Monday, March 31, 2008

a prayer request and some recent pics

Hello everyone. I just wanted to share a prayer request and some recent pictures. The prayer request is related to a Peruvian missionary that is working in our area. He is a chaplain for a Baptist school in the valley. His name is Victor. He is also trying to start groups out there. I had a meeting today with him and another missionary and we talked about some ideas. We hope to meet again next week and start working together. I ask you to pray for him, his ministry and his family. I also ask you to pray for us to be guided by God as we begin to work together.
These pictures are from last week when we went with some friends to the Historic Center of Quito for a carriage ride. The Historic Center of Quito is really beautiful at night and we had a nice ride in the carriage and a nice dinner as well. We went with Dave, Ana and Juan (Ana's father). Dave and Ana run La Fuente, which is a after-school program for underprivileged kids. Here's some pictures of us on the carriage and one of the main cathedrals there.

Friday, March 28, 2008

God's fantasy league team

For those of you who don’t know, I like fantasy baseball and have a couple of teams. This is where you are able to draft a team of players and you are awarded points based on their performance and statistics. While choosing one of my teams, I came across the evaluation that follows for one of the players. It kind of grabbed my attention but also gave me a spiritual insight a bit later. “Gomez can play multiple positions, but has no power, no speed and, quite honestly, no business being on your fantasy team.” I don’t know how many of you feel like ‘Gomez’ in your journey with Jesus here on this earth. I know I often do. Many times our walk is marked more by frustration, disappointment and inadequacy than victory or glory. The truth is that although we may feel like Gomez, there is a greater truth that we will always have a place on God’s fantasy league team. The Word teaches us that ‘He will never leave or forsake us’ (Hebrews 13:5). It also teaches that ‘nothing will be able to separate us from His love’(Romans 8:35-39) and that ‘no one will be able to take us out of the Father’s hand’ (John 10:29) This is from one pilgrim to another...hang in there and keep focused on Him.
Now that it's springtime back in Texas, I want to post this picture of bluebonnets from the Ibarra trip.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

pics from Ibarra, a tract testimony and Happy Easter!

Well, here's some pics from the Ibarra trip. I also wanted to share a special testimony related to someone that found a tract I had passed out. I'll do that after the pictures.
This is in Ibarra near the market where we saw a horse and buggy in everyday use. We hung out around the market to get some shots and it was quite interesting seeing all the people and colors. I really enjoy going to markets overseas. It's a good way to learn and experience culture.
Here's a part of a fruit market.
We went out to near this house in the country and the words on the door are 'Jesus es Vida' or 'Jesus is life.' What an appropriate message for Easter day??!? As 1 John 5:12 says "He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." Is Jesus in your life? Is he giving you true life, eternal, abundant and purposeful? His promise of life is sure and certain...we only need accept and follow Him. I can tell you He has changed my life and I wouldn't be where I am today without Him.
Now I want to close with a special testimony related to a tract. This goes back to last year when I received a text message from a guy in Machala (a place far away that I hadn't been to yet, as of receiving this text message). Well, I called him and he told me he had found a gospel tract with my name and number on it. I asked him where he got it and he said he had found it (I had never been here or he hadn't been up this way, either! I can only guess someone brought it down there and left it somewhere for him to find.) I ended up trying to put him in contact with a pastor and church I had found out about but wasn't too sure what had happened after that. Today, I got a text message from him and I called him back. He told me he had recently been baptized, along with his sister. This was a really encouraging message. I told him I would pray for him and now I want to let you know about him as well so you can pray for him too. His name is Luis...specifically he is asking the Lord to help him overcome some temptations that he faces. He is also looking for a wife. He told me he may be coming up to Quito in the next couple of weeks, so I hope to visit him then (he lives in a place that's about 10-12 hours away). What is really interesting is how he found this tract. I pass out a ton of these and usually put a stamp with my name and number on them in case anyone is interested. I really haven't heard much back regarding these from people I don't know but this was the 1st case of someone that was unknown responding. As you pray for Luis and his family, I also ask you to pray as I pass out these gospel tracts, Scriptures and radio cards...pray that the message will reach the hearts of the people in this way and that they will respond. I know this kind of witness isn't the only one but it is important and I ask you to pray for this type of ministry. Thanks again and God bless. Happy Easter! He is Risen...He is Risen indeed! 1 Cor. 15:14, 20a-"If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith...But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead!"

Saturday, March 22, 2008

a day trip and the filming project

This and the next picture are from a day trip I tok with Ramon and Cesar to go a bit south. We went to Latacunga and Pujili and in the surrounding areas. It was a nice trip and I'm glad we got to go. We were able to visit Cesar's brother and friend and tour around a bit down there. This pic is from a huge rock that we saw. They say the rock was carried there by mudslides from the last big eruption at Cotopaxi.
We had a traditional Ecuadorian lunch of fritada and tortillas de papas. This is a picture of some indigenous folks. This was in Pujili, which has quite a few indigenous people. We also walked around the market some and that was pretty cool.
Here's a truck we saw...I think it was a '58 Chevy. You can see some pretty cool vehicles now and then.
The next few pictures were from a trip back in January. This is where went to the Ibarra area to take some guys up there to do a filming project. This is a film that will be shown in Southern Baptist churches next December to promote the Lottie Moon Offering. Here are some local indigenous girls in this 1st pic.
Here's John filming the main subject of the film, Pastor Gabriel Mugmal. Gabriel has an amazing testimony of how he came to Christ and how he has served the Lord. He and some other church members have an agricultural project going on there as outreach into some of the communities. I hope to invite Gabriel and some of his friends this way to help us on some projects in this area.
We filmed near this house and I just liked the way everything was set up here. Kind of an everyday life shot.
Same thing with this cauldron that was cooking. I guess this is all for now. I hope to put some more pics from the Ibarra trip later on. Take care and God bless.
ps...just wanted to add a prayer request that didn't make it on the newsletter that we sent out today. There are some friends that live in the next neighborhood over and the wife's father just had an operation. The situation doesn't look real good but he has improved. Pray that God will heal him, that he will give the family faith, and that God will work in their lives. The friend's dad who is ill is Nancy. I'm not sure of her dad's name but you can pray for them, just the same. Thanks again.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

recent pics

Here's a picture from a concert I went to last week. It was one of my favorite singers- Jesus Adrian Romero. He came here when we first got here and we didn't go but I had been regretting it ever since. I didn't miss out on the opportunity this time. It was a very encouraging time and a time of good music and praise. Now, I want to put some translated lyrics from a favorite song of his. This is a song that expresses a desire of mine and can be a prayer request for us as well in our ministry and walk with God.
Con Manos vacias-With empty hands
con manos vacias vengo a ti, No tengo nada que darte, No hay nada de valor en mi, No puedo impresionarte
with empty hands, I come to you, I don't have anything to give you, there's nothing of value in me, I cannot impress you
Te puedo entregar mi corazon, Pero esta quebrantado, Recibalo mi buen pastor Tu puedes restaurarlo, Pongo mi vida a tu servicio, Senor, No sera mucho pero la entrego hoy Y si mis manos hoy vasias estan, Puedes llenarlas con tu gran poder y amor, Usa mis manos Senor
I can bring my heart to you, but it is broken, receive it, my good shepherd, you can restore it, I give my life to your service Lord, it won't be much, but I bring it today, and my hands are empty, can you fill them with your great power and love? Use my hands Lord!
Here's a beautiful sunrise God surprised me with one morning last week.
Christine and baby Haley.
a recent picture of us.
This picture shows some snow on the mountains surrounding us. This is only the 2nd or 3rd time we've seen snow on these mountains in the time we've been here and this is the most snow we've seen on them. We've had strange weather here recently, it has been much colder than usual and we've gotten a lot of rain.
I guess this is all for now. I hope to post some more pics later on. Take care and God bless.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

mom's visit, part 2

Here's a picture out at La Fuente. We had a nice visit out there and mom enjoyed the time with the kids.
Here's a picture of mom with Jose, Ruth, Esteban (their son), and Christine. Jose is a Christian brother that helps me with a lot of visits and Bible studies in the southern part of the valley. I ask you to pray for him, his family and our ministry together.
Here's a picture of Christine and mom in Mindo. We stopped here on the way back from Santo Domingo and saw some butterflies, hummingbirds and beautiful flowers.
I guess this is all for now. Mom and baby are fine. We went to the doctor last week and everything looks good. We'll keep you posted and we also hope to get a newsletter out some time soon.