November 2020

Church Again


I really didn't think they would come every Sunday. Only one family has a car. The rest have to come by bus, switching buses once or twice. It takes more than an hour to get to our house. They travel with children! But they came this Sunday and plan to return next Sunday. We enjoy the fellowship. Of course if a whole family with children makes a long bus journey for a morning church service that ends at 1pm, they get hungry. So far, some members have brought a light lunch, but if they're going to come regularly, we need to provide a more substancial meal. The plan for next Sunday is a fried egg on rice. (Equivalent to the North American PBJ.) We're learning. Most pastors concentrate on ministering to the adults, and forget about the kids. Faby is really good with the children, so we're focusing on that part of the service (as well as the lunch afterwards). All part of church.


Church in El Tingo


Since the Pandemic, the migrants from Capulispungo who live in Quito came for their second church service at our home. They came on October 12 for their first service, and they moved all their furniture to our house back on July 6th. We enjoyed seeing them all and holding fellowship together. They plan to hold another service here next Sunday. It's a big sacrifice for them, since they have to use the buses to get from Quito to our house in the valley. We'll see if they want to meet every week or less frequently.


Retreat in El Tingo


The Quichua tradition of a "fast" is like our "retreat", except that they skip lunch. We've known Geovanny, the pastor, for several years. He's a second generation immigrant, lives in Quito, and runs his own mechanics shop. This was their first church meeting since the Pandemic began in March. We had about twenty people, including children, and the activities ranged from conferences and testimonies to sports and games. We are thankful to be able to use our back yard for ministry. Next Sunday another Quichua church in Quito plans to hold their service here, Lord willing.


... but to serve.


So why would anyone volunteer to be the administrator of an 18-apartment building complex? Simply, to serve. I volunteered over a year ago to be the administrator of our complex in Riobamba. We have a suite on the top floor, and stay here when we visit the Quichua communities in Riobamba. Christ came not to be served but to serve. This is one way of doing so. The administrator oversees the maintenance and the accounts. Actually, the treasurer, Adriana, does most of the daily work: receiving monthly fees, and paying the cleaning service and the utility bills. But it's a service to our small community, and a way of demonstrating Christ's example. Since the pandemia, we spend most of our time in quarantine in our house in Quito, but we've been making monthly visits to check on things at the apartment complex. I called a meeting in August to elect a new committee, but the majority response over Whatsapp was to wait til the pandemia calms down. So we continue to serve.

Back in Capulispungo


Our first visit to a community since the Pandemia began! Capulispungo celebrated the end of five years of planning for church construction and growth. They celebrated for two days, but we only attended Sunday during the day. I led the conference that morning. They wanted a workshop on the end times. I complied, but added my comments about the future vision for the church. In my opinion, they need to address two important issues for the future: nominalism and migration. The evangelical Quichua church is now seeing the second and third generations of Christians. Many grow up in the church without ever having a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. They think they're Christians, but they're not. The church needs to switch from activism to evangelism. The next generation needs to know the Lord. Second, just about all the members, sooner or later, are going to migrate to the city for work. I take that as a fact. To prevent the migration is fruitless, but to motivate them to learn all they can in the city on how to run a business/factory and then, after some years, to return to the community and start a business/factory in Capulispungo, is the future of the church and community. I have already seen two successful examples: weaving cloth and stamping caps. These two issues (nominalism and migration) are in my prayers for their future.