November 26, 2010

A Double Blessing from the Missouri District: 10/15 through 11/13

The Missouri District sent two teams to Ecuador to work on the Barb Bouldrey memorial project.  Barb had a great passion for missions and dedicated many years of service as the NMI director for the MO District.  She was well loved, respected and lived a full life until cancer quickly took her to be with her Lord.

Team One
Team Two

Both teams accomplished a lot as they worked with the Quichua people in the mountains outside of Riobamba in the Sierra Centro District.  They worked with the Licto church people in a small village of Licto.  Once the Licto church was completed with roof and electricity, they had time to go further up the mountain and help another Quichua church, called Gueseche, to get their foundation started.  The teams experienced God’s beauty all around them and the blessing of working alongside the indigenous people and sharing some of their day-to-day life with them.  The church people graciously offered what little they had, which included guinea pig (cuy), corn on the cob (choclo), big large beans, and homemade cheese.  Another church served potatoes and onions in a bean sauce (sambo) and more cuy.  They were so generous with their food.

Licto Church - finished
Gueseche Church - in progress

In addition to the construction projects, the teams evangelized the local children after school.  They shared the evange-ball, evange-cube and acted out stories of the Bible along with playing games with them.  Their favorite game was soccer.
Pastor Andrus praying at Kids Club
Rev. Wayne LaForce preaching and Jon Fischer translating at a service.
Wayne is also a former missionary.

The teams also visited churches around the Riobamba area, and several of team members preached.  Rev. John Boudrey, husband of Barbara Bouldrey, preached at the dedication service of the Licto church.  He was thrilled to report that several people prayed for salvation after the service.  One night after attending church way up on another mountain, the teams had to drive down a very steep, slick mountain road.   God made His presence ever so real through different team members singing and praying all the way down the mountain.  One memory never to be forgotten was when two church ladies knelt down on the ground and looked up into the sky during our circle of closing prayer.

Another memory was meeting Lillia, a 9-year-old girl, and inviting her to come to Kids Club.   She had a little bundle on her back—her one-month-old brother that she was taking care while her mother worked.  Her mother was helping to put a roof on a building nearby.  The little brother slept through all the singing and the games.  Yet another memory is sharing the story of salvation to over 50 children in the “upper room” during the church service.  Their faces beamed with joy as they participated in the dramas.

Lillia and some boys

Praise God for the youth that was on both teams.  One teen dedicated his life to Christ during this trip.  Also one of the women expressed that she had never felt God’s presence so real in her life.  Her husband said that he had only heard her testify three times in her life and two of them were during the trip!  We praise God for the double blessing—for the Missouri District teams that blessed the Quichuan people and for the Quichuan people that blessed the teams.

November 04, 2010

Testimony of Erika Chavez

I was born into a poor family with a lot of needs.  When I was only 4 years old, my dad abandoned the family and my mom was left alone to raise 5 daughters.  At 15, I joined a youth gang where I was trained to perform armed robbery, drink alcohol, and kill if necessary.  Being abandoned by my father began to affect me more when I saw all the needs of our family and all the work my mom had to do just to maintain our lives.  I decided to steal full time, but this brought me many more problems with my mom and my sisters.  During this time, I met a young man named Luis Chila who became my boyfriend.  He was an alcoholic and this brought us many more problems to the point that we separated and gave up on the ‘family’ we were trying to form.  He didn’t know that I had decided to kill myself.  I tried to kill myself twice but without success.

How did I come to know Christ?  My idea to simply vanish was lying dormant in me.  I reconciled with my boyfriend, Luis, and we went back to living together but it was like living in hell.  One day we were invited to an outing where they talked about the love of God and the help that God has for our lives.  These words dug deep into my heart and we decided to give our lives to Christ Jesus.

One of the changes that God brought about in my life was that I left behind my life of crime.  I married Luis and we started to attend faithfully a cell group and church.  We started to work to further the Kingdom of God on this earth and especially in our country.

We gave our entire lives to God and we started working on a strategy to invite people to a cell group meeting.  At that meeting we introduced them to Christ, then we would disciple them.  I am so grateful to God for what He did in my life.  I hope that this testimony is helpful to you.  I also hope that if you don’t have Christ in your heart that you would receive Him.  You don’t know what you are missing.  If you feel lonely, He will always be there to console you.  Christ waits with arms wide open.  It is only a question of whether or not you will let him into your life.