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Ecuador Update






By: Josh Boles

As many of you know I just recently returned home from Ecuador. We took a small team to plan and prepare for some of our upcoming trips this winter and for the summer. I was accompanied by Donna Horning, and Tony Jaramillo, who by the way pronounces his own last name wrong. You should ask him about that.

Every time I go to this wonderful country I go with expectations as to what the trip will consist of. My expectations are always high, and there are a lot of reasons for that. One, I know that the people there are awesome! Two, all the teams we have brought this year have been nothing short of spectacular. We have had some generous, hard working, servant hearted people join us in Ecuador this year. If you are one of those people, I thank you.

As I said, my expectations have been high, but I want you know know that every single time that I have been this year, the Lord has shattered my expectations. I can tell you about all of my trips this year, I think 5 or 6, it is hard to keep track of them. If you would like to know more, or how you can join, come talk to me. Today I want to just share a truly special moment on this trip, and what the Lord did in my heart.

As I said, we went there to plan. As we got to planning, all of the conceptions I had about how our construction trips would go began to implode. We had people ready and waiting to go, and I had a date stuck in my mind. I began to get discouraged because I had anticipated these events for quite sometime. The Lord had placed an excitement in my heart for this trip. I knew that was for a reason, but let’s just say it was not the reason I thought it would be.

Later that night at the hotel, I was quickly convicted of my attitude. I was trying really hard to make all this fit within my own plan instead of trusting fully that God had a plan, and that that plan would be perfect. The next day, we got to go on some home visits with some of the local leadership in our village. The first visit we went on was to a home right next to the Church. There is a young women named Taty that lives there with her family. Taty accepted Christ on one of our former trips. The Lord was gracious enough to let me pray with her as she accepted the great gift of salvation. This time, she wanted us to come share the Gospel with her fiancé.

We also had our driver with us. His name is Palermo, and he was not a Christ follower. We had been sharing the Gospel with him and could tell he was listening. Taty’s finance is Heavier. He came to a point where he was ready to accept the Gospel. Just as we were getting ready to pray with him, Palermo waved his arms in the air to get our attention. We all looked at him with tears in his eyes as he pointed to his head and said, “I understand now.” Then, he pointed to his eyes and said, “my eyes have been opened, I am ready to receive the Gospel.” Right there, in that moment we got to witness Jesus saving two lost souls from the pits of hell.

In this moment I quickly became convicted of something. I had just witnessed the Gospel come full circle. A young, divorced, single mother who had accepted Christ a few months ago so desperately wanted her new finance to know the Lord. Thats is what is supposed to happen when the Gospel changes our lives right? We want others around us to know the Gospel, and to come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

These wonderful people in Pinsaqui are not sitting idly by and waiting for people to come to them. They are stepping out and chasing after people. So I ask you this. Are you chasing after people, or are you just waiting for an opportunity to flash right in front of your face? I know for me, it has been the second option. We certainly should take advantage of those opportunities, but the commandment Christ gives us in Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8 is to GO! I am done waiting. I am done letting people pass by me who are on a path to hell. The things that we see happen around the world, the rapid spreading revivals. These things can happen here, but we have to GO. We have to chase after people. We have to be passionate about saving the lost. So please come with us to Ecuador, but more pressingly, tell people around you about Jesus. They need him, and so do you!

Posted by Josh Boles with

Deuteronomy 26





SCRIPTURE:  Deuteronomy 26

By: Jeremy Witt

We are nearing the end of the Deuteronomy, and Moses is preparing the people for what they need to do once they are in the Promised Land.  Moses knows that he will not go into the land with them, because the LORD has told him this due to his disobedience.  As any good leader will do, the transition in leadership is critical, so he is doing his part now.  We will see this carried out even more over the next few chapters.  

This portion of Scripture deals with the tithe or offering the first fruits of the harvest.  Consistently in Scripture we see that the LORD God values the first.  The important principle is that God expects and demands to be first in the Israelites lives.  This applies to us as well.  There are to be no other gods before Him.  There must not be anything or anyone before God in our priorities and especially our hearts.  How we spend our money is an indicator of what is most important to our lives today.  Do we spend more money on entertainment? Entertainment is our god then.  Do we spend money on our outward appearance?  Then we worship ourselves or man’s view of us over everything else.  Do you see how this applies?  God expected the Israelites to give Him the first of everything. The first child was dedicated to God and was held in highest honor when the inheritance was passed down.  The first day of the week is held in honor to us today, because it was on the first day of the week that Jesus resurrected.  What we give to God should be done first to show that He is more important in all we do.  These principles apply to us today as well.  We see evidence of this throughout the New Testament.   

What we see in verses 5-10 are the Israelites reviewing their history.  We see them remembering their journey with God.  They were memorized so they would not be forgotten.  How does this apply to us today?  What is your spiritual journey?  Who mentored you?  Who discipled you?  What is your family’s history with God?  These are all spiritual markers in your life that lead to where you are today.  They help tell your story, but also help us to remember what the LORD has done.  For example, were you raised in church?  Who shared the gospel with you?  What churches did you grow up in?  Where were you baptized?  Who invested in you spiritually?  Have you been involved in any missions projects?  Have you shared your faith and were able to lead someone to the LORD?  Where were places where the LORD spoke specifically to you?  All of these type questions help show us where God has moved in our lives and in our families lives.  We have a story.  Do we even know it or have we allowed it to be forgotten?  Have your children (should you have children) been told the story?  

This entire passage of verses 5-10 also caused the people to verbally speak out their story.  It was not meant to be hidden or kept quiet even by the introverts or quiet folks.  We are not meant to be silent with our story with God despite our personalities. 

We discover in verses 12-15 how God would provide for the Levites, the widows, orphans, foreigners through this special tithe which was done every 3 years.  God was providing for the forgotten ones.  God was providing for people regardless of economic situation, education level, or family/political history.  The people were meant to be generous and to look out for one another.  Something we should be doing as well.

Verses 16-19 reminded the Israelites what God commanded and what they agreed to do.  God promised to elevate them and provide for them if they would do these things.  Obedience and faithfulness would bring blessings while disobedience would bring discipline.  These principles are applicable to us as well.  Let us remember these things today.

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

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