“For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners,
so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”
~ Romans 5:19 ~
Did you ever experience a time when you were punished for something you didn’t do? Perhaps a sibling broke something, and all children were punished. Or maybe a classmate did something wrong, and the entire class bore the consequences. “Por uno, pagan todos” is an Ecuadorian phrase that means “Because of one, all pay.” As we’ve worked through our visa paperwork, there have been extra steps and requirements because at some point, someone falsified or forged their documents or tried to take advantage of the government. Because of one person’s offense, everyone else must pay the price. This phrase stuck in our minds this month as we celebrated Easter. The passage above teaches that one man’s disobedience made all men sinners. We all pay the price for Adam’s sin – por uno pagan todos. However, the Gospel reverses that phrase to “Por todos pagó uno: for all, One paid.” By Christ’s obedience, we are made righteous. While we still face the consequences of living in a fallen world, we can rejoice that, as believers, we have a righteous standing before God. Praise God for the sacrifice of His Son that paid our debt. Our prayer is that the people of Ecuador will come to understand and believe the Gospel and trust in Christ alone for salvation.
Praise God, we have received and completed all of our required documentation. Within two months of living in Ecuador, we have received our 2-year visas and our cédulas (Ecuadorian identification cards). Thank you to all of you who have been praying on our behalf. God continues to make our way straight in Ecuador, and we can only praise Him. This past month we had the second and final round of voting for the Ecuadorian president. In February, a general election took place which narrowed the number of candidates from sixteen to two. On April 11th, the final election took place, and a new president was elected. This month, we learned that voting is mandatory for Ecuadorians. After voting, they receive a voter ID card that is very important. Without this card they cannot get a job, apply to a university, or make any big purchases. If someone refuses to vote, they could lose their job.
Jeffrey continues attending leadership meetings with “Iglesia Cristiana Gracia y Paz” every week. Gracia y Paz is a church plant with only a handful of Christians, all of which are first-generation. They are working on legalizing the church, and therefore have to establish their Constitution and Bylaws. This is a good learning opportunity for Jeff as he is able to see these young believers pray and wrestle with what is necessary in a church. It is encouraging to see the believers continually running to Scripture to see the biblical elements of a church. Please pray for these men as they strive to lead the church.
This month we officially began our orientation program. This program is meant to help adjust to living in Ecuador, speak Spanish more fluently, and build relationships with people around us. While this may not look our sound like “ministry,” this year is foundational for future ministry in Ecuador. If we cannot speak well, how can we share the Gospel? If we don’t understand the customs and culture of the Ecuadorians, how can we build relationships with them? Please pray for us, that we will truly learn how to best minister to these people. We also ask that you pray for us as a family as we continue to adjust and find a “new normal” in a third-world country.
As we look at the month ahead, we are excited to see what the Lord will do. May 17th will be the 3-month mark of living in Ecuador. This is a time where the “new and exciting” starts to wear off, and the business and reality of life can bring discouragement. Pray for us to not lose our focus and excitement of why we are here. We are also looking forward to welcoming our first visitors. Once a year, administrators from Biblical Ministries Worldwide come and hold a “Field Conference.” This is a time of refreshment and encouragement for us as missionaries. We are excited to host our first guests in our apartment!
This month I learned how to sleep in a big boy bed. I’ve learned that I am not supposed to get out of the bed unless Mommy and Daddy say I can. I love to play with my farm toys and listen to Patch the Pirate. I’m learning new songs and truths about God. I also like to be outside, but it is rainy season, so it rains a lot.
Praise and Prayer:
1. Praise: We are made righteous through Christ’s obedience
2. Praise: We received our cédulas and visas
3. Pray: Church leadership as they legalize Iglesia Cristiana Gracia y Paz
4. Pray: Teachability during the orientation program
5. Pray: Family adjustments
For a printable PDF, please click HERE.