Monday, April 26, 2010

McGrady Farewell, New Interim Pastor--Tom Hines

McGrady farewell Sunday—Yesterday we celebrated the ministry of the McGradys at ICW. Fifty-four people attended. There were 33 adults, and 16 of them were guys. Lydia preached the message on repentance. A group of men gathered around Ned and Tom for prayer as Ned passed the baton to Tom as new interim pastor. Several gave special words of appreciation to the McGradys and presented gifts. A five-minute video compilation of pictures of the McGradys in action during their time in Ecuador was presented at the close of service, followed by prayer.

A God-thing--Perhaps the most special gift the McGradys received yesterday is told in this story. As Ned and Tom carried the nice wooden pulpit across the muddy lot to set up in the tent, Ned commented, “Well, here is the Absalom pulpit. I guess we won’t get to say goodbye to them.” (Absalom had crafted the pulpit for the church, and his wife, Gloria, was one of a handful of neighbors from Racar that attend the very first Bible study meetings at the McGradys house in early ’09.) Gloria had served as treasurer before they moved to the south side of Cuenca and started attending a different church because of the distance. They eventually moved to Quito to start a business. As Ned and I set up in the tent, a motorcycle came down the lane with a lone male rider wearing a helmet. Ned took a second look and said, “That looks like Absalom!” (Absalom never regularly attended the church before, and this rider was alone on the bike.) Soon Gloria came walking down the lane behind the bike. (The lane is a little treacherous with two on the bike.) It was Absalom and Gloria!

That is a neat story in itself, but as we conversed after service we discovered that this couple has moved back to Cuenca. And most interesting of all, they did not have any idea that the McGradys were moving to Home Ministries assignment and that this was their last day at the church. Everyone sensed that this was a God-thing and used it to bless us. Hopefully, the fact that Absalom and Gloria came to the service, means that they will be coming back to ICW as regular worshipers.

Racar Ministry Center construction—The steel studs for the wall of the storage area went up this last week. The walls should be up before the end of this week. This will allow us to store our chairs and sound equipment on site, which will make setting up for services in the tent much more convenient. A team of six to eight volunteers from Heritage Wesleyan Church in Moline, Illinois will be arriving May 9, and will work on the installation of the septic tank. We should have minimum bathroom facilities within the next several weeks.

All-church dialogue—Next Sunday we will announce date and time for a series of all-church dialogues in which we will gather to talk over, in-depth, the future development and direction of the church. This will be an opportunity for us to hear how our people would like to see the church evolve in its second year. We will share ideas, goals and strategies, and in particular, our plan for organized discipleship of new believers, with special attention to determining who will be part of the first leadership nucleus. We will also formulate a financial plan for contributing toward the RMC project. We currently have $1500 targeted toward the project and hope it will reach at least $5000.
VIDEO: Tom's installation as interim pastor

1 comment:

  1. Received your e-mail today and came to the blog. I'll be visiting you regularly by this route. God bless and guide you and the church in Cuenca.
    -- Chuck