August 2016

"Alan Jr."


They actually named their newborn after me! Hard to believe, but true. Alan Leandro Toabanda Yungan was born last Monday, August 22nd to Geovany and Sandy. They had asked me to dedicate their child (see
blog on July 3rd), but I didn't expect them to use my name. Today the church held a special service for the purpose of dedicating their newborn. So we are now the godfathers of Alan. May he grow up to know the Lord and serve Him!



So what´s a "Minga?"


The Quichua use this word "Minga" for what we would call a "workday." Everyone comes and joins in the work. The church at Capulispungo collects a special offering every six months for improving the church building. They have literally built this structure with their own hands. We made a visit today to Capulispungo, because we knew they were spending the whole week in a "Minga." Their goals are to put a railing on the church stairs, plaster the remaining two outer walls, and paint the front. They are well on their way to reaching that goal. We made a quick visit, but I was able to do my share by fixing the electrical installations in the women´s bathroom.
The church is doing well. The discipleship program with us continues. Next week they have a wedding. Yet they are still plagued by migration: church members moving to the city for jobs. We hope in the future to minimize this by helping them start small businesses in the community. Little by little with God´s help.





Alejandro (standing beside Faby in the photo) was a student in the first class I taught at the Semila Seminary in Riobamba back in 2010. You might say that almost out of nowhere he called me and wanted to accompany us in some of our trips. Alejandro is an excellent musician, so I took him with us to Cachisagua for a music workshop. Turns out he is also an excellent teacher! So I've started to use him for the workshops. He understand the Quichua mentality much better than I (obviously because he is a Quichua), and he also speaks Quichua, which helps quite a bit.
Needless to say, Faby is always at my side. The church in Cachisagua holds Sunday school for the children at the same time as the music workshop. The children's teacher wanted to learn guitar, so she said to Faby, ¨Could you take over the children`s class?¨ Faby wasn`t prepared, but she accepted the challenge. When I went to take the photo, she was telling the kids the story of Joseph. They were all attentively listening. She has the gift of storytelling.



Forming a ministry team


Luis is the administrator at the Semila Seminary. He is an economist and has a heart for helping the Quichua communities. Faby and I are working primarily to train church leaders, but Luis has the gift and ability to help them form small businesses. This will help to prevent the Quichua youth from migrating to the cities. God has brought us together under the vision to develop the Quichua communities.
Last Sunday, we invited him and his family for an outing. His second son, Mateo, has longed to ride a horse. A week earlier, Faby and I had stumbled upon some hot water springs where a man will let you ride his horses. Luis doesn´t have a car yet, so we provided the transportation. Mateo got his wish!
May God allow us to work together as a ministry team.


Praying for Capulispungo


Saturday the students in Capulispungo took the exam for book #2. This group of 12 has hung together for the past 3 years. We have been visiting Capulispungo now for 6 years. After the exam I showed some photos from years back, and we meditated together on all God has done. The church continues to be an example for other communities of how the church can work together in theological education and in church development. They continue to improve their church building, and to develop their church programs.
Back in El Tingo, Quito we cleaned out our front house and took some of the furniture to Capulispungo. Two of the shelves are for their kitchen, since they don´t have anywhere to store their dishes and pots. The other shelf is for the pastor´s office. The smaller piece is for a room that the church is allowing us to prepare as a small apartment where we can sleep. We haven´t slept there yet, because of the cold temperatures, but are planning to make some accommodations to solve that.