July 2017

Moving along by God's grace

Another wonderful weekend!

The Friday night Bible study in Riobamba broke a new record of 22 participants! From what we can tell, the folks are eager to study the Bible. Most are new Christians. We are trying the method of inductive bible study where they discover biblical truth for themselves rather than us "teaching them."


After driving to Quito on Saturday, we were invited Sunday to a "high school graduation." When a Quichua graduates, they like to celebrate. So the whole church visited the graduate's home for a worship service and celebration. These are the folk who have migrated to Quito from Capulispungo. Normally I visit the church to see how they're progressing with the bible program "FLET."


After the home service, we went to the church to review lesson #9 with the students.


On the side, I finally made a descent photo of our Foundation's office. God has provided and continues to guide us in this new ministry.


Inauguration of our Office


God has blessed us with an office for our Foundation in Riobamba on the third floor of this building. There are no "for sale" signs, but God led us directly to the building when Faby made a new friend one day. The owners are Christians and gave us a huge discount. This Saturday we invited friends interested in our ministry to celebrate with us what God has done. Many came from Quito, a three hour drive just for the program. We rejoice in what God has done and what He continues to do!




We'll see what happens.

This is me in Santa Julia on Saturday going over the material in book #1 of FLET. We had 28 students! Everything looks good, and the students participated actively in the workshop. Originally, we proposed sponsoring the project and taking care of all the details, charging a fee for our services. The leader visited us on Thursday and told us he would like to take charge of the project. After the workshop, I talked with the pastor who didn't know what had happened on Thursday. We called in the leader and discussed the issue. In the end, we (as a Foundation) left the project in their hands. All I will do is give one workshop a month to go over the material. The rest depends on them. The pastor, the leader, and a church deacon continued to talk after I left. We'll see what happens.



On Sunday, I visited Cachisagua to see if they had recruited a group to register for the FLET program. When I arrived, no one was at the church. So I visited a nearby home and found Laura, whom I have had as a student in Riobamba, who took me across the valley to the other community where my friends were visiting another church. In the photo, Cachisagua is on the hill in the background. I had to wait for the service to finish, and then we drove back across the valley and back up to Cachisagua. In the end, they still haven't recruited folks for the program, but are in the process. We'll see what happens.



Conversations in Capulispungo


It's hard to wait. Especially when you have to wait for others to make a decision. But in the Quichua communities, they prefer to make decisions as a group. Therefore it takes time to discuss the issues, understand all that's involved, and come to a conclusion and commitment. They call this "socialization" of the decision. Yet, as a Foundation, we have decided that this is best way to do things: let them make the decision, and take on the project as their own. Our role is to help where we can, especially in training and education. The project needs to be theirs, not ours, if we want to see permanent results.


Never know what to expect

We called Ruben in Cachisagua to see if they wanted to start the FLET bible program in their church. He said, "Come this Sunday because there will be four other pastors here too!" I thought we would be going to the church to present the program to four pastors. I have learned here in Ecuador to expect anything, so we went ready for everything. Still, to my surprise, we found the whole church celebrating the inauguration of their men's choir. The Quichua really celebrate BIG! We arrived just as the service was beginning. I lost count of how many other choirs participated in the event. After the message, the men's choir was "sworn-in" and anointed with oil. Then they could present their two well-rehearsed songs. I have also learned that often more is accomplished in the informal moments than in the actual program. Sure enough, after all the celebration and food, some of the church members starting asking about FLET. They really do want to study the bible. So we decided to have them fill out the forms to see who is really interested, and then meet in two weeks to work out the details. That's how it works in the Quichua communities.

The men's choir.

The congregation and guests.

Men's choir performing.

Informal times outside the service.

They feed everybody.

Even the young help.

Almost looks like a pizza.

The group that met afterward to discuss FLET.