Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New missionaries appointed; Four believers baptized!

Cuenca, Ecuador

Boy, do we have news this week!…..

Not one but two!—Two couples have just been appointed to serve as long-term missionaries to Ecuador. They are Jim and Lori Rice, of Tuscaloosa First Wesleyan Church, and Isaac and Amy Thompson, of the Lawrence, Kansas Wesleyan Church. Jim is a police investigator and Lori is an RN. They have two children, Lauren, who graduates from IWU in just a few days, and Chris, who will graduate from high school May 6. Isaac Thompson is a math teacher and Amy is an accountant. Our missionary team is very excited about the doubling of our on-field personnel, and is so grateful for all the work that has gone into making this leap forward.

Farewell to the McGradys—It is with very mixed emotions that we bid farewell to the McGrady family this week. They have been a wonderful asset to our team and were used by God in so many ways. Although we will miss Ned’s great chili and their great gifts of hospitality, our best wishes go with them as they develop and pursue more fully their pastor-to-missionaries role. ICW will hold a farewell dinner for them next Sunday.

ICW Baptisms—Attendance was back up last Sunday with 55 (31 adults/youth) present for worship. Sheree preached the message on redemption and how God takes our broken lives and restores them. The message was particularly focused toward the four baptism candidates. Following worship in Big Blue (the tent), a hired bus took us to Gualaceo (45 minutes outside Cuenca) to a beautiful park along the Santa Barbara River. Two adult ladies (Karla, Katy) and two youth (Jordan McGrady and Suco) were baptized in the frigid water as those of us on the bank sang Power In the Blood and I Have Decided To Follow Jesus. Each candidate gave individual testimony to his/her salvation. (Some of our people were seeing an evangelical baptism for the first time.) Just after the baptisms, we pigged out on charcoal grilled pork steaks and chicken along with the trimmings! Almost everyone joined in either volleyball or soccer. Another great day for the REAL church—the body of Christ.

New men—I shared in last week’s update about Juana and her growth in Christ and passionate desire to know Him more. Juana and her husband, Miguel, have been estranged for five years. He was in the USA and they had no contact. Several days ago, Miguel showed up. God has helped them begin to reconcile their marriage—Praise God! Miguel attended services Sunday as well as the baptism. Ana Lucia’s husband, Fabian, did not come to worship, but did join us for the baptism trip. That was a first. Tom spent about 45 minutes listening to Fabian talk about faith in God and his ideas regarding church. Pray for both of these men that they will literally become “new men in Christ.”

Pastor Gustavo—Tom received a call from Pastor Gustavo a few days ago. Gustavo reported that he and his family have moved back to his mother’s home, but that renovations had been done and they were now getting settled. He stated that he believes God has allowed the difficulties of recent weeks to happen in order to allow them to learn and grow. He said that the pastors of Guayaquil were planning to meet at Pastor Mazzini’s home for prayer and fellowship last Saturday night. Pray for unity among them.

RMC Construction—Each week the property looks a little different as construction progresses. The fencing is now erected. Gates will follow soon and work on the storage area will begin this week. We expect to have temporary electrical service in the coming weeks. (The ladies are still screaming for a bathroom!)

Hey….only a page and a half this week!


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