Monday, September 16, 2013

New missionary arrives!


New missionary—Sheri Beck, who comes from Pennsylvania has completed her language training in Costa Rica and arrived safely in Guayaquil on the evening of September 9.  She has located an apartment and is now shopping for furnishings.

Corporation documents—We are expecting to receive two more sets of documents for our corporation application this week.  If we are successful, these will complete our latest requirements since the government has added to its list of papers needed. Keep praying.  We are getting close.

Lighthouse—Yesterday the Lighthouse Church celebrated a graduation of our intermediate students who are beginning high school.  They had caps and gowns and received diplomas for having completed the Bible course presented by our Sunday School teachers.  Attendance was a record 121 people, several of whom were there for the first time.  Next week we will baptize six new believers and enjoy picnicking and sports afterward at the Gualaceo River park.

Missionary retreat—Next week we will enjoy a three-day retreat with guests Pastor Jim Vermilya and wife, Jeanette, and our area director, Jarvis Ferguson. Pray for a time of refreshing.

Monday, September 2, 2013

New home groups meeting


Missionaries—The Wuertz family returned to Ecuador last week and the Rices, along with new missionary, Sheri Beck, will be coming to Ecuador a week from today, September 9.

Lighthouse—Tom started a two-part series on husbands and wives yesterday. Six people came forward to pray for a better marriage. Winter vacation is over and it’s back-to-school time.  Our attendance was up to near normal yesterday.

New home groups—We have a new Wednesday night home group as well as Tuesday night group meeting.  These are led by laymen from the Lighthouse. I was so blessed as one of our recent converts prayed at the opening of the meeting, “Thank you , Lord, for the opportunity to be here to learn more about God, to draw close to you in faith, and to give you thanks for your blessings.” It was a simple prayer, but you could sense it was from his heart.  Nothing is more exciting than seeing baby Christians hungry to know more about our great God.

Safety—We are so blessed that our team has had no serious accidents or illnesses recently.  We acknowledge the protecting hand of our God around us and ask you to pray it will continue to be so.  We thank the Lord, and we thank you for your prayers and for your heart for Ecuador.

Altar Cristiano relocation—Pray that the plan to relocate this congregation in Guayaquil will go smoothly.  Pray for the congregations and for Pastor Mazzini and Viejo.  Pray for wisdom for Tom as he meets with the pastors to unveil plans.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ex-prisoners at church on Sunday!

CuencaWe enjoyed a great time of worship yesterday at the Lighthouse. We wrapped up stewardship month and celebrated with all those who had birthdays in August. A highlight was that two ex-prisoners that Lydia has worked with "inside" for the last three years were there with their families! One of those families was there for the very first time. The other has been coming regularly for about seven weeks.  Pray for continued transformation in these dear ladies.

Wuertz—George and Sheree will be returning to Cuenca this week.  Please keep them in your prayers as they travel from the USA with three boys.

Missionary retreat—Pastor Jim Vermilya and Jarvis Ferguson will join with our Ecuador missionaries for a retreat to be held September 25-27, on the outskirts of Cuenca.  Pray for traveling safety as well as a time of relaxing and refreshing.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Visas granted, graduation coming


GUAYAQUIL—Exciting news this week as Pastor Juan Carlos and Diana reported 7 adults in attendance at the “La 21” in-home Bible study. The actual first meeting of this new ministry had been delayed for a few weeks due to circumstances regarding an available home for the meeting.

Sunday before last, Pastors Nino and Pilar Medina visited one of the female prisoners who was transferred to Guayaquil unexpectedly a few weeks ago. The prisoner hugged them and wept for joy upon receiving this visit.  This last Sunday, Pilar’s sister, Hilda went to the prison and took some donated items that the prisoner was in need of.  It looks like a Guayaquil prison ministry may be in the making.

CUENCA—We thank all of you for your prayers regarding our visas.  Yesterday the government accepted our applications and we should have our passport stamps soon.  PTL!

LIGHTHOUSE CHURCH—The month of August is vacation month in Cuenca and our attendance usually drops miserably.  However, this year, the effect has been much less and attendance has been good each Sunday. 

This is stewardship month and offerings are reflecting increased generosity on the part of our givers.

Several new believers will be baptized on September 22.

September we will be reorganizing our Sunday School.  Thank God, we have new teachers who will be stepping up to the plate and taking on new classes.  Eight students will be “graduating” to the youth group.  Sunday, September 15, will be a big deal—caps and gowns, diplomas, a big cake, food.  We should have lots of pictures of the big event and will share.

CORPORATION—Tom will be concentrating on obtaining the necessary documents for the corporation papers in these next few weeks.  It’s been a long journey of seven years, and we believe we are on the brink of getting everything the government requires to obtain our non-profit corporation status.  Pray for this, please.

Monday, August 12, 2013

New missionary

Guayaquil—Connections were made with a Christian lady in La 21 community who was very excited about us beginning a ministry in her neighborhood.  She has invited Pastor Juan Carlos and Diana to have a Bible study in her home.  The Cruz have also located a vacant house in La 21 and are inquiring about renting it.  Pray the Cruz will soon be living in that community.

Cuenca—The youth of the Lighthouse are working hard to raise funds for their camp in October. Those who were new to the group and were saved in last year’s camp are still faithful and are bringing in others! PTL! Stewardship month is going well. Sunday’s offerings and tithes were up  500%!

Visas—The government has placed some new demands for additional documents for religious visas (Hines, Thompsons, Beck and Serrato).  Pray we will be able to obtain the required documentation quickly. (Tom and Lydia’s visas expire August 21.)

Welcome—Liz Serrato, a GoNet employee will be joining the Guayaquil missionary team early next year.  She hopes to have her funds raised by January 2014.  Pray for Liz and our team, that she will soon be here to help move the Guayaquil ministries forward.

Thanks for your heart and prayers for Ecuador.

Tom Hines

Monday, August 5, 2013

Learning to be joyful givers!


Guayaquil—Jim and Lori Rice are working hard to get ready for the arrival of Sheri Beck, who will join us in Ecuador on September 9.  They are also helping Liz Serrato, a GoNetter who will be joining our ETeam for a two-year stint as an intern. Liz has about half of her funds raised and is targeting her arrival for January of 2014.

Resignation—Tom Hines has informed GP that he will be resigning his position as mission director of Ecuador as of June 1, 2014.  We expect news from Dr. Jackson very soon on who will be appointed to that position.  This will give the new appointee about 10 months to prepare to assume leadership of the field. Tom and Lydia are due to spend a year in partnership development (deputational service) July 2014 to May 2015.  After that, they expect to return to Guayaquil, Ecuador for another term of service.

Cuenca—This month is stewardship month at El Faro.  We have a goal to increase our regular giving in tithes and offerings and present the idea of a building fund to finance a new multipurpose building for worship and other large events.  We will also prepare two food baskets for needy families of our congregation. This is a time to re-educate many of our new believers.  Most come from the area’s traditional religion.  That group charges set fees for almost all services such as baptism, confirmation, weddings and funerals.  They can also be very demanding about tithing.  This has turned many people off to giving to the church.  It is our responsibility and privilege to introduce these new believers to the privilege of joyful giving of tithe and offerings.  Pray for Tom as he preaches and teaches this series on stewardship, and for God’s provision for the church and those who worship there.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Greatest of these is love!

GUAYAQUIL—Yesterday the first adult Bible study was held in La 21 community with Pastor Juan Carlos Cruz and wife Diana leading. Also, Fortin celebrated their seventh anniversary with Jim Rice sharing a message.

CUENCA—The Lighthouse Church closed out its “Month of Love” yesterday with a message from I Corinthians 13.  Tom challenged the congregation to be a church known for its love and by welcoming all who might enter or pass by our church.

PRISON MINISTRY—This week Ana O. again came to services with her three sons.  She has been in church 7 of that last 8 Sundays.  Praise God!  Also, Tom and Lydia looked up Telma, an inmate who was released a few months ago after spending 5 years in prison. She lives in Duran, a suburb of Guayaquil. Looking for someone in a town of 4 million can be difficult, but God helped us find her quickly. We had a great visit in her home.  We met her children and her mother and father.  And her mom fixed us a great shrimp soup—bless her heart!  Pray for these releasees as restarting life on the “outside” is very tough.