Monday, October 15, 2012

Neighborhood Council

The city of Cuenca is organized into parishes and neighborhoods. Our neighborhood is the equivalent of six large square blocks and contains a number of businesses and probably about 500 residents. We recently had a neighborhood meeting to better organize and to choose local residents to oversee areas of need. I had the privilege to be on the neighborhood council to oversee the security here in our neighborhood. While our neighborhood is relatively safe, we have had issues with graffiti and trash, and security is always one of the top concerns in any neighborhood. We are excited about the opportunity to make a difference in our neighborhood and to meet more people who might become a part of our church.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our First Baptism

This past Saturday we had the opportunity to for our first baptism.  It was a bit difficult at first due to the lack of rain and the low water level in the local rivers, but the day before I was finally able to find a beautiful spot for the baptism. There was a group of about 15 of us who went, and we baptized six members of our church: Fernando, Erika, and their son David (10 years old), Merci (13) and her brother Angel (10), and Erika (13). It was a wonderful time and such a privilege for us. Afterwards we celebrated with chicken, potatoes, rice, and mote (similar to hominy) at a local restaurant.
Please pray for peace for Nicol (9) who really wanted to be baptized but wasn't because of her fear of the river. We hope to be able to baptize her at our next baptism or possibly set up a small pool in our backyard. God is doing great things in our little church, and we are excited for the future.
Come back in a couple of days for pictures of the baptism.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ministry Update

We are gradually getting settled in here in Cuenca and occasionally finding opportunities for ministry. The Bible study with our neighbor is going well. He is very hungry to learn more about God and to follow Him with his whole heart. We are beginning to go through Genesis and are continuing to meet once a week. On Saturday, I went to CREIAD, a local drug and alcohol rehabilitation center with some other people from the local church. They were celebrating their fifth year of weekly ministry to the men at the center. While my personal involvement was minimal, it was exciting to see men desiring to turn their lives around and follow God. Please pray for them to take these services and their relationship with God seriously and that it would carry on beyond their time in rehab.

We have connected with a local family who are interested in helping us plant a church. We don't have a timeframe yet, but we will be looking at starting a Bible study in our home in January. Pray that we hear God clearly and follow His will and timing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Visit to Foursquare Churches in Sigsig and Loja

About a week ago, I visited the local Foursquare churches in the towns of Sigsig and Loja with the Foursquare pastor here in Cuenca and the president of Foursquare Ecuador. It was an excellent time of developing relationships with the Foursquare leadership here in Ecuador, as well as getting to see more of this beautiful country and what God is doing in it. The highlight of the trip was a water baptism of 17 people in the Volqueron River near Loja. God is doing wonderful things in these churches, but it's sobering to realize that there are only 3 Foursquare churches in the whole Southern Sierra. We look forward to what lies in store for the growth of His kingdom here in Ecuador over the coming years and the part we get to play in that growth.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Foursquare Ecuador National Convention

We recently attended the Foursquare National Convention here in Guayaquil on October 28-30. This was a great time of connecting with pastors and the national leaders. Guayaquil is the largest city in Ecuador and is on the coast. I describe it as a different country from where we live in Cuenca due to the climate and culture differences. Unfortunately, we forgot to bring our camera but it was a well-attended conference with over 1,000 people at many of the meetings.

Please pray for a potential trip I may be taking in a couple of weeks with Fercen Granja, the pastor here in Cuenca and Jose Molina, the President of Foursquare Ecuador. I may join them on their visit to the Foursquare churches in Sigsig and Loja here in southern Ecuador. Along with the church in Cuenca, these three churches are the only Foursquare churches in the entire Southern Sierra region of Ecuador.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Our new home in Cuenca

I've received many requests for pictures of our new home here in Cuenca. God has so tremendously blessed us with this house - it has everything that we had asked for and we found it right away. Unfortunately, there is still a bit of work to do to have every room ready for viewing as we're still unpacking suitcases and setting up the things we have purchased here. We are able to show you a few pictures of our home with more to come...perhaps even a video! Click the link for a slideshow.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Deployment Date

If you haven't seen from our website or our updates, we're getting ready to move to Ecuador on October 10th. This has been a very hectic time for us as we take care of all of the last minute details, pack, visit with friends and family, etc. It has been a long journey for us to this point, but in some ways the journey is just beginning. Thank you for all of your prayer and support. There will be many more updates on this blog once we deploy, so stay tuned. Here is the link to our latest update.