Friday was the day of the website launch and it feels good to show off some of what I have been doing for the last year. I would love to hear what you think of the new site. You can visit it here: www.extremenazarene.org
In other news, two weekends ago Krista and I had the opportunity to visit one of Extreme’s past church plants in Ambato, Ecuador. We helped host an all day soccer tournament, where the gospel message was presented along with some children’s activities. Afterwards, a few of Extreme’s leadership spoke to leaders in the church about discipleship and evangelism. The church has been struggling since the departure of its 40/40 church planters and it was a good time to come along side their leaders and encourage them.
Part of Extreme’s vision is recruiting and planting seeds for future missionaries. We want to empower local South Americans to become missionaries in their home country and then eventually around the world. Extreme Nazarene has four South American “mobilizers” or recruiters who travel around Ecuador as well as other South American countries speaking in churches and attending events to promote this vision.
One of these mobilizers is Nikol and she works out of the Quito office with me. This weekend, I had the opportunity to accompany Nikol at a local camp for the youth of churches in Quito. I grew up going to camp and youth group was a huge part of my life, so I excitedly said yes. Even better yet, my job was to organize the games for the weekend.
It ended up being a much smaller group of young people than we anticipated, but it was still an amazing weekend. We spent much of our time, hearing from different devotional speakers, in prayer, playing games and fending off mosquitoes.
A few months ago Brian Tibbs, or CEO found a apartment building that we could rent as an organization. This would allow us to house teams that are in Quito while they are training, and our office, all while reducing costs. The new office location will be closer to the seminary providing Krista and a couple other team members that visit the seminary frequently easier access, along with building better relationships with our new teams in training who will be living in the same building as our office.
We are really excited to be in a new area and continuing to build a great launching point for all of the future church planting teams that come through Quito. Next year alone we will have three different church planting teams training here in Quito.
Pray for us as we continue to set up the apartments and plan for the future teams that will come and train here. Also I personally need prayer has I am entering into the last week or so of testing for the new website and that everything will launch smoothly.
On a side note, if anyone wants to test out and give feedback on the new website before it launches, shoot me an email, and I would love to hear your thoughts.
Krista has been working hard keeping a short term team busy working and building. The team is getting pretty tired and they only have another day of work so pray that they can finish strong. I wanted to share with you their latest blog post from the trip and if you are interested, you can read up on more of the trip’s experience on the extreme blog: extremenazarene.wordpress.com
For those of you who do not know what I do, I am only two months away from showing you. I have been building a brand new website for Extreme. It has been long and tiring, but we have just entered into the testing phase of the site. This means that almost all of the functionality of the site is there, but there are those little bugs that can be so hard for some to find, and for others they find them after looking at the site for 30 seconds. I am really excited to finally have something tangible, that I can show people what I do here for Extreme Nazarene.
Don’t worry about me not having enough to do after we launch. I not only have several other components to the website that I will be working to add on to the website, but I also will be working on building a new iPhone application that our 40/40 church planters will use. Lots of great things are and will be happening.
In other news we have our Antofagasta team that was training here in Quito will be leaving this week to do a 30 day intensive training with the Church in Cali, Columbia. (Just for those who don’t know it is the largest Nazarene church with about 14,000 members.) After this training they will be off to Antofagasta, Chili where they will be planting a new church.
Krista is also still prepping for her short-term trip that will be her in 10 days.
About a month ago, my world was expanded. Within these changes, I added onto my role within Extreme Nazarene. I am now the short-term coordinator for Ecuador. Meaning that I help lead and implement short-term trips to Ecuador (as well as my other nursing duties). Looking back on things this is not what I expected, but I am excited about what the future holds.
I talk a lot about how my life here in Ecuador possibly does not reflect what most people think of a missionary’s life. Contrary to popular belief, I do not take canoes to work, sleep in a hammock or use a machete. Though last Tuesday, was one of the most cultural and amazing experiences I have had. A few leaders from my organization and I traveled to Otavalo to meet up with some pastors who will be involved in the upcoming short-term project.
Next thing I know, 9 of us are squeezed into 6-person car and traveling down the rural roads of Northern Ecuador. That day, we together visited three different rural churches that will be benefitted by the work God has already planned for us. Each pastor shared with us his or her church history and their dreams for the future. Their dreams to build classrooms for the children expand upon their church, maintain a general store in the church compound and so on. It was beautiful to hear and to share that experience with them and their hope for the future. I can say God totally blessed me that day in not only the opportunity but in the miracle in that my Spanish held up and I was able to communicate and understand, which at times can still be a challenge.
So please, join my team and me in prayer as we prepare to receive a team from the US. Pray that we will join together in unity in Christ and do his work in these three wonderful churches. Pray for the church members in these three churches as they pray to receive us.
A lot of people have different perceptions of what it looks like to live in Ecuador. To give a little bit of perspective, Justin filmed our walk to work. We hope you enjoy the beautiful day it was.
We will be in the States soon for some family/vacation time and will not be updating our blog during that time frame. If you are interested to hear more about what is going on in South America with Extreme Nazarene Missions, we would love to sit down with you and share face to face.
Dates in USA:
August 23-September 3: Jackson, California
September 4-14: Nampa, Idaho
Monday, July 27 marked the first day of medical clinics. Extreme Nazarene led a team of 18 short term missionaries along with local missionaries to the first location in Ibarra, Ecuador. I had no idea what we would see, how many patients would show up, what types of things I might of forgotten or if I had purchased all the medications needed. I remember standing in a large room covered with graffiti. To my left, the pharmacy appeared stocked and nervous, to my right supplies were spilling out of suitcases at the triage area and in front of me shower curtains floated in the breeze as a few men stood on chairs trying to adjust our creative curtains. It was 11:00 exactly and we were set to begin. I signaled for one of the short term ladies (Vicki) to bring in our first patients and I held my breathe praying that the clinic would function the way I had imagined.
110 patients later, I set out a sigh of relief as we began packing up our supplies only a few minutes late. On the bus, I announced the number of patients seen and we all cheered at how smoothly the day had gone. Then I turned my attention towards a conversation in the bus. That day while in the exam room with a physician a young man had accepted Christ into his heart. I did not think that this trip could get any better.
Many of our days continued on the same manner. Sometimes we would get to a location and there would already be 50 people waiting for us, even if the only form of advertisement were one poster hung up on the building. Other times, the afternoons would bring in tremendous lines. Justin talked to an elderly couple who had walked over 45 minutes, then took a couple hour bus ride in order to reach our last clinic and medical care.
The locations of the clinics were in neighborhoods, which the church has had events in the past and is continuing to try and foster relationships. They were all strategically chosen by the missionaries on the ground in Ibarra. Each day, I watched as short term missionaries provided medical care or played with children and local missionaries worked hard to either translate, advertise the clinics or maintain order in the waiting areas.
Thank you all for your prayers. God’s grace was more than sufficient and was ever evident every day during the clinics. He kept us all safe from harm (diarrhea) and I know His love was poured out this week. In the end almost 800 patients were seen by three physicians in 4.5 clinic days. If anyone from the short term team is reading this, thank You for Your willingness to come and serve this week. Not only has Ibarra been truly blessed, but my life as well.
This week is going to be a busy week for me (Krista). Monday through Wednesday, I will be doing all the last minute work for the upcoming short term mission trip as well as cleaning up other projects in the office. This short term team will be my first medical team and I am super excited to lead five days of medical clinics with the church in Ibarra and the Stringer family.
On Thursday, we will leave for Ibarra (about a 2.5 hour drive) and start putting plans into motion. Very early Saturday morning, the medical team will be arriving from Westerville Ohio and a few other places in the USA. Three doctors, several nurses, students and other non medical professionals will be working to reach the people of Ibarra for Christ through these medical clinics. We have no idea what God has in store for us, but we have faith that God is going to work in amazing ways this next week.
Please be in prayer that the team can be effective instruments of Christ’s love. Pray that we can come up along the missionaries and pastoral family who are serving in the city and be a blessing and encouragement to them. Pray for discernment in our medical team and energy when it is of short supply.
Well yesterday was the 4th of July and just like I am sure most of you celebrated independence day with fireworks and hot dogs so did we. We had a group of about 40 people from Theology professor George Lyons and his wife, Career Nazarene Missionaries, and Spanish students from the seminary. It was a great time of fire, fireworks, hot dogs, potato salad (without forks), and smores. One of the 40 40 Chilean missionaries showed up after watching his country’s soccer match wearing his country flag and running around showing off Chilean spirit.
It was really nice to participate in the independence of our country while being so far away. We hope everyone else back home had a great and safe 4th of July as well.
(I got a cold so I didn’t feel up for taking pictures, so I stole the pictures from this post from George Lyons, and several of the 40 4o missionaries that are training here in Quito.)