Home Again, Home Again, Jiggedy Jig!
Hello again! Who would have dreamed, way back in February, that we'd be writing a second newsletter in the time of Covid! We pray you and your families are well, and safe, and that in these crazy times you are all leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus!
We wanted to let you know about a unique opportunity to help our congregation in Manta, Ecuador. Fabian and Clara Molina moved there from Cuenca as missionaries 12 years ago, and planted the church, beginning with just their family. Many of you have supported the work there over the years. Manta is the fourth largest city and one of the least evangelized in the country. We feel blessed and privileged to work with the leaders there, bringing light into the darkness. They were at the epicenter of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked Ecuador on April 16, 2016. After the earthquake, property values dropped dramatically, and the congregation was presented with a rare opportunity to put $2,000.00 down on an amazing lot. It’s one-half acre, near the airport and bus terminal, close to the city's largest park, and only 10 minutes from the city center and was only $70,000.00. Today, even in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, the property is valued at over $200,000.00. Over the past 2.5 years the congregation has raised $24,000.00. We need $11,000.00 to get the property placed into the name of the church and will have until July of 2021 to pay the remaining $35,00.00. Please pray about joining with us to take advantage of this opportunity to establish a strong home base for the church’s ministries in that region. You will be sowing into something that will impact many future generations.
In other news......
Marilyn and I are happy to report that we are back in Cuenca safe and sound. We left Ecuador on the 14th of March and returned on the 22nd of June. Those 13 weeks represent our longest continuous stay in the U.S. since we left, 32 years ago. God has been exceptionally good to us: 1. Lisa and Christoph received us, along with Joel’s family, in their home: 13 of us in all, for 13 weeks. We brought them Covid-19 and in return they showed us patience, love and generosity. They insisted we stay with them and the whole family went above and beyond to make us feel at home and cared for. We had a glorious time together, and thankfully we all recovered from the virus with no long-term consequences. Thank you, Lord!
2. After 4 months of weakness, pain, and numbness in his right arm, John finally had his appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. His neck has 3 herniated discs, stenosis and arthrosis. It’s a real mess! However, miraculously, days before the appointment his symptoms drastically diminished and the doctor recommended holding off on surgery. He’s feeling great! Hallelujah!
3. Through the generosity of many of you we were able to send out weekly food baskets to the leaders and servants in our local church. We were also able to give financially to some of the pastors serving in the different churches in Ecuador and Brazil, who are suffering economically during this trying time. May the Lord mightily bless each and every one of you who have contributed to this cause.
4. During this time we have been able to use the internet to attend services, seminars, and important meetings, preach regularly on Sundays and during the week, give several discipleship courses, have prayer meetings, provide pastoral counseling and keep in touch with members of the church, family, and friends. Thank you, Jesus, for giving us this technology and placing it in the hands of so many.
5. We arrived in Guayaquil a couple days after the airport opened, unsure of how it would be to get through the Covid restrictions recently set in place. There were lots of rumors and warnings. We landed with trepidation and went through the process in less than 10 minutes! We sped home with Jonathan to complete our 14 days of self-quarantine, all by ourselves with the Lord! God is Good!
We can’t say enough about how much your faithful support and prayers for us and our ministry during this trying time have meant to us. On July 9th we celebrated 32 years on the mission field! May God bless you, keep you, make His face to shine upon you and give you His peace,
Socially distanced Hugs and Blessings to all,
John & Marilyn