“And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'”
- Matthew 28:18-20 -
This past month, we had the opportunity to participate in a missions conference at an Ecuadorian church. Jeff spoke on Matthew 28 and explained the necessity of the Great Commission. As believers, we are commanded to make disciples (Μαθητεύω, in the Greek language). In Ecuador, there are so many people who do not truly know Jesus. They may know a lot about Jesus, but they do not know Him intimately and personally. This conference energized us because it reminded us of our purpose for being in Ecuador: We are here to make disciples. What happens when we are tired? What happens when people don’t seem like they are listening? The command goes unchanged, and it applies to every believer. We must ask ourselves, how are we doing in fulfilling it?
The missions conference provided a great opportunity to teach about missions. “Missions” is a foreign concept in Ecuador; many believers only see the Great Commission as the American missionaries’ responsibility. Jeff began the conference by talking about each individual’s need to proclaim the gospel, and Marco (our national coworker) spoke of the church's responsibility to fulfill that mission. In conclusion, Kevin (the Field Leader) spoke on that specific church's responsibility to Marco, a missionary sent from their church. We praise the Lord for a profitable conference!
This past month has been busy, and time has passed rapidly. Last month we shared that the Lord provided an apartment for us. We praise the Lord for His provision. We spent much of March painting, cleaning, and furnishing our home, in addition to Jeff preparing for the conference. We were able to move into our apartment last week! We also made several trips to Quito to meet with our immigration attorney. We are still waiting for our certified FBI background checks to be sent from Washington DC. Please pray for the arrival of these documents. Our attorney would like to submit our visa application in early April, but that is not possible without these documents.
Now that we have officially moved into our apartment and are living on our own, our field leader has informed us that we will begin our orientation process in April. We have not been told what that will entail, but we will soon find out. Living in our home has given opportunities to meet new people. We have been getting to know Mayra, a lady who owns a small store on our street. We buy water and eggs from her regularly. Please continue to pray for boldness to talk about the Gospel and share Christ with those around us.
We are getting more and more involved with the church plant, Iglesia Cristiana Gracia y Paz (formerly, Sublime Gracia). Jeff attends the Bible Institute on Mondays and Fridays, and he has begun to meet with the church leaders (the “Junta”). This is a great opportunity for him to learn and witness the leadership training process. Lisa meets with Trina Mayfield and several of the leaders’ wives each month. They are finishing a study on being a Biblical, godly wife.
We are preparing for Sunday as it is Resurrection Sunday. Lisa and Jeff will be providing special music, and Kevin will be preaching. We then will have a small meal with the believers after the service. It will be a good time of fellowship and a good opportunity to build a relationship with the believers here. Large gatherings are prohibited, but we are so thankful for the opportunity to meet together with our small group.
We are praying that we will receive our visas this month. Once that happens, we will be able to get a cédula. The cédula is Ecuador's national identification card, and everything here is connected to this card. Once we receive our cédulas, other things will be simplified (getting a license, buying a car, ect.). Slowly but surely, we are learning more about navigating life in Ecuador. We have much to learn, but we are so thankful for Kevin and Trina Mayfield. They have been very patient, flexible, and gracious with us as new missionaries. We are blessed to be able to learn from them. We are also thankful to the Lord for His help. He constantly reminds us that He is for us, and that He is worthy of our praise and adoration.
Thank you for your faithful prayers for us and the ministry in Ecuador!
In His service and yours,
Jeff, Lisa, & Simon
I am trying very hard to learn Spanish. Sometimes when I say something, it comes out in words that only I can understand. I am excited about my new home. It is fun to have all my books and toys again. I just love my books! Mommy and Daddy say that I have to learn to sleep in a big boy bed soon. I like to play at the park and make new friends.
Praise and Prayer:
1. Praise: Good conference on March 21st
2. Praise: God’s provision of an apartment
3. Pray: Relationships with those around us
4. Pray: Visa application/arrival of outstanding paperwork
5. Pray: Start of our orientation program this month
For a printable PDF, please click HERE.