Quito Experiment, Day 1

9 07 2017

The Quito Experiment…a weird title, perhaps, but maybe you don’t know the people I’m working with. (I already know I’m weird.) But anyway, it’s been a good day. This after learning that all but one piece of our luggage made it to Quito. I assume that the 20 pound bag would have grounded the plane or otherwise made the bumpy decent into Quito wholly unbearable. Anyway, it’s on its way and should be here tomorrow. Speaking of bags, the TSA rifled through our bag that was full of ministry supplies. Apparently crayons are a controlled substance or at least worth opening and dumping in the bottom of the bag.

But enough about travels. Today started with a trip to a local church with Pastor Edison. His father was the pastor of the church for a long time but a few years ago suffered a stroke. The church wavered and declined in the wake of no leadership. (It seems there’s a verse that warns us about a perishing people where there is no vision.) Pastor Edison has taken on the role of pastor and is leading this church through a revitalization process.

The service began with a cappella, congregational singing. One particular minister of music that I know would have been proud, as I suspect we sang every verse of each song. We then had a brief teaching or Sunday school lesson about the teachings or doctrine of Jesus and how they are trustworthy. Soon enough, the praise team gathered on stage. Pastor Edison is the lead singer, along with 3 lady vocalist, a drummer, bass guitarist, electric guitarist, and keyboard player. All amps were on and volumes at full!!!

I was asked to preach so I had prepared a short sermon (which is always at least doubled in length whenever there’s a translator involved). I spoke about the call of Gideon. When the angel of the Lord first called him, Gideon replied with a question, “Where is God?” He seemed to be asking God why he was experiencing such difficulty. Why had God allowed such suffering of His people? I’ve had similar questions. But God never really answered that question. Instead, He told Gideon to get busy, that He had a job for him. He gave Gideon purpose, meaning, and hope. In other words, He told Gideon to get busy doing what he had been called to do. As it turns out, God used Gideon in a mighty way. He can do the same for you.

After church, we toured the facility to scope out the best course of action for VBS on Mon-Wed.  Let’s just say, it should be interesting. Hopefully, more on VBS to come this week.

This afternoon we went to a place in Quito called the Crystal Palace. You could look out and see most of Quito from this vantage point. Our missionary, Ron, told us about the local culture and how much influence Spanish Catholicism had on the people. It was saddening, yet enlightening. This same false gospel has been proclaimed for 500 years. And why? For wealth, power, and control. Quito needs Jesus. Won’t you pray with us?

After we came back to the school where we are staying, and after eating some pizza, we moved into the gym for a “concert of prayer.” Eden and I played and sang 5 songs while others read scripture and led us in a time of reflection and prayer. It was a moving service and I believed has helped prepare us for our first day on site, tomorrow. After about 30 minutes of basketball, and writing this blog, I’m tired. I need a shower and a good night of rest. Nos vemos!

Quito Experiment, Day 1 = Success, excitement building

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