Retreat in El Tingo


The youth group in Riobamba came to our house in El-Tingo for an overnighter. This is same group we are helping to start a Sunday school program in their church. During the retreat we didn't concentrate on the project, but on getting to know each other better. This included bible studies, meals, sports, and sharing. Even though I am still recovering from my operation, we are able to share our home and use it for ministry. All part of the disciple making process. Mat. 28:19-20



Being Patient


"See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains." James 5:7

Since my hernia operation, I've had to take things much slower until I reach full recovery. In the meantime, I can't drive; I can't do hard work; and I rest a lot. I have to be patient. But I'm learning that moving slower is not necessarily less productive. I've had time to some planning. We've received many visitors that we normally don't have time for. And other things just fall in place because it's God's timing and not mine. Faby works hard in the garden, but you can't rush the growth of a plant. It takes it's good ol' time, but the flower comes sooner or later. I'm still trying to see God at work every day and in everything. He has his perfect timing. We have to be patient, and when the time arrives "redeem it." (Eph 5:16)



Working hard to rest


Monday, I was ready for the operation. Psyched-up for the anestesia needle in the spine. Bilateral hernia in the groin. Praise God, all went well and I was dispatched in a little over 24 hours. But I wasn't ready for the recuperation. "You should not drive for the next two weeks at least!" O…k…a…y. That was a surprise. Had to cancel several engagements in Chimborazo, and get psyched-up for rest. So now we're at home in El-Tingo taking it easy. Lots of time to rest, think, and pray. (The photo is the view from my desk at home.)

Leading a Church Retreat


The church in "Quislag Chico" has an extension in Sangolqui just 10 minutes from our home in Quito. These are members who have migrated to the city looking for work. They wanted to hold a half-day retreat at our house. Our response has always been: "You're' welcome to come!" When asked if we could help with the music and teaching, we knew what to expect. We led the music, Alan taught on the Christian home, and Faby taught on evangelism. We also took turns taking care of the kids. In other words, we led the whole retreat. Not unusual. This is common in many churches: they hold many weekly activities, but have no general plan or goals in mind. In "Shobol Llin Llin," we have reached this discussion with the leaders, and I gave them a six month plan to consider, that deals with reviewing the gospel. The goal is to help them plan specific objectives for their church. It's all a process.


The Dynamics of Ministry


Saturday we drove to "Shobol Llin Llin" for Faby to work with the single moms, but they didn't show up. At the same time we learned of a delicate situation at one of the homes. Two of the church leaders showed up at the time. We all went to visit the home, but Faby was the one most indicated for the counseling. So I sat in the car, which now doubles as my "mobile office," with the two church leaders. The conversation led to the need to create a plan for the church. I gave a few suggestions, and then we found ourselves the next day in a planning meeting with all seven of the church leaders. They have all the activities planned, but no purpose or direction. I committed myself to develop a six month plan for their church, which aims at studying the Gospel, with a plan for three sermons a week, five bible readings a week, and twelve verses to memorize.