July 2016

Last service in El Tingo.


The church that has been using our back yard for worship services has found another place in Quito to meet. Since most of the members live in Quito, they have been finding our place to be a bit far to travel each Sunday. So the church has been searching for a closer site in Quito. They found an excellent place. So today was their last service at our house. We have enjoyed having them. When we are in Quito we will continue to congregate with them.

(The flowers are from Faby´s garden.)


Preparing for the Exam


The students in Capulispungo take an exam after studying every book, which includes 10 lessons. This Saturday I was preparing them for the exam by reviewing all of the material. It´s interesting to see what themes come out the most. Here are three of them:
1) How did Jesus do discipleship? He sure didn´t hold weekly bible studies with his students. In Matthew 4, when Jesus went throughout Galilee preaching, teaching, and healing, his disciples went along as well. Discipleship was 24/7. That´s what Jesus meant when he said, "Follow me."
2) What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? The image I use is not that of filling a glass to full with water, but rather that of letting God control "the steering wheel of my life." Being filled with the Spirit is not just during a worship service, but during daily living in everything I do.
3) What does it mean that "God is just?" It means that in order to forgive us, someone had to pay the penalty. The class turned deadly silent when I shared this. I assume they had never heard the gospel in that light. Jesus was the only acceptable sacrifice to pay for our sins.
We continue to learn together, and that learning never ceases.


Teaching theology through music


I keep trying and praying to use music to teach the bible. This Sunday in the music workshop in a community called Cachisagua, we finally were able to make an attempt at composing a new song based on a Bible parable: The Hidden Treasure (Mt 13:44). First we studied the passage. Then we made an outline, and finally put together the verses, using a known melody. The result: (not bad in just one hour)


Escuchen todos les va a gustar
(Listen everyone, you´re going to like this)

Una historia que vamos a cantar
(A story we are going to tell)

Había un hombre que estaba en el campo
(There was a man in the field)

Trabajando un tesoro encontró
(While working found a treasure)

Al encontrar lo escondió
(When he found it, he hid it)

Y muy contento regresó
(And very happy returned)

Fue a su casa pensando qué hacer
(He went home and thought about what to do)

Y decidió comprar el terreno
(And decided to buy the land)

Al preguntar el dueño respondió
(When he asked, the owner answered)

Te va a costar todo lo que tienes
(It will cost you all you have)

Al regresar todo lo vendió
(He returned and sold everything)

Y lo compró y se hizo rico
(And bought the land and became rich)

Por eso hermano piénsalo bien
(Therefore brother, think wisely)

Que Dios quiere todo, todo para El
(God wants everything, everything for Him)

Si tú le das todo nada perderás
(If you give him everything, you won´t lose anything)

Tú estás ganando mucho mucho más
(You will gain much much more)


The results of "teaching"


Four years ago, I taught a music program for worship leaders at the Nazarene Seminary. Geovany and Sandy, the couple at the back of the photo, were both single students in the program. The objective was to teach them how to plan and lead worship services, but, you never know, the result was that the two got married! (We did attend their wedding.) Now four years later, they make us a visit to ask me to dedicate their first child, who hasn't arrived yet, and is due in 4 to 6 weeks.
You realize that teaching is not just giving lectures, but living out your life in front of the students. Seems to me they learn more from the latter than from the former. 1 Thessalonians 1:5b-6a "You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord"