April 17, 2010

Rain or Shine the Church Will Be Built

We were pleased to have a team from Sparta, Michigan, come and work in Palora, Ecuador.  Palora is located in the Orient, at the beginning of the jungle.  The town is about 45 minutes off the main highway at the end of a rocky road full of holes.  After crossing a suspension bridge that is only wide enough for our fifteen-passenger vans to cross, you are in a small town where everyone knows you.  The river is just beyond this town, and the road stops there.
Two years ago, the team leader from Michigan, Scott Senior, gave a list of potential projects to two other church members and asked them to pray over the list.  When they met to discuss their ideas, all three people had the Palora project circled.  Little did they know that at the same time, Pastor Angel and the Palora church were praying for a church building to replace the building that they were renting.  Without a doubt, God brought the Michigan team and the Palora church together!
On April 1st, the team had a 10-hour van ride to arrive at the church, due to some heavy traffic.  For the next four days, they worked through alternating rain and sunshine to put the walls up, install windows and move big, heavy rocks in place for the floor.  Even people who do not attend the church worked with the team!  Pastor Angel was so blessed that he never quit smiling.

On Easter Sunday morning, the team met in a small rented building for Sunday school, and 20 children sung to them!  The team then used the resurrection eggs to share the Easter story with all the children and taught them some new songs.  Harrison, the Work & Witness assistant, shared the EvangeCube with them and many of the children invited Christ into their hearts.  The team also held a class for the children during the week.  They acted out Bible stories with the children, taught them songs and loved on them.
On Sunday night, the team was blessed by accepting an invitation to a Shuar village for a time of worship.  The team ministered to over 40 children outside in the road during the church service.  The Government donated a home to Nancy, one of the members of the church, so she donated her home to the church.  Out of the love of their hearts, the team took up an offering so the Shuar congregation would be able to finish the windows and door in the church.  After the service the team was treated to a cultural dance performance.
The team left a wonderful gift of Sunday School teacher's manuals and children’s books for all Sunday school classes of the Palora church.  It is difficult for the churches to buy the Nazarene materials because of the cost.  We are more than confident that Pastor Angel will share these materials with the other four Shuar missions that he has.  We are also praying that Pastor Angel will be able to find better means of transportation to visit these missions other than his beat up bicycle.
The team left knowing that the Palora church people had been blessed but knew in their hearts that they were blessed beyond measure.  Thank you to Jeff, Tricia, Danielle, Cindy, Scott, Harmony, Steve, Anissa, Lindsey, Kylie, Jessie, Brad, Shirley, Del, Maryann, Wanda, Dick, Terry, Lin, Doug, and Dave!