September 25, 2009

162nd Church Organized in Ecuador

A full house excitedly gathered at the Centro de AdoraciĆ³n Norte (North Center of Adoration) on Sunday, 9/20, to celebrate the official organization of this church located in the Sierra Centro District in Riobamba, Ecuador. Field Strategy Coordinator Dwight Rich and District Superintendent Mario Paredes presided over the ceremony.

Because a focus on children’s ministry has been a major thrust for this church, the service included the children. A group of children gave a beautiful performance to the song “Mande la Luz” (Send the Light). The children’s director in the church also called the 120 children in attendance up to the front for exhortation and prayer. (See photos 1 & 2.)

Pastor Wilson and Paula Paredes were installed as the pastors as part of the ceremony. They received communion and they took an oath to fulfill the obligations of leading an organized church in the Church of the Nazarene. The leaders of the church were also called forward and were prayed over as part of the installation. (See photos 3 & 4.)

What a day of celebration! The church thanked all of the many people who have helped them arrive at this day: the many Work & Witness teams that have helped build the building; the NILI ministry teams that have painted walls and built furniture; and many others who have invested in their church, including their own church people. Recently one of the NILI-Professional students painted murals in the church. In photo 5, you’ll see a cross she painted which greets attendees as they enter the church. Pastor Wilson acknowledged God’s blessings upon their church and is looking forward to a bright future as they minister to their part of the world.

September 13, 2009

The Sierra Norte District Unites!

God manifested His Spirit when the Sierra Norte District of Quito, Ecuador, gathered together last Sunday morning for special time of worship and prayer. Members from 31 of the 33 churches on the district attended the celebration. An estimated crowd of 1600 people united, with over 300 children from the ages of 4-10 enjoying their own activities on the soccer field. There was standing room only, with many more spilling out into the area in front of the Tabernacle.

Rev. Dwight Rich, Field Strategy Coordinator for the North Andean Field, preached on the theme: “Holiness in times of crisis.” Several different Quechuan choirs praised God in song, while several children’s groups praised Him in dance. From the first note of the first song, it was obvious that people had come together to praise and seek the Lord. And God met their needs as they overflowed the altar area at end of the service.

Because many of the attendees traveled over two hours to get to the service, people enjoyed the food booths set up outside of the Tabernacle, along with the services of the Nazarene Publishing House. We praise God for this wonderful service that brought the Sierra Norte District together.

September 10, 2009

Testimony of Presley Esteves

My name is Presley Esteves. I am 23 years old, and I study at the Nazarene Theological Seminary. My family moved to a new house when I was six. Shortly afterwards, the pastor from the nearby Church of the Nazarene visited my parents and asked their permission for me to attend Sunday School. My first day at that church is a day I will remember forever. I fell in love with God. Even at that young age, I felt that I had found what I was searching for. Even though no one in my family was a believer, I was drawn to church and to God. At nine, I began attending the worship services in addition to Sunday School. My desire was to seek God’s presence and to draw close to Him, and I grew in my faith. At 13, I was baptized; I consecrated my life completely to the Lord; and I was called to preach the gospel. I wished to please Him and felt the need to share with the lost that there is a God that loves them and wants to reconcile with them through Jesus Christ.

I am very happy that God has given me the opportunity to prepare myself academically so that I can serve Him in excellence and can communicate His Word with great effectiveness, using the gifts and capabilities that He has given me for His service.

In a world that lacks the knowledge of the Word of God, where there exists deteriorating families, children in the streets, destroyed marriages, mistreated women, and where injustice, immorality and corruption exists, God has annointed me for the challenge—whatever there is to confront. I have no fear because my strength is in the power of Jesus Christ. The reason for which I fight is this—that His Kingdom may be established in every nation, tribe, city, community, church and family. My heart longs to see His Kingdom established in all of the Earth. The Lord has trusted me with this work to proclaim His Word, and I am completely sure that I was born to serve Him. I was set apart and I carry this mark with pride because the Lord is my banner. I will always fight for the cause of Christ. Isaiah 61:1-4.