We have just celebrated one year as a church body. On September 11, 2011 we started regular Sunday services. It has been a
very exciting year of new beginnings for celebrating old traditions.
November- we celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time although this is not an Ecuadorian tradition we introduced it as a Christian tradition.
We learned to look for and give thanks to God for His provision in our lives no matter what the circumstances.
Christmas- we introduced the advent calendar and what each Sunday signifies leading up to Christmas day. We held our first Christmas
Eve candlelight service and learned how God brought His light to this world through His Son and that we need to SHINE for Jesus.
Easter and Passion Week- the traditions of Passion Week are very familiar here but this time much more moving in the new light of the
freedom that many now have in Jesus. We celebrated with foot washing service, Good Friday service, Saturday with our children and Sunday
morning celebrating the resurrection of Jesus our Lord and Savior.
Just a few weeks ago we celebrated the first baptisms. We invited another local church with 4 of the 12 who were baptized so we
had 8. It was a great and emotional celebration of new birth in Jesus and commitment to becoming part of the body of Christ. Thank you
one and all for partnering with us through your prayers and finances to help grow the Kingdom here in Chaquibamba.
After being baptized we asked “How do you feel “?
Inez “I feel happy inside no matter what is going on outside”.
Yasira “I am free”.
Yadira “I feel the love of God in Me”.
We were truly blessed in the beginning of August by a visit from a team of 12 from Ooltawah UMC (The E Team). They came with open hearts, open arms and lots of energy. They needed all of that to keep up with the Puerta de Esperanza (Door of Hope) youth group. The team (12) and our youth group (27) worked together with us and the ministry leadership team to build playground equipment for the children,
dig a reservoir, move brush, learn English and Spanish, play games, laugh and cry together as we learned about King David’s victories and failures.
After three days of very hard work we all boarded a bus and headed out on a grand adventure. The destination was kept a secret until all were on the bus, then it was announced that we would be going to a place called Mindo which is in the cloud forest region. The activity though was still a secret for the moment , it was enough just to be together going anywhere.
Once arriving in Mindo we proceeded to a place called “Canopy Adventures” which has cables suspended above the tree tops and over deep ravines. The youth were in awe of what they were getting to do. After all had past the 14 cables we went down to the river for a quick swim and lunch. Daina asked one of our youth afterwards “Was all the work worth it?” And they responded “What hard work?” We are trying here at The Door of Hope to make an eternal impact on the lives of our youth. They have so many dreams and desires but little hope of seeing any of them come true. We are trying to help them see that through a relationship with Jesus that there is hope. We have been so blessed by our partnership with Ooltewah UMC as well as many other churches. The Door of Hope youth were impacted with eternal blessing that can never be measured or seen fully this side of heaven.
Thank you E Team and all those from Ooltewah UMC who supported them and support us.
Just this past Sunday, 11 people ages 18-60+ graduated the first level of which is a certificate for basic theological studies. It was a long-term investment, and all are ready to continue being growing, learning disciples of Jesus Christ. FLET (Foundation for Latin American theological studies) President, pastor Freddy Guerrero, preached an excellent and challenging message to the 75 people present. You will be hearing more about our growing involvement with FLET. Thank you for praying for thousands of Ecuadorian lay persons who are dedicating time and effort to Go out prepared.
To Gods glory and by His arrangement the Door of Hope received 150 shoe boxes filled with goody’s to give to the kids in Chaquibamba. You could almost touch the anticipation as the kids played relays and gathered on benches to sing and watch a puppet play.
They sat intently as the message was acted out and then all of them wanted to answer the review questions. Soup was served to all, down to the last drop—the first time we almost ran out. See the pictures of the kids receiving their gifts.
God is busy here in Chaquibamba, Ecuador. He has increased the demands of ministry both spiritually and physically. We are working
hard in God’s strength to meet all these new needs and challenges. Along the way in this process we often take three steps forward and
then two steps back. The grass keeps growing and we finally get it cut so we can start over again a few days later (2 acres is a challenge to
take care of). It is difficult and heart breaking at times but we are so blessed and privileged to do what we get to do.
Through the sale of the avocados, God has provided the resources to build a ministry kitchen. Now we just need the resources to equip
and finish it. This is such a blessing and will help us to be able to use other spaces to break up the larger groups for better teaching times.
We have been blessed to construct a concrete block wall/fence at the front of the property which provides added security and safety for
the children’s ministry. It also increased our usable space and eliminated a place for some pesky critters to live. (see photo)
We also upgraded the electrical service coming to the property. We had to purchase a transformer, which was quite a lengthy and expensive
process, but it is finally complete and we now have high quality electricity. For the first time in a year or more we have 120 volts instead
of 90 volts. God has given us a few dreams to grow the kingdom with outreach and more varied teaching which the ‘power’ of His
light and good electricity may make into reality.
We give God all the glory and praise for these advances so that ministry can grow at “La Puerta de Esperanza” (Door of Hope).