Another update and pics of our life and ministry here in Ecuador. Again, we thank the Lord for the many opportunities that He has given us to see His gospel go forward and reach the hearts of the people of Ecuador. It has been a fairly busy month and also a very enjoyable one. In addition to working hard for the glory of God, we have also had opportunity to play hard and enjoy the beautiful gifts that He has bestowed upon us.
Our church recently finished up a week long evangelistic crusade. It was a lot of work and we pray that the their has been true life changing fruit born as a result of it. I preached the Wednesday evening session speaking from the text of Is 55:1-4 and the invitation that the Lord gives us to come to Him, to stop spending money on what is not bread and labor on what does not satisfy, and come and partake of the eternal life that He offers. I pray that the Lord used this message to awaken hearts. I also spent all day Thursday in Calderón where I often help lead the Bible Study. We held two nights of the crusade there as well, so I spent all day Thursday visiting house to house and sharing the Gospel with the evangelism team. Many people made professions of faith upon hearing the message of the Gospel. We only pray that these are genuine, knowing full well that only the Lord knows the hearts of people. All in all, the crusade gave us many opportunities to preach the Gospel both to the masses as well as to the individual families in various communities.
Much of these past few weeks have been spent preparing for the several mission teams that we have coming soon. We have a pastoral training team coming at the end of this week. We will spend the whole week in Santo Domingo. It is not only pastoral training that we will be doing, but many other ministries and outreaches as well since the team consists of nine people. Maria and the kids will be joining me for the whole week. We have a lot of different ministries planned such as: youth conferences, women’s conferences, sharing the Gospel in public and private schools, pastoral training, etc. Please be in prayer for us throughout the week. On the last Friday we will have a fun day at the beach to also celebrate Isabela’s 11th birthday. She is super excited.
July is a month that could not possibly be more full. I’ll be attending a 2 day Pastor’s Conference the first week here in Quito. Then, for the remaining three weeks of the month we will be with teams. We have a team that consists of many from our home church that will be here for the week ministering at many different orphanages. Then, the same day that they leave, our first youth team arrives from our home church and will be with us for the week in a Quichua village near Otavalo called Tangalí. We will be doing a VBS for the kids in the community as well as some youth activities in the evening. Then, the day after they leave, our next youth team arrives and will be with us for the week in Otavalo. We will also be doing a VBS for kids during the day and some outreaches in the evening including ministering in a local jail as well as ministering in an elderly home. It will be a very busy week.
In addition to working hard, we have also had some good opportunities to play together as a family and just enjoy God’s goodness together. We bought a bike for Isabela for her birthday and now her and I often take leisurely bike rides around the neighborhood. When I am not leisurely riding with her, I am riding hardcore on the trails or riding on the street for conditioning. I am really enjoying getting back into this sport. It also is getting me in great shape. Last Saturday morning, before having to head to Otavalo for the weekend for ministry, I woke up at 6am and headed to a new trail to get in some riding. I did not know that the ride would be all uphill right from the start. It ended up being a 9 mile climb all the way to the top of the mountain. The trail is called Las Antenas because it reaches to the top of the mountain where all the cell phone antenas are. I think I climbed about 5,000 feet. It was brutal, but I felt good for having accomplished it.
The rest of the weekend was spent in Otavalo and Tangalí. We had a meeting with Pastor Raúl on Saturday afternoon to plan details for the upcoming mission team. Then, on Sunday morning we visited the church in Tangalí and fellowshipped with the Quichua believers there. The service was all in Quichua. After the service, I had a meeting with the pastor and leaders to plan for the upcoming mission team that will be working with them. After saying goodbye, we had a family day out at a nearby waterfall. It was very relaxing to be in the midst of God’s great creation and just share a special time together as a family.
Please pray for us for the upcoming months which will be very busy. We have all been battling a lingering cold, so please pray that we will be healthy by the time the first team arrives. It is a blessing to serve here in Ecuador!