Monday, December 7, 2009

Iglesia La Fuente Moved Across the Street

Iglesia La Fuente MOVED. God is up to something when He moves you from a big building to a smaller one.

Here are some pictures on Cheree's FB


This is the new location. It is exactly in front of the previous one.

What Can Coffee Plants Teach Us About Families?

IMG_0846Several weeks ago the owner of a local coffee farm asked us to organize a seminar on family relationships for her farm workers. Bev and I talked through ideas and decided to focus on three main thoughts: we all need each other; there are good and pleasant things [gold] in all of us; and we must take care of our family.

Saturday, December 5th was the agreed upon date, so we started the afternoon with a ride in a pick-up and made the 1.8 mile trip up and over the mountain in 25 minutes. It is close to Jinotega, but the conditions of the road and the steep inclination increases travel time.IMG_0890

The Lopez family is concerned for the total well being of their farm workers. They have built 2 school buildings and continue improving conditions for their temporary workers [approximately 500] that come to harvest the coffee cherries. This interest resulted in our visit to share with the fifty permanent workers of the farm.

IMG_0925We started with a couple songs  and a dynamic of forming groups based on the parts needed to complete a body. Each person was given one of six parts and had to find five others with the pieces they lacked; united the puzzle was whole. We  need each other and are crippled when we are missing a leg or an arm. The same is true with our family relationships. Everybody has something to offer to make the family complete.

We also taught that the external appearance does not determine worth. It just so happened that the pretty flowered bag that everybody IMG_0924chose as their favorite was full of trash. The other two plain brown paper bags held something of value: a pearl [godly character] or a knife [God given talents]. We all have talents and the chance to develop godly character. So does everyone else. Let’s not overlook the blessing of God in others just because their external appearance is not attractive to us.

Tending young coffee plantsFinally, we made a comparison between the coffee plant and the family. Newly germinated plants are kept in a nursery and need careful attention, just as babies and children require special and frequent care.

Once the plant reaches 6-12 months it can be transplanted to one of the fields on the plantation. Although the plant is strong, it still needs to be watched and protected as it continues to grow. The tree needs 3-5 years before it produces fruit. Those years for a coffee plant were compared to the adolescent years. Our teens still need godly parental guidance and love as they  become more independent, ensuring a healthy future and the fulfillment of their destiny.

After the years of growth and maturing, the plant enters the productive years and bares fruit in abundance; as adults we marry and  have children. Our relationships must still be nurtured. We must care for our spouse and our children; they need our love, care and concern. With proper care, the coffee tree can produce for 25-30 years. The cutting of unnecessary limbs and two or three radical prunings gives new life and increases productivity. Likewise, in our lives there are distractions that take us away from the more important needs of family, wife, husband and children. We must eliminate them in order for the family to remain strong.

Coffee plant red berries 3As the plant advances in years it can still be productive if given individual attention. Our grandparents and the elderly have much to offer if we will just take the time to stop, help them, and listen to their years of understanding and experience.

The constant care and year long maintenance of coffee plants serve as an excellent example to teach us that we need to provide planned, continual care for our families.

We closed with a blessing for the community, the farm, the workers, the families, men, women, youth, teenagers and children. We are thankful for people like the Lopez family that are concerned for the integral well-being oIMG_1009f their community and workers.

The evening ended with a beautiful sunset, a fine meal and enjoyable conversation, a very tired little girl, and a slow ride back down the dark hill in a light rain. God has truly blessed us.

You can look at a few other pictures on Facebook [click here].  

IMG_1010Thank you for being a part of what we do in Nicaragua.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009 – It’s been a blessed year

clip_image002We rejoice and give thanks every day, but what a wonderful national tradition to take a special day to count our blessings and recognize the awesome provision of God in our lives. Nicaragua has many holidays and celebrates many things, but there is no day of Thanksgiving to God among them. We are privileged as a family to thank and glorify Him and receive His joy as we bring His kingdom to the hurting lives around us. It has been a good year, a reflection of the goodness of our God and His faithfulness.

We are so thankful for the participation of so many of you working with us through your offerings and prayers. We could not do what we do without your support. Thank you for being instruments of God’s provision for us and all those we help here.

A brief overview for those who are new on our mailing list: In July of 2008 we passed the direction of La Fuente, the church we pioneered in Matagalpa, to Pastor Raul Castro and the leadership we discipled and established there. This past year the walk of transition has continued. The leadership has made good decisions as Earl maintained a strong mentoring relationship with Pastor Raul giving counsel and guidance as needed. Presently, La Fuente is needing to rent a different location, and is praying for funds to purchase a permanent location; please pray for them.  It is very rewarding to see continued growth and maturity in the lives of the people as they reach out to touch others. They have internalized the message, “Freely you have received, freely give.”

In October 2008 we moved to Jinotega, the second of five targeted cities, to start a new ministry. Our first endeavor began with Earl teaching English classes to meet new people and establish friendships while helping them in a practical way. Some of these students now attend our small English fellowship on Sunday mornings or one of our Spanish Bible studies. Others have sought our counsel or asked us to pray for specific needs in their lives. God is working, and we give Him thanks.

clip_image004The recognized gift of teaching in Earl’s life has opened new doors of opportunity and influence, allowing ministry to a wide range of people, from other pastors to coffee farm workers; a bank manager and poor country folk; Young Life leaders, Youth with a Mission disciples, and people on the street; school teachers and hurricane victims.

The Good News of salvation is for all people. (See Earl’s blog clip_image006 for a report with pictures of his recent trip to Bluefields on the Atlantic Coast to help two communities affected by Hurricane Ida.)

Our family is doing well and continues to mature. In December, Cheree will finish the classroom part of her university studies here in Nicaragua and she also works with the church in the area of Graphic Design. John, a freshman, is studying Business at John Brown University in clip_image008Siloam Springs, Arkansas.  Judah is finishing his high school courses and plans to attend a discipleship school before starting his university studies in Mechanical Engineering. Lance and Luke are advancing with their high school studies along with sports, art, and music interests. The house princesses, Kelsy and Esperanza, bring joy and beauty to our hearts. Finally, Earl’s mom maintains her participation as she helps home-schools the girls. 

One tremendous blessing we experienced this year was the help of two young ladies in the area of home-schooling our boys. clip_image010Jessica Bailey and Cherith VonBerg greatly lightened Bev’s load, enabling her to join Earl more in the ministry and also teach and counsel women. Jessica returned to the States the end of August; Cherith’s time with us has just come to an end. We will greatly miss her. Pray that others would be interested in investing in Nicaragua by ministering to us in this area. 

Also, pray for increased monthly support so we can rent a larger house with family privacy and ministry space. We pray you will experience God’s provision and joy as you reflect on giving Him thanks this year.

Thanks again for your faithful monthly support and prayers. 

Blessings and peace

Earl and Beverly; Cheree, John, Judah, Lance, Luke, Kelsy and Esperanza; and Barbara


Mailing address:

Earl and Beverly Rutledge

2011 W. Marshall Ave.

Longview, TX 75604

For donations write checks to:

World Outreach Fellowship.

Note: for Nicaragua Missions-Rutledge

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Travels to Bluefields, Tasba Pauni and Karawala

November 12-17 I flew to Bluefields with Judah and Cherith VonBerg to spend the weekend with my friend Pastor Ed Jaentschke. It was an awesome time; 8 years was much too long of a gap since my last trip. If the opportunity ever presents itself, you must experience the intriguing beauty and culture of Bluefields. You can check out other pictures of Bluefields at:

While in Bluefields we visited two communities that Hurricane Ida affected: Tasba Pauni and Karawala.  Due to the loss of crops, hunger is the primary concern.

Saturday we took a boat to Tasba Pauni. Since it’s actually on the Caribbean Coast instead of on the river, it received the harder hit of the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         two villages; poorly constructed houses and a double pass of the storm resulted in greater damage. Driftwood, trash and debris had been gathered in piles across the beach as the locals cleaned up and began repairing or rebuilding their houses. Other pictures can be seen at:

Monday’s six hour adventure of a sometimes very bumpy boat ride took us to Karawala. The much neater and better organized village was less affected than Tasba Pauni.  Look at other pictures at:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Please pray for Bluefields and Pastor Ed and his wife Ligia of Iglesia Verbo as they work with people in the city and outlaying villages. The need is great and obviously many physical needs exist, but transformation of thought and philosophy must be the principle focus. Without a true renewing of the mind there will never be a lasting improvement in quality of life and living conditions.

Grace and peace.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Update, July 2009

Dear Friends,
God is so good! He is faithful and true, and we thank you for being like Him, faithful in your gifts,support, and prayers although we haven’t gotten out a newsletter for months and we know that some of you have been affected by the economic crisis. We pray that each of you will continue to experience His faithfulness and provision when all around seems to be crumbling, for He is our Rock, our Anchor in the storm,and an ever present Help in time of trouble. So much has been happening here, but we will only touch the highlights.

La Fuente Celebrates their First Nicaraguan Pastor - In May we welcomed the visit of Russell Craft and Murrey Rabenhorst from our Stateside covering church. They came specifically to join us in the joyful ordination our new pastor of La Fuente, Raul Castro. It was especially exciting for us. Raul and his wife, Olivia, were our first acquaintances when we moved to Matagalpa eleven years ago, and were the 2nd and 3rd people we were privileged to lead to Christ. The transition of leadership has taken longer than we had envisioned, but all is going well; the church has even added several families during this time. Earl continues in a strong mentoring relationship with Raul, and teaching the School of Ministry classes one night a week, but other than that, our involvement is down to sporadic visits once or twice a month.

Misión para Alcanzar el Mundo (our registered mission name in Nicaragua) - We also sent out our first family as missionaries. Armin and Helen Santamaria, one of our elder couples, have moved to Chile to finish raising support and to prepare for ministering in the Ukraine. We are excited that Nicaraguans are capturing the vision of the Great Commission to reach the world with the Good News of salvation.

Judah and Lance visit the Miskito Indians - Judah (17) and Lance (15) had a spontaneous opportunity to join a team from Mexico on a trip to the Coco River on the border of Nicaragua and Honduras. After a 15 minute scramble to gather their stuff for a 4 day foray into the jungle, they piled onto a heap of supplies and equipment in the back of a pickup and headed out into the drizzling night. The long and arduous journey to the Miskito villages included 6 hours on pothole roads and 12 hours of travel by motorized dugout canoe (each way). The team was able to share the gospel message along with giving food and supplies to the people.

Impact Week/Pastor’s Wives Retreat - In addition to the Mexican “Coco River” team, there were also visiting Nicaragua a ladies ministry team, a youth team, and a men’s team making a total of 60 people from Mexico, the U.S., and England, each impacting lives in different events in various cities. Bev participated in a 3 day Pastor’s wives’ retreat, taking 14 ladies from Jinotega, Matagalpa, and San Isidrio. She was also involved in city events in Matagalpa and Esteli. Lance translated for the youth team who worked a baseball clinic, visited schools, and participated in events in the Masatepe area. We praise God for the many lives that were touched by this great team.

John, ministering in China - Our son John left for China on June 19. He spent 2 weeks working with a local church in Hong Kong, and is now part of a team teaching English to a Muslim people group in western China. He will return to the YWAM Puerto Rico base in August long enough to gather his things and then travel to Arkansas to start a degree in Marketing and International Business at John Brown University. We praise God for scholarships for his studies and we continue to trust Him for complete provision for John’s four years of university studies.

Jucuapa Min
istry to Elementary schools - After months of preparation and fund raising, Cheree and the youth of La Fuente, led by youth leaders Vicente Diaz and Melba Gamez, realized a 2 day outreach to Jucuapa, a rural community south of Matagalpa. Due to the gifts of many people, principally Nicaraguans, they were able to distribute a packet of school supplies, including a Spanish textbook, to 190 children in 6 different schools. They were also able to pray for each of the students and teachers, and others that were around. Thanks to all those who were involved in this project. The next follow-up visit to these schools is programmed for the end of August.

Jinotega Ministry - We have finally been able to focus more on our new city these past two months. We have a small English group meeting on Sunday mornings and a study group in Spanish on Sunday evenings. Three of those coming have been away from the Lord for a time and now desire to get their lives back on the right path, so it is a good beginning.

English Classes, Friendship Evangelism - Actually our first thrust in Jinotega began in January with Earl teaching English classes. We have 8-10 steady students who come 3 times a week. When they surprised us with a small celebration on our 27th wedding anniversary, we felt our purpose was being accomplished, that of establishing friendships while helping them in a practical area in their lives. We believe more doors of opportunity and influence are being opened in this area.

Home School Help - We welcome the help of 2 college-age girls this summer. Since we got so far behind on our home schooling schedule, Jessica and Cherith have been extremely helpful in overseeing most of the children’s studies, freeing me up to write letters, organize items still in boxes, and start a ladies’ Bible study. They are also connecting with our English students, learning Spanish, being involved in our meetings, and seeing what missionary life really entails. Anybody interested in coming next summer?

We Appreciate You - Thanks again for your prayers and support, co-laboring with us for the harvest in Nicaragua.

Earl and Bev Rutledge

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring 2009

Dear Friends and Family,

It’s been awhile since our last update. Our physical move to Jinotega took place in October, but we have been back and forth between Matagalpa and Jinotega ever since, facilitating the transition with the church, La Fuente, the leaders and the people, and our family. The 21-mile-but-hour-long ride over the pot-hole after pot-hole, curvy mountain road is now very familiar. Thank you so much for your continued support and prayer without any details about what’s happening in our lives and the ministry.

For those who did not receive the update on our tour to the States, it was an awesome two months of family time and traveling with many “firsts.” It was also a healthy beginning in our children’s understanding that there are cultural differences between Nicaragua and the U.S. and they have inherited a mix of the two as Third Culture Kids. We were super blessed with the renewing of old friendships and the making of new acquaintances, and we were amazed by God’s mighty provision in so many areas and details. Thank you to all who made this dream trip a possibility!

During December and January, while we got acquainted with our new city, we also spent some great closure time as a family, knowing that family life will never be the same. Cheree, who did not get to travel to the States with us, was home for vacation, but is now once again situated in Managua. She started her senior year in Graphic Design last week.

With all the recent stateside experiences to build on, we felt John was much better prepared to now pursue life outside of Nicaragua. He left last week to Puerto Rico to participate in a six month Discipleship Training and mission trip with Youth with a Mission before he starts in the fall as a freshman business major at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Pray for him as he faces the challenges of living in another culture, which is much different than a vacation visit, and pray also for abundant provision. We thank God that he has received a sizeable academic scholarship, but there is still a lot left to cover.

John's send-off last week was a blessing to all of us as it confirmed the impact our family has had on those in La Fuente. The parents expressed appreciation for John's example and the aspiration for their children to be like him. The youth also voiced their gratitude for John's role model and their desire that their parents would be more like us; they also thanked us for helping them even as we have helped our own children. Several comments to that effect were a wonderful encouragement that we have left a well-started work in Matagalpa. We trust that it will continue to flourish under the new pastor, Raul Castro, who was actually our 2nd convert 10 years ago. Our first fruit is now producing fruit. God is good! Let the harvest cycle continue, and may the Lord of the Harvest send more laborers, for the fields are ripe and ready.

We are now in the final stages of our transition. The church is doing well. The people have accepted our "in and out" status of supervision and counsel instead of being the ever-present "pastors" and have transferred their commitment to the remaining elders, especially Raul and Olivia, who are now the primary leaders. We are looking forward to finally being able to concentrate on developing our present new contacts in Jinotega.

We have overcome some taxing challenges in our new location. I can count on one hand the number of times the garbage has passed by (Oct. to Feb. -- you can imagine the fly population and some of the other problems that has generated). The plumbing is not up to par -- I can't let any water go down the kitchen sink. The creative solution to "no clothes line" has been solved with the result of needing to stand on a chair or ladder to hang out the clothes. I have just been blessed with clothespins that work, which makes it a much easier task, and the rainy season has ended for now, so hurray for dry clothes. The neighborhood has apparently been using our driveway entrance doors as the local soccer goal for quite some time. We have established better parameters of how many times a day and at what hours we will throw a ball back over the gate, but a sudden WHACK can still startle, and frequent WHACKS make it hard to concentrate and seriously tests one’s patience. Driving skills have improved out of necessity as the clearance to enter our driveway with the van is tight. Backing out with the side mirrors folded in was a real challenge at first.

The upside is that our house is the nicest (painted cement walls, windows, a ceiling, and a ceramic floor) and largest we found for a good rental price. We have a front room for private counseling and small meetings. We live on a safe block for the children to play outside with their new friends from the neighborhood. We live 2 blocks from the market and the grocery store. The smaller town (60,000) leads to quicker attention at the bank, telephone office, and stores. The people are friendly and helpful; we've already made friends and have met several people who need Jesus. The great thing is that they seem to recognize that we have something they need. People we don’t know have heard we are here and have come to our house to seek us out for counsel and prayer. We are a light in this “City of Fog,” as Jinotega is called, to penetrate the darkness and let the glory of the Lord shine forth.

Thank you for your prayers and support. They are very much appreciated. One last prayer request is for provision of new (used) instruments and a projector, since we left La Fuente fully furnished.

Remember to shine today in your workplace, your neighborhood, and your city. Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. Isaiah 60:1

Blessings and peace,
Earl and Bev Rutledge

Monday, February 23, 2009

Newsletter from the Rutledges

Blessings as 2009 flies by so quickly. It's hard to realize 2 months are already gone. Please read our newsletter and pray for us.
John is at Youth with a Mission in Puerto Rico for 3 months of discipleship training and then a 2 month outreach. Please pray about helping him with travel costs during the outreach. God has already mightily provided for his first 3 months and travel to Puerto Rico, for that we are very thankful.
If you want to make a financial donation you can make checks payable to World Outreach Fellowship:

World Outreach Fellowship

2011 W. Marshall Ave.

Longview, TX 75604
Grace and peace,
Earl And Bev Rutledge

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