Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

Baeza nestled in the Andes Mountains 


One year has passed since our departure from Ecuador, but on December 7th Dan and I boarded a plane once again bound for Quito, Ecuador. A team from Grace Baptist Church in Pleasant View, TN invited us to join them on a ministry team to the very area we had left. The next 8 days we were greatly blessed, reunited with many who had in some way impacted our lives. We also made new friends like Javier and Silvia who expressed interest in knowing Christ after attending a conference on managing your money following biblical principles. It thrilled our hearts when a Bible study leader in Borja asked for materials for the study she is giving two days a week.

The Baeza church organized a prayer campaign for the town. Only a month prior the advocates of traditional religion had marched through the town declaring the area as theirs. Each night was spent walking and praying for various neighborhoods and early Saturday we joined the group climbing to an area overlooking the town. Our hearts united in Christ we raised our voices in prayer and song and asked the Lord to continue the work He began in the Quijos Valley.

Praise the Lord new faces were in church on Sunday. Fellowship was sweet as we shared the entire day with our brothers and sisters in Christ in worship, praise, God's Word, communion, fun and lots of food, too. We are so privileged to see first hand what God is doing in and through people in this special place which has remained in our hearts and prayers.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

"Well, is it good to be home?"

Image result for transitioning images
Truthfully, It doesn't feel like home. Transitioning to home culture has not been easy. I was not prepared for the tremendous sense of loss I have been feeling; Latin culture, the familiar, close friends, ministry and being valued by the people who we were working with. At present in many situations I am left feeling awkward.  Few people understand, few people want to hear about it, and only recently am I understanding what is happening. Transition has not only been a period of turbulent emotions and spiritual struggles, but a time of disorientation and relocation issues. It is a process of arriving to a new normal that is going to take time and spiritual strength.

We definitely have seen God's provision during this time and are grateful. Remembering God's character and His promises are imperative. How can you help? Listen to our stories, point us to God, be patient and walk with us through this journey and encourage us along the way. It is a great comfort and encouragement to know that you interceding on our behalf. Church family, mission staff, family and friends all have important roles to play in the journey to integration and wholeness.

Praise God for:
1. His provision of housing and transportation.
2. Churches inviting us to come share this month.
3. The privilege to encourage our families and local church family.

Pray for:
1. Us to be good communicators of what God is doing in Ecuador as we travel to churches this month.
2. Safety traveling, February is typically a month with lots of snow.
3. Milton and Wilmer as they lead ministries in Borja and Baeza.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Going Forward

Milton, Anita & family
God's work continues in Borja, Baeza and surrounding areas. The home Bible study in Borja continues under the direction of Milton, our brother in the Lord. Wilmer, the elder at the Baeza church, continues to teach God's word. Please pray for these men to be faithful and pray for God to provide for their families.

Thank you for being an encouragement and it is knowing you are praying for and concerned about us. We are house-sitting in Montville, Maine for a couple who are in Spain until April. Dan is working part-time on the family farm and I am helping Mom, working on mission communications and getting a presentation ready for visiting churches. We have been meeting with individual supporters and local pastors this month. In February, we are beginning to visit churches.

Dan is planning on working full-time at the farm beginning in April and is committing to work on the farm for one year. During this time we will be connecting with our families, our home church and being available to support Crossworld's global effort and local ministries here in Maine. 

We are grateful for your commitment to see us through these three months (Jan-March). 

We are maintaining associate status with the mission after March. An account with the mission continues, but it will be used as a reimbursement account for any ministry we do representing Crossworld. For example, if we take a work/ministry team to Ecuador we would draw from any available funds to cover our expenses.

At Crossworld, churches are valued as the real sending authority behind a cross-cultural worker. Find out what Crossworld offers churches in the partnership of sending disciple-makers.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

He Answered

"You hadn't even gotten back to your house and God answered your prayer." exclaimed the man. That man was my brother, Bradford. One goal upon returning to the United States of America has been to reconnect with immediate family. Eleven spiritually needy people are currently living in my brother's house. We stopped by on Christmas day to greet existing and meet new extended family members. We learned of some pressing needs of my niece, Katherine, and her little boy, Cardin. Dan prayed the Lord would provide the transportation to Boston they needed for Cardin's medical treatment. It was the following day when Brad said, "God answered your prayer." Within five minutes of that prayer Kathy received a phone call from a friend and they discovered they both needed to be in Boston on the same day and the friend offered to drive. That simple prayer had a big impact on my brother, Brad. It also encourages my heart as I have struggled with our recent return to the USA. God will use me here on the home front if I have eyes to see and a heart willing to reach out to others.

Praises for:
  • Safe travels home and visiting family in Dec.
  • New people are attending the Bible study in Borja with twenty attending last Friday.
  • Dan is working part-time on the family farm.

Prayer for:
  • The Bible study group in Borja.
  • My friend,G, continues to face persecution for being baptized. 
  • Scheduling visits with churches. 
  • Safety traveling 
  • Gladys' father passed away. She is a believer from Chaupimolino.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"You Can't Baptize that Man!"

Rio Quijos
More than 70 people gathered in the beautiful setting of the Quijos River to witness people proclaim their faith and promise to follow Christ. A time of prayer, testimonies, singing and preaching was had under the open air thatched roof building.

It was on the way to the river bank when an anxious woman approached Dan."You can't baptist that man! she insisted. Dan asked her why. "He killed my father!" she proclaimed. Dan was surprised at what she was saying but calmly stated, "The man has asked for forgiveness of the Lord and God has forgiven him." Just then the man joined them.

" You two need to talk." Dan stated.

"You killed my father!" said the woman again with much emotion. The man admitted that he remembered well the drunken brawl that took place some fifty years ago.

"Will you forgive me?" he asked of her.

"I forgive you." was her reply.

Dan felt relief as they continued on to the river. One by one nine people were baptized that day, four from Borja. We are filled with joy as we are witnesses of what God has done in the years we have lived in Borja and in the year we have helped in the evangelical church Baeza. We do implore you to be praying for these people as some are facing persecution from their families for taking this step of obedience.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Novena to the Virgin of Quinche

In the world of traditional religion “Saints” are objects of devotion for many people. They are looked to for happiness in the home, for good health or well-being of a family member, to help in an economic situation, for success in an exam or to help one find the grace and peace of God. Prayers are recited to Saints because it is believed the saints intercede on behalf of the one reciting because they are in Jesus and he has all power. It is believed that they are friends and brothers who are with the one reciting protecting and pointing the person to good goals. 

The Novena is a time of private or public devotion to the Saints during a nine day period. We witnessed the devotion of many people of San Francisco de Borja to the Virgin of Quinche during November 15th – 23rd. Each evening town people gathered reciting, singing and marching together through the streets of Borja. Arriving at the church building, the nightly event ends with fireworks. It is believed this time of devotion if done with faith, humility, trust and perseverance will open God’s heart and therefore connect the person with God.  

Praise for:

 1. The 7 people of Borja and Baeza willing to give public testimony of their faith in Jesus for salvation.

 2. G giving testimony of receiving Jesus.

Prayer for:

 1. The baptism to be held the 29th of November in the Quijos River.

 2. The believers who are taking steps of obedience to be strengthened by God's word.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cuban Connection

Doctor John arrived from Cuba about 3 months ago and began attending the Baeza church. It is obvious he has a good biblical foundation and is a growing believer. One could not help but wonder how come he left family in Cuba to work in Baeza. He signed a two year contract with the local hospital.

In time it grew apparent Dr. John was greatly missing his family. His whole family became very sick with Dengue Fever. He was beside himself with their separation. God also was working in his heart concerning he and his wife's decision. Messages from Ephesians also were tugging on his heart strings. He taped and sent these messages to his wife in Cuba. Economics were no longer the most important thing to Dr. John. "To me this (the money) is trash, my family is what really matters to me," he exclaimed one Sunday. Dr. John asked for prayer that day for the Lord to open the doors for his return to Cuba. This is a process of months of paperwork and pleading with government officials. The church prayed and to our amazement the following Sunday Dr. John received a call during church. His departure had been approved and his ticket was even paid for! His face was beaming with gratitude to the Lord and he publicly gave God the glory knowing it was truly of Him. Thursday we are taking Dr. John to the airport to be reunited with his family. We will miss him but are so content with the way God has worked in his life.