April 2016

Passing the test

The group at Capulispungo took their first exam on book #1 of ¨Pastoral Theology.¨ Thirteen students have completed one lesson a week for the past ten weeks! I told them that their faithfulness and perseverance for the past three months has shown their commitment to learning. They have passed the test! The exam, for me, is really supplemental.

The women´s group that Faby is leading shows the same commitment. The women want to learn, and Faby has earned their respect and confidence.

God is working at the church at Capulispungo. Continue to pray for their progress!




Earthquake between workshops

This weekend we finished a full cycle of workshops, and continue to pray for the great need the Quichua have for training. In fact, two of the girls in the workshop for Sunday school teachers told us that although they have been teaching the children in their churches, this was the first workshop they had ever attended!

Saturday night we were resting up for the Sunday workshop when the earthquake hit. Our apartment in Riobamba on the fourth floor shook for what seemed like a long time. (Probably about 30-40 seconds, which is a long time for most quakes.) Thankfully our building has been recently constructed and holds to the earthquake building codes, but on the coast, near the epicenter, many buildings did not remain standing.

We went ahead with the workshop on Sunday, but it was a bit hard to concentrate after the shock the night before. We continue to pray for those affected by the quake, and also for the continuing training of the Quichua folk.




Week of Surprises


I taught English all week long in Semila. To my surprise I had 32 students! The class was so big and varied (some were level 1 and others level 2) I had to split it into three groups. So I ended up teaching three classes simultaneously. I also tried a new method. Rather than lecturing on grammar, I gave each student a short English composition to translate plus an English-Spanish dictionary. After their first try (with help and explanations along the way) they could translate fairly well. Then I gave them an English Hymn ¨Man of Sorrows¨ to translate. Most could translate the five verses within an hour, especially as a group helping one another. When I asked one student how this hymn compared with the songs the Quichua Salmists sing (The Salmists give concerts in the churches and evangelistic campaigns.), the response was, ¨This is not commercial music.¨ I hope they could see the difference between popular songs and hymns with deep theological content.


Classes ended Friday at noon. Faby and I went for an afternoon drive. On our way back to Riobamba we picked up an elderly lady. We quickly learned she was a Christian, but were surprised when she asked us if we would like to hear a short psalm. Faby guessed she was going to recite Psalm 23. But the lady, Fanny, said, ¨Psalm 119.¨ Right. I didn´t believe her. When she reached verse 20, I turned on the Bible in my iPod, and while driving, followed her from there to the end. She recited the whole Psalm, all 176 verses, group by group, even naming the Hebrew letter that titles each one. I have never met anyone like that!


Sunday, we taught another workshop for Sunday school teachers, this one sponsored by World Vision in coordination with Semila. They told us that 15 is an excellent turnout, but we had 40 students! God continues to surprise us.


Workers needed.

The Semila Seminary made an agreement with World Vision to train Sunday school teachers. So we made an hour trip to a community called ¨Cebadas¨ (which is a central location for many other communities) to hold the first of five workshops. We had a good turnout: 34 students of all ages from 14 to over 40! To our surprise, most of them have very little Bible knowledge! And these are the Sunday school teachers of the churches. No wonder the churches are so lacking in Christian Education. There´s a lot to do!