“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14
Hudson Taylor, missionary to China, once said “it is not lost time to wait on God.” As missionaries, we spend a lot of time waiting. We often spend time waiting for people to arrive at a Bible study. We begin the process of building a redemptive relationship, only to wait on the Lord to work in their hearts to begin studying the Bible. We wait for people to mature so they can continue the work of the ministry. We wait to see where the Lord is going to lead us next. Does that mean we are doing nothing? No, on the contrary. We are very busy as we wait on the Lord. What does a missionary do while he waits “patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7)? We continue holding Bible studies. We continue building relationships. We survey new areas. We also do a lot of praying. When, not only missionaries, but all Christians, spend their time waiting patiently on God in prayer, they are putting all their dependence on God and allowing Him to do the work.
As you may be able to tell from the previous paragraph, we feel as though we have been doing a lot of waiting. Lisa has been talking with a lady named Haydee. She and her husband have been discussing their desire to study the Bible but have yet to commit to studying together. Pray for Haydee and her husband, that God will work in their hearts to search for truth. Another instance of waiting is that Rolando and Hilda were doing a discipleship Bible study last year, but they have yet to begin studying again in this new year. Pray that God will work in their hearts to begin studying again this month. Yet another occasion of waiting is in regard to a lady named Viviana. Trina and Lisa started meeting with her in December, but she has not been able to meet consistently. There are many times when the ladies have shown up for the study, but Viviana is either busy with a client, or she is not there at all. Please pray that the Lord would block the obstacles that impede this Bible study.
While we are waiting, we are thankful for the work that God is doing in us. He has been teaching us many things about the need to continue faithfully, even when it is hard and discouraging. He has also been reminding us that His Word is the powerful and effective sword that penetrates, regardless of our ability or inability to speak well. Praise God for His continued faithfulness to make us more like Christ!
So far, this month will provide some normalcy for us, for which we are thankful. This Saturday, however, brings an extra trip. The men from our mission team, Kevin, Marco, Jeff, and Bobby, will be traveling to the coastal plains to survey the neighboring towns of La Troncal and El Triunfo. This is part of the process of expanding to different regions of Ecuador for the 4World Initiative. The men will have the opportunity to meet with a family of believers in La Troncal. Please pray for wisdom and insight as we seek God’s will for a future ministry location.
We are thankful for growth in the Thursday night Bible study, as it has increased from two people to six. The group consists of believers, but they hold some hurt and resentment from a different church. We are praying that God will grow them and work in their hearts through these discipleship studies. May He increase their faithfulness to Him.
February 17th will mark two years of living and serving in Ecuador. We are so thankful to God for helping us as we continue to adjust, learn, and serve. Thank you for your faithful prayer and financial support that enables us to continue ministering to the people of Ecuador. The following quotation from Amy Carmichael expresses our hearts as we begin another year of ministry:
This India [Ecuador] is God’s India [Ecuador]. This work is His. Oh, join with us then, as we join with all our dear Indian [Ecuadorian] brothers and sisters who are alive in the Lord, in waiting upon Him in that intensest [sic] form of waiting which waits on till the answer comes; join with us as we pray to the mighty God of revivals,
“O Lord, revive Thy work! Revive Thy work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make known!” [Habakkuk 3:2]
In His service and yours,
Jeff, Lisa, Simon, and Titus
The Double Scoop:
Simon continues to enjoy preschool and learning the alphabet. He says that if he were bigger, he would read books all by himself, even the hard ones. Titus is generally a quiet and content little guy who likes to sit back and observe. However, he does enjoy getting into things, particularly Simon’s school supplies. We thank God for our boys!
Praise and Prayer:
Praise: Growth in us!
Praise: Growth in the Thursday night Bible study
Praise: Two years in Ecuador!
Pray: Haydee and her husband’s interest in the Bible
Pray: Rolando and Hilda - new discipleship study
Pray: Viviana - new Bible study
Pray: Men’s trip to La Troncal and El Triunfo on 2/4