January 15, 2010

Mid-Atlantic District Youth and Maya Moncayo Church

While most people were celebrating Christmas and the New Year, the Mid-Atlantic District Youth team was totally giving of themselves in Ecuador.  The large team consisted of teens, young adults, their sponsors, and the missionary family.  In addition, many national workers from the Santo Domingo area joined the team.  The nationals also stayed with the team at the Nazarene Campground during the trip.

Missionary Jon Fischer had worked with the church people to get the property ready so that when the team arrived they could start laying the blocks, and the walls started going up.  Through many rainy, hard workdays, the work team and the church people united together to finish the walls and the floor.  The floor was poured on Saturday so that we could worship in the church on Sunday morning.  It was a beautiful day to give thanks to the Lord for what had been accomplished.  After a rest day to bring in the New Year, the team installed the roof and began the construction for the parsonage at the back of the church.

The youth from both cultures played soccer with the children during the days and did a Kids Club activity with the school nearby.  The District Superintendent’s wife was thankful for these activities that introduced the church to the school and neighborhood.

One of the adult leaders, James Ellison, came to Ecuador in 1994 and had worked on the District Superintendent’s home at the campground.  What a wonderful reunion he had when Rosa Bereche, the DS’s wife, was able to thank James personally for building her home.  As it turned out, one of our Quechuan pastors that had worked with James in ’94 also worked on this project, so James was blessed by a second reunion.

One of the young pastors that worked with us testified that he had never really thought how the church building that he was preaching in was built.  Now he understands what hard work and sacrifice goes into a church building.  He has a new appreciation for his building and for the people that built his church.

Since Pastor Jose and his wife, some from his church, and the district youth were staying at the campground with the team, we had a bilingual time of praise and devotions every night.  We were reminded that God has exactly what we need even though we often want to do it our way.  The team members were challenged to make a difference in their world when they return home.  On the last night of sharing, the common thread of the testimonies was that they feel so alone in the Christian world.  Pray for these youth as they return home to live up to the challenge of making a difference.

Since returning, the team continues to testify how this trip has changed their lives.  Although most of the team did not know each other, after one week of working together you were not able to tell.  We thank God and the Mid Atlantic District for sending such amazing youth that want to serve God in any way possible.