We are overwhelmed with gratitude for your care for us and expression of love through sending Christmas cards and gifts. In this season, we miss celebrating with family and friends back in the United States; however, your love for us is genuinely felt and appreciated. May God continue to bless you for your heart for missions and care for our family.
Ashley adapted the story of “The Three Trees” to a dramatic presentation and our church people did a wonderful job acting its roles this past Sunday (December 10). Following the program, I preached a gospel message. Though we had no salvation responses, we rejoice in the fact that the Lord has brought in numerous visitors, resulting in a new record attendance of 60 people.
Steps of faith in 2023
In June of this year, our church voted to rent the second floor of our current building to use the additional space for Sunday school classrooms, nursery, and a fellowship hall. They voted with the awareness that they would commit to paying the additional portion of the rent. By faith, our members approved the proposal unanimously. We view that decision as the advancing point from which our church began to grow spiritually, numerically, and financially. The expanded portion of our auditorium is now nearly full every Sunday morning, and we are looking at proceeding with further expansions in early 2024. The church giving has grown to the point of financial independence. The offerings will soon cover the entire lease, and the church is already setting aside funds for the salary of a national pastor. Our Christmas program visitors all received invitations from members of our church. This event alone showed us that this church is well on its way to becoming fully independent.
Our church’s spiritual growth is an encouragement and relief in some sense as we plan a year of furlough beginning in October of 2024. We'll rely on furlough replacement missionaries from our mission board for oversight and leadership during our stateside stay. We look forward to reporting to our supporters and will begin scheduling meetings after the new year. Feel free to reach out in advance to schedule a meeting. We are grateful for your faithful giving during our first term in Ecuador.
Continued ministry advancements
Praise: God has protected us and kept us safe
Praise: Baby boy arriving in May 2024