Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter in Ecuador

Wedding bells—Man are they getting ready to ring! Wilson and Yusby are planning to get married in June in Peru. David and Priscila are going to be our first couple to have their wedding in the Lighthouse on May 21. The on May 27 Tom will officiate a group wedding of eight couples in Guayaquil.

Holy Week in Cuenca—Awesome is the best word to describe our week at ICW. We started out with early-morning prayer meetings at 5:30am, Monday through Friday. Attendance was 7-11 each day, with five people making it every day. Some walked for a mile in the pre-dawn darkness, through mud and cold rain. On Good Friday, after prayer time, we had sweet rolls and tea, then all eleven people stayed around to clean the kitchen, bathrooms, clean the yard and prepare the worship area for Good Friday service. We had loads of fun doing it too.

Jorge Luis—A regular attender of the early morning prayer meetings was Jorge Luis. He has struggled with addiction to nicotine and alcohol. He prayed one morning, “Thank you Lord, for another day of victory.” At the Good Friday service Jorge Luis and wife, Carla, gave a testimony of how God has brought their marriage back together. Jorge testified that in the last three years he has not touched a drop of alcohol. He praised God for freeing him several months ago from tobacco. He said, “Carla used to tell me she hoped I would find the same life in Christ that she had, and I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand how anybody could live without drinking and going to nightclubs and partying. Now I ask myself—How do people live, drinking and going to nightclubs and partying?” He then capped off his testimony by saying, “It used to be that Carla was an important part of my life—now I can say she IS my life!” He then embraced and kissed her.

Peace that passes all understanding—Fausto and Margot started coming to the Purpose Driven Life class in January. Margot had accepted Christ in a Bible study led by Sheree some months ago. Fausto however, has just begun to discover who God really is. He said a few weeks ago, “Our family knew nothing about the Bible—nothing. All we did in the evening was watch TV then go to bed. Now we are leaving the TV off and reading the Purpose Driven Life together as a family.

Fausto (seen with Tom in the picture above) recently had gall bladder surgery. He shared with Tom how peaceful he felt during the whole process. He commented on how the doctors were surprised at how relaxed he seemed before the operation. Even the guys at work asked him how he could be so calm before going under the knife. He said, “I just told them—“I am at peace in my home, and I am at peace with God.” He said his fellow managers at the factory were amazed.

He then confessed, “I really don’t understand it myself—this peace. I told my wife that I can’t figure out just why I feel so peaceful.” Tom then affirmed, “Fausto, that is the peace that passes all understanding, and it part of God’s presence in your life now.”

ICW—Easter service was great and included a drama and special music by the youth.
Tom preached about the empty tomb and the “empty” grave clothes being full of promise for us. At the close, Tom asked for short testimonies beginning with the words, “I praise my living Christ because….” Almost everyone shared a praise, including Fausto and Margot who stayed worship service for the first time. A dinner followed, then sports. Some who had come early at 8am to cook, were still at the church at 6pm playing volleyball. They must have been having a good time!

1 comment:

  1. Man! This is so good. Please tell Jorge my heart is with him all the way up here in Michigan. Thanks again for sharing and allowing those of us in a different part of the world a "peek" into what God is doing in you and through you.