The inauguration that our church family celebrated on September 29 and 30 was not just the inauguration of a building, but rather the inauguration of a new phase of ministry. In the last couple of weeks we have already begun to see how dramatically different the ministry will be having a place of our own. Every meeting throughout the week has a different feel to it and a different level of enthusiasm. There is a better sense of order and a drive to do things with excellence. At the same time, there is a renewed energy within the congregation to invite others to come and see the church in action. We are already experiencing growth with two new families in the past two Sundays. If you missed the video of the inauguration, can watch by clicking on this link.
The success we are experiencing has not been without challenges. The withdrawal of the Aguirre family, our ministry partners for almost 6 years, has been a difficult emotional and ministerial struggle. The gaps in the ministry are being filled. Pablo’s son, Edison, has taken over the direction of the music ministry as is doing an excellent job. We now have a choral team of six who sing up front every Sunday. The men of the church are taking turns leading the service each week. One of our goals is to have some of them taking turns in the preaching within six months. The emotional gaps will take time to heal. While we are still in contact with the family, they have relocated to another area and we feel their absence in our home and in our lives.
We have certainly been made more aware of the spiritual warfare we are waging here in Cayambe. Our enemy has many weapons at his disposal: discord, temptation, discouragement and distraction. We have had to suit up every day with the spiritual armor God provides us that is capable of defending us from all these threats and giving us the victory over the darkness. We have felt every prayer you have said for us and the ministry shielding and protecting us. The victories won have not been without casualties, but we continue on because we know we “fight the good fight”.
In addition to the weekly activities including individual discipleship studies, small group meetings, and various other obligations, there are two major events on the horizon. We ask for your prayers as we help the couples involved in both of these “next step” opportunities.
A young couple who we have been counseling are getting married on the beach this Saturday. Werner is a long-time friend of Dave’s through the tourism club. He accepted Christ last year and he and his fiance have been faithfully attending the church ever since. Since Werner owns his own travel agency, and as a couple they love to travel, they decided to realize their dream of getting married on the beach. We will be leaving on Friday and staying a few extra days to enjoy a time away as a family. Dave will be officiating the ceremony, his first in Ecuador. This will also be the first beach wedding we have ever attended. Please pray that all goes smoothly since everything is outside on the beach. Also be praying for Werner and Monsy as they take these “next steps” in their life together. We promise to send lots of pictures since Dave is also the photographer for the couple!
Taking advantage of the “Day of the Dead” holiday on November 2, the association of churches we belong to is having a couples retreat. The central theme of the retreat is the “covenant of marriage”. We are praying for several young couples to attend who have not yet taken the “next step” of marriage in their relationship. Some of these young couples have been living together for several years and have children together. Please pray that these couples would be receptive to the teaching they will receive and take that step of obedience in marriage.
Discussing the financial side of the ministry is never easy. We seldom mention financial needs in our newsletters, but we are confronting a challenge that requires us to do so now. In August, we explained a pressing financial situation regarding our support level. There has been an increase to our support budget of $400/month due to a change of health insurance providers within our mission. God has provided an additional $75/month since we made the need known, but the remaining deficit still presents a serious financial challenge to our family. Since health insurance is a bill that cannot go unpaid, the deficit comes out of our monthly salary. This amount represents about 25% of our total monthly income, so it is of real concern to us.
We know that God is faithful in providing for our needs, but we don’t as yet know how He’s going to supply. If we are not able to raise the funds while here in Ecuador, we will have to consider a return to the US earlier than anticipated in order to recruit more ministry partners to join our support team. We do not believe that the conditions here are such that we can be away right now., so we are asking if you would consider helping us in a very special way. As a member of our support team, you can be our ambassador. Perhaps you know someone who would enjoy being a part of the ministry here through financially supporting the work. Perhaps there is a cell group, Sunday School class, or other small group you belong to that would consider partnering with our ministry.
We believe there is a renewed interest in reaching the world for Christ, and we believe we provide a good partnership opportunity for anyone wanting to have a part in making disciples in Ecuador. We are confident that God will provide for our needs and we thank you for your steady partnership with us as we reap a harvest of souls together. Together we are committed to the work of bringing Christ to Cayambe.
Both special and monthly gifts to the ministry can be made at www.crossworld.org or sent by mail with a note mentioning our name to:
10000 N Oak Trafficway
Kansas City MO 64155