Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ecuador Mission Team (Update)

August 22, 2016

This update is my last update for this missions trip. I was telling one of the team members today that I always get into a funk on this last full day of ministry. The reason has many aspects to it. Firstly, I am physically tired because I average less than five hours of sleep a night. Secondly, I am missing my family. Thirdly, I love these people of Tabacundo and do not wish to leave them. My life has been intertwined into their lives and it is difficult to leave them.
Well, here is the update. The ladies of the group had their own meeting with a lady who works in the market. The ladies said they had a good time and they received presents (which were just for ladies). Now, what you need to know is the men got sent out to go shopping for the Bible study we had tonight. Can you believe that? Men, shopping for bread, cups, tea, etc.? What is this world coming to? I kept telling the guys, “Guys, you know we are not going to get this right, don’t you?” Well, we shopped any way and got it done.
We left for Cayambe to get me some ICE CREAM!!! Can you believe I never made it to the center of the universe (not world, which is what Ecuador is known as) until the last full day of our trip to Ecuador? Some of our team went to meet a new individual and ride horses. The team did not get to meet the intended individual, but did get to meet another person. The team also did not get to ride horses, but only got to pet one. The individual intended for the visit was at the ER with the son. We don’t know the details, but please pray for this family. The other team had returned to the apartment and started cleaning it in order for us to depart tomorrow.
After the teams reunited we started preparing for the Bible study. 30 people told us they were going to attend the Bible study and because of the size we had made arrangements to hold the meeting in another place. To our surprise, only four people came. I do, however, believe the four people that attended were supposed to meet each other. In other words, two of the four people were a married couple and they are a part of the new church about which we have been telling you. In fact, the home group Bible study that our team attended last Friday is held in this couple’s house. The other two people exchanged contact information and we told the Bible study hosts to really encourage these other people to attend the Bible study.
The other part of the Bible study that was exciting for us was that our translators did all of the work. We did not lead this Bible study, rather, our precious translators did and they did a great job.
I now have to pack and then go to bed. Please pray we have safe travels home and we can’t wait to see our families, as well as, our church family. God bless you and again thank you for all your prayers and support.

August 21, 2016

I have gotten to speak brief testimonials in churches here in Ecuador before. Today, however, is the first time I have had the opportunity to preach an entire sermon. I preached at the church we have been talking with in regards to a partnership. I was truly blessed and honored by the opportunity and I pray my words encouraged this congregation. We had nine people with us with whom we have been ministering attend the service. I pray they will start attending on a regular basis.
We had one individual in the church service that we know is agnostic or atheistic. This individual came to lunch with us and the worship pastor of the church had the opportunity to speak with him regarding his belief system. Please pray for this person.
The afternoon was very slow and relaxing. In fact, I even got a nap and so did several others. As the afternoon progressed a group went out again and revisited with several people and invited them to our Bible study tomorrow night. The other group went up into the hills to meet with the president of the community in which we are trying to begin a work. Our meeting with him was just to say, “Hi,” and to confirm our meeting with the community counsel for our October trip.
When these two parts of the day ended we had supper and prepared for our evening meeting. This meeting was one I have been longing to have. It was a follow-up from the new believers from March’s trip. We had a chance to encourage them again and to hear some of God’s work in their lives. It was an amazing three hours and I wish it could have gone on longer. I have for some time thought this family would become our family of peace in Tabacundo. I still believe they will be. Please join us as we pray for the Lord to take them deeper in their walk with Him.
It is now 11:30 and we have a very full last day. Pray it goes well tomorrow, especially for the last Bible study. It is being held in the same place where the summer team showed the movie. Many, many people have told us they are coming. Please pray they actually do attend. Pray the believers are strengthened and pray for lost people to hear the gospel.
Thank you again for your prayers and support.

August 20, 2016 

Are you ready for this second sentence? It is very late, again! Today was our “free day” and we went to Otavalo and it was my first time on a Saturday. It is the traditional market but on SUPER steroids. It shuts down virtually every street and there are vendors covering the ENTIRE city. It was amazing. We had a lot of fun socializing and shopping.
We returned back to the apartment and split the group up again. One group went to La Esperanza and met with a family we had previously met in March. We are not certain this family is Christian yet, but they are definitely being drawn on by the Lord. I honestly can see them as being people of peace for La Esperanza.
The other group went out and followed-up with most of the people we have contacted this week. As they reported back this evening, their report was very positive and many of the people they met will be joining us tomorrow at church.
The first group left their La Esperanza meeting and went to a counseling session with a family for which we asked you to pray earlier in the week. It was a good meeting. They are being attacked by Satan and are in need of a lot of prayer, but some positive things were observed by our team. As a result, we feel comfortable calling tonight a success all around.
Tomorrow we have church and I have been asked to preach. So, please pray for me and our translator who will be working with me during the sermon. After church we have another full day of scheduled activities. Pray all goes well for the Lord’s glory.
Good night and again thank you for your partnership with us in prayer and in all of the many other ways in which you support us.
God bless.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ecuador Mission Team (Update)

August 19, 2016 

Another great day, but aren’t all days great in Ecuador? We started the morning somewhat slowly. After morning devotional and breakfast our team split up (a common theme this week). Half went to take care of some personal items and on their journey met some new people and confirmed some upcoming meetings with others. The group came back very excited about their adventure.
The other group went on a specific mission to speak with an individual who is in need of much prayer. Satan is attacking this family and this group felt compelled to go and get some information. Our team hopes to meet with the family again before we leave and even to put them into contact with our new local pastor friend, if this family is willing.
We then made a run to Cayambe and I am sorry to write we did NOT make it to the very special ice cream shop. I have been in Ecuador three full days and have not made it to the MUST HAVE stop of every trip!!!! I hope all of you back in Florida understand the pain and torment I am presently facing. What makes this heart break worse is we had to leave Cayambe in order to get back to the apartment by a certain time for an appointment. The appointment got rescheduled. WE ACTUALLY HAD THE TIME TO EAT THE ICE CREAM!!!!
Now the reason we went to Cayambe was to meet with a family and encourage them. We also got to talk about ministry possibilities for the future and the role FBCBG may play in that future. It was productive and very enjoyable. The only thing that would have made this trip better would have been the ICE CREAM. I am not bitter at all 
In the evening the team split up again. Half of the team was requested to lead a Bible study at one of the home group Bible studies from the new church about which we have been writing. The report came back that our team could truly feel the Holy Spirit’s presence and they are truly a Christ centered group of believers. They had a very enjoyable time and the home group asked when we could have another Bible study with them. We hope we can make this happen, but we are not certain. We have a lot still on our plate and even more to put on that plate.
The other group went to a dear friends house. This individual is a new believer, but one with whom we think they may be a person of peace. Please pray with us that this person becomes this kind of follower of Jesus. We learned that they were a part of a group that was having Bible studies a couple of times a month. Here is the cool part, none of those in this Bible study are church goers. They are just wanting to learn more about God. We encouraged our new believer friend to join us this Sunday for church and to start attending church regularly. Pray the Holy Spirit will convict this person’s heart to become a faithfully attending member of this local church with which we are starting to do more work.
We got in just a few minutes ago. We have our normal morning wake up time tomorrow and it is going to come quickly. Please pray for our strength and endurance. We did have one team member who got some motion sickness today and has not felt well this entire evening. We have a pretty long bus ride tomorrow, and therefore, ask for you to please pray for this person to do well on this trip and to remain healthy. This individual has been, as all of them are, a valuable member of this team and we need this person’s involvement. 1 Corinthians 12 speaks of our need for the entire body. Thank you for your prayers and support.
God bless and good night.

August 18, 2016

It is 11:00 and we got in about an hour ago. We finished debriefing and now you are getting an update.
This morning we had a meeting with a local pastor. We spent almost two hours taking him through a pastoral ordination grilling that was very enjoyable for me. I think the local pastor enjoyed himself as well. The main point of this update regarding this meeting is that any reservations I may have had were dispelled and I am now very confident in our potential partnership with this local ministry.
During lunch the team split up and one team went to met with some people who our Summer teams had met. In the meeting our team met a new individual and we have a follow-up meeting with this person on Sunday night. The interaction with this person was very positive and there are some indications the individual is a believer. We will learn more on Sunday.
In the afternoon our team again split up. Some were preparing for upcoming Bible studies and the others went and met with another person. This person was a “one on one” type of meeting with someone who needs a lot of encouragement at the moment. In fact, we had an opportunity to capitalize on our new local pastor as we called him and allowed these two individuals to schedule a time in which he might be able to provide better assistance and information than we could.
After that meeting the entire team regrouped and went to another Bible study with a husband and wife. He told us the Bible story of the prodigal son and then we had the chance to ask them the two diagnostic questions. After they gave work based answers or even doubting answers, we had the opportunity to share the gospel. By the end of the evening, we had two more siblings in the family of God.
Tomorrow is scheduled to be just as full of a day as today was. We are tired, but excited. Please pray for our meetings tomorrow and for us to have strength. May God be exalted in our work here in Tabacundo.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ecuador Mission Team (Update)

August 17, 2016 

Today started our first full day of missions ministry. The morning started with a Bible study centered on prayer and was followed by us watching a video on prayer walking. We divided the team up into three teams and divided the city of Tabacundo up into three sections. Each team took a section and spent the next couple of hours prayer walking the city.
After lunch we started marking the calendar for the events we have already started scheduling for the remainder of our time here. As a result, our team split up into two groups this evening. One group went to a school and shared with the students. One of our members gave his testimony and it was his first time. He did great. I am very proud of this team and pleased with them.
The second group held a Bible study in our apartment. Most of the attendees of the apartment were second touches from teams from the June and July trips. It was a good time of encouragement and help. I am also pleased to say it was a growing and stretching time for our team as two of our first time ladies co-taught the Bible study and gave their testimony. I was very proud of them and pleased with their willingness to be instruments used by the Lord, as well.

August 16, 2016 

The update from the FBCBG Ecuador Mission trip is we have arrived safely. We have obviously very tired having left Bowling Green at 4 a.m. this morning. Please pray we have a fabulous week of taking disciples of Jesus deeper in their walk with Him. We love you and are grateful for FBCBG’s continual support and prayers as we spread the gospel here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Argentina Mission Team Update

Taking a lunch break and little rest before the afternoon of street ministry and the evening service. This is a group of kids we ran into going home for lunch, pastor Gregg challenged them to all come tonight to service and if they do we will buy them pizza! They seemed thrilled. Pray with us that they do come, each teen reached has a family that can also be reached for God and this church! - Melinda Nickerson

One of our days with the children at the plaza or what we call the park. Had so much fun. -Elizabeth Mier

Day 1 walking to first service and Evangelist Greg bringing the Word in such a powerful way but you know he can't leave out the facial expressions. Jonah shared his testimony as well. -Elizabeth Mier

Our time evangelizing in the near by neighborhoods. Proud of everyone and their willingness to serve where they are need and they have all gone BEYOND. Proud of our team especially my husband who was willing to be a clown. Lol! -Elizabeth Mier

Sunday, July 24, 2016

For those of you who are interested, our team had a great day here at los lomitas Formosa Argentina. We had some workshops this morning, street evangelism and a great children's ministry time at the local park! Hopefully it will all pay off and we will have a full church tonight for the new church we are here helping to plant! Pray that many people will come to know our Lord and Savior this week and many seeds will be planted for generations of Argentinians to come!god is faithful and he promises that he will bless our efforts and his word will not come back void! So help us celebrate the many souls that will be forever changed this week! -Melinda Nickerson

Friday, July 22, 2016

Argentina Mission Trip (Update)

Florida's First Assembly's Argentina Mission Team has arrived! 

"Landed safely in Buenos Aires then boarded second plane to Formosa and now for a 4hr bus ride to Las Lomitas." - Raquel Taylor 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Ecuador Mission Team #3 Update (Day 6)

Day 6:

My apologies for getting this to you so late. Our power was out yesterday afternoon and all night.

Yesterday started out in the most amazing way! We had a baptism of a young lady that has been a believer here for a little while. One of the team members read the story of Jesus' baptism and another team member had the privilege of baptizing her. It was absolutely beautiful!

In the afternoon, we had a Bible study with a very new believer, who accepted Christ on the March trip. We were all amazed at the wisdom
that came from her in such a short time. You can see that God is moving in her. We again shared the story of Joseph. We did not know this but, she is facing a lot of struggles with her sons and jealousy between them. The perfect story to share! Again, The Lord guiding our steps. She even said that she knew these struggles were because she'd accepted Christ and Satan was not happy about that. See the wisdom I'm referring to?! We had a sweet time of prayer, discipleship, and encouragement. We showed her a way to present the gospel using a colored soccer ball, similar to the bracelets. We call it "football gospel." 🙂 Pray for her and that these boys will settle their differences.

As I mentioned earlier, the power was out, but that didn't end our study. We had 16 studying and praying in the dark! After the study, we walked with flashlights to a restaurant that was running off a generator. And it was BUSY!! There were 17 at dinner, and all of us were able to sit down to dinner and enjoy sweet fellowship together.

This morning, the musicians are playing and singing with a local church for their worship service, then we will begin to prepare for our movie night while saying many goodbyes.

Pray for the movie tonight. Pray that lost people will turn to Christ, that broken marriages will be healed, that the Spirit will speak through us to minister to them. Pray for comfort for the team, as goodbyes are always so hard! We love you all, we are praying that everyone had a blessed Sunday, and that no matter what language we are worshipping in that God will be so glorified for He is worthy! -Julia Roberts

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Ecuador Mission Team #3 (Day 4 Update)

June 30, 2016 (Day 4)
Today was our busiest day yet. Every morning we look at our whiteboard with our schedule and appointments on it. This morning we realized just how quickly this week is passing! We are so grateful for the opportunities we have had to share with, encourage, teach, and disciple our friends here. This morning we started off in the market sharing the story of Joseph with a newer believer. There was a man beside her who asked to hear the story too. How often does that happen?! He listened intently, said he was ready to change his life, and even asked for a Bible before we could offer one. We talked about Joseph and how God would send another Prince, who would be sold for silver and condemned even though He was innocent, and He would forgive just like Joseph forgave his brothers, but on a much larger scale. The men in our group are going back to share in more detail. Be praying for him and for them as they share. After our morning appointments, we split teams and handed out fliers for the showing of the movie War Room on Sunday evening. Be praying for this event, as this movie is powerful and marriage struggles are a big problem here. Tonight we held a Bible study at a friend's place of business. The study was fantastic! We had 23 total in attendance. We again shared the story of Joseph, and every person on the team was able to share. Some people in attendance are facing health issues and marriage issues. We talked about how no matter the circumstances, Joseph continued to trust God and serve Him fully. We also sang in English and Spanish and had a wonderful time of study, fellowship, and prayer. We were able to "Korean style" pray for two ladies who are facing big struggles. It was so beautiful hearing prayers aloud in both languages! There is so much more to share, but this post is long enough and I may have lost some of you by now. God's glory can never be explained in just a few paragraphs. But, rest assured He is always good, and He is at work here!!!! Lift up with us our Bible study for tomorrow night. Many have been invited and we pray they come and hear the Word of God. I can't stress enough how important your prayers are to this work. - Julia Roberts