2021 West Virgina
WV Mission Trip 2020
This year marks the sixteenth year that the churches of the Hephzibah and Kilpatrick Baptist Associations minister in the Bluefield, West Virginia area churches. Although our VBS teams were unable to go due to the pandemic, the 9 member construction team traveled up to Bluefield on Sunday afternoon, July 12th, to prepare the space above the Bridge Baptist Clothes Closet Store in Matoaka for housing ministry teams that come to serve there. Together with Pastor Tom Carpenter, we scraped walls, "mudded-in", sanded, primed walls and ceilings, and swept. It was great to hear he had a team ready to come finish out with painting the facility.
We hope that the spread of Covid 19 will be sufficiently reduced to allow us to send teams to Ecuador in 2021. Several factors will determine whether and when we can send teams. We will not be able to send teams until there is a minimal chance that anyone going could either be a carrier or will not contract the virus on the flight or while in country. We will also be considering whether the people we would be ministering to will receive us weill. It is possible that many communities will have a fear that Americans might be carriers of the virus. Pray with us that in the days to come opportunities for this work will be renewed.
Weekly pastor's meeting 10:30 at the association office
Ecuador Mission Trip Report
On August 4th a team of six from the Hephzibah and Kilpatrick Baptist Associations traveled to Ecuador to spend a week ministering in the Sigchos Canton (like a county). We spent the week traveling with church members to remote communities sharing the gospel and teaching the Bible to whoever would listen and training church members. The first day of ministry I traveled with Pastor Marco Lozada to a community called Hierba Buena on a unique endeavor. Hierba Buena is the place where he grew up and is the place where his parents still have a small farm.
Over the years Marco and I have talked about beekeeping and he expressed interest. That interest grew when we noticed honeybees flying in and out of the ear of the large statue of Gabriel that watches over the city of Sigchos several years ago. (Those bees still maintain a hive in the head of that statue.) Pastor Marco purchased some equipment a couple of years back but we hadn’t been able to find any bees until he happened upon a swarm in a cornfield back in May. He shook the swarm in a box and walked 3 hours back to his parent’s house in Hierba Buena in the dark. He was afraid check the bees so I brought a suit and a smoker with me and we arranged to do a hive inspection when I arrived.
The day came for the inspection. I was a bit apprehensive since the bees in South America are Africanized. Africanized bees can be 100 times (no exaggeration) more aggressive than the European Bees I work with. Apparently word got out that we were going to inspect the hive and 20 folks showed up to watch what might quickly become a spectacle. Instead of working the bees we spent the next two hours leading a Bible study on the dirt floor of their home. We spent time teaching what the Bible says about trials, suffering, family life and the gospel. Afterward we put on our gear, taped every possible entry point and with some difficulty (because of the thin air at 9500 feet in elevation) lit the smoker. To my surprise the bees worked quite nicely and we even found the queen. We even managed to rob a little honey to everyone’s delight.
Another day we travelled to a town named Tunguiche. This is a very remote and sparsely populated region. The soil is poor being primarily made up of volcanic sand and the people there make a poor living trying to farm it. Word had gotten out that we were coming and about 50 folks gathered. We brought bread, cheese, drinks, candy and Quechua/Spanish interlinear Bibles. About 25 children gathered in a public building while I taught adults on the steps of the Catholic church.
For an hour or so I taught from the parable of the soils and concluded the message by asking them to consider which kind of hearer of the Word they would be? At the conclusion of that time one elderly man indicated that he believed and wanted to follow Jesus. Afterward we shared the Bibles that we brought with the adults and children. They remained on the steps for 30 minutes or more with Bibles open reading the Word of God in their native tongue for the first time. May the Word of God take root and increase bearing fruit in their lives.