Transition to a New Chapter!
Jul29

Transition to a New Chapter!

Some of the Manta Team before an event Edi and Bagner working hard at a refugee camp Noemi and Mariana playing with the kids at a refugee camp Mariana and I before Church The Manta team threw us a goodbye party Friends, Family and Supporters, Although many of you are already aware, Justin and I are officially announcing that we will be returning to the United States on August 11th. We had plans to stay here in Quito until September, but due to my grandmother’s death and memorial service plans, have changed. We have completed our two year agreement with Extreme Nazarene Missions and are excited to announce that we will be starting a new chapter in our lives. We are still seeking out God’s guidance and direction in this new chapter and would welcome your prayers in the realm of decisions that will come with this time of transition. The past two years have been filled with many memories, new friends and experiences. I am glad we could share most of them with you on this blog and if you would like to hear more we would love to catch a coffee with you sometime. Please just send us a personal email at [email protected] if you would like to get a hold of us. If you are currently donating, we are asking that you could end your donations after the month of August, as we will still be working stateside until the official end of our contract. If you are still feeling called to give monetarily to a missionary or missionaries, please know there is need. Justin and I were able to spend the past few weeks with the Manta church plant, which is only four weeks old. There are six South Americans on the team who could use monthly or even one time support. The cost to keep them on the field winning hearts for Christ is $250 per month, but even a small donation of $5 per month makes a huge difference. Please follow the link to read their profiles and donate: https://www.extremenazarene.org/location/manta/ The names of the 40/40 missionaries needing monthly support are: Edi Gallegos, Wagner Preciado, Isaac Rodriguez, Mishell Soriano, Mariana Ojeda and Noemi Galarza. You can find their profiles on the link...

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Last Weekend’s Relief Effort
May22

Last Weekend’s Relief Effort

In about a month, the Manta team training here in Quito will officially move to Manta to begin their ministry in planting a Nazarene church. In the meantime, the coast of Ecuador has been crippled by after shocks following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake last month.   This last weekend, I helped lead a ministerial response team to Manta. The streets looked different two weeks after the first visit. People who were able to return to their houses from the street had done so and temporary shelters had been organized for the homeless. Because we were not able to leave until Friday afternoon, we arrived late at night to one of these temporary shelters. This particular shelter was unable to hold enough, so the adjacent street was lined with those who slept outside underneath materials they had scavenged to use as tarp coverings.   We unloaded the bus and started an evangelism event right in the middle of the street. The children were especially happy to have something to do. We gave out around 50 necessity kits, along with many prizes and Bibles.   At the end of the program, each family was prayed over by one of our missionaries.   During the day on Saturday we went to do “visits”. The last time we were in Manta, we collected contact information of people who came to our events and were interested in the church. We were then able to visit these families on Saturday. Many of the families asked for necessities such as medication, diapers, baby formula or drinking water. Led by the 40/40 missionaries, we visited each family and even gained new contacts. I watched as one of our young 40/40 missionaries shared the salvation story with about twenty women outside our bus, she prayed with them and collected their contact information so she can meet with them individually when she arrives to Manta next month.   Saturday afternoon was probably the highlight. We went to another temporary camp set up. About thirty tents stood in an empty lot. It was hard to imagine that families had been living in these tents for about a month and will continue to do so. On Saturday, we were joined by youth from the city of Guayaquil.   The youth put on an amazing performance with interactive dances and games for the kids. Towards the end of the program, our pastor gave a message of hope and salvation in Christ. Everyone at the event gathered with their families and once again each of us missionaries picked a family to pray with.   Unfortunately, there was no “medical clinic” this time like was planned....

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Earthquake
Apr17

Earthquake

As many of you have probably already seen on the news, last night Ecuador was hit with a 7.8 major earthquake.  Though, 100 miles away from the epicenter, Justin and I most definitely felt the earthquake as we huddled in our doorframe.  At the moment, the death toll on the coast continues to rise.  Though currently at 238 dead and over 1500 injured, I am sure those numbers will have increased by the time you read this.  To give you an idea, some scientists believe this earthquake was 6 times as large as the one in Japan.  We are grateful to say that all members of Extreme Nazarene Missions are safe and accounted for. Even after the earthquake, there have been many mudslides hindering rescue efforts.  Because of “el niño” the forecast shows more rains meaning more mudslides.  There have been many reports of looting and overall fear and devastation. Manta, is one of the cities hit hard by this deadly natural disaster.    I am glad to say God has a perfect plan. I had plans to be in Manta this weekend, but had postponed these plans until this coming weekend.  Extreme Nazarene is currently planning on planting our next church in this hard hit city.  The team is currently in Quito training to be deployed in July. Extreme Nazarene is planning to send a relief team from Quito to Manta sometime this coming week.  Justin and I will be part of these relief efforts. This week there are many things you can be in prayer for.  Please pray for the people of the areas affected.  Pray for family members who have lost loved ones.  Pray for those who are now homeless or without their businesses.  Pray for Extreme as we decide our best response.  Pray for people providing relief and their safety....

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A Testimony of God’s Freedom
Mar28

A Testimony of God’s Freedom

A while back, I had the opportunity to interview Doris and write this article about her testimony.  Though, it will come out later via Extreme Nazarene, I thought it a good reminder of what Jesus has done and relevant today Easter Sunday. Doris Rodriguez A Testimony of God’s Freedom On Sunday morning, the doors to the “Puerta Abierta” (Open Door) Church of the Nazarene stand open.  Over the noise of the buses and semi-trucks passing by, the sound of worship carries through the open doors and into the dusty streets of Ibarra.  Through the crowded worship service and over the hands raised in exaltation, Doris sings, proudly proclaiming the love of God.  With eyes closed and hands raised, her voice rings out as she leads the worship team in the Sunday morning service.     Doris is one of the first church members and leaders of the Ibarra Open Door Church of the Nazarene.  Though many members of the new church plant came through the open doors as unbelievers, blind to the miracles of God, Doris could already speak of the God who changed the lives of her family.  This church leader’s testimony of a changed heart begins many years before the church began in 2013.   Doris is native to the Ibarra area.  She was raised and lives now in the nearby city of San Antonio.  According to the Ecuadorian National Institute of Statistics and Census, 80% of Ecuadorians claim Catholicism as their religion, and as a child Doris accepted being a part of this large statistic.  She lived among seven other siblings and a mother who insisted they all adopt the cultural beliefs of Catholicism.  Though Doris never felt personally connected to God through the Catholic faith, she followed the popular beliefs of a lost society. Growing up in such a large family, Doris watched as her siblings graduated high school and began working in the community.  Not considering a high school diploma necessary or important to her future, Doris chose to drop out before graduation.  She married her husband Jose Luis and began a family and business together selling the delicious cakes she bakes from her own kitchen. Though never important to her before, Doris and her husband’s Catholic heritage became key when the struggles began.  Her husband became very ill and as Doris explains, “on the edge of sanity.”  Braving the long lines and expenses, Jose Luis went to multiple physicians who all declared him healthy.  Though he showed many signs of mental illness and felt as if he were going insane, no physician had an answer for them.  He continued to struggle.   Not knowing...

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Our Trip to Tena
Mar21

Our Trip to Tena

A few weekends ago we had the opportunity to get away and relax a little in the jungles of Ecuador. It was a wonderful weekend and it really was needed to take a break from the day to day. For the most part things are normal with myself working on translating the website and starting to build a mobile application for the 40/40 missionaries. Krista has been keeping busy managing the day to day of the office and apartment building that we are using for training. She also has taught a few of the training sessions for the 40/40 missionaries (time management, and health so far). For prayer we can always use it for our ministry here and for continued motivation and encouragement, but more specifically for Krista. For the second time now in the last year she has had some neck problems.   The doctor as of yet does not think it is a big deal, but it has been something that has been on our minds. So would love to have further prayer for her health and that the doctor will have clear direction in how to move forward.   Check out a short video of our trip...

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First Local Run Medical Clinic
Feb21

First Local Run Medical Clinic

In September, I was sitting in church trying to pay attention to the message, but the truth is a huge conviction came over me.  I had a ton of medical stuff including unexpired medications sitting in my office and I had still yet to use them.  A long time before this, I had talked about and wanted to do medical clinics using local physicians, but this had never come to volition.  Unfortunately, there have been many times where I have not followed my convictions.  I have not listened to the still calm voice inside of me and chosen to ignore it.  This time, I did not.  I waited in line for my Pastor and I told him that if he could find a physician, I had the equipment and meds to do a medical clinic within the church. A while later my Pastor came back to me and said he could not find anyone.  I was discouraged and had no idea what to do with what I felt God was telling me.  I got busy with my work and time went by.  The medications sat and haunted me.  After Christmas, Pastor walked directly up to me after service and introduced me to one of the church members.  Through Eric, pastor had found possibly a couple of physicians willing to make this outreach possible. After that, things happened fast.  Yesterday, the Carcelen Church opened its doors to the first evangelism event medical clinic.  Of course there were some hiccups, but overall it was an amazing experience for all.  Though there was no advertising done before hand, all we needed was a loud speaker resulting in around 100 patients.  We not only had two physicians, but also a counselor, four nurses, an orthodontist student and dentist as well.  It took a lot of people to make the event work and I was blessed  to practice my nursing skills in the triage while church members ran the show. I have no idea of the seeds that were planted yesterday, but I know God has a plan.  Overall, I think it was obvious to the community that the church was their to serve, listen and to love them.  There are a lot of people who made this possible.  My church back home donated Bibles, in which we handed out several, the short term teams who have come in the past and donated medicines and medical equipment, the medical team that included locals as well as missionaries, church members and Extreme missionaries who saw it through,a pastor who believed in what God was telling me, and most of all God for His grace, love and provisions....

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