We just completed two PRMI leadership team events – our staff discernment retreat and our International Board meeting.
Thanks to all of you who covered us in prayer for these very important meetings. We will report to you about significant decisions we made.
At the PRMI Board meeting I was deeply moved and troubled by a report from Earl Rutledge, a missionary to Nicaragua who is on our International Board. It was obvious his heart is still in Nicaragua.
Earl reported to the board the gravity of the situation in Nicaragua. He described for us the loss of life, the oppression, and the loss of economic gains and freedom made over the last two-and-a-half decades.
He and his family have served in Nicaragua for 25 years and have been connected with Chris Walker.
Earl and Chris have worked together to equip Young Life and church leaders and to create the Spanish Mobile Dunamis. This work has suffered major disruption due to the violent oppression.
Earl and his family left Nicaragua in April before the current political crisis erupted. Continuing violence and chaos have made them feel it is not safe to return to Nicaragua.
As a result, they have been staying in various locations in the US, including at the Sheepfold Prayer House at the Community of the Cross in North Carolina.
Their youngest daughter, age twelve, wonders if she will ever see her own room again.
Let me share with you what Earl told us about the grave situation.
Over the last few months the political situation in Nicaragua has deteriorated. Gains made over the last decade are threatened.
Both the economy and political freedom have suffered reverses. Governmental backlash to popular protest demonstrations have caused some Nicaraguans to seek asylum in Costa Rica.
The PRMI Dunamis Project for equipping of Young Life and church leaders has also been disrupted.
Basically, Nicaragua’s President and member of the Sandinista Party, Daniel Ortega, has consolidated dictatorial powers. He has reacted to calls for him to step down with violent suppression of his political opponents, which has included loss of life.
We were led as a Board to pray for Earl, his family, the nation, and advancement of the Kingdom of God in Nicaragua.
After the Board meeting, Earl and I met on the front porch of the Log House at the Community of the Cross. He asked me to pray for him. He feels called by the Lord to face the dangers by returning to Nicaragua this Saturday, August 18th, for a three-week visit.
Earl told me there have been prophetic words that God is getting ready to manifest His glory through the church in Nicaragua. Earl spoke about his role in God’s emerging work in Nicaragua.
“The church in Nicaragua is in much the same state as the Hebrew temple was in the days of Ezra. As God’s representative Ezra saw the temple in ruins (walls broken, no priests, and no worship) when he returned to Jerusalem to restore the temple and worship.
The church – the family of God, the body of Christ in Nicaragua – is in ruins, divided and wounded. We are the temple of God, but if there is no temple, God has no dwelling place. How can the glory of God come if there is no place for him to dwell?
As representatives of God on high, can we bring peace and reconciliation to the broken, divided and wounded church in Nicaragua? Unity and peace continue to be my cry!”
Earl sees his mission as breaking down barriers, removing hostilities, and reconciling Nicaraguans to the Father and to each other.
It seems clear to me that God is sending Earl back as a part of what he is doing in Nicaragua. He is giving Earl a mission to embody Jesus Christ in this troubled nation. Earl will return as a representative of the one who makes us one through the blood offered on the cross.
While I prayed with Earl, the Holy Spirit spoke to me, saying that this invitation for prayer support was to go out to the entire Discerning The Times email list.
For these next three weeks the Holy Spirit is calling intercessors into the gap to cover Earl during his return to Nicaragua as an “ambassador of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). Earl flies out Saturday, August 18, and returns Sunday, September 9.
Please step into the gap as led by the Holy Spirit!
SOME PRAYER POINTS
- Wisdom, discernment and safety for Earl as he is in Nicaragua
- Unity in the church of Jesus Christ in Nicaragua
- A peaceful resolution for the political situation in Nicaragua
- A solution that reflects God’s justice and mercy, not a human justice of vindication and revenge
- Please be led by the Holy Spirit as to how to pray for President Daniel Ortega.
Yours in Christ,