Tuesday, October 30

Celebrating 5 years of ministry in diversity

Two weeks ago we had the great joy of participating in the celebration of the 5th anniversary of the church that we chose to be a part of here in Ecuador. - The Comunidad Cristiana Nazarena Restauración (CCNR).

It was a full week of celebrations with activities for the youth, teens, men, ladies and children. Each group represented at the church had its special time to express its celebration for the 5 years of this church's ministry.

Children's Celebration Program
In the context of the celebrations there was a time for a short choreography presentation by a few little ones whom Nicole our daughter coached. This has always been a ministry that has been very dear to her heart and God used her to bless these little ones and also the congregation.

Pastor Jean-David
The church's pastor, Rev. Jean-David Larochelle, made of this time a very special time for the people who are members of this community. In the services on both Sundays we saw a congregation of over 200 people coming for the celebration.

One of the highlights of the celebration was the service when all the nations represented in the congregation presently were recognized. The diversity of nations has certainly been one of the sustained values of this church. We, thus, had nations represented from Europe, Caribbean  North America, Africa, and other Countries of South America.

Nations Represented at  CCNR

Liliana carrying the flag of Cape Verde
Fernando carrying the flag of Portugal
This celebration was a time to challenge the church to re-affirm its identity and to express it in the context of the community itself, but also in the context in which each member is immersed. In the opening service of the celebration, the church's pastors and some invited preachers preached about the Biblical images of the church. On the second Sunday service, pastor Jean-David focused his challenge in the text from Isaiah 6 and challenged the church to live holiness in a missional way.

Leadership Team of CCNR

These 5 years were also a celebration of God's faithfulness who, throughout the challenges lived individually and collectively by the community has always been the "ever-present help, in trouble." (Psa. 46:1)

We praise God for this Nazarene community and for its ministry and local mission of a global reach.

Wednesday, October 17

Ministering in the Costa Norte District

It has been almost two months since we got back from our home assignment in Cape Verde and Portugal. This was a wonderful time to visit the churches, share about our ministry and challenge each local church to continue to faithfully contribute for missions.
Our first visit, after arriving back in Ecuador, was to the Costa Norte District of Ecuador. It's a small district, still in the earlier stages of its development. This trip took us to the cities of Santo Domingo and Quinindé.
Rev. Jefferson Estevez and Family
We had marked on our calendar, before our departure on home assignment, a meeting with the National Coordinator for Missionary Mobilization, Rev. Jefferson Estevez, so that together we could think on strategies to develop this ministry nationwide in Ecuador. It was a wonderful time of sharing and to getting in touch with the needs of this national coordinator to move forward with this ministry.
Besides this meeting, we had the privilege of preaching at a NYI event that took place in the beautiful city of Quinindé. We had already heard of this local church of the Nazarene through the contact we have had with young members of this church who are students at the Seminário Teológico Nazareno. Young people arrived in buses from different cities. This was a special time to receive from the Lord and to consecrate to Him our lives for the ministry that He has prepared for His children.
NYI Group in the meeting

Worship Team Leading the Youth

Preaching Time

Response to the Challenge

After this energetic youth time, we were able to have some brief moments of fellowship with the local pastoral family. We received an open invitation to visit this church at another opportunity.
We spent the night in Santo Domingo and had service the next day at pastor's Jefferson church. The church is going through a remodeling process as they are building a second floor because they were running out of space for Sunday School. The church was committed in investing its resources and labor in the improvement of its space. It was great to see the commitment from the youngest to the oldest in this effort of better accommodating the spaces for continuous growth.
After a challenge from God's Word, once again the people came to Him in prayer and searching for His presence in their lives.

We hold this District and these two churches very dear to our hearts and hope we can be a blessing to them again some time in the future.