September 23, 2010

The Testimony of Carmen Nieves


My name is Carmen Nieves López. I am Ecuadorian and 29 years old.  I grew up on a farm working in the fields.  Although my parents were Catholic, I came to know about Christ when I was 14 years old.  However, I was a rebellious teenager who wanted to dance and go out with my friends more than obey my parents.  I felt like my parents tried to control me too much.  To escape from home, I went to a Bible Study on Saturdays even though I didn't want to listen.  

All of that changed when I turned 15.  My mother had a tumor in her uterus and was very sick.  We all thought she would die.  I watched how women from the church would bring us the Word of God and would sing with her every Saturday.  On Good Friday 1997, I gave my life to God--for real this time.  I told God that I would give my life in exchange for my mother's if He would heal her.  During the next year, she had surgery to remove the tumor.  When she got out of the hospital, I dedicated myself to taking care of her completely, and I did for 2 years. Thanks be to God that she is healed and is with us still.

Since then I have dedicated my life to Christ completely.  At age 22, I started attending the Church of the Nazarene and started working with children in Sunday School.  The pastors opened the doors to the church and their home to me.  I met a missionary that helped me discover my call--to be a missionary especially to children.  As time passed, I felt a stronger need to prepare myself in this area, and the leaders started talking to me about the Nazarene Seminary.  So now I am at the Seminary studying and preparing myself to serve the Kingdom of God.


The Riches: 25 Years of Faithful Missionary Service

The following is an English translation of the article published on South America Regional website (www.samnaz.org):

The South America Region would like to recognize and congratulate Rev. Dwight and Carolyn Rich for their 25 years of faithful missionary service in Ecuador.  Their dedication to missions and the church is an example of what it means to have a heart for missionary service.  They are missionaries who help the Church of the Nazarene accomplish the call of Christ to go into all the world.

The Riches live in Quito, Ecuador, where Dwight is the Field Strategy Coordinator for the North Andean Field and Carolyn serves in the Seminary and the Field Office.  The Riches have two adult children:  Bryan (with Jen, his wife) and Stefanie.

Thank you Dwight and Carolyn for all that you have done for the Kingdom, the Church of the Nazarene and the South American Region.

September 17, 2010

NILI Ministry Week Full of Service and Blessings

We are so thankful for the successful ministry week the NILI staff and students recently experienced.  God used them to share His love through ministry events and community service.
One of the unique indigenous nations on the Pacific cost of Ecuador is the Tsáchila, also called the Colorado.  Their distinctive appearance includes the painted faces of the people and the red-painted hair of the men.  On Saturday, the group painted a church at Congóma, a Tsáchila village. While they were there, they were able to share lunch with a Colorado man and learned about his tribe and culture.




On Sunday, they participated in the church service at the church on the Nazarene campgrounds in Santo Domingo.  The NILI group sang the hymn Great Is Your Faithfulness, and Lucy Olivo (Assistant to the NILI Director) preached a wonderful message to encourage the church.  After her sermon, the students performed a skit about all of the sins and problems that tempt us away from God.  To see a video of their skit, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_QZrIFRdmM.  During the altar call, four people accepted Christ as their Savior.  God was present and moved an in a great way during the morning service.
Monday through Wednesday they worked in the Juan Elujio 1 community.  They painted the church and worked on the foundation of a cistern.  As a part of the Compassion International program, this church’s cistern is a huge help to the community because the neighborhood doesn’t have any water except for what is delivered in a tank truck.  While working, they also fell in love with the local children, many of which would come to the church after school asking the NILIs to play with them.  The NILIs held a Wednesday night service in the church.  Josue, one of the NILI students, preached and the other students sang and performed their drama.

On Thursday, they painted a church in Juan Elujio 2, which was the former church of one of our Seminary students.  Once again, there was no running water, but they did have a well.  Although the novelty of sending down a bucket and pulling it up to get water was fun for a day, the NILIs quickly realized how difficult and tedious this would be all the time.
On Friday, they enjoyed a day of fun and relaxation at the hacienda (farm) owned by the family of Evelyn Rodriguez, NILI Director of Spanish.  They loaded into the back of a large truck, ducking palm branches and enjoying the amazing views of the hacienda.  They then hiked to two waterfalls and had a picnic lunch after a bit of swimming!  They tasted a lot of new fruits, cacao (from which chocolate comes) passion fruit, and mandarins.  It was a special day to enjoy God’s creation and the great diversity of His creation in Ecuador.  On the trip back to Quito, they visit Mindo, a small town in the rain forest, and toured a butterfly garden and a chocolate factory.

The students saw God at work in their lives and those around them during this trip.  The NILIs gained a new understanding of what it means to be the body of Christ and of service.  We pray that God will continue to work in their lives and to develop their gifts and talents as they focus on Him.

September 10, 2010

Now Is the Time of Salvation


Young, indigenous children acting out the daily chores of tradition life during a choral presentation.

Rev. Dwight & Carolyn Rich being honored for 25 years of missionary service in Ecuador.

Music, preaching and praise spilled out into the streets of northern Quito as over 1500 people gathered for a joint worship service on Sunday, Sept 5.  Almost all of the 33 churches on the Sierra North District in Ecuador participated in worship service, which focused on uniting the District through worship and prayer.

Rev. Eduardo Gonzales of Guayaquil brought the message, “Now is the time of salvation.”  He admonished the crowd to reach the lost all around them.  Through the Holy Spirit working through our lives and through our churches, now is the time to act.  Hundreds accepted his closing challenge as they made their way to the altar for a time of prayer and commitment.

The service was also a celebration in many ways.  Rev. Dwight & Carolyn Rich were honored for 25 years of missionary service in Ecuador.  They received a beautiful plaque of appreciation, a large flower bouquet and a standing ovation from the congregation.  The Riches serve as the Field Strategy Coordinators for the North Andean Field.

The Sierra North District is comprised of several indigenous people groups, many of which performed in different choirs, bands and folk dancing during the service.  One such choir included all ages, and the young children acted out the traditional chores of their daily lives.  After the service, many churches provided lunch so everyone enjoyed a special time of joint fellowship.

We praise God for this special time of unification between the churches, and for His special message to His people.