January Life and Ministry Pics

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 kind of like a Chaplain.  Well, 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. 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.  They are looking to have pastoral support provided in each orphanage where they are working. So, my role of involvement will most likely be helping with that…teaching Bible lessons to the kids on a regular basis as well as providing pastoral support to the staff and children.  Maria will help in this aspect of teaching as well as her schedule permits, but she is also very excited about taking a role of advocacy and helping get other people involved in all aspects of helping to provide for the basic needs of these kids.  So, we are very excited to see how the Lord is going to unfold His plan.  Later this week, I will visit an orphanage for the first time since we were in Haiti.  I am really looking forward into getting back into a role of teaching Gospel truths of God’s love and grace to these kids that feel so lost and empty.  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.

View atop a mountain in Calacalí while hiking with a good friend.
View atop a mountain in Calacalí while hiking with a good friend.
Amazing views...absolutely worth the grueling climb that was practically vertical!
Amazing views…absolutely worth the grueling climb that was practically vertical!
Plenty of Aloe plants and pretty flowers all around.
Plenty of Aloe plants and pretty flowers all around.
What a beautiful country!
What a beautiful country!
Marveling at the handiwork of our great God!
Marveling at the handiwork of our great God!
Preaching an evangelistic message to many of the parents at the school in Pifo
Preaching an evangelistic message to many of the parents at the school in Pifo
Happy Birthday to my beautiful wife with a new short haircut that rocks!  I'm such a lucky guy!
Happy Birthday to my beautiful wife with a new short haircut that rocks! I’m such a lucky guy!
...And homemade chocolate chip cookies made by Isabela for Mommy's birthday.
…And homemade chocolate chip cookies made by Isabela for Mommy’s birthday.
Teaching the Quechua in Otavalo the importance of Inductive Bible Study Method
Teaching the Quechua in Otavalo the importance of Inductive Bible Study Method
Explaining the difference between inductive and deductive study methods.
Explaining the difference between inductive and deductive study methods.
My compañero teaching on the importance of understanding Biblical context
My compañero teaching on the importance of understanding Biblical context
The participants receive a certificate at the end of the day
The participants receive a certificate at the end of the day
Amazing to see simple Quechua women excited about learning how to study the Bible.
Amazing to see simple Quechua women excited about learning how to study the Bible.
These women made great sacrifices to be at the all day training.
These women made great sacrifices to be at the all day training.
Certificate that the church provided.  To them, this training means so much and they are proud to receive it.
Certificate that the church provided. To them, this training means so much and they are proud to receive it.