In spite of world wide panic we are encouraged as we plan to return to Ecuador, and start our third church, and a Bible institute. Our deputation ministry has warmed up in the last few months. In the last two months we have visited churches in Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Some of the churches are new to us, and some are church that have supported us in the past. One thing they all seem to have in common is a real desire to help us on our way back to Ecuador. There are some churches who have not yet told us if they will be supporting us or not, but as of right now our support has grown to 40% of our total monthly support need!
You may or may not recall that we were forced to leave Ecuador three years ago because the immigration department in Ecuador arbitrarily decided not to renew our visas after assuring us they would be renewed. Not knowing if we would ever return, I decided to tell our supporting churches that they could stop supporting our ministry, unless they were willing to help me continue my support of our church plant in Ecuador. As a result, a few churches and individuals continued to help us in our financial support of Pilgrim Baptist Church in Ecuador while we have been in the USA these the last three years.
Because of the financial support that we send to Pilgrim Baptist Church in Ecuador every month they have been able to pay a small salary to Pastor Antonio, in addition to paying their monthly bills.
The ministry of Pilgrim Baptist Church in Ecuador has been growing fast in spite of the harsh restrictions put on the church by the government. Several months ago a Christian family from a small village that is about 30 miles from Cuenca visited the church on a Sunday morning because there were no churches near them. The family had to take two buses, and travel for two hours to get to the church. Since then members of Pilgrim Baptist Church have visited the village on a few Saturdays, and have had Bible studies, and done street evangelism in the Village.
Pilgrim Baptist Church in Cuenca recently had a baptismal service, and Pastor Antonio baptized several new believers. While their current building has space for the 50 or so adults, they are looking for a new building because they have run out of room for all of the children that are coming to church. None of these things have been easy with a government that threatens people with arrest if they go to church, or go shopping, or even visit family or friends. Its the way things are when you live in a country without the civil rights we enjoy in the United States.
We are working with Jorge Bermeo, who is a member of Pilgrim Baptist Church in Ecuador, to establish a corporation in Ecuador for the church. This will allow the church to legally pay their pastor, and own property. We are also planning to organize a Mission Society in Ecuador, that will hold title to ministry property, and enable missionaries (us) to avoid the visa problems we have had to live with in the past. The attorney in Ecuador told Jorge that he can setup both organizations in just a few months, but he needs a payment of $2,500.00 to do the work.
If you would like to support our ministry to the people of Ecuador, please visit our Support Page to make a donation, and thank you for your willingness to help.