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.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Time for Testimony



Hearing of God's faithfulness in a life brings such joy and that was the case last Wednesday evening at the weekly Bible study here on site in Borja. We first met Monica* when her mother fainted at Bible study. After transporting the mother to the local hospital, soon Monica and the rest of the family arrived. They expressed discontent that the mother had attend the study in the first place. A brother suggested that the mother had become emotional at our insisting she attend. The reality was the woman forgot to take her medication for hypertension that day. We heard from a a changed Monica last Weds. More than a year ago she was diagnosed with stage 3-4 breast cancer. At that time we were concerned about her spiritual well-being and offered to pray with her and her husband. They received our prayers and encouragement to allow God to work through the difficulty they were facing. At a later time our landlady invited Monica to attend the weekly study here at our home in Borja and she came! She has been attending faithfully and asking great questions.
Last week she gave testimony of God's faithfulness in her life physically, spiritually and emotionally. She recounted how she has come to know the Lord personally, has learning to pray and is praising God because at this time she has been declared, "cancer free". Dear friends you are continuing to see fruit in your ministry here in Ecuador. May God be praised. 

Praise for:

1. Relatively quick recoveries from recent surgeries.
2. Help with music in Borja the last few weeks.
3. Fri. Bible study in Baeza has been well attended.
4. Our belongings have sold quickly.

Prayer for:

1. Transitions, goodbyes and trusting God.
2. The opportunity in Maine did not workout for us.
3. People to grow to fully depend on the Lord.
4. Details of leaving and for God's provision. 
5. The town of Borja is planning a farewell party and we'll have opportunity to share.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Rainy Sunday Afternoon


This afternoon we had a visit from our landlady, Martha, and two of her sisters. The motive for their visit was to purchase some of our household items we are selling before our move back to the U.S..

 Marcia recently lost her 13 y.o. daughter in a tragic bus accident and she herself sustained injuries. Martha is a widow with five children. Jackie is a young mother who needs help in her marriage.

Before we knew it we were talking about spiritual things, specifically security of salvation. It was a good conversation covering various aspects of salvation, baptism and local traditions. Several verses were shared from John and 1 John. Dan spoke of the importance of making a conscious decision admitting  sin receiving Christ as Savior and committing to following Jesus. An invitation was given and each woman prayed confessing sin and receiving Jesus in their own words. What a joy to be used by the Lord today in the lives of these three women. Please pray they will grow in their faith and walk with Jesus.

From Pain to Praise

Yesterday was fun! After returning to Borja we began to get visitors. Local friends came to see how Dan was recovering. To our surprise two members of the Mina family came to visit. If you recall we have asked for prayer for the family in the past. During their visit Fidel, a solid believer, also came. At the time of his arrival we were checking Elizabeth's reading vision using the Bible. In a short time Fidel asked about her beliefs and began to share his testimony. He could give a good perspective because he grew up in Borja with all its traditions. The Gospel was presented very clearly and the passage in John 3 was used to refer to being born again.We are now praying this will have an impact on Elizabeth and her mother. What a blessing to see how Dan's surgery provided this opportunity for the Gospel to be given.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Winds of Change

We have been praying in recent years for the Lord's direction for a ministry opportunity closer to home. Diana and I have wondered for some time if our time in Ecuador was coming to a close but felt if that was true then God would open another opportunity in Maine. A church in Maine contacted us recently and we pursued the opportunity praying for God's direction. Apparently it is not what God has for us, but at the same time we realized a great desire within us to return. Beginning in January 2015 we will begin a 3 month period of visiting supporting churches and relocating to Maine. At the end of that time we will be changing our status with Crossword to associate members. For those who have been financially supporting us an official letter will be coming out from Crossworld in the near future concerning our change in direction and regarding support.

You have been witnesses and active participants in your ministry here in Ecuador and we are grateful. Many of you came here and together we have seen great blessings. We love the people and have seen God's faithfulness in bringing the lost to salvation and raising up godly men and women to do service to the Lord. We believe God will use the Ecuadorian church to continue the work of the ministry without fail.

A transition back to the USA requires the same amount of faith, if not more, as the initial steps of leaving the USA to go to Ecuador. Many unanswered questions are before us and we will need to see God's great hand of provision and His clear direction in what is next for us.

Please pray for us to be all we can be in Christ during the next few months. Our desire is to be faithful witnesses to the many people around us here in Borja and Baeza. Just yesterday a woman stated, "You can never leave here." Please pray our Ecuadorian friends will learn to depend on the Lord and know the reality of His presence and provision.

Praises:

1. Two godly men have offered assistance in the Borja ministry.

2. A wonderful time of fellowship with CW missionaries in the DR.

3. Dan is recovering well from gallbladder surgery Oct. 8.

4. Diana's test results showed any abnormalities were benign.

Prayer for:

1. Our co-laborer, Sally, diagnosed with breast cancer this week. 

2. Dan continues teaching Wednesdays in Borja and Baeza on Sundays.

3. Diana had a good witnessing opportunity. Pray for Rodrigo as he reads the Bible looking   for truth.

4. Diana is making 12 puppets for a high school in El Chaco. The principal, a believer, is organizing teams of youth using our materials for teaching children. 



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Praise and Prayer



Praise for:
  1. A new couple attended weekly Bible study in Borja this week. 
  2. Dan is sharing a devotional and presenting the Gospel to a family gathering in Borja today.
  3. It was a blessing to attend the wedding of Gustavo and Margarita, especially hearing their testimonies of how God has lead them, first to salvation and secondly to obedience.


Pray for:
  1. Renewed energy for ministry and getting back to discipleships in Borja and Baeza after a busy summer. 
  2. Ministry area meetings September 9-11.
  3. Crossworld's Caribbean Conference in the DR that we are attending September 29-Oct.4.


Family Matters:
  1.  Please pray for Mark and Alicia's adjustment to life and ministry in Canada.
  2. Amanda is adjusting to her recent diagnosis of Waldmann's disease.
  3. Pray for a safe and healthy delivery for Kev and Emily's Lincoln due the 25th.
  4. Jake and Karen continue in ministry in Bruin, PA. Pray for spiritual strength for them.





Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Willing hearts and Helping Hands


Existing church

Since November 2013 we have been helping an existing church in Baeza. This connection began as a mutual encouragement. Dan has been sharing the preaching and teaching of God's word with Wilmer, the elder in charge. I have been helping with the ladies' and the children's ministry. One goal the church has is to replace the existing wooden building with a new larger church building made of cement. The property also has facilities that were used for an elementary school which closed last year for various reasons. 
  
School facilities
Friends from Maine
 The condition of the school facilities gave the appearance of an abandoned facility and many of the town's people thought the church closed along with the school. The goal is to enhance the appearance of the existing facilities and then relocate the church temporarily to the school dining hall while the new church is being built. In July, a team from Tennessee painted the now fellowship hall, which was the first step in making improvements. Mid-August we welcomed old and new friends from Maine to continue the project. The group representing three Maine churches worked hard to do a tremendous amount of cleaning, get most of the exterior painted and painted two rooms inside also. A church member did some cement work and added ceramic tile to the lower part of the wall where church will be held.
The New Look
We are very grateful for those willing to leave the comforts of home to help overseas in the needy areas of Borja and Baeza. We are equally appreciative of those who sacrificed hard earned dollars and gave to send people to help. Much work was accomplished and fellowship was sweet. Please be praying God will stir up the people of the local church to finish what has been started.


                                              




Sunday, August 31, 2014

Highlight of Summer Ministry

A highlight of this summer's ministry was a team from Calvary Bible Ministries, NH joining together in ministry with our dear friends and co-laborers from the Church of the Good Shepherd from Chaupimolino, Ecuador to do VBS in two towns, Borja (in the morning) and Baeza (in the afternoon). Ninety plus children in each area participated in VBS this year where Gospel was clearly presented.
VBS 2014 Ministry Team
Baeza area children
New friends were made
Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes were handed out at the end of VBS.

Children went home with the Gospel in hand 

Interaction with children
Face and hand painting was a hit
God's love was shared
Hearts were changed
Ministry with purpose in Borja
Borja Children

It was an emotionally charged, fun-filled week that left us all exhausted but so blessed knowing God will continue the work begun in hearts and lives. Thank you so much for your partnership in ministry to the people of the areas of Borja, Baeza and surrounding areas.


Summer's beginnings 2014

El Maestro
Summer began with preparations for teams and for VBS 2014 in Borja and Baeza. Cleaning, preparation for painting and cement work needed to be done and work days also provided fellowship. 
Prep work for painting



An energetic group from Tennessee arrived to do a variety of ministry activities to bring encouragement to San Francisco de Borja and to the church in Baeza. Pastor Clay, with Dan's translation help brought a Family Conference to Baeza.

Pastor Clay and Pastor Dan


20 care packages were purchased and delivered to needy families in Borja

A room needed for VBS in Baeza was painted




An evangelistic program was held at the Double Amor School for children with special needs. The Gospel was shared through a painting and Samaritan Purse Operation Christmas Child provided shoeboxes for the students of the school. There were lots of happy faces that day and parents were given time to share their stories and were prayed with.

Your ministry in prayer and giving is vital! We appreciate your sacrifice in bringing the Gospel many here in the Oriente.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

4/14 Window in Ecuador

Of the 14 million people in Ecuador approximately 4,900,000 are within the 4/14 window. They are within the ages of four to fourteen years old. These statistics were provided by APEN, the Latin equivalent of the organization Child Evangelism Fellowship. A child evangelism training was held at the Baeza church last Friday through Sunday. This training provided a personal challenge to each person in attendance and also equipped individuals in how to present the Gospel to children. It was a challenge to the church and families to take responsibility for raising children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, a goal that affects not only the eternity of children but of generations to come.

The workshop was very motivational to me and I am finding myself being even more intentional with the children I am working with here in our home. Yesterday, before doing homework help I shared the Gospel using the Bible and Antoni's and José-Luis' hands as an illustration. I asked if they wanted to pray to receive Jesus. Antoni prayed a prayer that would break your heart confessing specific sins, asking Jesus to forgive him for his disobedience and inviting Jesus to be with him. He'll need lots of your prayers because he is in a very difficult home situation. I gave him the  Bible book of John to take with him and he said he was going to read the whole thing last night. Antoni and his brother have been super challenging to work with as no reinforcement for learning occurs in the home along with other challenges they face. Please join me in prayer for Antoni, 11, and José-Luis, 6, as Antoni's decision begins a new chapter in their young lives.


We are in the planning stage for VBS to be held in Borja and Baeza August 4-8. Your financial gifts are providing materials for this important event impacting the lives of children. Thank you for your participation in prayer and giving in your ministry through us here in the Napo Area of Ecuador. Children are depending on you!


Friday, May 30, 2014

"God brought you here for me"

Finding housing in San Francisco de Borja was challenging in 2013. For two months we made weekly trips to Borja from Pifo staying with friends or in a hotel to continue established discipleships and visits. Housing was available and ready the end of June and that's when we met our landlady, Martha and her five children. Our relationship was cordial at first but over the next months doing the things we normally do Martha expressed interest in attending the weekly Bible study. The family began attending in September of last year and continues faithfully since. It has been a process of genuinely searching for truth from God's Word over months and months that God has revealed himself to Martha and four of her children. They now understand God's plan of salvation and are bringing others to learn the truth. Martha asked for tracts this week. 

Martha said, " I know God brought you here for me." 

May God be praised for His work in bringing people to Himself. Thank you for taking ownership in our ministry together (you and us) by your faithful prayers and financial gifts.


Praise for:
  1. Maria has come 2x to Bible study.
  2. The seniors have been very attentive to the teaching of God's Word.
  3. We had a good trip to Chillanes, Diana shared with a group of ladies.
  4. The good response to the teaching of God's Word in Baeza.
  5. Ivan was saved through a gospel radio broadcast.
  6. An evangelism workshop was held in Baeza.
  7. We participated in a Children's program in Baeza using Operation Christmas Child.           
Prayer for:
  1. More understanding of the Gospel in Borja.
  2. Commitment to the Lord in Borja.
  3. Salvation of Avram.
  4. Cornelio,Jessica & son to be restored to the Lord and to each other.
  5. Growth and commitment for the believers in Baeza.
  6. Planning for three groups coming to our area this summer.
  • video_iconQuestions about the “better way” approach? Check out these videos.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

April Showers

April not only brought lots of rain to our area of Ecuador. We enjoyed some special showers in the form of blessings. Please read on.

"Will you teach me to pray?" was a request from our friend Maria*. On our trip to and from Tena we talked about prayer using Matthew 6, the first step being connected to the Father. Please continue to pray for her salvation.

PTL! for the salvation of Luis and Amanda. Those of you from Tennessee who ate maito (fish) at their restaurant, Quinde Huayco, will remember them. Please keep praying for them as they continue in discipleship with Wilmer, the elder of the Baeza church.

"What is this about the books?" asked our friend Betty* in the study last night. She was referring to the verses in Revelation where it says the books were opened, then refers to the names written in the Lamb's Book of Life. It was a new teaching for the group and seemed to have a great impact on them. The tears were pouring down her face as the study came to a close with prayer. Please keep praying for our friend who is very committed to her traditional faith and is even a Bible teacher within her traditional church.

Testimony of a Colombian man who was saved through the faithful witness of an elder of the Baeza church: " I was given away as a baby. I lived with ten different families before I was 18 years old. At that age I went to meet my real mother. No one taught me about the Word of God until I came to Baeza. I am so thankful for the Pastors here in Baeza who are teaching God's Word. Through them I know God and I believe in Jesus."

Dan and others traveled to Tena to pick up 500+ Samaritan Purse boxes for distribution in this part of the country. Churches are planning programs where the Gospel will be given prior to the distribution. The church in Baeza has a program planned for the 4th of May. Please pray God will use this event to reach children and their families with the Gospel. Your financial gifts are helping pay the $1 per box donation to facilitate the release of the boxes from customs and costs of transportation within Ecuador.

Adult Sunday School class began April 26th in Baeza. Dan is teaching the "One Anothers" series. One woman stated, "This is the first time in 20 years I have attended a Sunday School class." I am offering a children's class at the same time using the Mailbox Club International series "Explorers of the Bible".

After two months of meeting with Eddy*, he gave testimony of receiving Jesus as his Savior. Thank you for praying and please continue to pray for him as he continue his journey as a new believer.

Dan gave a Bible reflection on "counting your days"at the seniors Birthday party recently where 60 were in attendance. We have been privileged to be a part of this Borja group for three years now. Weekly Dan is sharing the Gospel using the parables and other passages of the Bible. 

Thank you so much for your partnership with us through your prayers and giving. We appreciate you!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Orchestrated by Him

Through a series of events God has orchestrated a ministry team here in the Napo area of Ecuador.  In November of 2013 we were scheduled to help a team from Tennessee here in Borja, but due to the birth of Karen's twins we were not in Ecuador. The team traveled to Ecuador anyway and during that time they visited a small church in a neighboring community, Baeza. After their trip they encouraged us to visit the small group of believers saying they could use encouragement and also help in ministry. In December we visited the church, met with leaders and began attending services. It has been beautiful to see the heart desire of this group of believers to disciple others to come to know Christ and grow in their walk with God. It has provided sweet fellowship and companionship in our ministry endeavor in this part of Ecuador. We love and appreciate them.

"We should all get on our knees and ask God for forgiveness," exclaimed one woman from Baeza. "He had to send foreign missionaries to evangelize the town of Borja and here we are one town away.

As we share stories of discipleship it has been been inspiring. In one case we were telling of witnessing to a local carpenter. They said, "You know him!?" Come to find out they had lead his estranged wife and younger son to the Lord! It is always an encouragement to know God is actively using His people to bring others to Himself. Mutual encouragement with Baeza believers will assure we will all go forward in the pursuit of making disciples.
Tenn. pastors training leaders in Baeza

Thank you for your partnership in Crossworld's ministry team to Ecuador and continuing to pray souls will be saved and we all will remain faithful in the task God has called us to.




Friday, February 28, 2014

God Given Opportunities

Local and Foreign English teachers
We witnessed what God is doing through those willing to step out and serve Him here in Ecuador this past week. Many thanks to Jonathan, Mark, Chris and Clay for their willingness to leave their families and the comforts of home. The group had already established an English teaching opportunity in the local high school during previous trips to San Francisco de Borja. We actually met them for the first time this trip.



Praise the Lord for two days of HS English classes given last week. We paired off into three teaching groups and gave 5 classes each. Dan and I had a great time sharing our stories with students and one of the teachers. It is an answer to prayer to have opportunity to connect with the youth of this area. The school is lacking two English teachers at this time. Would you pray about joining us; teaching English as a second language? 




Saturday, February 1, 2014

February Praise and Prayer


Praise the Lord Enid is studying the Bible and doing "My New Life in Christ Lessons".

Dan is preaching the next two Sundays in Baeza. Pray he will effectively communicate God's word to those in attendance.

Pray for the weekly Bible study in Borja. We have been reconnecting with families and are learning of many difficult circumstances people are facing. Please pray these difficulties will bring spiritual growth and a desire to love Jesus as never before.

Please pray I (Diana) will have balance in helping people socially and spiritually. Many have physical needs right now.

Pray for Clay, Mark and Jonathan coming from Tenn. in Feb to help teach english in the Catholic High School; give leadership classes to a group of believers in Baeza and connect with us in ministry here in Borja. 

God's Hand has been witnessed in the all that transpired in Mikala's development, birth and death. May God be praised for His provision to the family. He has provided spiritual, emotional and tangible support. Thank you all for letting God use you in this way. We appreciate you tremendously. We look forward to blessings God has in store for us as we continue to follow His leading. Thank you for your prayers and please keep praying for our family, especially Mark and Alicia, as we continue to process the separation from Mikayla. It is still difficult spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The God of Comfort

From our son Mark:

Monday December 30th 2013 6:30 AM: Mikayla is not coming home. Her blood pressure is not good and she is maxed out on all her medication. We are thankful for some time with her this morning. We will get to hold her and love her after we take her off her medicines and breathing machine. Thanks for your prayers.

Mikayla passed away that morning at 9:25. She is with Jesus. We got to hold her for her last minutes with us. Thank you for your prayers.

Mark and Alicia

We arrived back in Maine that Monday afternoon. Our hearts heavy, we are so glad to know the God of all comfort. We got to hold little Mikayla but she had already left this earth. What a precious little bundle, until that glorious day when we will meet again. We are loving hugs from the grandchildren these days.

Please pray For Mark and Alicia in this time of loss and for wisdom in decisions that are needed to made in the next few days. Alicia is recovering from a C-section and also taking preventive treatments for a superficial blood clot in her leg.

Psalm 136:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

Dan and Diana