Update of Life and Ministry in Ecuador Jan. 2015

These past few weeks have been fairly busy and really great! We finally feel like we are starting to get settled in as a family which the truth be told is not an easy thing to do after moving to your 4th new foreign country. But by the grace of God things are beginning to fall into place both personally as a family as well as in our mission work.

The truth is that ministry opportunities abound all throughout…both in the city of Quito as well as places in the rural Quechua areas. We are excited to see how God is unfolding His plans to us. We only want to be surrendered to His will and give our all for the sake of the Gospel going forward and the Kingdom of God touching lives.

In addition to the continuous opportunities opening up to train and equip pastors and leaders, we are excited about the things that God is leading us to get involved in. I have been getting more involved in the school in Pifo where our co-laborer Joselito is the Rector. It is a Christian school in the sense that they seek to provide a Christ centered education and learning environment, but the reality is that just about all the students that attend are not Christians and sadly even the majority of the current teachers are not Christians. So, there is a lot of work to do. But the good news is that there is a wide open door there to preach the Gospel and minister to the people the truths of God’s Word. So, I will now be serving there on a regular basis helping out as a Chaplain. I will be teaching some of the chapel services each week as well as helping lead a Bible Study for the teachers. But also I will be helping provide counsel to students who are going through difficult times. This will also give me the opportunity to start meeting with some of these students in their homes and helping minister truth and provide counsel to the parents and other family members as well. I see this as a tremendous opportunity to be able to minister the Gospel to the lost on a regular basis. Joselito’s church also has started a mission church on the school grounds in Pifo so that there is a place of worship for the people in the community whom we are connecting with. So, I will probably also start helping preach and teach in this mission church as well. I am very excited to serve in this way and be able to make an impact for the Gospel in the lives of at-risk youth and families. Please be in prayer for this ministry. I recently preached another evangelistic message there last week during the parent conference that we had just before starting the 2015 schoo year. It was great that God gave me the opportunity to preach the Word to about 200 or more parents of these students. I pray that the Word of God goes forth with power to change hearts and make new lives.

Also, another ministry that has opened up to us recently that Maria and I are both absolutely thrilled to be involved in is ministry to the orphans. The Lord has recently been showing us that this call to minister to the orphans, which is what originally led us to the mission field in Haiti, is still active in our lives and it is still something that the Lord is calling us to get involved in addition to the pastoral training ministry.   So, we started looking around and finding out what the orphan situation is like here in Ecuador. We have connected with another missionary couple who has started an orphan care ministry. They currently have connection with about 15 different orphanages in and around Quito. They are so excited to hear that we want to get involved and help serve in this ministry. Please pray for us as we get to know them and seek the Lord as to His direction for how we might best serve Christ through ministering to the orphaned and abandoned of Ecuador.  There are many different ministries around Quito that target both the orphaned and abandoned.   So, we are very excited to see how the Lord is going to unfold His plan. May the Lord use us to be His hands and feet to these precious souls.

So, as you can see, the Lord is certainly leading our steps and we feel that He is beginning to lead us into those exact places where He has called us to invest our talents for His glory. I am excited about all the opportunities that He is leading us into.

The opportunities for training continue to abound. I was just in a Quechua town called Otavalo last Saturday with my partner and we taught the pastors, leaders, and church members there an all day workshop on Inductive Bible Study. It was fantastic to be able to equip our Quechua brothers and sisters to be able to grow more in the knowledge of the Word of God and be able to be more effective in preaching and teaching. We have learned of a few other Quechua villages further north almost near the border of Colombia where there is an open door for us to come and begin a Gospel work where none currently exists. In February, we will be heading to one of these towns called Imbaburaka where we will be distributing Samaritan’s Purse gift boxes to about 80 children and doing some outreach among the people. I hope to get the opportunity to share an evangelistic message with the people.

There are other good things that are taking place, but space does not permit me to go further. We are excited for what the Lord is doing in our midst. We are happy to be here, thankful that God has given us the grace to persevere through the difficult time of adjustment, thankful that His sanctifying work continues in our lives, thankful for how He is leading us in service to His great name, and of course we are thankful for all of the people on our support team. May the Lord be glorified in all that we do to make His name known throughout the world.

The climb was almost completely vertical, but the view from the top was worth it.
Hiking with a friend. The climb was almost completely vertical, but the view from the top was worth it.

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Beautiful views all around.
Beautiful views all around
Marveling at the glory of God's handiwork.
Marveling at the glory of God’s handiwork.
Preaching an evangelistic message to several hundred parents of students in Pifo
Preaching an evangelistic message to several hundred parents of students in Pifo
My beautiful wife on her birthday...rocking a new haircut!
My beautiful wife on her birthday…rocking a new haircut!
And Isabela makes her homemade birthday cookies!
And Isabela makes her homemade birthday cookies!
Teaching a Saturday workshop to Quechua people in Otavalo
Teaching a Saturday workshop to Quechua people in Otavalo
We did an all day workshop on  the importance of inductive Bible study
We did an all day workshop teaching them the Inductive Bible Study method
My compañero explaining the importance of understanding context when studying the Bible.
My compañero explaining the importance of understanding context when studying the Bible.
The church presented them with certificates at the end of the day
The church presented them with certificates at the end of the day
Such a joy to see the Quechua people excited about all that they learned
Such a joy to see the Quechua people excited about all that they learned
They all made great sacrifices to attend a day of training.
They all made great sacrifices to attend a day of training.
To them, it is a big deal to receive this training and they are proud to show their certificates at the end.
To them, it is a big deal to receive this training and they are proud to show their certificates at the end.