Thursday, July 16, 2009

This is our last day in our cities and tomorrow we will go to Guayaquil for a day of relaxation. Today was a blessed day in all of our cities! God has delivered many in Ecuador by using his people! It was also hard for most of us, separating from our friends that we have met this week (especially for Millie). There was a service tonight that involved all eight churches and it was beautiful how our cultures were intertwined.

Today, I brought the Catholic Bible to the lady who would only listen and hear from that. Lola, the preacher's wife of our community, talked to her for a while and she accepted Christ. Kerstin is excited for her nationals because a woman who was a new Christian pledged to give her house for a cell group meeting one day every week.

During Emily and Craig's cell group meeting, Craig and an translater walked the street to find people to join them and a man named Leandro (who was already a Christian) walked by and said that he had a drinking problem and that he would like to pray with them about it. They prayed with him and looked at scripture together, Leandro bonded with the man I spoke of earlier in the week that was lonley and they became friends.

Yesterday, the soccer team had five teenaged boys accept Christ. One, who's name is Christian, hung out with them all of today. He and one of the nationals will be using the soccer ball ministry in his neighborhood to reach men and teenage boys for Christ.

Cathy had forty children in her children's meeting. I just wanted to add that because I thought it was amazing! P.S.- that's Milllie's group too.

God Bless(ed),

Sarah Ethridge

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday in Ecuador

Nobody gave me a story for today because they are all so tired. I'm shocked at how fast this week has gone by! We have one more day of ministry left in our towns. I speak for Amy and I when I say that God has definatley worked in our city and has prepared the people to take over long after we have left. We witnessed to nine people today, four people accepted Christ into their lives and three people continue to study God's word through the lessons the church and e3 has provided.

It is very difficult for our groups to help the people in Ecuador understand what we come here to do because the Catholic Church is so prominate here. I heard a story yesterday of Craig and Emily's team. They invited a woman and her son to come to the meetings that we hold every night and just as they accepted, the grandmother ran out of the house and proclaimed that no one was going so they couldn't go. Today, I tried to witness to a lady as she was doing yard work and she told us that she would not hear anything read (she could not read herself) or taught to her if it was not from the Catholic Bible; so tomorrow I will bring that to her. I wish for prayers of encouragment for all of the teams today. They need to know that it is our job to plant the seed and only God can make it grow. I need to be reassured of that as well.

But I know God's work is being done. We may not see the fruits immediatley but we are here to help and we are doing just that! Thank you and goodnight!

God Bless(ed),

Sarah Ethridge

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday in Ecuador

God has blessed us with a beautiful day in Ecuador today! I'll try to keep this blog a bit more brief than yesterday...

First off, I do wish for prays for the towns of Paute (Amy Moore & Sarah's (me)) and Chilcabamba (Craig & Emily's). There can not be enough prayers for any of us but I really would like it if you would pray that the people living in our towns would have open hearts would listen to the Truth we come to share. Some of the people in our towns that accepted Christ were not home for whatever reason for our visits today. It was disappointing because I just don't think they understand that we're asking for nothing and we just wish for them to have a relationship with the Lord. Pray that we can bring hope to the people who feel hopeless and pray that the teams and nationals won't feel discouraged but trust in God. Thank you!

On a lighter note, a story that Cathy told me today was about a lady named Blanca (they visted her yesterday) that was Catholic and claimed to respect all religions. They asked if they could meet up with her tomorrow (today) and she said yes. Today, they visited her and she let them in. Her daughter was also there. The group shared a track with information on the Bible and our beliefs that we had and the Lord worked on thier hearts. They said they were happy because they finally know the truth in the Bible!

Jennifer told me of a carpenter they witnessed to yesterday. When they were telling him about God, there was another carpenter in the room that was not listening but the one they talked to accepted Christ. Well, today the new believer was not there but the other carpenter. He said that when the group left the other day, the other carpenter witnessed to him and he also believes in Christ! That just proves that God is working through the hearts of these people!

God Bless(ed),

Sarah Ethridge

PS- Craig's nine year old daughter, Sally, needs prayers for health. Paramedics are assisting her, she is dehydrated.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday in Ecuador

Today in Ecuador, the weather was overcast for the most part, but good. I (Sarah) shared the gospel with eight people and half of them came to know our Lord. One of the ladies was kind enough to offer her table and chairs so that we could sit, even when she was working. She was very excited. When I was witnessing to another lady, a man from far away was listening and came up to me so that he also could know the Lord. God is so good!

Amy Moore was able to witness to eight groups and seven people came to know God. One lady, named Rosa, touched Amy's heart because of her enthusiasm for the Lord. She wanted so much to be a part of God and she attended our first cell group meeting tonight. Carli and Tresa had an extremley awsome cell groupd meeting tonight, six adults came along with ten children.

Amy Wilkerson and Liz's team was very productive. One story Amy W. told me was of a lady who was shelling peas. At first the lady only wanted thier prayers because she was a Jehovah Witness but after they prayed for her, her eyes were filled with tears and she asked to know thier Lord. They're going to share with her family tomorrow.

Andy and Andrew had eleven people accept Christ. Five of those people followed up and came to the cell group meeting later that day. Kerstin and Steven's team had an extremely productive day as well. God worked through them as they witnessed to the president of the community and his friend they both accepted Christ into thier life along with twenty four other people. Two of the adults and six children even attended their first cell group meeting! One person who came to the cell group was struggling with his faith because his marriage was falling apart, he was turning to alcohol because of the pain that he was going through he brought his three children to the meeting so that they could learn more about God as well! This area had no house provided for a cell group and so after they prayed, God answered, providing a medical center for all their needs.

Craig and Emily led three people to Christ. One person had Parkinson's disease and needs prayers for his leg so that he will be able to walk and attend the cell group meetings and church. The town they are working in, Chilcabamba, is very dangerous and poor. When they were about to leave, behind them was a shabby looking area, Emily looked back and said that they should share the Lord with the man in that shabby area. So they went. Craig didn't get halfway through his testimony when the man cut him off. The man told the group that he has heard several stories like Craig's before and he knew God. He said that he was lonely, that he was a Christian and had a lady study the Bible with him until she moved away. He knew no other Christians. The group was able to relieve his burdened heart, telling him that there was finally going to be a church in his area. We are not an army of one-

God has proved time and time again that He loves this country, he is doing amazing things in amazing ways. I am thankful and I hope to be able to tell you more tomorrow. For now, good night!

God Bless(ed),

Sarah Ethridge

PS- Will asked me to type 'Ben smells like alpaca'. I don't know why but I decided to type it (peer pressure).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday in Ecuador

Most groups began thier day with a church service. God blessed us with wonderful whether and all are in good health. Amy and I (Sarah) were able to go door-to-door to share the gospel and the few that we visited were very interested. The only person I visited today accepted Christ into his life. Since most people in our town were out in the market and would not return home until later, we decided to take a tour of the town and enjoy the sights with our pastor and translators.

As far as I know most other groups were busy attending church services and having meetings with the present members of the church. Four of our groups were able to evangelize while children played soccer in front of our hotel . We hope that many people came and will come to Christ through that ministry (I do not know any news on that yet because most of them are tired and probably sleeping by now). I hope to inform you more on other activities that are occuring as soon as I can. We have not had a meeting yet so I am not very sure on all of the amazing things God is doing but I will find out more information and tell you by tomorrow.

God bless(ed),


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Team Arrives! Saturday Report

We are here! What a blessing it is to once again find ourselves in the beautiful country of Ecuador. Our travel day was uneventful with all of our flights arriving and connecting on time. We spent a night in Guayaquil and flew to Cuenca Saturday and drove twenty minutes to our hotel in Azogues.

We had several God encounters along the way. Sarah was excited to sharethe gospel with someone on the flight to Guayaquil while also practicing her Spanish. Amy was excited because all the flights were so smooth and easy and she was not afraid while flying.

Saturday afternoon we met ourtranslators and pastors. We were able to pray together and broke up intogroups to go into different areas and prayer walk where we will be workingto share the gospel. Amy was excited because she was able to work againwith pastor Richard in the Valle de Paute. She and Sarah prayed walked with the hermana (sister) Lida who Amy worked with last year.

Tessa, Steven, Andrew, Jennifer, Will, Tresa, Andy, Kerstin, Denyse, and Carli had the opportunity to attend a youth service in the area around Azogues. Tomorrow they are going to play soccer in the park near our hotel as outreach. Please pray for us as we go out into our communities that people will beopen and receptive to God's word.

In Him,

Amy Moore

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Team Members

Those going on the team are: Amy Moore, Sarah Ethridge, Liz Gordon, Amy Wilkerson, Steven Gladstone, Kerstin Nelson, Cathy McDaniel, Millie Opper, Emily Gordon, Craig Lyle, Denyse Wiser, Tessa Strickland, Carli Linton, Tresa House, Andy Gordon, Andrew Wash, Jennifer Kendrick, Will Mitchell.

We will be leaving Westwood at 7AM on Friday the 10th and returning late Saturday the 18th.

Tonight we met at our pastor's house with our families and prayer partners to fellowship and be prayed over. Thanks Les and Page for your love and support.