Friday, June 27, 2008

Reality Is Setting In

July 15 is the take off date. It is a date that for Bev and me and our family is a don’t look back date. It is a go for it date. It is a make it or break it date. It is the day we leave for our two month family trip in the States, but more than that, it is leaving the church we startes 9 1/2 years ago, La Fuente, in the hands of our qualified and experienced leaders and going to start a new church in Jinotega, a city 30 km. north of here. We’ve got to take the leap.

We must continue with what God has called us to do. It’s not that we’ll never be here again nor is it that we will not participate here, nor is it a time to not help or work together. But it is the time to let the children fly. I know they will go where I’ve never gone before; I know they will do things I have never done before; I know they will achieve heights I have never acheived; and if I don’t give the leadership to them, La Fuente will never be what she is supposed to be.

I think my monthly reflection written today speaks to me in a way that is equal to or greater than how much desire for it to speak to our people. We both need to fly and if we continue holding on to each other we’ll never get off the ground.

Inside me I hear, “Turn them loose, let them go, take your trip and go forward. They will be fine without you.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yea… it’s time and I'll always be with them. By the way, you’ll be okay too.”

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Update on the Rutledge Trip

Dear Friends and Family,

Bev, the kids, and I are excited about our travel plans to visit the United States this summer. As you know, they have not actually spent more than 3 consecutive weeks out of Nicaragua for the past 13 years. We have taken as ours Jeremiah's exhortation to Israel when he said to make the new nation your home, seek her blessing, and you will be blessed as she is blessed. We have seen how God has allowed this to be true in our lives. We feel very much at home in Nicaragua as we pursue her blessing by sharing the transformation power of the Word of God.

We also recognize the need for us as a family to make a unique connection with our "home country" during this small window of opportunity between transitioning from pastoring the church in Matagalpa to beginning a new work in Jinotega.

We received a good response to the letter we sent last month and we are very thankful for those that have responded with prayer, letters of encouragement and financial gifts. Praise God! Our plane tickets are almost totally paid for. However, we still need a generous amount of help as we prepare for our trip in just a few weeks. Our flight to Texas is on July 15.

One of the primary needs we have is a method of transportation for 8 people and their "stuff." Here are a few creative options that may be viable if you or a friend have a van or vehicle that could be loaned to us:

1. Loaning us a van for the +/- 6000 mile trip
2. Somebody renting/loaning us a van at the cost of $.25 per mile +/- $1500
3. Donation to rent a van from an agency, $5500 - 6000

In addition to the costs for a van (or 8 passenger vehicle) rental, we also have a budgeted need of $2500 for gasoline. Up to the moment, the rising cost of gasoline has not greatly affected our projected costs because I made the budget based on $5 a gallon since in Nicaragua we have been paying $5.25 a gallon for quite some time. We continue revising our travel schedule to conserve on distance traveled, time, and money while still allowing an educationally diverse trip with great experiences for the family. Our planned route is still around 6000 miles [reduced from almost 7000] which equals 20 days of driving 8 hours/day, and 40 days to visit people and places. We will also have food costs, camping and national park fees, and the miscellaneous costs to cover.
Friends in the Dallas and Longview, Texas areas can also help us out by loaning us camping equipment that we can use as we travel. Sleeping bags, tents, cooking stove and utensils, etc.

Well, we look forward to seeing you on the travel loop we'll be making - soon.

If you can help us out please send donations to:

World Outreach Fellowship
2011 W. Marshall Ave.
Longview, TX 75604

[checks should be made out to World Outreach Fellowship

and should include a note indicating that it is for Nicaragua]

or communicate with us about a vehicle or loaning camping equipment at:

Many thanks,

Earl and Bev

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More Birthdays

June 3 John celebrated his 18th birthday. It seems as though it was only days ago that he was born and now he is almost as tall as me, growing in responsiblity and lots smarter.

Friday and Saturday we spent the day in Managua after we had dropped Bev off at a Pastors' wives retreat. Indiana Jones, Subway sandwiches, walking the malls and time together was the plan for Friday afternoon and evening. It was a good time together. Our real reason for being there was that he was taking the SAT test. He will get ratings in the 700's; smart kid like his mom. Bev and I are proud of him.

Tomorrow is Bev's birthday. I'll not mention her age, but she is only 4 years younger than I am. We'll be going to Managua to take my mom to the airport for a 4 month visit in the States. We'll take advantage of the trip to celebrate her birthday, visit some friends and do the Managua thing - shop and buy.