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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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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Siete Hijos y Pascua (Seven Children and Easter)
Apr06

Siete Hijos y Pascua (Seven Children and Easter)

Saturday, we arrived late afternoon in Ibarra, Ecuador after a scenic bus ride through the mountains.  Jeremías greeted us by saying, “Ustedes tienen siete hijos”  Translated as you both now have seven children.  Far from being children, we are actually here in Ibarra hanging out with a group of 40/40s while the family who lives and serves with them are in the USA on vacation. Ibarra is a smaller city of 139,00 and like a lot of cities here located at the foot of yet another volcano (Imabura).  Do not worry the elevation here is only 7,300 so we are breathing quite well. Saturday night, we went to a local park with the Ibarra group and watched as they put on the Jesus’ film and a drama afterwards.  Many new contacts were gained from the event.  Yesterday, we enjoyed a beautiful and passionate Easter service here in Ibarra.  Seven different people took the pulpit to preach on the seven last words of Jesus.  Once again, the seats were full as both services were combined into one for Easter.  Afterwards, we enjoyed a very American Easter lunch at the 40/40 house consisting of chicken, baked beans, potato and Caesar salads. We are sorry for the late entry.  This next two weeks, we will probably not be sending out blogs in that we will be taking a vacation with the Webster family here in Ecuador.  As far as prayer needed, please be in prayer for our upcoming travels and for the safety of family traveling.  Be praying for us as we are here in Ibarra with the 40/40s.  Please keep them in their prayers as they had a busy week last week with Easter and many other church events.  Keep them in your prayers that they will have rest and be rejuvenated for the weeks and months to come.   Here are some of the pictures we took from the Good Friday procession of the Cucuruchos. Cucuruchos They are basically carrring a telephone poll Barb wire is a common apparel item Many whip themselves with a green plant that causes welts Even Children...

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Church Plant in Ibarra
Mar09

Church Plant in Ibarra

Extreme Nazarene’s Ibarra church plant celebrated its one year anniversary today.  It was an amazing church service to attend.  Justin and I along with others from Quito went to Ibarra to spend the weekend with our brothers and sisters there to celebrate in what God has done through them and the church. Saturday morning started with a children’s event hosted at a local daycare.  The event was full of singing, playing and of course snacks.  About thirty children along with some parents showed up for the shenanigans.  The children were eager to sing and dance with the energetic 40/40 staff.  One of the things that really struck me were some of the older boys from the church (probably between the ages of 11-14) who helped to lead skits and games were overall taking a huge part in the church at very young ages. This event and the next were also used to help train the upcoming 40/40 team set to depart for Cordoba, Argentina in May.  The youth group afterwards set out for a nursing home.  I watched as these young people who one year ago were living much different lives without Christ poured out His love on the people there.  For me, communication was difficult, but I watched as the high schooler and college age students offered prayer, nail painting, hand massages, lotion, card games or just a listening ear or hand to hold. Sunday morning, church was literally packed full.  Myself and other staff members stood outside the door for much of the service, where we could have a full view of this church worshiping together as one.  When one year ago, this building would of been an empty.  Today it was filled with children, adults and young people all worshiping in one spirit.  The church also celebrated its new leaders and those who had committed to beginning or continuing their leadership classes.  In the end, there were four graduated leaders to celebrate (with around 25 others still in classes) and I watched as one cried as the certificate was handed to her, because it was the first “diploma” she had ever received. The church in Ibarra along with its houses of prayers continue to grow.  It is a pleasure to be a part of this organization and to support these people as they impact their community in Ibarra.  This summer I am looking forward to many more opportunities to taking part in this community with the short term teams that are set to come there. Children’s Event Children’s Event Children’s Event Youth at the nursing home Church’s 1st...

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