Build a Church in Ecuador Update
July 1st, 2020 Including the project gift sent in May, God has led people among the Kilpatrick and Hephzibah Baptist Associations to give $2564 towards the completion of the church construction in Sigchos. Praise God for His provision! Thank you for investing in what God is doing in the highlands of the Latacunga province of Ecuador. Please pray for Pastor Marco and the other believers there, that God continue to provide and lead them in what He is doing in their midst. Pray that He will keep them from the evil one, just as Jesus prayed in John 17:15, that the Spirit of grace will help people discern what is true in spite of false teachings in their communities, and that many hearts will be drawn to the Lord.
Our team of 7 were thankful for a safe journey and good health throughout our trip to Sigchos this summer. During the day we joined our translators and the church members and split up into teams going out to the surrounding communities to do evangelism and discipleship, holding group Bible studies and church services as well. It was a joy to see believers growing in their faith and in leadership. We rejoice with the Lord for 20 people who received Christ during our time there.
We were blessed to have fellow associational missionary Ernest DeSoto and his wife Sherrie of Arkansas, and Margarito Ramirez and his wife Susana, and Tim's brother Chris working alongside us on this trip. We are praying for believers in the Sigchos community to continue to grow in faith, that God will raise up leaders, and that more people will come to know Him as Lord and Savior.
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.