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Posted by on in Ecuador Mission Trip 2011

Here is the finished product.....our "Iglesia de Dios" in the heart of southern Guayaquil.

When I first posted the "before" picture of the church construction site at the first of the week, most if not all our time naively hoped that we could finish before we left Ecuador.  The objective was to have the entire building done with no more work required.  But as Josh and I sat on the street curb eating our sandwich for lunch on Wednesday, we talked about how we obviously wouldn't get "done".

But we also talked about how "being done" was never really the goal.  The goal was simply to get as much of the work done that we could and let the completion work itself out.

Even then it struck me that our Christian lives SHOULD be that way, but maybe over time we have come to see it differently.  Let me explain.

It seems to me that often times we demonstrate roughly three phases of Christianity: the first where we are ready and willing to work for God, the second where we are actively seeking to sacrifice, serve, and do God's work, and a third where we kind of think we have done our part and are somewhat "finished".  And the phases seem to me to be independent of age or longevity as a Christian but may be dependent more on how effective we are being as Christians.  The more work we are doing for God, the more the enemy will work against us.  And the attacks of the enemy are usually far more subtle than we expect.  He absolutely uses addiction or moral failure or other frontal assaults, but I believe the majority of his attacks just use our own weight against us.

If we are busily involved with our children's endeavors, he will tempt us to embrace that we are too busy to volunteer or work at or through the church.  If we don't see our family much due to travel or other obligations, he will tempt us to embrace that we need time for our families first.  If we have an issue with someone in the church or with something about the church, he will tempt us to focus on seeing it resolved before extending ourselves any further.  If we are challenged financially, he will convince us that we must see to it that our families' needs are met before giving to God.

The enemy doesn't come straight at us like a boxer.  Like a sumo wrestler, he uses our own weight of commitment to our families, commitment to our jobs, commitment to our finances, and commitment to our own sense of rightness in the church against us and against God.  He takes what is precious to us and uses it to make us work against our savior.

But the enemy is a liar.  More, he is the father of lies and the truth is never in him.

But the truth is in the Word, and it told us to "be His witnesses....to the ends of the earth".  That commission is as valid for you and I the last breath we take as it was the first breath we took as a believer.  Just like we were never intended to "finish" our work on this humble house of worship in Guayaquil, we are never intended to finish our work for Jesus until He calls us to our eternal home.

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Posted by on in Ecuador Mission Trip 2011

 

This week I have had the opportunity to learn what it is to have a servant's heart. Even though it happened in Ecuador, I discovered the examples I should be following are very close to home.

I have had the privilege and honor this entire week of accompanying Heather and Melissa into the poorest neighborhoods of Guayaquil, Ecuador. I have been both humbled and inspired by these two friends.

Emotion overcomes me when I contemplate their compassion and unconditional willingness to perform whatever duty was required of them. I try to control my tears, so no one will think something is wrong with me. It is very difficult.

I watched all week as Heather and Melissa painted walls, prayed for women and children, and danced for God. I never heard a negative word or complaint. All I saw were two angels from God sent to Ecuador to bless my soul.

There are those of you who think you are too old or young to do missions work. Some of you think "oh, I'm not called to be a missionary." I've got news for you. We are all called to be missionaries by the very nature of the gospel mandate from God. There are no excuses.

When your next opportunity for missions comes along, think hard about accepting the call. Maybe you will find your own set of angels.

Jared

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Posted by on in Ecuador Mission Trip 2011

 

It was a hectic yet fulfilling week in Guayaquil. Being a Missionaro (Spanish translation) is hard work! It’s been very difficult to post updates on the blog because we have so little time. Second, it’s hard to turn the experience into adequate words, so that also takes time to think about what to tell. We have been hitting the pavement (mostly dirt) hard. We have been in 'nicer' parts of town the past three days as compared to Tuesday. Still extreme poverty, but the neighborhoods are more 'developed' and closer to civilization.

 

This is the longest I have been away from Angie and that has been tough. After just spending one week here it makes me appreciate the little things we take for granted. It makes me realize just how blessed BEYOND MEASURE the glorious 235 year old experiment named the United States really is. It’s God’s hand that has given us the blessings of liberty that no other country has ever seen. Yet I’ve come to realize I have in ways let prosperity and abundance hinder my walk with Him. That's not good. It took flying 2500 miles to a 3rd world country to realize this truth. Sin is not just doing bad things, it is putting good things in front of God.

Indeed spreading the “Good News” in a poor country is easier than at home. You don’t have to worry about embarrassment because you can’t speak their language anyway. And you won’t worry about seeing them again since you are a foreigner. In the US the “Good News” quickly becomes bad news when people find out what they have to give up. Here in Ecuador it’s all good news. Most here have nothing! In the US we are ‘busy’ with Work, School, Sports, Travel, the Internet etc. etc. We like the “come and see Jesus” part. It’s the “take up your cross and follow me” part that is the bad news. I look at how open and thirsty for God some of these people are, and instead of asking why they are, I ask why we aren’t. I think I know the answer. We are already full.

Here Jesus Christ is pronounced (Hey-soos Chreesto) I will miss hearing that shouted during the dramas from the little niñas and niños! His name will be exalted above all names…no matter what language and nation. A small school we went to yesterday has seven teachers total. Of the seven only two were Christian. By the time we left, there were seven Christian teachers at that school. They told Pastor Joe “We’ve seen Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses here in our community, but there is something different about your group.” The whole bus erupted in praise! I have a lot of other stories, but that will have to wait for later. Remind me about the 25 year old girl with a “bad spirit”. It will give you chills up and down your neck.

Thanks to everyone for your prayers, we all appreciate them.If it’s Saturday and you are reading this, we are probably in the air flying back home. Continue to pray until we all get back safely! We cannot wait to see you. I’d say CP’s first international/ intercontinental mission trip was an epic life changing success. There WILL be more. You must see how 94% of the world 's population lives. Hint: Under the scorching hot sun...that's it! As we leave this old dirty dusty nation, we leave changed.And we leave treasure lying here as well. Already looking forward to it.

Lance

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Posted by on in Ecuador Mission Trip 2011

I apologize for not posting anything over the last two days, but I've been exhausted. I've grown spritually over the past two months, but Nothing compares to what I've experienced here in Ecuador. I believe that in order to serve God fully, there can be no "comfort zone" in your life. All I want to do is just stand in His presence and soak up as much of His spirit as possible.  Serving God and fulfilling scripture by going into the world and spreading the word of God has opened up a whole avenue of worship for me.

We put up so many boundaries and confine God so that He can only move in those specific areas of our lives.  Being able to stay in "control" of those areas creates a "comfort zone" and keep us from experiencing the fullness of God and the Holy Spirit.  Case in point, it's 11:41pm and most of the guys are gathered together in Lance, Mike S., and Allens room talking about our experiences.  The first miracle is that there are 6 guys in a room talking about their experiences for the day.  The second miracle is that we aren't talking about football, hunting, fishing, or sports.  We're talking about how much God has done in our lives during this trip;  How it has affected us and what we can do to keep the fire burning inside;  Being able to openly discuss God and our feelings with other Godly men is an awesome experience.  It brings much joy to my heart and allows us to destroy any "comfort zones" that we may have.

Praise God for what He has done within our group.  I appreciate your prayers for our group.  We have heard from many that you have been praying for us and we can feel your prayers.  God is changing our hearts, our focus, our desires, and our spirits.  We have seen God work in a mighty way this week.

We love you all and look forward to being able to share our experience.

I've created a new photo slide show showing you the church building process.

 

Joshua

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Posted by on in Ecuador Mission Trip 2011

I didn't blog on Tuesday because I couldn't.  The words were too hard to say.  The poverty we served on that day was more than my emotions could handle.  I know it sounds dramatic, but, it's the truth.  I've only seen that kind of poverty on television.  The last time I felt that strong of an emotion was when my father died.  It was terrible and the only thing that makes it worth speaking of are the phenomenal smiles that came from the children.  They made us feel like we had the power of the President, the admiration of Princess Diana, the fame of Michael Jackson, and the prestige of the Pope.  If I could have brought one little girl home...

Wednesday had nowhere to go but up.  We went to a school where the kids were in terrible conditions that would never be allowed in the US, but, they still had potential.  They had Facebook accounts.  Each day our team leaves about 8:15 am and rides the bus to a community school.  We do a program for the children including drama, dancing, skits, and a lot of prayer, then work around the school either painting or picking up trash.  The afternoon is filled with walking street-to-street in a nearby community announcing a crusade happening that afternoon at the local church.  During our time at Wednesday morning's school Casey and Lauren met a little girl named Michelle.  Keep in mind that our girls have a wonderful ability to make every child feel special.  Michelle was one of many.  For the purposes of this blog, though, remember the name Michelle from the Wednesday morning school.

Thursday was similar to Wednesday.  Another school where the children were in bad conditions, but, will probably still make something of themselves (as much as possible in Ecuador).  We did our program that morning then painted the school wall.  Lunch was in the bus on the way to the community church.  Soon, we were walking the streets of another community far from the school and especially far from yesterday's school.

Here's where things get really interesting - we were walking down the street and a little girl about 40 yards away was screaming at us in Spanish, "Keh-SEE!"

I didn't know what that word was in Spanish, so, I turned to the interpreter and asked what the little girl was screaming.

She then said it louder, "KEH-SEE!!!"

The interpreter still didn't know what she was saying, then Casey said, "I think she's talking to me!"

Unbelievable.  The little girl saw her blond-headed heros coming down the street towards her house.  What are the chances?  We got closer to her house and Michelle, whom Casey and Lauren had met at the Wednesday morning school, ran out and gave them a bear-hug.  It was as if Michelle's angels had found her.  When I looked at Casey's face you would have thought that she had found HER angel in Michelle.  It was literally unbelievable.  What are the odds?  There are nearly 4 million people in Ecuador and Casey and Lauren walked up to the house of a child they met the day before at a far-away location.  Casey said she and Lauren had taught Michelle a lot of words in English and that Michelle had tried to teach them some Spanish.  These little girls obviously made a connection.

Now it's Thursday night and the Ecuador Mission Trip is almost over.  I must admit that Tuesday I thought we were useless.  When we rode up the kids were in unspeakable poverty and when we left they were still in unspeakable poverty.  All I could hope was that the smile that was on their faces for those few hours would at least tuck them in that night and help them feel better about the day.  Now I realize that the Ecuadorian missionaries from College Park have made an impact that lasts more than a few hours...it's been proven that it last at least until the next afternoon when they see their heroes walking down the street.

It was hard to get Michelle to let go of either Casey or Lauren's arm this afternoon.  I think she is in every picture that they took at the street crusade.

I've come to the conclusion that the ray of sunshine we bring to these children actually does last for more than a few hours...and I'm absolutely certain that the impact they have made on me will last a lifetime.

 

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Green eyed Gracella with an English learning book in her hands.Waiting in the Hotel lobby on the buses to pick us up.What ground is this ground cover?What tree is this?

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Posted by on in Ecuador Mission Trip 2011

La Carolina

Psalm 33:20 - We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

This scripture is exactly what the people here believe.

 We (Melissa and Heather) are thrilled for this opportunity to serve and experience the greatness of God.  We had a practice day on Monday and learned several songs in Spanish with the motions, several dramas, and illustrations.  We hit the ground running on Tuesday and Wednesday starting at 7:15 am with praise and worship on the roof before loading the bus and heading to the neighborhoods to see what this was all about.  We started both mornings at a school and then a local church in the afternoon.  We have had the same schedule and presented the same material at each place but each location presents a different story.  We were unsure of what to expect but knew our mission was to go with a willing heart and to share Jesus with everyone that we come into contact with.  At each location the children enter with such excitement, as if some big celebrity had arrived at their school.  They smiled as we walked around trying to introduce ourselves and we don’t just mean smiled, we mean smiles that would melt anyone's heart.  These children live in a community that is so dirty and broken and these children were smiling and happy!  The homes are (mostly one 10x10 room) with dirt floors, bamboo walls, and a metal roof.  (Note:  the homes of the early settlers at Burritt Mt. would have been castles here.) 

We have realized many things on this trip and are sure we will realize even more before we return home.  However, what we are reminded of most is how much we have and how much we take for granted every minute of every day.  The thing that really amazed us the most was that the children here have nothing but they do not seem to notice.  They continue to smile because with Jesus they have HOPE.

We hope that every one of you will have the opportunity to come and experience this for yourselves because it is impossible to describe the emotions that are involved with each child just wanting a little bit of attention and love shown to them.   We have so many special stories that we would love to share with you but not the time to type them all.  We have a few pictures below to show some of the things that we have talked about.

Love,

Heather and Melissa

 

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Posted by on in Ecuador Mission Trip 2011

The "Inglesia de Dios" that we are building is coming along.  In the photo you can see all the concrete posts we have poured, block we have laid, and all the material we are using sitting in piles in what is their sanctuary.  Josh, myself, Allen, and Blake are having a blast on the team and I think all of us feel like we have made fast friends.  It is an amazing amount of pure physical labor - a sawz-all, circular saw, and cordless drill are the extent of our powered equipment.

The construction team starts every day with a devotion and I was asked to provide it this morning.  I shared the same thoughts I had shared the previous night with the men on the mission trip - thoughts from Malachi 3:8-11.  What keeps coming to my mind here in Ecuador is "sacrifice".  Not ours for being here, but the fact that we are so far removed from real sacrifice in our own lives because of our comforts that I have really been convicted in the last two years to clearly define......DAILY.......how is God's kingdom advanced because of me that day?  How has the eternal life He has given me in order that I may life Him up and proclaim His name benefited anyone but myself?  What difference does Jesus' death on the cross make in my life every day?

My thoughts on Malachi 3:8-11 were that the Israelites were suffering from the same problem.  They had become lazy in their comfort and stopped giving their best to God.  They were blessed, so blessed that they had started giving God the leftovers out of their abundance...and HE called them on it.  He tells them that they are ROBBING HIM and that He would rather someone lock the doors to the temple so they WOULDN'T KINDLE THEIR USELESS FIRE ON HIS ALTER.

The fact with our savior and Lord is that something is NOT better than nothing.  He wants, and deserves it all and will judge us by that standard.  We can't continue to try and find His will by trying to pull Him into what we think we want.  We must abandon what we think we want and find ourselves in His will and remain there.  Our salvation is for others, not ourselves.  It is for the work of His kingdom, proclaiming Him Lord and taking the message of the gospel to everyone we can.  God wants the best of us, but He absolutely requires our obedience first.  Not in giving Him what we think He wants or is best, but seeking His face in the Spirit to be led into what His will is for our lives.

God causes or allows all, but we better believe He lets us languish in the consequences of our disobedience decisions.  If we want to change ourselves, our families, our peers, our body, our community, and beyond, we must seek His face for the will He has for us and obey.

A "useless" fire.  That is what God called the offerings of the Israelites.  As individuals, as families, and even as a body....I often wonder what He thinks of ours.

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Posted by on in Ecuador Mission Trip 2011
Our morning started early, getting up at 6:30am. The Grand Hotel of Guayaquill was busy this Tuesday morning with 188 missionaries hurrying around the halls. All the medical teams, construction teams and three large community teams busily trying to go eat breakfast, pick up our lunch from room 105 (sandwich making room) then meet up on the roof at 7:15 for devotion service. The speaker (Pastor Phil, a man on the Carey staff) spoke well and pumped us all up. The theme has been "stepping out of our comfort zone." I liked what he said when he said something to the effect of:
"When you are asleep in the natural (the physical). You miss things. Likewise when you are asleep in the spiritual you also miss things. Don't be asleep in the spiritual..you'll miss what God has planned for you. He's not looking for your talents..only your obedience..he'll supply the rest."
It made me think of two verses. First was Matthew 12:29 when Jesus said: "How can anyone go into a strong man's house and steal his property? First he must tie up the strong man. Then he can go through his house and steal his property."
What's the best way for someone to go into a stronger man's house and plunder it? While he is sleeping of course!
Second, I thought of Jesus scolding his disciples in Matthew 26: 40-46 in Gethsemane because they kept falling asleep: "Couldn't you watch (stay awake) for me for one hour..?"
I don't know, maybe we all need to check inside ourselves and make sure we are spiritually awake..and moving forward..not being static..not asleep spiritually. If we aren't awake growing -moving forward, something is wrong.
Lastly, I really liked one super good line the speaker left us with before we headed out this morning. He said: "We don't fight for victory, we fight with victory."
Now THAT is what you tell a bunch of anxious missionaries before you send them out into the fields. Declaring it! Proclaiming it! Spreading it! Word!
Right about here is where I'm supposed to post what I experienced today. Pictures and all. But I honestly cannot do that now. I cried more today than I have in a long time. I cleared my eyes enough at one point to look over at Mike Rickles and noticed tears streaming down his face too. It was a moment I will never forget. There we were, two weeping basket cases. It repeated itself again and again throughout the long day. When we got on the bus at about 5:15pm I saw Casey's crystal blue eyes filled with tears crying. I think some of the children were crying (not wanting us to leave..I don't know). Today was a "shock to my system" as Jarred helped me put it.
When we arrived back at our hotel about 6:00 I think, Pastor Joe revealed to us that we had been in the "worst" part of the city called "The Island of the Condemned." It was technically the area known as "Nigeria" because of the Africans who live there with the Hispanic population. In the 1600-1700's the Spainards brought their slaves over with them and that is where they lived..and have ever since.
Anyways as I said, I'm not ready to post pics and talk about it in detail right now. I think Mike R. will. We took great pics and he should be able to put some words together too. All I can say is oh the humanity! The children were beautiful. I'll never forget their faces. One of them trying to take my wedding ring off my finger. Them teasing me. Them looking in awe at lil ole me.
On our bus ride back into town I told Mike that all I could think about when we were interacting with the children was "red and yellow, black and white they are precious in His sight..."
I'm off for now..thanks for reading our posts! Love all ya'll and miss ya'll. You are going next year!

Lance
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Posted by on in Ecuador Mission Trip 2011

For those of us who arent on the construction and medical team, today was our day of practice and preparation. Lauren , Casey, Mike Rickles and I are on Pastor Joe's ministry team (25 of us). Melissa, Jarred, Heather and Jonathon are on another team. Bailey and Ron are on medical team. They took a boat to an island today and from what I heard it was amazing experience..hopefull she or Ron can post some pics with an update. Stokes, Josh, Tebow, Allen and Blake are on the construction team, building the church in an interesting part of town I hear.

Pastor Joe is the Pastor at New Hope Community Church in Bunn NC. There are no Carey NC ppl on our team. I am super super super impressed with how organized and structured the whole outfit is. Nothing is done without first praying and meeting about every little detail. We have to meet at 7:15am on the roof and then head out early tomorrow to take a bus into the community. We are going to be putting on "community crusades" several times per day for the rest of the week. Drama, puppets, singing, dancing, translating etc.

Included are pics from today. The people we have met are very sweet and they love our Alabama dialects (I don't think we talk any different than the NC ppl, but evidently we do :). The Wifi problem has improved. Appearently the Hotel got a clue and figured when it's a full occupancy of Americans, you'd better have the internet ready to roll ;)

Again, I can't stress this enough, these ppl are pros. We are learning from some of the best. Enjoy the pics from today. Some of the city shots are from yesterday when we had some free time to site-see. Pray for us tomorrow. I'm anxious...alot of areas we are going this week include the favela that you'd typically see in pictures of South American countries.

 

Lance

 

Pastor Joe giving us insctructions.

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What a wonderful day here in Guayaguil, Ecuador. All plans seam to be running smoothly, great day for church with our 1st visit to the location
of our week long project. Today we prayed over the site where the new church will be and had church in the street in front of it. What a true blessing
we all have enjoyed here all day as we have shared our faith and love. We have ended up our day with a praise and worship service high above the city on the roof
of the Grand Hotel Guayaquil. Songs of Praise and Worship could be heard many blocks away as we lifted up the Name of Jesus. What a wonderful spirit we have enjoyed here today. Looking forward to the 1st day of construction.
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Posted by on in Ecuador Mission Trip 2011

***NOTE****  Please share the Facebook and Church blog link with everyone you know.  We must be able to share our experiences with as many as possible.

 

I apologize up front for not being able to depict to you all of the thoughts that are going through my mind because of everything that we've have seen.  Some of this is difficult to put into words.  Most of this must be EXPERIENCED to be able to understand and I'm sorry you're not able to be here.  I will try to do my best.

After reading Mike and Lance's post from earlier today, it is apparent to me that God is at work within our group.  At 9 am the construction team departed for the new church site where we attended church service with the congregation.  Until today, I can probably say that my perspective has probably been skewed.  People who live in America and have never been on a mission trip cannot fully understand true poverty.  As we stood there and worshipped with the (Ecuadorian "Mike Rickles") leading the worship, I began to cry.  This seems to be the overwhelming theme for the day anyway so why not.  There were approximately 120 or more of us counting there congregation and the folks that just walked up.  We had church in the street.  What struck me the most was that the people's condition, status in life, or circumstances did not keep them from worshipping God and having church.  Even though I didn't understand but about two words of the songs we sang, it didn't matter.  I could feel the power of the Holy Spirit in that place.

Our prayers are coming true.  Isn't that a novel idea.  What started as an idea for doing missions work, then expanded into an action, executed with prayer and determination, is now coming to fruition by the grace of God.  WOW!!!!  My God is good.

This was the only "off" for the construction team so we did little site seeing here close to the hotel.  Of course a little site seeing means more bus rides and a lot of walking.  There were deals on every corner.  My roommate bought a Seiko watch for 6$ and by the way, gas is 1.49$ a gallon down here.  There is still no place like home.

The evening was capped off by a praise and worship service on the roof of the hotel.  It was supposed to start at 9 but was about 15 minutes late.  I said that to say that I almost missed it.  I'm extremely tired and I wanted to go to be early because we have to be up by 6 and on the bus by 730.  Something made me change my mind and I encouraged a few other tired folks to go with me to check it out.  Can I say that God does not disappoint?  WOW!!!  Once again I felt the Holy Spirit moving again.  I can say that I started and finished the day crying and I'm still crying as I'm writing this post.  I wish I could share what I'm feeling with you right now.

We finished the praise service with prayer and I finished the night by saying this:

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

Today my heart was filled up and there is more to come.  I wish you could all be here.

Joshua

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I have never really put much thought into the possibility of becoming a missionary, but Now it's a reality (well for one week at least). Thanks for all of your intercessory prayers on behalf of our team. This is an epic undertaking, so thanks for your support!

 

To start, it'd be helpful if I mentioned what was the impetous for me personally, that got me here. In short: these three books- Crazy Love by Francis Chan, Radical by David Platt and Atheist Christian by Craig Groeschel. I won't go into detail, but these books essentially showed me something(s) that I had not been doing. Things that EVERY Christian should be doing. And also that we each aren't the stars of our own movie. We are merely 'extras' in God's movie. In other words...it's about Him, not just you and me.

 

So here I am writing this blog 2500 miles away from home and family whom I miss :). And at least 1970 miles from the nearest Cracker Barrel. I tell you THAT feels weird! Like every other missionary that came here to Ecuador before me, I come here proclaiming the power, presence and love of Jesus Christ. And I come also with the authority and the annointing of the Holy Spirit. That fact gives me assurance and a peace.

 

A sign over the entrance of a small church that I treat each month says "Enter to worship." Above the exit another banner says "Exit to Serve." For most of my Christian walk I have been very active in the former, but mostly passive in the latter. I'm changing that starting now.

 

Our team split into two parts this morning. The Evangelism team that I was on took a 30min bus ride through the city streets to a church service across town. The trek made me think I was at times riding through a Hollywood set of an Indiana Jones movie. Shanty stucco homes with varied colors and shoddy roofs. Busy city streets (some with brick pavers etc.) with wires hanging over from one side to another. Store fronts of every kind of you can think of (and lots of car parts stores too). Some new buildings right next to old crumbling ones. Filth along with nice new city parks being constructed. A gigantic sprawling city steeped in both history and poverty. Both on a level that has to be seen to be believed. Also trees, shrubs, palms trees, flowers and plants I have never seen..even in Florida.

 

We met the sweetest Ecuadorian congregation in a building that had been converted into a Church of God church. Samwell (spelling?) is the young pastor's name. I will never forget praising and singing songs to God in another language and in another country. It was an emotional and powerful experience! The latina song leader and young band did great (Tebow played the guitar!). I was impressed with how good they were! When we started "Shout to The Lord" in another language I started to cry. There 'they' were singing familiar lyrics 'we' have performed a hundred times, but in Spanish. The feeling of how big God is and how small we are swept over me. I don't know..it was just neat. Both nationalities praising and singing to the same big God who understands it all. Did I mention awesome and cool that was?

 

We will get the plans from our team leaders tomorrow. Keep praying. I have alot more thoughts, but I will take in more experiences in tomorrow.

 

I will sign off now..went long. I will post some more tomorrow with pics. The history and architecture is so amazing here.

 

More to come soon...

 

Lance

 

 

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We went to a small church in Guayaquil this morning.  I don't know what time it was SUPPOSED to start, but, I can tell you they weren't very worried about if they were on time or not!  :)   Then I heard the band start with familiar chords in their first song...they were singing a tune that I knew!  It was Come, Now Is the Time To Worship.  They were singing in Spanish, but, I was singing the song in English.  Then, suddenly, I couldn't help but cry.  It hit me so hard that I was surprised by my own reaction.  It came when I heard the lyrics in two languages sung simultaneously - "...one day every tongue will confess You are God, one day every knee will bow...".  At that time, it seemed like I was actually hearing "every tongue" confess His name.  The people were so hungry to worship.  They seemed to be oblivious to their surroundings (including the 2 three year olds running around the place with a tambourine) and were totally focused on God.

I had composed my emotions for only a few minutes when they began singing Shout To the Lord.  We sang the words "nothing compares to the promise I have in You."  Again, as we sang these words in two languages at the same time I quickly realized it doesn't matter how much you have or don't have...we can all agree His promises are our greatest possession.

For years I've enjoyed these songs in worship, but, it took singing them in a different language before I really started understanding their meaning.

It's a certainty that today's church service will be filed under my life folder, When God spoke to me in a mysterious way.

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Future Church Home

Well here it is.  The future home of the church plant Cary is sponsoring here in Ecuador.  This is about a 16 foot by 100 foot alley behind an existing, but not useable, church front in one of the Guayquil "red zones" (i.e. high crime/drugs/etc.).  There are about 30 of us on the construction team.  We had church services this morning....in the street in front of the church front....with the local community this morning.  They were very nice and welcoming to us.  The goal for the week is for this pile of rubble and set of holes you see above to be "dried in" and useable for worship by the time we leave.  Keep us in your prayers.

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Posted by on in Ecuador Mission Trip 2011
After a long first day of travel, we have finally arrived in Ecuador. If memory serves, we arrived somewhere around 2 am cst this morning, received room assignments and hit the sack. Immediately after departing the plane, you realize that you are no longer in your comfort zone. We are off this morning to have church at the actual construction site. The eggs and sausage this morning were different. I almost drank the water on day one.

God Bless,

Joshua
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Posted by on in Ecuador Mission Trip 2011
Josh looks like you can do a quick post from non flash items.... Sent from my iPad2 allen
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Posted by on in Ecuador Mission Trip 2011

Leaving early tomorrow for Atlanta! Let the trip begin. Go Braves!!!!!!! Allen iPad 2 upload test

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Posted by on in Ecuador Mission Trip 2011

"Are we ready" is the big ?

Me, I am not 100% sure, but I am ready to try! I believe like the rest of our group that God has called me to take part in this challenge. Knowing that this trip will take most of us outside our normal comfort zone; but we must continue to believe and have faith that we can complete this task with God's help and direction.

And with that said: I pray that God will change each and everyone of us thru this experience and that we will continue to be open and willing to serve God whereever and whenever he may call.

Allen

mobile upload!

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Posted by on in Ecuador Mission Trip 2011

This has the feel of Christmas.  I can't wait to see what is in store for us in Ecuador!  Only two more days.

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