seeking His will, ever mindful of His exhortation to care for those who need help. As Fortress of Hope comes to an end, we pray that you join us in looking for ways to serve and share God’s love wherever you are. Once again, we thank you for partnering with us in caring for the children of Nicaragua through Fortress of Hope.

In Christ,

the Fortress of Hope team