April 21, 2016

Donation Page

This is a donation page set up for anyone who would like to help in the efforts of the Church of the Nazarene in helping with the earthquake victims.  100% of your donation goes to the Church of the Nazarene. 

Ecuador Relief to Jama

Visit to Jama
District Superintendent of the Ecuador North Coast District

It has been so difficult to make any kind of an assessment due to the collapse of the road system.  On Sunday, April 17, the morning following the 7.8 earthquake we attempted to make it to the most affected cities and towns where we have Nazarene congregations.  Jama was on the list but the roads were impassable.

On Monday, April 18, after hours of work we decided to try again to make it to Jama.  We were told that the only way to get there was with 4 Wheel drive and that was not within our possibilities.

On Tuesday, April 19, and remember there has been no telephone contact within that entire area since the earthquake, we decided that one way or another we were going to make it to Jama.  The road was to take us through Pedernales but when we arrived within 20 Kms. of that town, we found that the traffic was backed up bumper to bumper all the way into town and the road would not be opened until midnight.We began to investigate for an alternate route and discovered that if we backtracked about an hour, we could take a torturous country road.  It was raining furiously the whole way but we finally pulled into Jama.

We went from shelter to shelter questioning if anyone knew where Pastor Servio Macías might be.  Someone finally told us he was in a shelter with a big group of people at the top of a very difficult hill to climb.

It was 10:30 PM when we dragged ourselves over the top to find a number of temporary shelters made from plastic stretched across rough poles.  Under a black plastic covering we found Pastor Servio with his wife and 5 children.  It was an emotional reunion!  When he saw us his face broke into a smile and we all embraced one another.  We were impacted by his unbreakable spirit and his firm faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

We were all reduced to tears as the pastor told us how the rented 3 story church building had collapsed to the ground.  The evening of the earthquake, a bit before 7 PM, ten people had already arrived to pray for the service. When the shaking began, 6 were able to race out the door and into the street.  Four were buried under the building.  The pastor, who had not arrived yet, turned around and rushed home first to check on his family and then came to the church to find to his utter despair that the church had collapsed and that four were trapped inside. 

They found flashlights and began to peer inside as best they could with the hopes of being able to rescue their brothers and sisters.  There was a small opening of 12 to 16 inches wide and a passerby offered to try to fit inside to see how he could help.  He was able to clear the debris off the two children and they pulled 12-year old Diego and his 13-year old sister out alive.

It was too late for Brother Colofito Avila Intriago and his wife Lidia Paredes. Apparently Lidia had died instantly.  Colofito could be heard screaming for help for a few minutes.  The next day both bodies were recovered from under the church.

Brother Israel Vélez was riding his motorcycle taxi from the beach towards the town when the earthquake occurred and he lost control and suffered a fatal crash.

The town people had naturally set up the shelters on high ground because of the fear of a tsunami.  We shared the provisions of food and water that we brought.  That night at 2 AM, Pastor Servio Macías preached a powerful sermon to all in the shelter with several city authorities present.  The Word has been planted in the hearts of all those who were lucky enough to be in that highest refuge.   

A decision was made to return the next evening, April 20, to show the Jesus Film at 7 PM on top of the highest hill of Jama.  In moments like these, as difficult as they are, there is great hope in our Jesus of the Gospel message!

We made it back home to Santo Domingo at 5 AM.

To be continued…

It was a five hour trip from Santo Domingo to Jama

The people are enjoying prepared food and water that was brought to them. 

DS Santiago is on the left

April 10, 2016

Answered Prayer!

We need to give a shout out to the Lord for several people we have been praying for that have received an answer to their prayers. Thank you for joining us in prayer. 

Maria Soledad Mujica received an answer to prayer this week!  The Larkin Community Hospital in Miami which is her best option for for her cranial tumor procedure accepted her case! She and her family still need to raise the money for her surgery and her trip to Miami which will be $35,000+.  Maria Soledad Mujica is a member of the Los Pozones Church of the Nazarene in Barinas, Venezuela, and also is the local and district Women's Ministries Coordinator.  She and her husband hold a weekly Bible study in their home. 

Pray for Jim Cossairt to gain strength during two weeks more of rest from chemo. Pray for him as he relaxes his mind and body during this time.  In the last test that were run there is no more new cancer.  

Pastor Yuris Correa received his medicines via Federal Express and is home from the hospital after his Thyroid surgery. He is the pastor of the Punta de Mata Church on the First District in Venezuela. Keep him in your prayer that he will be able to find his life-time prescription medicines when he needs them. 

Judy Ryman had her second reconstructive facial of removal of Basal Cell Carcinoma surgery and is home recovering. The doctor said that everything went well.  She is overwhelmed with all the kindness everyone has shown her and her husband and it has been a great time to reflect on God's love and grow deeper into the word.  Judy is a member of the Nazarene Church in Garnett, KS and is the sister of Missionary Shirley Fischer in Ecuador.  

First Organized National Work and Witness Group

Missions is not only Global but in our own communities and the Torre Fuerte Church of the Nazarene from the North Coast District in Santo Domingo, Ecuador caught the vision of missions and organized a Work and Witness team.  The church raised their own money and sent a group of 20 people from their church in a bus over two hours to the Iglesia Valle Hermosa Church of the Nazarene in a small community of the Provence of Manabí. 
Pastor Jefferson Estevez from the Torre Fuerte church had seen the great blessing his church and many other churches had received by Work and Witness teams and he said it was time for his church to give back. The Torre Fuerte church planed and raised money for almost a year and when the scheduled date arrived for their trip it had to be postponed because of flooding in the Manabí area.  This past week end, although it was still raining but not flooded, 30 church people including four people District Superintendent Santiago Bereche brought and Work and Witness Coordinator Jon Fischer worked together to help this little church have their own place to worship again. The congregation had been meeting in little wood building that fell over due to the heavy rains. 
The Torre Fuerte people slept in hot tents on the floor of a near-by church so as to ward off the mosquitoes that could carry the Zika virus that is prevalent on the coast.  They also enjoyed outdoor bucket showers, good seafood and great fellowship working together.  
Work and Witness Coordinator Jon Fischer believes in missions not only around the world but in your own community and has been encouraging the churches in Ecuador to develop Work and Witness teams to help struggling  churches.  Pastor Jefferson invited Missionary Jon to speak at his church to help his church catch the vision that a sending church receives a great blessing.  They caught the vision and raised $1,000 for their trip.  
Although there are churches in Ecuador that encourage and help other churches this is the first organized event to raise their own money and go.  We are encouraged and hope that many more will catch this same vision. Due to the rain there are no pictures available. We hope to have pictures in three weeks when the church returns to help finish.