June 2017

They make the decisions.

In Capulispungo, David, pictured here with his mother and me, is secretary of the church. Sunday was a "General Assembly Meeting" with the purpose of reorganizing the church. We had met with Antonio, the pastor, several times previous to help him plan the meeting. His proposal is to change the leadership structure of the church. Usually the church elects seven deacons every two years. These seven are the church "leaders." The system hasn't worked very well, so the pastor is proposing that he choose his own "team." The meeting lasted about three hours, and the whole time they spoke Quichua. I could almost keep track of the general theme they were discussing. Faby, Luis Moya and I attended. I was constantly reminded that we were in a different culture. What we expected to happen, and how they ran the meeting were two different worlds. In the end, the congregation agreed that the pastor should continue, and that they needed to redo their bylaws, and seek more member participation. The pastor is counting on us to help him in this process over the next six months.


Saturday, the group studying in the "FLET" bible program took their fifth exam. One more to go over the next three months to finish the course. As in the General Assembly, I would like them to make a decision on how and when they want to continue on to level two, but they have a different way of making decisions, and I have to wait.



"Flet" in Quito


We try to spend most of our time in Riobamba, but when we're in Quito, I try to check in on the church made up of immigrants from Capulispungo. They started the bible program "Flet" four weeks ago. So this Sunday I dropped in to see how they're doing, and I was impressed! They have a group of eleven students in the program. Their tutor, Abel, is doing a great job of encouraging them and tracking their work. We spent an encouraging two hours reviewing what they have learned so far, and answering questions. After the meeting, Abel and I talked about church growth strategy. The congregation is a mixture of Quichua immigrants plus children of the immigrants who are growing up in the city. He wants the services to include both Quichua music and contemporary music. They also need a musician or two to accompany the singing. We may plan a music workshop in the near future.

(Previous blog on topic)

Making decisions


We had a full weekend. Friday night we participated in a Bible study. Lisbet is the owner of the building where we have our office, and every week the employees gather for a short meeting. We are helping with the leadership, but waiting to see what shape the group will take.


Saturday in Capulispungo we continued with FLET. They have finished book #5, and have one more to go. We have graduation planned for October 21st. I keep reminding them that they need to decide what they want to do afterwards. They have expressed a desire to continue on with level 2, but it takes them time to discuss the idea and decide as a group. We leave it in their hands and God's.



Likewise in Cachisagua, we gave our final workshop on music. God gave us a beautiful day, so we held the workshop outdoors. Later we sat down to discuss future plans. We are encouraging them to begin the Bible Study Program "Flet." But again, they have to discuss it among themselves, and, as is their custom, make a decision as a group. Again we leave it in their hands and God's, and wait on Him.



How to start a bible program


The Quichuas love to celebrate with lots of ceremony. Saturday we drove to Guamote for the inauguration ceremony at a small local church to begin the bible program "FLET." The central office in Quito had called us to participate, because they were not able to attend. When they asked me to "inaugurate" the program I wasn't sure what to do. You're supposed to "cut the ribbon." So I made a small speech and cut the ribbon slowly for the photos. They seemed to be happy with that. Various speeches followed, plus I gave a message, and Faby led some singing. Finally, after about two hours or more, they ended the program by handing out the study books. This course "FLET" is quite popular among the Quichua and seems to be meeting their needs for theological education. May God bless the program.