May 2021

Learning together

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They treated Jesus in four ways: they arrested him; they condemned him; they beat him; and they crucified him. And he died. But where in the Bible does it say this? I gave the kids the assignment of finding four bible verses that document the way they treated Jesus. Find the verses; write them on the cross we made together; and send me the photo to post on our virtual bulletin board. I'm pushing the kids to learn how to use a concordance on an electronic bible. Two of them have no problem. I hope the others catch up. My objective is to teach them how to study the bible for themselves. Or at least study the bible together. The class becomes more interactive if we can do things together, rather than them just listening to a class.

Pandemic, Students, Children

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The Pandemic has changed our ministry as it has changed almost everyone's activities in the past year. We are no longer visiting communities. At first the communities seemed unaffected by the virus, but now this second year, the virus has made its way into the mountains. Plus close friends here in Quito have suffered both illness and death. The "stay at home" rule is still the best prevention.

So telephone calls and Zoom meetings are the methods to ministry during the Pandemic:

We continue to lead a bible class over Zoom with children of the migrants from Capulispungo.
Anderson, 10 years old, is our main contact and motivation.
Danilo, a university student from Shobol Llinllin, is struggling with classes. He didn't pass Calculus for the second time, and so has to wait a semester before he can resume his studies.
Pray for three students who want to begin university studies this year:
Joel and Marcos from Capulispungo, and Jefferson from Cachisagua.
Valeria Vallejo, who is a medical doctor and has been preparing to go to Africa for the past 8 years, is suffering because her whole family contracted the virus. Her grandfather passed away, and her dad is still recovering. Their hospital bills have accumulated a $30,000 dollar debt.
We also have a great-nephew of Faby's living with us.
David, 33 years old, wants to finish High School (by extension), and then enter the university.
Faby continues to recover from the operation on her cheek and lip. We are realizing it takes time for the inner healing, both physical and emotional.

Pray with us for God's blessing and His timing.

Patience


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Today Faby had most, but not all, of her stitches taken out. It's all a process. You have to be patient. I look outside my office at our peach tree. You have to be patient until the blossoms turn into peaches. Recovery from surgery takes time. God is the one who heals. We have to be patient.

"Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. 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


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The Whole Story

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I was teaching the kids the promises God gave to Abraham, when the pastor decided to switch to Billy Graham’s Christmas box material. After reviewing the twelve planned lessons, I couldn’t see why lesson 2 jumped from Adam and Eve’s sin to lesson 3 about Jesus’ birth. So Adam and Eve sinned and God sent Jesus to save us from our sins. What about the whole bible story from Abraham to Moses, to David and kings til the Babylonian Captivity? As if the Gospel was only about forgiveness of sins and entering heaven.

I see the story as beginning with Abraham and the promises: descendants, land, and blessing, fulfilled in Moses, Joshua, David, and Jesus. How can we ignore that God is building a kingdom people and that we become part of that plan? “They will be my people and I will be their God.”

I’m not alone. N.T. Wright, in his book The Day the Revolution Began, explains that he has changed his thinking from “that the death of Jesus was all about God saving me from my ‘sin,’ so that I could ‘go to heaven.’”to “Jesus died in order to … restore human beings with a vocation to play a vital part in God’s purposes for the world.”

Paul’s letter to Titus emphasizes our testimony to the world, and that God is working “to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (2:14). We are here to make a difference in the world: “Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives (3:14).

“And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.” Titus 3:8

So I will continue to teach the whole story from Abraham to Jesus. We are part of that plan. We are His people.

(Have you ever thought that if a person doesn’t enjoy living with God here on earth, that he won’t enjoy living with God in heaven either? So what’s the point of just giving out “salvation tickets to heaven.”) Matthew 7:21-23


All in God's Hands

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Faby had some cancerous tissue on her upper lip. She has had three previous operations on her same lip. This one was a big surprise! Much larger and disperse than the others. We continue to trust God for His healing and His protection on our lives. Proverbs 3:5-6