“Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.
The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
~ John 8:34-36 ~
Last week, a holiday called Carnaval took place in Ecuador, as well as in many other Latin American countries. It is similar to the celebration of Mardi Gras, and it takes place right before Ash Wednesday. While on the surface, it appears to be a fun holiday filled with water balloon fights and spraying unsuspecting victims with foam (like silly string), the heart of carnaval reveals the depravity of a life without Christ. This holiday represents a time when it is socially acceptable to give free rein to live in carnality. It is a time filled with heavy drinking, dancing, and debauchery. For us, it has provided another reminder for why we are here in Ecuador. It reveals the emptiness and ineffectiveness of religion, because it doesn’t change lives. People can live in sin, then confess it all on Ash Wednesday in preparation for Lent, without fear of judgment or punishment. It demonstrates that religion has no power over the bondage of sin. The Gospel calls us to live a different life. It is not a life of bondage, but rather a life of liberation. Praise God for the freedom we have in Him!
We apologize for this update being later than usual. Last month and the beginning of this month have been really busy. It is hard to write an update that would encompass everything that we did in detail, so these are just some highlights. We moved from our apartment into a house. This has been a huge blessing for us, and we thank God for His provision. We have always lived in an apartment, so to live in a house is an exciting thing, and we look forward to using this space to serve those around us. Another way we have seen God’s provision this month is that we were able to purchase a vehicle. This is a tremendous answer to many prayers! The funds for the car came from our Outgoing Expenses, which was funded by many of you who gave specifically and sacrificially towards our setup costs in Ecuador. Thank you so much for your help and support in this way!
Our teammates arrived in Ecuador on February 9th, praise God! Much of our time has been spent helping and working with them on their new house. Since Jeff has received his international license, he has been able to drive to Quito several times and help the Woodfins with getting settled here. After not driving for over a year, he has enjoyed driving again.
We are officially on “baby watch” as they say. Please pray for a safe delivery; we are expecting our little man to arrive any day now. Jeff is allowed to be with Lisa during the delivery, so that is a blessing. We are thankful for a reliable doctor and clinic, but it will certainly be a new experience to deliver a child in Ecuador.
While we wait, Jeff continues with Bible studies and attending the Bible Institute. Many of you prayed for Hilda and Rolando as Hilda’s mother passed away in early February. While it has been a challenging process for these new believers, it has been amazing to see how God has sustained them and strengthened their faith. Our desire is to invest a lot of time into this family. Please pray for them and their extended family, as it seems the Lord is working in and through them.
On February 28th, we officially finished our orientation program. We are thankful for this time of learning, but we know that we are now entering a new phase of learning. Please pray for wisdom as we seek to continue building relationships with those around us. We are in a new neighborhood now, so that provides new opportunities to connect with new people. Please pray that God would continue to direct us to people who are searching for the truth that can only be found in the Bible.
Thank you so much for your faithful prayer and financial partnership with the ministry in Ecuador!
In His Service and yours,
Jeff, Lisa, & Simon
I am so glad we have a yard. It is small but I am glad I can go outside and play whenever I want. Our yard has a small lemon tree, and I like to pull off the leaves and smell them. I really like playing in the dirt with my toys and playing ball with Noel.
Calling all kids!
Calling all kids! We are still searching for the perfect name for the “Simon Says” section of our update. If you haven’t voted yet, with the assistance of your parents, please click HERE to vote on a new name for “Simon Says.”
Praise and Prayer:
Praise: Freedom in Christ
Praise: God’s provision of a house and vehicle
Praise: Arrival of the Woodfin family
Pray: Safe arrival of Baby Titus
Pray: Investment in Rolando and Hilda’s family
Pray: New Contacts and Bible Studies