Tuesday, February 14
About a month ago we had the opportunity to travel to the East of Ecuador, to the city of Macas, to present the regional vision for an integrated discipleship system (link to page in Spanish).
It was an amazingly beautiful trip winding down the road through the mountains until we reached the Ecuadorian region of the Amazon.
The purpose of the trip was to share with the leaders and the lay people of the Austro district the vision of every church member becoming a minister (servant) in the ministry that God has conferred upon him/her to serve the body of Christ. More than 50 people came for the event, we shared with them God's desire for every active member of the body of Christ, and gave them the opportunity to offer themselves to God for the ministry He has given them.
Following a general presentation of the various ministry for which discipleship and equipping materials were developed, we had a presentation of 6 introductory workshops in the following ministries: NYI, NMI, SDMI, Compassion, Communications, Ladies.
Our brothers and sisters were very encouraged with the possibilities of involving themselves in a ministry according to the gifts received from God, and were already willing to schedule a second training event which would be more focused in the ministry they were willing to commit to.
The previous day, despite the long 8 hour journey, we arrived for a special meeting with the pastors to get to know them and challenge them to capture this vision of involving every member in their local church in active ministry. It was a blessed time to share about the ministries and challenges of this particular region of Ecuador.
This was another initiative to challenge all of the South American Nazarene constituency to "Live out the Great Commission"
Friday, February 3
Last December we travelled to Guayaquil in response to an invitation from the Ecuadorian National NMI Coordinator to visit her church and a church-type mission in another town.
This sister invited us to take a Missions' challenge, and what a blessing it was to arrive at a church with very limited financial resources, that is just starting its services to the local community, but that from the very beginning is concerned in teaching and challenging its members to think beyond the local needs.
The trip was longer than expected thus we did not arrive in time for the worship. But the brothers of the church had a presentation about the topic of compassion, taken from the life of Jesus. We were blessed by remembering that our Lord had as part of His mission on earth to respond to the spiritual, social and physician needs of human beings.
At the end we gave them a challenge based in Acts 1:8 having them remember that our mission is not limited to our Jerusalem, but that God has sent us to the whole world. During the sermon Liliana shared the story of her church and how it is living the great commission with a global vision and a local action.
We ended our visit with a time for social sharing with the brothers and sisters of the church and we were able to tell them of some of our experiences. When we returned to Guayaquil it was really late, but we felt that it was well worth it our time investment and presence with these brothers and sisters in the church.