Dear Friends and Family,
We are so thankful for all of you. Your continued prayer, love and support overwhelms us. We have been reflecting a lot this summer on the Lord’s provision and the richness each of you bring to our lives. Once again we would love to update you on how the Lord is working here in Ecuador.
The Master’s Team
In May we received another team from The Master’s College. This is our second time hosting a team from our alma mater and once again our hearts are full as we reflect back on their time here.
The first week, the team was hard at work at the home of a dear sister named Gaby, from our church.
They laid wire, prepped and painted walls and enjoyed time with Gaby and her family. The work that they did was a major help for Gaby and her family as they were able to move into this place (which they own) a few weeks later. They no longer need to spend money on rent and are able to use it towards the family’s needs. We loved seeing them jump right in and seek to get to know whoever the Lord brought along their paths.
The girls with Gaby and her sister Valeria
For the next few weeks the team was a huge help around the Alliance Academy campus. They completed some much needed painting and wiring projects, helping in the classroom, assisted Jota in preparing for a team from Grove City College and Children’s Hunger Fund, as well as worked on several videos for our year-end chapel and biblical counseling training.
It was a great encouragement for us to witness the team’s desire to be in intentional in the relationships that they were making with the students and those in La Fuente. Relationships that did not end just because they hopped on a plane and flew back to the states.
The team with Cami. She was a Senior (now graduated) at AAI and a student that Juan and I (Marissa) mentor together.
The team spending time in Old Town Quito with people from La Fuente
One of the highlights of our day was being able to prepare and sit down to dinner with the team almost every night.
The last few days of the trip, we traveled to Baños to debrief and enjoy some chill time together. We biked, hiked, sang, laughed and just enjoyed down time after a busy six weeks.
Biking through the waterfalls of Baños
The six weeks that we were able to serve along side this group were such a blessing to us. Each team member has a special place in our hearts and we miss them already!
We are currently in the states spending time with our families and will be traveling home this coming Sunday. The Lord has refreshed our hearts during our time here and we are ready to return to Ecuador and miss everyone there.
We currently have some financial needs as Marissa will stop working at Alliance Academy and focus on Spanish and her growing ministry at La Fuente. We have also lost a couple of supporters in the last few months. We are asking if you would consider giving to our ministry. If you feel led that way, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Whether tax-deductible or not, whether occasionally or monthly. We thank you for your prayerful consideration!
Juan and Marissa
Dear friends and family,
One of the most exciting parts of our ministry in Ecuador is pouring into the lives of the students and teachers at Alliance Academy International. This week provides a great opportunity in that regard as for the last couple months we have been preparing the yearly “Spiritual Emphasis Week”.
Spiritual Emphasis Week is a unique week of school in which the students have a modified schedule that includes a built-in hour of chapel in which we intentionally try to engage the school community with the gospel. As I mentioned previously, we plan for this event for a long time. We had games, videos, skits and most importantly people that bring God’s word daily.
The theme for this year is “Question Authority” We want our community to look into things that have authority in our lives (hobbies, relationships, jobs, school, etc) The gospel brings us true freedom as we allow Christ to be the only authority of our lifes! This is a key topic for our students.
This year, we had the opportunity to bring some really special guests. We had ⅔ of Lampmode recordings’ The Collective (Stephen the Levite and Zae da Blacksmith). If you know me (Juan), you probably know how excited I would be for having those guys here. It’s not often that my two worlds (Ecuador and my life in the U.S.) collide. God used the folks from Lampmode to really challenge my faith. I pray that the same could happen with many people here in Ecuador.
- Pray that the Lord would be glorified and that many people would fall in love with Him and be saved. Pray that those that know him, would be encouraged to live in a way that is worthy of our calling.
-Please pray for the follow up after Spiritual Emphasis Week. For opportunities and wisdom for the teachers and staff to speak into the students lives as well as help them connect with a local church.
-Also, please pray for us as we both ended the week feeling pretty sick.
P.S. We quickly wanted to share that we are under our level of support. Please read our previous email and consider partnering with us!
Sound check late Sunday night
Stephen the Levite sharing through music
Poster for Concert
We are excited to share with you that after a process that started last Summer we have been approved as missionaries with Reaching and Teaching. This is a new mission agency started by veteran missionary and Associate Dean of International Missions at SBTS, Dr. David Sills. We are so excited for this opportunity as Dr. Sills book “Reaching and Teaching” has been foundational in our ministry in Ecuador and the agency lines up perfectly with the vision that God has given us for the ministry in Ecuador and Latin America that He has allowed us to be part of. Dr. Sills has been a great encouragement to us and we are excited for what the Lord will do!
Dr. Sills has been a speaker at various conferences (Cross Conference, Desiring God Conference) and you can know more about him and reaching and teaching here.
With the Lord answering to our 3 year prayer request, we are moving by faith and making some necessary changes.
1. Maris has self taught herself Spanish. She can get by in most day to day situations, yet her growing ministry outside the international school and in the church requires her to get formal language training. We have been pushing back from starting this key training for the last two years as we need the stipend from the school in order to meet our needs in Ecuador. At this point we have saved a bit of money for Maris to move to part-time and use that extra time to take Spanish classes. She started two weeks ago and it has been such a blessing and encouragement for her…challenging as well!
2. We have verbally committed with R&T (you can find us in their website); however, and as you see in the previous point. We have been serving in Ecuador for the last 3 years under our level of support and supplementing it with the stipend that we receive from the school. Our goal for 2014 is to raise enough support to be independent and focus specifically on areas of ministry that the Lord is blessing and that we feel called to pursue in the future. We are praying for the Lord to provide the necessary support.
If you are reading this, we ask you to please prayerfully consider partnering with us. Please pray that we can find like minded people and churches that would want to come alongside us. We are pursuing these two goals wholeheartedly and trusting for the Lord’s provision. Please let us know if you have any questions. We also want to share that faithful friends and partners have provided the means for us to attend a few conferences in 2014. Please pray that these conferences would not only be a great time to be refreshed, but opportunities to connect and share our vision with like minded believers and churches as we pursue this goal. If you are planning on attending T4G and Shepherds Conference, we would love to meet you!
We have updated our website as well! Take a moment to browse around when you can!
For Christ’s sake in Ecuador!
J & M