January 29, 2014

New Year in the Jungle

Blessings abounded for the recent Work & Witness team from Gateway Church of the Nazarene in St. Louis, MO.  Former missionaries Stan & Sherri Hall, along with their two children, brought a team of 23 to work on the Nazarene church in Shell, Ecuador.  Under the excellent leadership of missionaries Harrison & Jennifer Guamán, the team met all of its construction goals and had several ministry moments as well.  Our team included 9 college students, 1 high school student and 1 elementary student.  And God showed up to build their faith along the way!

The team worked on the fourth floor of the Shell church.  They put on a roof and built concrete block walls for what will become the church parsonage.  Since the Shell church is the tallest building in Shell, the team had incredible views of the Sangay volcano and the jungle every day they worked.  The Halls have led teams to work on the Shell church before, so it was exciting for them to bring another team to fall in love with Ecuador and to complete a job that’s been in the works for many years.

After Pastor Stan spoke in the morning service, the team worked in children’s church, which included a puppet show, songs, games and treats.  Then the team spent the afternoon at a second location in the jungle holding a kids club and having a mini-baseball camp.  Pastor Angel wanted our team to teach him how to teach baseball to the jungle kids, so they set up various “stations” to teach skills and then ended with a fun game!  The team was welcomed by a little boy and 4 little girls dressed in traditional dress that performed a ceremonial dance and served chicha (the real thing) at the end of their dance.  Working with these children and sharing in their custom impacted the team in a big way!

We also visited Casa de Fe (House of Faith), a local orphanage.  After a tour, the team played with and loved on the children as well as left many gifts behind for the orphanage to use.  New Year’s Eve was passed with a special service with the church people, and was concluded with one American being paired up with one Ecuadorian, and each one praying for the other.  What a powerful way to bring in the New Year!

There were also some fun tourism and shopping days.  Through it all, God gave us beautiful weather, good health, and safe travels.  The trial of the trip came at the end, once the team reached Atlanta.  Due to a severe winter storm, all flights were cancelled, and many roads into St. Louis were closed.  The airlines told the team on Sunday afternoon that they might have flights by Wednesday, for sure by Thursday!  Obviously the team needed to get home before then as most had to return to either school or work.  So the team decided to rent 3 vans, drive to Memphis and hope that the roads would allow them to go into St. Louis the next day.  And it all worked out—even better than they anticipated.  Although it took them about a week to get all of their luggage back, the airline decided to compensate them with cash (that never happens) for their cancelled flights.  Almost the entire amount of the extra money spent on vans, hotels and gas were compensated for by the airlines.  What a powerful testimony to our team that God is faithful!

January 17, 2014

Update on Riobamba District Center

District Superintendent Mario Paredes is nicknamed "Super Mario" and is living up to his name.  Not only is he building and setting up 10 Compassionate International Centers this year but is also keeping up with improvements on the District Center in Riobamba.  The center is used for district meetings or conferences and also can be rented out to help generate money for the maintenance .  The following pictures will tour you around to see the updates. We appreciate the donor that made the latest updates possible.  We also want to thank the many Work and Witness Teams and Mission Corp that worked so hard on this. Bruce and Cinda McKellips former Work and Witness Coordinators had the dream and started this project. 
This is the reception desk

One of the large meeting rooms facing the street

Small meeting room next to the side door where
 the dorm rooms are.

the left door is the communications
office with the reception desk on the

one of the bathrooms

The business minds working together.  Mario and
Jon Fischer Work and Witness Coordinator in Mario's office

The old kitchen had ceramic tile counters and
concrete floor
There are two stainless steel kitchen sinks
The burner unit is an island on wheels with an added space
to wash big pots and pans

A baptism 

Dorm rooms- the colorful mattress covers were made by 
a volunteer lady from Oregon

The parking lot/soccer field/basketball court was poured 
by  Mission Corps- a family from Canada and a couple from
Washington and nationals. It really cuts down on the dust

The front of the District Center.  The church is on the lower
left and the Compassion International Center in on the 
lower right. The offices and conference rooms are on the 
second level

January 07, 2014

For His Glory and For His Children

We praise the Lord for the two Work and Witness teams that came to work in Ecuador over the holidays. One of the teams was Nall Ave Church of the Nazarene from Kansas City.  They worked in Chillanes in Bolivar Province, on a Child Development Center that our church is building in partnership with Compassion International that will serve 204 students. The Construction team poured two large concrete floors in two buildings. It was exciting to work along side some of the fathers of the children that will be attending the classes. The team also held a medical clinic in which they attended to more than 300 patients, with one doctor. When medicine could not take care of the needs of some of the patients they were prayed with and 5 people accepted Christ. Three of those five were from a family who was suffering from depression because of the death of their son, a child that was in the Compassion International program.  The father, mother and brother accepted Christ and now have hope in God. District Superintendent Mario Paredes and his family along with some other students from Riobamba worked along with the team.  There were so many God moments from the time the team left Kansas City and until they returned home Sunday night, it is hard to recount them all. God worked in and among the team and kept showing them that he was with them all the time.
Nall Ave Team with of their new friends
God Moments:
Some of the ways that God worked, the doctor on the team took Spanish 20 years ago, and she was writing words in Spanish that were correct in the charts and the prescriptions that were correct!.  She also saw more than 300 patients in those short 4 days. 

God sent Mayra, Mario's wife to help with praying with people and also help with the organization of getting patients to the clinic.  She took a day off work to help the second day. 

Luke Fischer was helping to pull the move the mixer from one place to another and the mixer fell on his foot.  We were able to get right in a see a doctor for an x-ray and it was not fractured or broken!  Soccer is his life and he will be attending MNU next fall. 

On the flight from KC to Atlantait felt as if the plane hit a "curb" and then started swaying back and forth.  The flight attendants were running the isle and at one time had the manual in their hands.  They checked with the people in the emergency isle is they were for sure able to fulfill their duties.  God straighten up the plane and they were able to arrive safely. 

Mario, our District Superintendent, said that while the team was walking from the rented Compassion building to the project where they were working the doctor from the local hospital was watching them and stopped at the project to see what was going on.  Mario explained the whole program and at the end the doctor offered free consultation to the children of the program every month.  

In the tiny town of Chillanes where we were working, some family were visiting their family from other areas in Ecuador.  While buying food at one of the little stores we made contact with a girl that was visiting and knew English, she came to translate in the clinic one morning for us. Thank you Christina

Mayra and some of the team members prayed with 5 of the patients from the clinic to accept Christ.   One was a older couple that was having marital problems.  The other was the family mentioned above.  

One of the team members was searching for a deeper walk and was sanctified while here.

The little girl of the Extreme family that lives on the property of where the Work and Witness team was staying in Quito, was having a seizure and the doctor on the team was able to treat her before they started for the hospital that was about 30 min. away. 

God provided a very safe bus driver to drive us to Chillanes which is about a 7 hour bus ride, one way.  Here in Ecuador you don't find very many careful bus drivers.  

The team did ministry at the Carcelen Bajo Church on Sunday morning and 14 children accepted Christ.  Some of the team members helped to build the church years ago.  

One of the families on the team came in contact with a lady that had over 500 beanie babies and gave them to the family.  Tonya, tried to find ways to get rid of the beanie babies before they came but it didn't work so they brought them.  As each child was seen in the clinic they were given a beanie baby at the end.  The look on their faces was enough to say how much they appreciated them as well as they hug they would give.  It also made the parents happy because they would never be able to afford to buy anything like that for their children.  

There are so many more and will continue to be more God moments in each of the team members lives.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Chimborazo Mountain

Mountains in Chillanes

Julie Cox taking her ministry seriously- holding a baby in the clinic

A day in the Clinic, Doctor Lisa, Courtney, and Jordan

Courtney and Rhonda talking to a patient

A happy patient with Michelle and Doctor Lisa

Closeness- Cassie, Jordan,Courtney, Caleb and Michelle
Working side by side
The Compassion International buildings- Left, classrooms and offices.
Right, kitchen and present church

Buying groceries at the mini market.
Most of the time they had most of what we needed. 

Melissa measuring a patient

A compassion student with his family and their beanie babies. 

Abre su boca por favor, Open your mouth please.
Christina, our God send translator and Katharine.
Gordie leading us in devotions
Keith, leader of group and Jon giving instructions

Celeb celebrated his 16th birthday in Chillanes

Super Mario, District Superintendent leading us in singing Happy Birthday.

There was no cake so we made one out of little cakes from the bakery