We have a team of 29 people serving in Baños, Ecuador. Please pray for them as they learn, serve, and build relationships. We are posting updates here and to Facebook as we are able.
It has only really rained on us once on this trip—and that was when we were out touring waterfalls. God has heard our prayers and kept the rain from impacting any of our activities. Praise God! We have heard over and over again that this is not normal during the rainy season. They typically don’t see any blue skies during this month and we have had several sunny, beautiful days.
We invited the youth group and some of the other church volunteers to go along with us on our waterfall tour. It was a great morning together. The power of the waterfalls is incredible.
The evening youth event went well and there was a good turnout of youth (20). We had to set up a few more benches. A number of youth stepped up to do things that they wouldn’t normally do. Frankie gave her testimony. The youth in Ecuador put on an awesome drama. Josue gave his testimony. He was nervous about giving it but delivered it well, and it was very powerful. Carlitos preached, and Carter translated it for him.
In addition, Edgar shared the gospel with a brother of one of the youth tonight. His name is Daniels. Please pray that God will move his heart to be accepting of the message.
The youth group is young in faith, but there are good things happening. Pray for deep connections to be formed within the youth group and for students to grow in faith.
We reconnected with friends and had good, deep conversations. Multiple sweet reunions.
We finished the stair projects and ceiling tile.
We had our second and last day of VBS. We’re grateful for good interaction with the kids and the families.
We played with kids on the basketball courts.
Time was spent serving and encouraging our brothers and sisters.
We wrapped up the day with wonderful conversations around the dinner table and afterwards.
- The couple that Paul invited came to church--a total of 8 new people were at the service tonight.
- The kids had a great time at VBS.
- We got started on some construction projects including replacing a toilet, replacing stair treads, replacing ceiling tiles, fixing the roof, and painting.
- Jill and Suzy pulled together the youth drama - which went really great tonight.
- We had a fun hour of playing volleyball with the youth groups.
- We’ve been praying for friends and having deep conversations.
Paul had some deep conversations today; one with a lady who had rejected Christianity because of some false beliefs that her mom held, and another with Marco who is searching for God.
Praise God Matias has been reunited with his luggage!
The medical clinic was a success. We stayed quite late trying to get more patients in. The clinic was a big draw, and the witnessing in the waiting room was very powerful. Spiritual warfare was happening. Certain people with false beliefs were heavy on Kim’s heart.
Please pray for endurance for the team as they do street witnessing on Wednesday morning. It is hard and tiring.
A two-day VBS also starts Wednesday. We have handed out 700-800 flyers, so are hoping for a good turnout. We don’t want to put God in a box. Lord, bring people and give us creative ideas.
Today was an awesome display of how God brings all things together.
Three of our team ventured into the jungle to conduct a seminar for the pastors in that region. They had each independently chosen their topic…all themed around the faithfulness of God. Their messages were well-received and the attendees expressed hopefulness that another seminar would be planned. The pastors were extremely grateful and surprised with the gift of the food rations that we sent along.
The rest of the group was split between a pop-up medical clinic at the church and street evangelism. One of the groups started talking with a man who looked lonely and sad and invited him to come to the medical ministry at the church. He went, and when Jill took his vital signs at check-in, she discovered that his heart rate and blood pressure were through the roof. Additionally, he was having trouble seeing. Jill quickly realized that he was close to having a stroke and got the team kicked into high gear. We got him to the hospital, where he received a life-saving IV to lower his blood pressure and some medicine to take. We learned that Luis had been in a car accident recently, trying to get paid because the city wasn’t paying his salary, was 9 hours away from home, and had recently been robbed of all his money and his cell phone. We were able to pay for his pharmacy needs, a bus ride home, and a meal for him. We are in awe over how God orchestrated this circumstance--if we hadn’t had such a large group, we would not have had anyone out in the community that day to encounter Luis. Praise God!
Some additional highlights and praises:
- Sara and Suzy have been in sync even through the language barriers. Empathy, compassion, expertise, and prayer.
- Maya, Frankie, Frantzie, and Amaite have been outgoing and bold in inviting people and sharing the gospel.
- Javi stepped up and is now an amateur dental assistant.
- Carlitos, Jill, and Carter were the reception team and kept things moving and organized during chaotic times.
- Carlos had a deep conversation with a teen while on the basketball court was able to talk with him like he was his son.
- Paul gave a devotional out of 1 Corinthians 15:1-6 and reminded us that we should be bold in sharing the testimony of Jesus--not ashamed--because it is the power of God that is on display.
And speaking of saving lives…
Kim was an amazing witness to the people in the waiting room. She had many deep conversations with people and led 5 people to accept Christ.
God is working through His people. Please pray that His mighty plan--a plan bigger than we could imagine--will be accomplished. Father, send Your Holy Spirit. Guide our thoughts, prayers, eyes, feet.
In the Sunday morning service yesterday, Andy shared his testimony, and Edgar gave a powerful sermon/testimony for Father’s Day. He talked about how hard it was to lose his own firstborn son and tied it in beautifully with the strength of God to not withhold His Son when he had the power to protect him.
We then had a meal with the whole church, which was an amazing time to get to know people. It also led to an invite to the basketball court where we played with some of the church members and other people from the community. Jeff got to reconnect with our friend Andres while we were there.
During the evening women’s program, Heather gave her testimony and Kim shared a lesson.
Please pray for the day today. All of our Spanish speakers are going to be very busy. Some of the team will be out on the streets witnessing, and others will be hosting a medical ministry at the church, witnessing to people as they take care of physical needs.
Please pray for Spiritual gifts to be revealed. Thank you for your prayers so far!
Praise God for a smooth travel day and a safe arrival in Baños! After a short night of rest, the team worked on ministry prep: unpacking, practicing, dividing out food for rations, prepping for crafts, and other things. We got a lot of work done.
The youth program in the evening was both a sweet reunion with old friends and a fun introduction to new. The groups from both countries mixed well and it was hard to tear some of the youth apart when we needed to go to dinner—a wonderful problem to have. The interactions after the service were a blessing to watch. It is a good start to the week.