Building relationships


Wednesday, we continue meeting with the teachers at Cachisagua. More important than our teaching them ethics, is the relationships we are building with them.

Thursday, the same applies with the cell group leaders from Shobol Llin Llin. We continue to meet and review how to lead a bible study group, but the key is gaining their confidence and becoming friends.


Friday, the bilingual, indigenous schools celebrated the new indigenous year on March 21st. We accompanied the teachers from Cachisagua at the local celebration. They celebrated the new year with a fire ceremony in a circle, as is the indigenous tradition, but the tables sponsored by each school held a demonstration of some scientific process, such as measuring the pH of water. Our teachers prepared corn cakes and demonstrated the use of a digital scale.





Wednesday, we visited the professors of the school in Cachisagua, and first shared lunch with them. Then Faby talked about ethics and values using the bible passages in Galatians 5 and Colossians 3. The group was vey open and we had a lot of interaction. They want to meet regularly. We continue to pray for these meetings and for a future meeting with the parents of the students.

Thursday, we met with the group leaders from Shobol Llin Llin for discipleship. We continue to review the Bible story using a short booklet I invented. At the end we played a game called "Giraffe and Elephant" that had them rolling with laughter. I coninue to emphasize that a cell group is more than just a bible study. The goal is to integrate the group around fellowship and the Word. It's all a process.


Breaking Molds


Mold #1: Discipleship = Bible Study
We met again on Thursday with the leaders from Shobol Llin Llin. I'm not only teaching them Bible, but also icebreakers, because they have told me that many members of their groups are withdraw and don't participate. So the icebreakers are to "loosen up" the group. Also, rather than teach "doctrine," we are using a piece of paper folded into 8 pages in order to summarize the bible story. We need to understand that we are part of that story.

Mold #2: Being a Christian = Being Western
On Saturday, the FLET group was glad to have finished the book on Jeremiah. They learned a lot even though it was very challenging. Now we are studying the life of Paul. In Paul's day, his battle was to convince the Jews that a Gentile Christian didn't have to become a Jew in order to be a Christian. We began to discuss how much of our church in Ecuador is really Western. We have yet to see a truly "Indigenous Church." The Quichua have so adopted the Western model and theology that they don't realize how Western they really are. To break that mold is going to take time. One of my interests was confirmed in the discussion: They had traditions of praying while sowing their crops, but the Western church hasn't confirmed that tradition. Western theology was developed in a different context. Our theology books don't talk about the God who controls the sun, wind, and rain, and who makes the seeds spout, grow, and produce. Yet the Bible is full of these illustrations.


Cancer: one day at a time

We have pretty much spent the last three weeks helping a pastoral couple, Concepcion and Carmen, with all that's involved with his cancer. The first week he spent in a government hospital that didn't have the equipment to diagnosis his condition. Faby and I spent days trying to obtain his transfer to an adequate hospital. God worked a miracle and used a social worker to grab a vacancy minutes often it was avaiable. The second week Concepcion received attention, but not a full diagnosis. In the meantime, we moved Carmen from the apartment she was renting into our home where she won't have to pay rent. Carmen spent most of her time in the hospital with her husband, and didn't spend a single night at her new place in our home. This week Concepcion was transferred to intensive care, and has a confirmed diagnosis of cancer in 60% of his body, with complications in his lungs and kidneys. With Carmen, we take it one day at a time. God is good and knows what He is doing. Philippians 1:6