Patriot Games

Saving Nicaragua (ft. Britt and Audrey Hancock)

February 23, 2024 Gregg Phillips Season 2 Episode 9
Patriot Games
Saving Nicaragua (ft. Britt and Audrey Hancock)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embark on an extraordinary journey with Audrey and Britt Hancock, founders of Mountain Gateway, as they recount their life's mission from the heart of Latin America to the challenging landscapes of Mexico and Nicaragua. Witness the inception of a movement dedicated to conquering adversity and spreading hope, where thousands of children are rescued from the clutches of human trafficking, and communities are united under faith. This episode is not just a tale of missionary work; it's an exploration of the human spirit's boundless potential when driven by unshakeable conviction and love.

Within the Hancock family's story lies a rich tapestry of inspiration woven through their adaptation to a life less ordinary in Mexico. Imagine a home constructed from market crates, homeschooling adventures that defy conventional settings, and the profound bond forged in the crucible of living without modern comforts. Their experiences illuminate the remarkable resilience of a family whose unity becomes their greatest strength, revealing the transformative power of embracing challenges with creativity and grace.

In an unexpected shift to the struggles facing religious freedom, the narrative takes us deeper into the political turmoil of Nicaragua. The Hancock's relentless fight for justice amidst government oppression and wrongful imprisonment of local pastors paints a vivid picture of courage in the face of adversity. Listeners will be moved by their call to action as we explore how collective advocacy and support can ignite change and uphold human rights in this complex and politically charged arena. Join us in this profound dialogue that underscores the essence of community and the significance of standing firm for one's beliefs.

Donate to Mountain Gateway: https://bit.ly/MountainGatewayDonate

Mountain Gateway: https://www.mountaingateway.org/

Support the show

Announcer:

No matter where you are, you are being watched. In today's world, no one is off the grid. Existing in the modern world has been forever changed. What's out there? Most people don't want to know, but you are about to get clued in. This is Patriot Games. We'll explore different intelligence techniques, spycraft and the latest cutting-edge technology that will blow your mind. We'll introduce you to pros who've spent careers in the Intel community With incredible stories. We'll expose it all. Welcome to Patriot Games. And now your host, greg Phillips.

Gregg Phillips:

All right, everybody. It's Greg Phillips. Welcome back to Patriot Games. We have a special episode with two just amazing people. They're great friends. They're people that are experiencing religious persecution in a way that I don't think everybody can fully understand. For all of you that follow my show and have prayed for them and with them, these are the people that were leading the prayer crusade in Nicaragua, and with that I just want to introduce Audrey and Brett Hancock of Mountain Gateway, and guys, I love you, I'm so glad you're here, I'm so glad you're safe. But we got some things to think about.

Britt Hancock:

So great to be here, Greg. God bless you.

Audrey Hancock:

Thank you for having us.

Gregg Phillips:

So, brett, can you just give everybody just a few minutes of Mountain Gateway and how y'all got here, and then I'll jump over to Audrey and we'll go through what it's like to bring a family up in the mission field.

Britt Hancock:

You bet. We first left the United States in January of 1996 to become missionaries. The first country that we lived in was Paraguay, south America. Our youngest son was born there. We had four children, two boys, two girls.

Britt Hancock:

After Paraguay, we went to language school in Guatemala to learn Spanish and then we moved to Mexico in late 1997 to start working in small Mexican indigenous villages in the mountains as church planters. So we did that for a long time, full time, from 97 until 2012. And then we launched Mountain Gateway in 2012 because the Lord had really touched me that he wanted us to begin to train missionaries. So we got into recruiting, training, placing and pastoring missionaries and we sort of grew out of the Hancock family as church planters into a training and sending mission agency. And now we have an academy in the United States where we train people 11 months to get them ready for missions. We have a wilderness training aspect to that and we have an expanding footprint still in Mexico in about 100 villages through affiliate missionaries Jason and Nicole Fitzpatrick at the Village Global there in the Mountain Gateway family Amazing people, yeah, they're amazing people. They've Nicole's rescued 2,000 children from human trafficking in Mexico in the last 15 years.

Gregg Phillips:

She showed me some pictures when y'all were about to kick off the event in Agua the last night and I mean, I'm not much of a crier but man, she showed me some pictures of those little babies and I was just like, oh my gosh.

Britt Hancock:

And it's the worst underbelly of humanity what people do to children. You know Amen and anyway, and then her husband, jason. They also have a network of village churches that they work in Because we work together.

Britt Hancock:

We work together for years in Mexico as village church planting missionaries, and so we've known each other for a long time. I've actually known her since she was 12 years old. Oh, I did Her parents, her parents were missionaries, and so I met her when they were. When she was, her parents were in language school and then, in 2012, we were threatened by a cartel. Our family was in Mexico and they were pretty aggressive with what they told me that they were. You know they threatened to do to Audrey, and so that set up kind of a personal crisis and we went into hiding for about three weeks.

Britt Hancock:

And it was while I was there that a friend of mine, johnny Enlo, invited us to come to a pastors conference or ministry conference in Pasadena, california, and I was at that conference that we met a pastor from Anagua, nicaragua, who invited us to come there, and so we got our family, all of my kids, and we made a journey down there and met them and they showed us around, you know, a few cities, and the Lord really touched my heart for Nicaragua. And since we didn't we didn't at that time really focus on on urban centers I told the pastor look, I need to come back, I need to see, like inside the country. You know the kind of thing that we do. I want to, I need to get into villages and into the mountains and and I asked him if he knew you know anybody that could serve as a guide, and so he knew this guy. He said, oh yeah, he knows, he knows the country like the back of his hand and you know, you hear that, but this guy literally did like he. His name is Walner Blandon.

Gregg Phillips:

And he knows a lot of things by the back of his hand. He just he really touched me when I first met him and and I just knew he was somebody special and he and I had a brief but but important relationship to me and ended up, I think, being one of the main reasons that I'm, of course, I love y'all but but you know, knowing him and his family, it's hard to understand and deal with. I think, just knowing you know what's happening to Walner and his family, yeah, it's hard, he got, he got.

Britt Hancock:

He got saved in June of 2013 on our second rural scouting trip, and so we had gone to this rural area of Nicaragua where there's no roads and no running water, no, no, no electricity, and there's just lots of people that live out there and it was really kind of cool because they all ride horses or mules and so there's this whole network of places out there. That's kind of our bellowic, you know that kind of thing. And so we went out there and I'm I preached in 30 villages in 10 days. So we did three a day, one in the morning, one in the middle of the day and one in the evening and we spent the night and we get up and load up on mules and go do it again. You know, and we did that for 10 days in a row and about halfway through that trip, the Lord really rescued him from hell. You know he was, he was involved in the government at high levels and I don't even know what all that he was involved in. That he was involved in, but you know, I mean well, everybody needs Jesus, but you know, we had just been loving on him and I'd been in the truck with him for days, scouting, and we got to know each other and the love of God really penetrated his heart. So he got born again and he stopped working for the government and he just connected with us and then, as we expanded our footprint in Nicaragua, he became our. You know, we put a lot of discipleship and time into him. I mean, you know, myself and Audrey and my son and other missionaries that we sent there really poured our life into them and into him. There was, there was like seven years of extreme discipleship, focus and like living almost together, you know, like like right next to each other. We just integrated in life together and the Lord really did extraordinary things in his heart, in his life and transformation.

Britt Hancock:

And he kept dragging me into these meetings with the government, you know, because he could get any kind of any door open. He knew all these people in the government and he would call me and say here, pray for this person, you know, and I was like I don't know who's on the other side, you know. So I'm talking, I'm listening to the guy. Well, I work for the government. He would say, and I've had, you know, I can't sleep well and in my job it just really stressful and I'm kind of backslidden and I need to go to church again, you know, and I haven't read my Bible in a while and you know, can you pray for me to have peace or whatever? And I would pray and the Holy Spirit would just touch him and I would find out later if some senator or some department head, or the mayor of Managua at the time, you know, or some cabinet member, for you know, for somebody past presidents, past vice presidents, I ended up, I don't know how, but I ended up preaching to the Congress, you know, and we're out here working in the villages and everything, and Walners doing all these things and getting all these meetings, and one day I said to him what are you doing?

Britt Hancock:

Like, this is just not my thing, you know. You see, I'm kind of aggravated. I'm like let's, let's. There's so many hard to reach places that are hard to penetrate and it takes lots of effort and focus, and every time I come down here, you drag me to the capital city and you want me to go do this or that or the other. You know, but I mean, the Lord was teaing something up unbeknownst to us, and so we, we became known to all the decision makers in the country and I didn't know, but you know he was making sure that they understood that we were not a threat to them, that we're not there as insurgents, you know, on the behalf of a government that's trying to overthrow them.

Britt Hancock:

And we began to work for the good of the people and things started happening and we we we obtained a coffee farm, a 122 acre coffee farm in 2017, a business lady actually sold her two houses and gave us the money to do that, because God had showed her in a dream she had a dream six times, in about eight months, that she was to sell her houses and donate the money to us because we were going to do a coffee farm. And I didn't know that, you know, but it just it was an extraordinary set of circumstances that caused that to come to be. And we got the coffee farm and we learned how to grow really high quality, specialty grade coffee and it was all these crazy things we were doing fair wage, fair trade practices, you know, and really cool things there. The government really liked that because we were, you know. We paid our workers 48% over the the national minimum wage and there's a lot of cool things happening there. That started in 2017 and we were trying to develop a Brand in the United States root line coffee company.

Britt Hancock:

It's really good. Yes, great coffee folks, great coffee really good coffee, root line coffee.

Britt Hancock:

We ended up, you know, with a in Dripping Springs, texas, with a brick-and-mortar store, and we have an online presence, but that grew out of our coffee farm.

Gregg Phillips:

Well, let me interrupt you for a second and tell everybody's we've got a lot of listeners in Texas and since I kind of lived in the area, for those of you in the Austin area, it's in Dripping Springs. For those of you not in the Austin area or not even in Texas, dripping Springs is a used to be nothing, but now it is a little bit of a bedroom community about 30 miles from downtown Austin. In fact, when I first moved to Texas had a friend that lived out there and used to. I I've moved in with him because I was working on a project in the legislature and I just I just thinking, okay, I'm gonna be there for you know, a month or whatever, working this project.

Gregg Phillips:

Next thing I know my whole family moved out there and everything else. But Dripping Springs used to be nothing. Right now in Dripping Springs it's an entirely different universe and you can go out for those folks in Austin, please go out there. This coffee shop is amazing, absolutely amazing, and they're doing they're doing amazing work and you can go out there and you could probably coach one or two of them into praying with you Like I did so for sure.

Gregg Phillips:

So, audrey, so before we get into kind of the the big stuff here, so you know, a lot of the ladies that listen to us and and that know about this story Ask me the same thing pretty regularly what's it like to raise your entire family in the mission field? How, how, what was that like?

Audrey Hancock:

Well, it was different in the very beginning to later on because Technology kind of changed. But when we first moved my kids were one and a half, four, six and eight. There was a lot of Well, david.

Britt Hancock:

David was born in Paraguay and then but that was.

Gregg Phillips:

Mexico yeah, that would be that would be a big load for anyone or any family anywhere. That meant the kids under the age of eight.

Audrey Hancock:

Yeah it was, it was a. It was a lot of handful, but I it was a good handful. I love my kids. There's just awesome, and so I kind of look at life like an adventure. So okay, well, what's next? This is what's next. So how can we make the best of it?

Audrey Hancock:

When we first moved to Mexico, we didn't have any running water or electricity in our house, and so that was a challenge. And, you know, using the candles and we had water in a big cistern outside of the house so we'd go pull it up out of a bucket. So we pretended we were, you know, little house in the prairie with a well or something like that. And so I think that the thing that caught me off guard was that, trying to wash clothes in a bucket While you're squatting down, my legs got sore. I was like who would ever thought my calves would be so sore from washing clothes. But that was for a couple of weeks until we could get electricity. And then, you know, the house was sparse, we didn't have much furniture, so I learned how to Do things, a lot of different creative things with the market crates. So I'd go to the market and I'd buy vegetables and I say well, can I have the crate too? So I bring the crate home and I'd scrub it up and I clean it and it became my kitchen shelves.

Britt Hancock:

She made toys out of cereal boxes and milk boxes and yeah.

Audrey Hancock:

Yeah, but the thing about the, the crates are you gotta, they're not all standard, so you kind of get the ones that are about the same size. Then you can. If you're putting something in there like cups, you have to get like your cereal box and cut that and then you put that down on the bottom as your shelf, that way things don't go between the slats. And Then I would like get a board and like put them between two stacks of crates and stuff and like in the kit and then for the kids closet I Did three, a tower of three crates on one side with another tower of three crates, and then I would get a like a, a broomstick and put it across the middle and then I'd hang the kids clothes on the broomstick and then they had the six boxes on either side. So it all worked.

Audrey Hancock:

And then we would paint them. They became gi Joe boxes. They were a Barbie house, you know. Wait, it just was all sorts of things. And so we just made the best of it and we had worship in our house and we prayed, and because we didn't have much furniture, I let the kids ride their bikes inside, which they like that that is awesome, my.

Gregg Phillips:

If my grandkids are watching this, or when they do watch it, neither of you get to ride your bikes in anybody's house.

Audrey Hancock:

So funny. Well, it was all tile, so you know it's a little different if you have carpet.

Gregg Phillips:

Yeah.

Audrey Hancock:

So, but there's a lot of challenges doing In homeschooling figuring out how to cook things that are different, how to just deal with electricity issues, how to take the kids to the villages, what that was like, teaching them to eat food that they are not used to. The closest church service was three hours on a bumpy road, and so that means there are six hours at least in the car. So I would put homeschool books in the car with me and I'd read on the way Thankfully I don't get car sick. I would pack a little snack box, I would put some peanut butter on a tortilla, roll it up and pass it back and To the backseat, so that kind of thing.

Audrey Hancock:

We didn't have a telephone for five years, so Communication was a challenge with people back home. We wrote letters with stamps, you know, and so, and that was a long process because we would send them out with a missionary, then they would mail them, somebody would write something, then there'd be a mail drop back to it from Texas into Mexico. So I kind of feel like the old timey.

Gregg Phillips:

Wow, so. So I mean I'd want to pry, but you know I think in a. We live in a world where, you know, people don't value Each other and relationships, and you know we see that in so many ways, you know, with divorces and all the different things that go on, and it's such a struggle. How did how did the the struggle affect your relationship together?

Audrey Hancock:

It pressed us together. Yeah, yeah. I mean pressure is gonna gonna do something right, and so what we chose was that it would push us together Closer, because we've determined that we run the three-legged race and so we're tied together and we try really hard to stay in cadence.

Gregg Phillips:

My goodness, what a, what an amazing witness for everybody out there. You know, so many times, I think you know, my friends will, you know, hear that they're getting a divorce or something's going on and and I'll call them. And so many times, you know, I, even me, I just kind of don't know what to say, all the time, other than you know, I quote him some scripture and try to, you know, try to make it better, but but that is a powerful witness, y'all.

Britt Hancock:

Yeah, it's hard, it's very hard. Well, we decided that you know what we're gonna do, we're gonna do together, and when we got married they pronounced this husband and wife when we left and then we came back in and then we minister together. Our first act of of as as a married couple was to do what we could to minister the gospel in our wedding. You know, we had a couple people get saved and We've, you know, and then we, everything that we've done, we've done together. We had our kids on the mission field. I Attempted to have them in at least 50% of the village services that I was in. So that did kind of create a challenge, a big challenge for homeschooling and school schedule, but it worked out in the end.

Gregg Phillips:

You know well, guys, I mean everything that you've been through and and your, your family, and raising your family and and Preparing missionaries to to do this incredible work that they do. Just tell everybody. I had the great fortune to be in Nicaragua when they were graduating a few new missionaries, and that was the most Heartening experience I think I've had in quite some time Lots of tears, and just tears of joy and happiness and and looking forward to their, to their lives. There was, it were unfolding before him. It was just it was. It was really touching and really amazing.

Gregg Phillips:

And I just want to you know again say these two are amazing people. They are. They are truly what what one might consider a missionary or a set of family missionaries really are and what they should be, and and They've just become so important in my life that that I hate to be so effusive about it, but but you will no doubt here lots and lots and lots from me about Mountain Gateway, audrey and Brit. So, brit, let's, let's kind of roll this up into the, the Crusades and and you know how did you get there? And then tell everybody a little bit about it. We're gonna cut in that that one video, that that you shared with me, showing a little bit about the Crusades, because I think it's hard to really understand what we're talking about here, Unless you actually see the video.

Gregg Phillips:

But I can tell you from somebody that was there one night in Messiah, nick Raghava, and it was pouring rain, there was lightning, according to my phone, within a mile of where we were telling us to take cover, and people weren't just they're not taking cover, they were coming in closer. There was close to a hundred thousand people in that muddy field. But I'll tell you the other thing that was there in that muddy field was the. You could feel the body and blood of Christ in that field and as the more it rained, the closer folks got, and at some point Brit disappeared out into the, into the crowd. You know like, to those of us who care a little bit about security, I'm, you know, like, what's he doing?

Announcer:

We're somebody's gotta go get him.

Gregg Phillips:

But, anyway, let's talk a little bit about what got you, what got y'all there, and then let's talk about you know, the issues at hand.

Britt Hancock:

Sure, we've spent most of our life working in small villages with small groups of people. You know lots of small groups and Most everybody that we ministered to or discipled we were in their personal space, you know.

Britt Hancock:

And so when the Lord started dealing with me about mass evangelism campaigns, that that was a like a that was sailing against the wind, so to speak, for the trajectory of our life unknown and and so we partnered with another ministry called shake the nations evangelists, nathan Morris, they do crusades, and so he had me on his show in some time in 2022 I think it was in May and he has a TV program, and so he invited me down there and Jesus really kind of invaded the studio and I Felt like I felt like that Nathan would be willing to go do crusades in remote, difficult locations, because the idea that would that the Lord put in me was what if we do a mass evangelism campaign in every region of the country, geographically accessible to every person in the entire country, should they choose to come there?

Britt Hancock:

In other words, I didn't want the location or Circumstance to be the reason why somebody couldn't come, because the people with we work, that we work with that you know they're two days up the village, up the river and In remote places and they never get to go to these big events. Most of the big events are in urban centers and they never hear about them or if they do, it's after the fact or it, you know it's too much money to get there.

Britt Hancock:

They got a journey to the capital city somewhere far away. They don't know anybody, you know they don't have any place, you know it's just logistics. They can't do it Because some of these people make two or three dollars a day, you know, and just extremely marginalized villages. And so what was in my heart was that If we're gonna do this, let's do a bunch of them, still a bunch of events, so we get the entire country covered and no one gets left out. Everybody has a seat at the table, every voice matters. And so I honestly, brother, I mean it was just God that came on me, but I had no idea, no idea what I was. I mean this is a crazy idea.

Audrey Hancock:

Might be good. You didn't know at all.

Britt Hancock:

I had no idea the logistics or the finances or anything that it was gonna take.

Gregg Phillips:

Audrey, when we first came down last July and the very first thing that we did after we got there was, I guess we went to a press conference or something or I can't even remember get all my trips mixed up, but when we one of the beautiful things that they do, y'all is so they'll do an event and then before the next event, they'll go back and thank all the pastors that had come to the previous event, and so we had the great fortune of accompanying them up into the mountains and passing all the active volcanoes while we were flying.

Gregg Phillips:

And we get there and I'm thinking this is, I mean, there's not a lot of folks besides missionaries that have ever been up here before, but they brought us to a location where they had brought a bunch of pastors in and they served us all lunch and they prayed and they sang and there was.

Gregg Phillips:

So this was, I mean, we'd been there for not very long, a few hours. It felt like and we're already experiencing something that was developed from the last event, like a month before that, and there was so much love in that room and thankfulness in that room and it was really the bringing together and you could almost see it right the bringing together of pastors from different churches and different communities and you know, and well, some of them knew each other and some of them didn't. Man, there was so much in that room but y'all that was so incredible and we sat there and we ate and all I could think of was you know, I've just never experienced anything like this before. This is beautiful. With like a hundred folks or 50 folks. I had no idea what we were about to experience.

Britt Hancock:

Yeah, it exploded. It really started with the seed of two ministries coming together, Two very, very different ministries, you know, kind of at polar opposite ends of the poles as far as the kind of gospel work we were engaged in. So, the Lord, you know, it really was a John 17 miracle that began in Nathan and I and Greg. We saw 6,000 churches rally, 6,000 Nicaraguan churches and all of the people associated with those rally together to participate in unity. It was extraordinary, it was Truly, and they just began to respond and respond, and respond.

Britt Hancock:

And so, because the government knew who I was and I'd been around talking all through the government and we had responded to hurricanes and doing all the things that we were doing and we were framed in their minds not as a threat. When I asked, can we do like 15 to 20 of these events around the country, they said yes, and so Walner was heavily responsible for that. The Lord used him mightily and they gave us a green light and they backed us and they you know that I mean you can't, you can't shake an entire nation without the government, especially in one of those little countries, being involved, and I mean they were providing security for us. We were, we had government personnel. We had government personnel there. We had governors and mayors and people from the vice president staff on the stage with us often and so incredibly kind to us.

Gregg Phillips:

I mean, you know, I mean coming up and introducing themselves to us and hugging us and thanking us for coming and, you know, worshiping with us, and I mean the whole thing. It was just guys, y'all can't. It was truly extraordinary, extraordinary experience.

Britt Hancock:

And then we would whatever space that we procured to hold a meeting in I think this is a factual statement God filled it up with desperate people and we ended up having thousands of volunteers and so we did these eight meetings, eight campaigns. They were two day events, all of them, except for the first one. And you know the, the, every. The momentum was just just growing and growing, and growing, until the last one that we had was in November, november the 10th and the 11th, in the national plaza in Monago, the capital city, called the Plaza de Fe, and the government gave us permission to meet there and I think it was a great opportunity and I think they didn't really believe that we could fill the field up, that God would do that.

Britt Hancock:

Yeah, so the, the, the last campaign that we had was in November, november 10th and 11th. That was in the national plaza. We had thousands of volunteers, we had 3000 buses running, we, we, the, the. You know the government had measured the space and you know they, they knew how many people a full field would be and it's all these crazy things. And I mean you were there, the field filled up to capacity and the boulevard beside the field went up, you know, like blocks full of people. They were just crammed in there and so I mean we've been saying for sure over 200,000 people, but the government drone ran over the top and they measured at you know, 278,000. I think they said. I totally believe it.

Gregg Phillips:

Y'all. I walked out into the, into the crowd. First I've got some great pictures of y'all preaching on your knees in front of everybody and then I turned around and walked back out into the crowd and walked to the far end, and then I forgot what the name of the avenue was, that that fed the square, but I walked. I walked at least a half a mile down the avenue from which we came and it was crammed full of people that weren't even you know a half a mile from the square. On all sides of the road, in the road there was no cars, no, nothing going through and and folks I guess I don't know if they had it on a radio or what, but it was listening to y'all preaching and and it was, it was.

Gregg Phillips:

It was so spectacular that that again I mean me being out there by myself probably was the smartest thing in the world. However, I would say that I would do it again anytime, because I never felt danger of any type at all, zero. I mean, people were coming up to me and hugging me and and just loving on me and saying hallelujah and and praising God with me, and it was, it was. It was arguably one of the most important events of my life. And then, of course, y'all prayed for me when I came back and and you know, I credit that to this, this, this burgeoning healing that's happening with me right now.

Gregg Phillips:

y'all, and and it was. It was just amazing. And and and and and Walner was such an amazing part of it, right? I mean, you talked about and. I've been doing events, political events, my whole life. Guys, y'all know that everybody who knows me on this show knows that I've been doing this for a long, long time. Never, ever seen anything even close to that anywhere. And and and Walner was just somehow on top of it all and and making it all happen, and you know, but still you know, loving on everybody back behind the stage, and it was just, it was just a perfect time, and and anyway. So let's, let's finish up with that and then let's tell them what happened for it.

Britt Hancock:

Yeah, so God really truly shook the entire nation and and and and it. It just sparked something in every area that we kept going back and having meetings with pastors, you know, like you mentioned, and they were just reporting and they and they kept coming. You know, the pastors from the whole thing would just keep coming and keep coming and keep coming and they were telling us our churches are full and miracles are happening and people are getting saved and our communities are changed. And you know, there there was 15 or 20 prostitutes that used to hang out at the. You know, at this spot everybody knows where they were. Now there's, you know, three or four of them there and the gangs used to fight. And now, you know, for the last two months or three months or whatever, things have been calm and it's like all these crazy stuff and there was a massive unity.

Britt Hancock:

And and then, one month and one day after, on December the 12th, so one month and one day from when, when, you know, the last campaign night was in Managua, they arrested Walner. So they came. We had, you know, built out a pastoral training facility, we had a bunch of housing and we had a disaster relief and response warehouse for preparation and our business offices were there. We had a house in Managua for logistics. We had the coffee farm. You know, we were getting ready to build a beneficial to process the coffee, because we were getting ready to be vertically integrated completely. Because there's so much corruption in the coffee industry and so much thievery, and and poor farmers are the ones who who, you know who bear the brunt of that and so and all that made me mad. So I mean we had, we had prayed in you know $600,000 worth of processing equipment and bought 15 acres and getting ready to build a, you know a, a facility to to do something about the, the corruption in the coffee industry. Like, we were just kind of going everywhere and they started arresting people.

Britt Hancock:

They arrested Walner and then a week later they, they started arresting, you know, they arrested our five campaign coordinators who are also pastors of churches, some of them big churches. And then, and then they, they arrested our three village church planting, you know, village workers who are like, one of these guys lives in a mud house, an Adobe brick house. You know he's like zero threat. These people are zero threats, you know, they, they, and then they confiscated all of our stuff. So they. They arrested 11 of our people and then the government swooped down about a week after they arrested those and shut down the law firm that was representing us. Central law. There they have. They have like multiple law, multiple offices in other central American countries Like it's a reputable law firm and they closed that and they threw. They threw our two lawyers that had worked on our stuff. They're in prison tonight.

Audrey Hancock:

It's two women.

Britt Hancock:

Two women, just because they they kept us try to comply with the laws of Nicaragua, you know. And so they indicted me and my son, jacob and his wife Cassie, my daughter-in-law with money laundering. And then they've you know, they've just sort of hinted around that we're crime bosses and we had this big, elaborate plan, starting in 2013, to start working with these poor peasants they call them that. There's no way that they could ever be a real pastor, which is infuriating to me, you know they're. You know, I thought socialists were supposed to be champions of the poor, but they're saying, oh, these are not real pastors because they're not educated, you know, and they live in small villages. You know that, just, I don't like that stuff and I've always. I have deep gratitude, even now, for the Nicaraguan government saying yes to allow us, because we had a million people come together for those eight campaigns.

Gregg Phillips:

Praise God.

Britt Hancock:

And there was an ocean of people that responded to the call to meet Jesus. There were hundreds of thousands of people that said yes to the invitation. I mean, how many hands did you see up? Go up in just a minagua.

Gregg Phillips:

Oh, countless.

Britt Hancock:

You know, you can't see the end of them. You can really only see about 45,000 people. The rest after that they just bleed into one solid mass. I never thought I would know things like that. You know, one time Audra and I were standing on the, on the platform, and there were I don't know where we were, I think we were in Ocotal there were almost 50,000 people out there and she looked at me and we were both crying and she said I'm sure I'm glad we said yes, because we had to say yes to God, you know, to have mass meetings and to do all the things. I had no idea what it was gonna take logistically. We didn't have the money. When I said yes, we didn't have the equipment. I mean, we were buying vehicles and you know, it's like we had 45 vehicles running and we still had to rent three or four of them.

Gregg Phillips:

And yet you were embezzling money right.

Britt Hancock:

Yeah, yeah, right, right, we were embezzling money, we were laundering money. Somehow it's like I don't know, you know, it's like our donor base responded in an amazing way. You know, I don't know, it's just an extraordinary thing, but they lowered the hammer on us and so now there's three Americans indicted. They're gonna try us in abstentia beginning in early March. One of the things that has us really concerned is Walner's wife. Maricela was our administrator, ran the office and was over accounting practices and everything. They arrested her. They've got her in prison. We haven't seen her since. So they're both in prison. They're two children Babies really are with their grandmother tonight.

Britt Hancock:

Both their babies are US citizens. The police seized their documents. They're stuck in Nicaragua and the State Department told me in a briefing a few days ago you were there in that briefing where they said that the Nicaraguan government, when they decide someone is opposed to them, they take it out on all the whole family, you know, and so we're concerned for all these pastors' families. I'm concerned for the kids. We all are. We're working, trying to get the kids out of the country. We're doing everything that we can to urge the Nicaraguan government just to let the mom go. I mean, just let her go, you know, and we're trying to get them out of there and to the United States. You know we're trying. I want all these, I want everybody out of prison.

Britt Hancock:

The Nicaraguan government used this service that Interpol provides called a red diffusion. It's not a red notice, so it's not anywhere in the official processes of Interpol so it doesn't have to stand up to the scrutiny that can be appealed, so it's kind of off the record. They serve as a message board so they used them to send out this immigration arrest order against me and Jacob and Cassie and maybe another of my best friend, bruce Wagner is a businessman who was heavily involved in helping us make all this stuff happen.

Audrey Hancock:

And how we met you, Greg.

Britt Hancock:

So how we met you, and so you know we've been notified that six countries have said okay, we'll participate, we'll grab them if they come here and arrest them and extradite them to you. And one of those countries is Mexico. And that's really problematic for us because now we can't go there and we got all this work going in Mexico. It's like it's not happy, like this part is not happy, and so we've been. You know, we've really like when it first happened, I mean some of these people we've sown our life into, you know, we've lived with them and they're, you know, even though Walner's not that much younger than us, I mean he feels like our son. You know he calls us mom and dad.

Gregg Phillips:

Actually, and he calls me papa, the same thing my grandkids call me.

Britt Hancock:

So yeah, and so, on the one hand, we have extraordinary, amazing gratitude to have seen a multitude of people come to Jesus and to see God shake an entire nation and to see something that was extraordinary. I mean, we had a window of time there. I didn't know. I mean, you don't ever, you don't ever know. You know God spoke to me in the beginning, before all this started, and he told me I've decided to do something in Nicanagua. No one can stop it. And we watched him do it and people responded in mass Like I know what a certified multitude of people looks like now.

Britt Hancock:

You know, I didn't think that I, I didn't think I would ever be there, but the Lord put us there. He put us there with Nathan and their team, what our teams became like family. You know, us and the Shaked Nations team. We were doing some of these things. We did every two weeks. You know we started in February, we ended in November and we took a break for rainy season.

Britt Hancock:

So I mean they were, you know, we were doing them, they were happening, and so there's deep gratitude for the multitude of people and I don't regret our yes and I would say yes again, knowing that this happened.

Britt Hancock:

You know, I really would, because it's something the Lord asked me to do, but at the same time, it's like. It's like there's deep gratitude and anguish that live in the same crib together because on the micro level, I mean, these are people that we love, that we sowed our, that we've sown our lives were integrated together with them. That's what I'm saying. So there's there's the macro and the micro and it's it's been very paradoxical and incongruent and my emotions, our emotions, have been all over the place. Like you know, I don't regret a multitude of people meeting Jesus. I don't regret Jesus shaking a nation, don't regret that at all. But I'm mad, I'm sad, I'm every other kind of emotion that they have our friends and our brothers in prison and that a mother separated from her babies, her four month old and her two year old. I just really don't like that. I don't think God likes that.

Gregg Phillips:

No, I don't. I don't think so either. I do want to say a couple of quick things. I had the good fortune to spend some time with with Brett last week, and and we've been on the phone with a bunch of folks, and I just want to say that you know, everybody on here knows, I've I've been critical of of the United States government occasionally or all the time, or whatever.

Gregg Phillips:

But I want to tell you that we met some people at the State Department that have some responsibilities down in Central America and and even across the Western Hemisphere a few of them and and then we've had some, some just amazing support from some folks from DHS that I've known for a few years that have been reaching out and helping us and and helping reach out to, you know, the necessary people to try to get those babies out, to try to get matters out and and get her released and really try to turn some semblance of normalcy while while we work through the details of getting the pastors released. But if I could just ask y'all, you know, uh, uh, brett, audrey, what, what, what can folks that are listening to this I suspect you're going to see a hundred thousand folks listen to this and probably another hundred thousand. See it, what, what can they do? What, what, what do you want them to do?

Britt Hancock:

First thing you can do is pray for us, pray for the brothers that are imprisoned, pray for Nicaragua. The second thing you can do is call and write your, your senators and your representatives, echoing what you just said, greg. You know I hadn't I okay. So I know there's plenty of, I know there's plenty of reason for concern over what's happening in our country, but you got to understand our context. Our context is we've spent a lot of years working in third world countries that do not have our ideals and our form of government, and one of the main reasons why we're in this problem in Nicaragua is because there's no separation of powers there. They're purging the government and they're they're doing whatever they're doing. I mean, you can read about it in the news, you can look up all kinds of recent history on Nicaragua and see what they're doing. It's not hard and it's not hidden. There there's no separation of powers, there's no independent branches in the government. And what I've learned in the last 10 days in Washington? I'm astounded and super encouraged because this is my first experience coming to Washington and I know God's involved okay, I get it and he's doing all this, but the fact that we can walk in unannounced and not be anybody really. I mean, you find out who knows who, and we got a lot of people that have known, a lot of people that are helping us connect the dots. There's no doubt about it. The people I've sat in front of in the last 10 days I never dreamed I would, but what I'm saying is the fact that you can walk into the halls of Congress and, if you have enough time, they will sit down and listen to your concern. They'll do it. That does not exist in any of the other countries that we've lived in in the last, you know, 27 years, and that's something worth fighting for. There's a lot of people in this town that are distressed over the slide and the deterioration and they know how it used to be versus how it is now. But us, coming in dealing with, you know, a totalitarian regime that just threw all our people in jail, and they're throwing people our lawyers in jail just because they did legal work for us, you know, and so we.

Britt Hancock:

I think we've got 11 representatives and four, maybe five senators that are pushing, that are helping us do things like. There's already been one floor speech. There's going to be more floor speeches. We need that to put pressure on the Nicaraguan government. There's a letter that the last count that I saw has 28 signatures on it, three Democrats and the rest Republicans from both houses a total of 28. I don't know how many senators have signed on, but that letter is going to go to the Nicaraguan ambassador to the United States asking for responses.

Britt Hancock:

Nicaragua probably won't respond too much from that. They'll rattle their swords and try to act like they're. You know they're resisting the imperialists, that's what they call us but it's going to bother them. It will pressurize things. That's what we've been told. And then there's a resolution that they're going to get on the floor of the house that they're circulating to try to get. And there are people it's bipartisan like that because religious persecution issues got our people thrown in jail. Human rights issues are keeping them in jail.

Britt Hancock:

And then I mean you know they're in bed with China. You can read about how they're closing big loans. They have billions of dollars in infrastructure loans. We just saw in the news that they just closed an almost half a billion dollar, $500 million dollar loan almost to build a new international airport right outside Managua.

Britt Hancock:

Every time we were going and coming from there, the Nicaraguan government was processing us in and out of the diplomatic channels as we came and went. And so, yeah, you came into the diplomatic salon there, you know, fast tracked us through immigration and through customs and all that. But the last six months we kept running into delegations from China I ran into twice, I ran into the ambassador from China to Nicaragua, you know. And so this is not good. This is not good and there's no way that China is happy about a movement that could motivate a million people in the name of Jesus to congregate in 6,000 evangelical churches, unified and filling up the National Plaza, the largest meeting that had ever happened in the National Plaza in the history of the country. That was a planned meeting, you know. I don't know about protests or demonstrations, but a planned event. This never happened. Nobody's gotten that many people there.

Britt Hancock:

God did that and it's an extraordinary miracle of John 17. And if you don't know what John 17 is, you need to go read it. It's about unity and it's about harmony, and unity doesn't mean uniformity. It's actually our differences that create the opportunity for unity to work. And so, you know, extraordinary. But the situation that we have now, I don't know. People are asking us do you think you're ever going to get to go back? I don't know. I mean, we can't go back right now. Certainly we'll get thrown in prison and if I'm in prison down there, nobody's here knocking on doors because it's growing Now our papers and the information and people that you've connected us with, and now they're talking to each other and their aides and their staffers are talking to each other and they're circulating the stuff, and now I'm getting meetings with people that are saying, instead of me having to bring them up to speed on the whole story, they're going. Can you give me an update?

Gregg Phillips:

That's beautiful.

Britt Hancock:

And then they're also saying thank you for coming and I'm like I feel like you know, I feel like I want to cry that people that have influence and power are listening and taking action. And you know and I know, there's so many people out there that are stuck in situations that they need people in power in this town to take action on. So I understand that. I'm full of gratitude and deeply grateful that everyone I've sat across the table from in person and looked in their eyes have responded, I mean with urgency, and they're talking to people and I mean I've talked to some people like that have power and that can move things and they're motivated to help and they're saying how can we help, what can we do? And everything that we've asked for they're taking action on. And it's a multi-tiered thing. You're like you're helping in multiple ways. This podcast right here is going to help, because that's part of the strategy. We need as much of this stuff to go viral as possible to create public awareness to the human rights and religious persecution issues that are happening in Nicaragua. Look into Nicaragua, use Google, google you will see what's happening.

Britt Hancock:

They kicked out 3,600 nonprofits and NGOs since 2018. They kicked out the Red Cross. Last month they pulled out of the Organization of American States. They fought a war with the Catholics. They severed diplomatic relations with the Roman Catholic Church. In February they imprisoned a bunch of Catholic priests that were calling out their human rights violations. One of them, bishop Alvarez, I think, is his name. They arrested him, tried him for treason, found him guilty. He was in prison for over 500 days. They just now, thank the Lord, released him. They exiled them to the Vatican and, leading up to the last election, they arrested the strong presidential opposition candidates in the last presidential election, put them in prison. And then there were a bunch of political prisoners in Nicaragua, over 222 of them that got exiled to the United States in February.

Britt Hancock:

I mean, like the State Department is saying to us you were there, greg, you heard them. Look, we're kind of frustrated that there's not as much awareness out there. Like there's these organizations that are watching and they don't feel like many people are listening. We need noise, like we need social media noise. I'll go on every news program that I can. I am going to stay in this town and talk to every congressman and senator who will let me in front of them. Someone said look, how many do you want in your coalition? I want all of them in the coalition, because there are elements in this that we can all agree on. The separation of a mother from her baby is not right, no matter your political persuasion. Like, if we can't agree on that, we are really lost as a nation.

Gregg Phillips:

Audrey, one of the things that has really struck me in all of this is just how many people in our world that have been ready, willing and able to stand up and speak and fight, and a few folks that I've introduced Brett to and just really everybody we talked to. I know that Katherine helped connect you with the IFA people or maybe we're already connected, but kind of hooked that up. We've just had such an amazing experience with IFA. They've been with us almost throughout our entire challenges that we find ourselves in occasionally, but nothing like this. It did occur to me.

Gregg Phillips:

One of the things I think that we could do with IFA and if I could get your support and your help is Katherine and I. I've listened to Brent and I'm thinking you know what we really need to do. We need to get. It's one thing to get a letter from a bunch of members of Congress, which is great, but we need to get just the regular folks out there, the believers right, the folks at IFA and all of their million people listen to them, and the folks that listen to us and other big. We have a lot of reach these days into some of these areas. Wouldn't it be amazing, audrey, if we could figure out a way to get one of those letters to the Nicaraguan embassy together from the believers in America and instead of having 435 members of Congress, let's get 400,000 people to sign something and in the name of.

Audrey Hancock:

God we can do this, we can move this Right, because I get newsletters from Intercessors from America and different organizations, and it'll be like take action.

Audrey Hancock:

You just push the red button, then you fill in your name and then you've sent it.

Audrey Hancock:

And I do that all the time, so that I'm participating in putting my name out there, saying yes, this is what I believe, and telling my congressman this is what I want you to do to represent me and so even those organizations to be able to I mean to figure out how to write a letter like that to the people that are like with the Intercessors for America or for, maybe, a research camp I don't know, there's all sorts of ones that can do that but to be able to just fill out your name, send it to your congressman. So having help from somebody like that also is the prayer, and people have been asking how they could financially help us because the bills are rising. Yep, and we're really trying to help. We've got the bills in America as well as mostly we've got tons of you know what we're doing in Nicaragua as much as we can, just to continue like we've got our legal defense, and so we're going to put up a link on our page in Mountain Gateway.

Gregg Phillips:

If you'll send me that link, y'all, I'll be sure to not just put it on here, but I'll get it. We'll put Catherine and I'll put together we've done a few of these virtual fundraisers and we'll bring y'all on maybe to talk to everybody and we'll bring in thousands of people that will be willing to support and help y'all and we'll continue to beat that drum. And Audrey, so I'll work with you and Catherine on getting the prayer letters together. Y'all send to me the donor, you know the links and all the things that you need there, and then we'll all four work together. To you know, continue to do what we're doing here. It sounds so beautiful. But you know, I would just urge all of my, you know, by the time this runs, I'd love to believe that those babies would be safe and out of harm, out of potentially harm's way.

Audrey Hancock:

Right before I left Nicaragua, I was helping. I was helping Maricela with her little newborn and at that time he was just two months old and he had a diaper rash. And so she was coming to me and saying so how would you treat this? Because you've had four kids, and so I mean it's just a littlest thing, right. But I just went over there, I helped her with her little baby getting the desatine on its little bottom, just helping him out.

Audrey Hancock:

And I'm thinking this is just a little two month old and just a few days later he didn't have his mama. You know, that just breaks my heart. And then, and then little their daughter, who's two and a half, which is exactly the same age as our granddaughter, and those two little girls play together all the time when they're in Nicaragua, or they fight together for the Minnie Mouse right, and they just she would all the time call La Mama, la Mama. You know what I mean, just like calling out for her mama. And she just loved her mom, hated to be away from her, and we've just heard that every day she asks can I call my mama, can I call my mama? And she can't, she can't talk to her mama.

Gregg Phillips:

Well, y'all, I'll tell you this, guys, y'all listen to that and I'm just gonna tell you that you know, brett and I and some other friends are working as fast as we can to get those babies out of there and in fact I'm probably leaving here tomorrow to head at least down to near near Central America to or, excuse me, yeah, in Central America to see what I can do to help. But again, there's a lot of people in the Department of Homeland Security that are helping the State Department or helping reach out to everyone you know, whether they're Congressman or you know. If you know, you know, urge governors to reach out to the senators and get everybody you can to start building a little bit of drumbeat here, put it in social media. You can look on my social media, you know we'll connect you to Brett and Audrey and Mountain Gateway and in police. You know I look forward to doing the fundraiser for them. So if y'all are so inclined and, you know, have a few dollars that you could, you know, share with these folks, that would be great.

Gregg Phillips:

I think what we're probably gonna do is Catherine and I are probably gonna try to match whatever y'all do, and then we've got a few other donors. I think that'll do the same, and let's just try to take at least that piece of it off of them. Let's get these letters together. Let's get the communications going to everyone that you can think of, whether it's your pastors that know folks or just y'all get up and tell your church congregation about what's going on. If you need detail and information from me, we'll put a bunch of it in the description here, but if you need something specifically for me, write to grace at openinc.

Gregg Phillips:

We're gonna put together a special collection of all of this on Open Inc. These guys don't know what that is, but they'll soon learn, and we're gonna put all of this documentation so anybody who wants it can go get it in one spot. We'll put this video and everything else up there. We just wanna be sure that we support all of the work that you guys, that they're doing, but all of the work that I know that all of the listeners and followers of this channel will and can do. Catherine and I are so unbelievably grateful to Brent and Audrey for allowing us in their family, and it's our time now to fight for them and as they've been for me from a health perspective for the time I've known them.

Audrey Hancock:

So thank you so much, Thank you brother Y'all.

Gregg Phillips:

I just can't thank you both enough. We will not only pray for y'all, but we'll have another prayer vigil for y'all. Maybe we'll do add fasting to it this time and try to see if we can get it north of 50,000 this time.

Audrey Hancock:

Thank you.

Gregg Phillips:

Thank you so much.

Audrey Hancock:

Well, I've been telling people that that'd be awesome. I know that the doors that are opening here in this city are because people are praying in. Christ Without a doubt, without a doubt, we appreciate you. Thank you so much.

Gregg Phillips:

Amen. Well, I appreciate y'all so much and thank you both so much. Please go home, get some rest. I'll tell everybody a quick story. So Audrey's here right now here, meaning in DC but it was just a couple of days ago that Brent had her own FaceTime and she was leaving to take her daughter and granddaughter back to Japan and then turned right around and went from Japan straight back here. So it was something like 30 hours of flying or some kind of nonsense like that.

Audrey Hancock:

Yeah, it's a lot.

Gregg Phillips:

And she somehow is still awake. I haven't quite figured that out yet. But, guys, thank y'all so much. I appreciate your time. I love you both, and my team and the Patriot games team, catherine and everybody on the Truth of the Vote side are gonna do everything we can do to help you, to help those pastors, to help Marcella, to help those babies.

Audrey Hancock:

Love you too, Greg.

Gregg Phillips:

Love you brother.

Audrey Hancock:

And love to Catherine too.

Gregg Phillips:

Thanks guys. Y'all have a great night. Thanks everybody for joining us on Patriot Games and we'll be in touch soon and look forward to a few coming announcements on this topic. Thanks for coming bye.

Announcer:

You've been listening to Patriot Games. Privacy is a thing of the past. No matter where you are, you're being watched. No one is off the grid. The intelligence community has access to technology that most Americans can't even imagine, and this show is here to expose all of it. For more info, to contact and to stay up to date, visit the website at patriotgamescom. Until next time, keep your eyes open.

Missionaries in Nicaragua
Life in Mexico
Mass Evangelism Campaign in Nicaragua
Turmoil in Nicaragua Mission Work
Advocating for Religious Freedom in Nicaragua
Advocacy and Support for Nicaraguan Crisis