Friday, January 27, 2012

Ten years in Ecuador!

          We arrived in Quito, Ecuador in January 2002. It was a very exciting time for us to finally arrive after several years of preparation. We appreciated faithful prayers and notes of encouragement from supporters in those days of adjustments to new surroundings, people and Ecuadorian culture. What a challenge for us moving from rural Maine into a city of 2 million people. God directed us to an apartment that was newly built and to a family that lived two floors below us, who needed the Lord. We had opportunities to witness to Guillermo and Gina and they both accepted the Lord as their Savior. Shortly after they moved away and we have not seen them since. The owner of the building added a disco on the floor above us so we only stayed there six months. 
South Quito: 2002-2005
            Our ministry team in South Quito consisted of my wife Diana and I, three other CrossWorld missionaries as well as two Ecuadorian couples and a single Ecuadorian lady. It was a time of orientation for us to ministry and life in EcuadorAfter six months our co-worker and his wife left for home assignment. One of the Ecuadorian men was put in as the pastor during his absence. This was a very good time of ministry and seeing the Ecuadorian pastor develop and take on pastoral responsibilities.  I began to preach and teach adult SS. When our co-workers returned a decision was made to split our team into two groups and work at starting a second church in an area where many of those who attended the first church lived. 

Luis, Irene and daughter, Katarine
            One of my greatest blessings in our time in South Quito was getting to know the Vargas family. Francisco came to know the Lord through the witness of his brother Luis who is now in full time ministry there. I discipled Francisco and it was a joy to see him grow. He later graduated from the Berean Bible Institute and is still involved in leadership at the church. His mother Teresa is also very dear and my wife Diana discipled her and also Luis’ wife Irene. 

Chaupimolino: 2006-2011
            In June of 2006 after one year of home assignment we returned to Ecuador really not certain where the Lord would have us be serving. We were organizing a work team scheduled to come help a small struggling work in Chaupimolino. What an awesome privilege it was to witness the love of God being shown across cultures and language barriers. Each day the team from Derry, NH worked hard alongside their Ecuadorian brothers and sisters and at lunchtime there was a time of singing praises to God in both languages. God definitely opened doors as we were seeking His direction in where to serve that term. He used the NH team as well as other people and circumstances to direct us to Chaupimolino. We were involved in a building project, but while working there on the building we sensed the Lord’s call to stay and give spiritual leadership. 

         The Coro family came to the Chaupimolino church shortly after receiving Christ. The dad  had been enslaved to alcohol for almost 30 years. He was transformed and as well  his wife and four of their adult children. We went through several months of teaching and it was a blessing to hear their testimonies of God’s grace at their baptism. Their son, Pedro, and his sister, Nelly, began serving the Lord in the church. They both saw a need for a children’s Bible Club in their immediate neighborhood so they started one. This club has continued under their direction ever since.
          After being away for 5 years, the older daughter Margarita returned to Ecuador from Spain for the holidays. She found her family transformed by the Lord. She discovered her once alcoholic father dependent on the Lord instead. Her mom and 3 siblings testified of God’s goodness to them as a family during her 5 week stay. She learned of her need for a Savior, to be forgiven for her sins and asked for God’s forgiveness and received Christ. The younger brother Pedro led her to the Lord. Since she returned to Spain her husband also came to know Jesus as his Savior.

          Darwin and Nelly (Coro) Punguil have been a blessing to the work as they have committed  their lives to serving God.  In August 2010 they married and together they are pouring themselves into ministry. Darwin came to know the Lord through a tragic accident ten years ago. Darwin has been through many trials and the Lord has been preparing him for full-time christian service. He left his secular job  and is living by faith to serve in the role of spiritual leadership for the church in Chaupimolino. 

          Gods work is evident in the lives of the Rosado/Bravo family. Roberto and Sandra have worked hard to prepare themselves for ministry and are faithfully serving in the local church. Their sons, John and Gabriel, also have goals of being obedient to God's call in their lives. John is serving the Lord in the area of Milagro de Dios, found in the coastal area of Ecuador. He has been faithfully traveling to this area providing discipleships for adults and ministry to children and youth. Gabriel is planning to graduate with a degree in education.

Borja: 2010-present
 Beginning January 2010, God lead us to part-time ministry in Borja and we faithfully made weekly trips being available for what ever God would have us to do in a very needy area of Ecuador. Borja has a 400 year history of traditions that don’t include salvation by faith in Jesus. In September of 2011 we became full-time in Borja and during this time we have made many friends and some have approached us looking for spiritual help. We have been in many homes to share the Gospel with families and have attended many public events. Please check older blog posts for stories of opportunities we had to share the Gospel in Borja.

            We stopped at a garage in Borja to add air to a slack tire one day. We learned Percy, the owner, has a brother in another part of Ecuador who is working with a missionary. Percy expressed interest in studying the Bible. He came to our door asking for Dan to come to his home saying they really needed help. Spending time with Percy and Mercedes and their family we learned of their needs. We had not ever been with two people more ready to receive the Lord. They both expressed repentance for sin and their need for a Savior to save and change them. We left the home in awe at what God had done in their hearts and their eagerness to  grow in the Lord. They have had their struggles but we have continued to come along side of them giving God's Word and encouragement. They have moved to El Chaco where we continue to have Bible study in their home. 

The past ten years has been filled with many challenges and many blessings. Perhaps the greatest blessing is to see God changing people from within, to see them maturing and bringing others to saving knowledge of the Lord and in some cases they began discipleships with those they had won to the Lord. Others have followed God's call into full-time ministry. God's faithfulness has been clearly evident through each circumstance. We have many partners in the pursuit of God's call to missions and we are very thankful for their faithfulness in praying and in sacrificial giving to God's ministry to Ecuador through CrossWorld and us. Thank you!


1 comment:

  1. What a privilege to serve God and see so many God led changes in lives!! God bless you two and your family. Dan, your Dad would be/is so proud of you!