Philippians 4:13 NKJV
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
This is a verse I have to be thinking of constantly now. I am realizing how much has to be done here, how hard it will be and how inadequate I am to do it. That said it can be done, the walls can be rebuilt and the land is ready for the taking, because the Lord is with me.
Today was another long day, it seems like only minutes ago we were up at 7:30 AM at the church to set things up, followed by a time of prayer, the Spanish service, the English service then another Spanish service. Zeke taught all three of them and Eddie gave his testimony. Both were well received. As a side note, I can’t help but love the Ecuadorian people. I love their culture, they are so incredibly friendly and easy to get along with. That said, it is almost culture shock when the English service comes around. All of sudden we are not greeting with kisses but with a hand shake and I am speaking my native tongue instead of struggling in Spanish. I am most definitely the youngest guy in the English service, what’s even more intimidating is that the Ecuadorians have been calling me and introducing me as pastor Matt. I don’t really know what to say about that, other than I accept the will of God when it comes. I have the heart of a pastor and I know God was calling me, I just didn’t know exactly into what. With time and prayer it will all become more clear.
As crazy as it sounds, I will be pastoring and teaching the English service, or so it seems. I have always had a heart to pastor and in reality I have been doing that kind of work for the past three years, I just didn’t have a title. Every thing is happening so fast. I need your prayers all the more. One of my prayers was that the Lord would send me to where I could be used the most, and it seems like that was answered. I can’t begin to tell you how much need and opportunity there is here. But I also realize how difficult it must be for a retired person to have such a young pastor, especially since I already have a baby face as it is. But I am who I am, I can’t change my age or the way I look, all I can do is offer the Word of God and be an example of Christ. My fears aside, the people in both the English and the Spanish services have been extremely welcoming and encouraging.
I have a feeling I am either going to grow very fast or die trying. Please pray for wisdom for me, I already feel like I could easily find my self distracted with so many different things that I could miss the specific calling God has for me.
After Zeke gave the second Spanish service we went to have coffee with Jose and Ruth, they are some of the longest attending people in the church. Ruth is a very creative artist, one of her most recent endeavours is painting roof tiles. Needless to say a lot of us bought some.
After that Ruth and Jose took us to Jose’s sisters restaurant, Miguelos. If your wondering where the best pizza is in all of Ecuador go to Miguelos in South Cuenca. Seriously its the best. Maybe even better then Pizza Factory (yes I said it!). On the drive home they showed us a place that had pools fed by natural springs. They call it los banos, and it seems like a great place for tourists to stay at since its set up almost like a resort.
After that we went back to the church for the Sunday night service. I was a little late since Monica, a Colombian woman who is staying at the mission house, made me some food and I couldn’t resist. Besides it would have been rude to reject it. After the Bible study we went to Oscar’s parents house, which is absolutely beautiful by the way, where I had my second dinner. I am so going to get fat here. We were all surprised to see Miguel there (chendo Miguel to those who know him in Phelan). But our conversation quickly turned into some Kung Fu lessons (Oscar has his own gym and classes for it). I am pretty sure I am going to join his gym for a couple of reasons. One, he’s one of the guys who left the church along with Miguel and I want to pursue healing with them. Two its very dangerous here and having the knowledge for self defence would be useful for defending myself and others. Thirdly, it just sounds fun. Not to mention I think part of being a good steward and a good missionary is being physically fit.
Although the work ahead of me is challanging I thank God for it, because I have no other choice but to call out to him. When you feel like God is calling you to do something that is overwhelming, then you know God is the one doing it and you know He will be getting the glory for it. What other choice do you have? As for me there is no turning back, the Lord is my strength and I can do all things through Christ.