In February of this year I returned to Costa Rica after an absence of 24 years to once again minister to leaders. These men and their wives represented church networks from 20 to 125 churches in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Their stories were heart wrenching because they are facing grave danger and threat from the drug cartels.
In some places the cartels are demanding a percentage of the tithes collected. Pastors have been abducted and if the congregation cannot come up with the money, they are shot as a lesson for other congregations. Wives of leaders have been raped as a weapon of submission. This year twenty pastors in Panama had been killed by the end of February for refusing to bow to the cartels.
I started with Acts 2:26, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ”. If we know the Koo-ree-os Lord then we have access the Judge of all the earth and by covenant He will be an adversary to our adversaries. God threatened to kill Abimelech and his entire tribe if Abimelech did not release Sarah.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! He has not changed! The church, however, no longer asks God to Judge and remove our adversaries because tradition dictates we turn the other cheek. When these leaders discovered the error in application of this tradition and were encouraged to invite God to destroy their enemy, they cried with hope and thanksgiving to have gained revelation for what they face.
A Pastor from El Salvador said with tears in his eyes, “I don’t have much, I’m just a poor Pastor but this ring is the nicest thing I have—please accept it as a token of thanksgiving and covenant for you have brought a truth that will help save my nation.” I too was reduced to tears as the ring perfectly fit. I have spent 26 years pioneering a truth that was more often than not rejected but in Central America where they face death daily it was the biblical answer for which they were waiting.
This Outcry is dedicated to the leaders of Central America who daily know the reality of being a living sacrifice and may the same God who put Herod in the grave save them from their enemies. – Dios le bendiga!