September 2020

That is discipleship!


Walter, a university student from Capulispungo, studying in Riobamba, comes over at noon for help with computer programming. Before starting we talk about his internet business and his classes. Then we talk about how he’s going to balance his time between the two. Maybe he could sell his business and study full time. Next I spend two hours helping him understand the logic of computer programming by writing some programs together. He logs in to his computer class at three o’clock. I listen for a while and then run some errands. Walter sits at the computer screen listening to the professor but not really understanding the lecture. At seven class is over and we eat dinner together at the table. We have spent eight hours together at our home, talking, studying, sharing, etc. I understand his life better and he understands mine. THAT IS DISCIPLESHIP!

In the photo are two more students we'll trying to help and encourage: Danilo (third from left), and Jefferson (second from right).

Great are your purposes


Meditating on Jeremiah, chapter 32. In less than one year, the Jews will be exiled to Babylon. Jeremiah is in prison for prophesying this disaster. The king Zedekiah accuses him for discouraging the people. Yet God tells Jeremiah to buy land from his cousin, because in the future, the Jews will return and once again buy and sell fields. There is a hope and a future for the people of God. He has his purposes in everything. "Great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds" v.19. God's purpose in the Pandemic? Nothing is too hard for God v.17,27. He is in control.

Hands tied by the Pandemia?


Sometimes it seems that way. Can’t travel. Can’t visit. Can’t congregate. Just telephone calls and internet.

Working at home is no problem. We’ve been using the time to fix up the house, waiting for the moment when we can use our house for conferences and retreats. The latest project is a total renovation of our garage and storeroom. We got rid of a lot of junk, but still have lots of wood for our chimneys. More room is now available to store chairs and tables, etc. for meetings in our shelter out back.

But just when I think that the ministry is on hold, the calls come rolling in. Luis, from Guamote, calls to say hi and we end up planning a meeting for Wednesday. His church leaders are confused by sects who deny the Trinity and Pentecostal groups who are baptized in the Spirit. Joseph calls out of the blue. He’s a former seminary student of mine who wants to start a Foundation in his church. (I’ve gained a reputation for helping people with the paperwork for legal status, be it a church or a Foundation.) I call Vinicio to see what happened to our ZOOM meetings. He expected me to call. I was waiting for his call. We have been discussing Liturgy and possible changes in his church. He also wants to gain legal status for his church. We scheduled two meetings for this week. Also, three students I’m following to see how they’re doing in their university studies. Danilo (from Shobol Llin Llin) and Walter (from Capulispungo) have passed the semester. Jefferson (from Cachisagua) didn’t do so well. I’m learning that they need to learn better studying habits. They also need some basic items such as a computer and a desk.

The ministry continues, based on the friendships we have gained over the years. God is faithful!

Day of Surprises


Geovanny and Sandy gave us a surprise visit on Sunday. They came with their two kids, their sister, and a niece and nephew. I classify them as second-generation immigrants. Their parents moved from their communities to the city. Geovanny has been able to study auto mechanics and now has his own shop. He also pastors a Quichua church in Quito. The big surprise was, after a wonderful afternoon of sharing in our back yard, Geovanny says, "We have to lead the church service at 5pm!" So what do we do? Pull out the computer, hook up to ZOOM, and from our house lead the service. The pandemic has brought on a new age. You don't have to GO to church anymore. You can worship together from anywhere. (The other surprise was when he asked me, "You're going to give the message, right?")