Greetings, brothers and sisters in Christ! We are happy to share with you an update on our ministry and construction in San Jose de Camaron!
On a daily basis, Pastor Fernando Larrea and his wife visit the households to talk with them about evangelism and family. Every other Friday, Pastor Fernando and his wife also deliver workshops to 25 couples (50 parents) and they are taught on how to take care of each other as a couple and the purpose that God has in their lives. Every Monday, the Pastor’s wife, Karina, organizes workshops for 15 ladies where they are taught on women’s worth and self-esteem and on Saturdays, Pastor Fernando carries out services, where 25 to 30 people attend to learn about evangelism and interpersonal relationships concerning the couples and the family. People testify that the church is helping them in their spiritual life and their lives are changing.
During the first half of March, Pastor Fernando, his wife, and a group of tutors prepared daily lunches for 50 families, with the aim of sharing the gospel and motivating them to attend the services. The families felt appreciated by the Church members and especially supported after the landslide that took place nearby the San José de Camarón River. Pastor Fernando also organized a minga [community cleaning], attended by a group of parents, who helped by painting the church’s facilities and sowing plants.
In the project, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 180 to 200 sponsored children as well as 18 children from the community attend and are divided into age groups for lunch and instruction. Children have changed their behavior, and they are more interested in learning about God. Now they pray at home and they have improved their attitude toward their parents.
On Saturdays, Pastor Fernando, his wife, and a group of teenagers (children of parents who attend the Church) organize the Children's Church, where 118 to 200 sponsored children and 20 children from the community attend to receive teachings based on the book “Brave As A Lion,” which describes Paul’s story when he was in trouble. Children feel more confident that God is with them, and their faith has increased. Now some children engage in the activities of the Church and have improved their behavior both in the project and at home.
The only real challenge we have faced in these months is to complete some finishing touches on the church. However, the construction is 100% built and finished; the multipurpose room, kitchen, and 3 classrooms, 3 bathrooms for men and 3 for women have been placed and are ready for use. Our next steps will be to begin to raise money as a church for air conditioning for the building.
As a Pastor, I want to tell you that God is with you and all the fruit you have sown will be paid back in God’s timing. Feel confident that God will continue to take care of you and we will do everything possible so that the children continue to be benefited. Continue with these gestures of generosity because the Lord will reward you greatly and we continue to pray for your lives.
Pastor Fernando Larrea
I have the Lord’s call to serve Him as a Pastor. I started serving in Santo Domingo in a Youth project. I began a very nice ministry with my family and we prayed to God during this time to work in other places. When Pastor Mario Paredes called us, he mentioned that they were in need for a full-time Pastor in the community of San José de Camarón. My wife and I went to check the place and we liked it a lot, so we decided to leave everything behind and serve in that area. Pastor Alexander Yapapasca and his wife welcomed us very well and helped us ever since we started as lead pastors last year.
Together with my family, we are working with the parents and children of the project, teaching them the love of God in a tangible way. Through the lives of people, we have had an answer to our prayers, because thanks to the preaching of the gospel, families have been impacted and children participate more actively in the teaching of the Gospel. We hold workshops with families so that
they know the Lord better and we are happy to help in this community. Also, my daughter helps the children because she likes working with them a lot, since my whole family has a passion for helping people.
I personally think that the construction of the Church has impacted the community of San José de Camarón because this is a vulnerable and abandoned area. This building is managing to help families, not only inviting them to attend the activities of the Church, but to really seek God and congregate from the heart. Parents are thrilled to talk about the Word and are motivated to change their lives, and the facilities are very cozy and clean for the healthy development and sharing of the children.
Praise and Prayer Requests
• As Pastor, I thank all the Donors who sponsored all the construction. Thank you for all the love you show us through these actions, which enourages us to serve the children who feel benefited with this construction. This infrastructure helps the children to have a better environment to learn. Thank you very much for your trust placed in us, we are very happy for this work. God bless you and may you continue to help more children in different places.
- For the households of San José de Camarón, so their homes are not affected by natural disasters.
- For the people of the community to really get to know the Lord.
Message from Pastor Alexander
On a recent trip to Ecuador, we were able to visit the church plant that Discovery helped to launch in a town called Camaron. The construction of the church is almost complete and we even had the opportunity to help sand and paint the walls in the classrooms. For now the services for children and adults are happening in a nearby center.
Our team from Discovery is excited for the trip in November where we will be doing VBS, home visits, and seeing our sponsored children.
If you are sponsoring a child, we want to encourage you to continue writing letters. These letters mean so much to the children. In fact, many of the children came with the letters from their sponsors and were eager to share with our team the impact it makes in their lives.
We also ask for your prayers for the church in Camaron, Pastor Alexander and all the leaders who are tirelessly working to share the gospel and love the people in the community.
Thank you Discovery for partnering to make a difference in Ecuador and in the lives of these precious children. You are helping to release them from poverty and to grow strong in their faith.
In the past few months, we’ve made good progress in our ministries and construction. On Saturdays, meetings are held, where 15 to 16 parents attend and are taught by Pastor Alexander Yapapasca on family welfare. Now, parents claim that their lives have changed because they have learned to care for their families, have better communication with their partners, and attend church together. Cell groups are held on Saturdays, where 8 to 10 parents attend. Pastor Alexander Yapapasca teaches about the Bible, the gospel, and salvation. Currently, the parents are more reaffirmed in God, although as a whole the community is in a constant struggle to believe in Christ. Every day the parents who attend pray more, they attend the cell groups more regularly, and they feel motivated to look for more about the Lord.
In the project, birthday celebrations for the children of the project were carried out in June. This event was attended by 98 children, who participated in games, choreography, and singing with great excitement to all the 38 birthday children. The birthday children were given a Bible and Pastor Alexander Yapapasca taught them about the Book of the Great Adventure. This event was very special and amazing for the children because in previous celebrations, the little ones did not receive any gifts, nor surprises; this time, in addition to a gift, they also had a delicious cake. We hope the children will use their gifts to help them memorize Scripture and learn more about the Bible stories they hear at the project.
On Wednesdays, 110 children attend the project, and perform activities such as choreography, painting, craft, and study the Book of the Great Adventure. Now, there are children who share with their families the lessons delivered by the project. They are very interested in learning verses, and as they get more accustomed to the project, they are no longer so shy and they participate more.
In our construction, every day, 12 parents meet to collaborate in the construction of the Church. They help to carry the material and mix the cement. This group of parents are provided with a daily lunch.
Though construction and ministry is going well, there have been some challenges. The weather has been a problem, because in June and July, the rain did not allow us to continue the construction. However, currently, the construction of the church is making progress. The ceiling was placed and the walls of the multi-purpose room, bathrooms, kitchen and 3 classrooms are being plastered. In the upcoming months, the whole church will be painted and the next step is to place doors and windows.
As Pastor, we thank you for helping the children in need, as your support is a great blessing to all the children in this community. Also, we hope you are able to fulfill your goals, objectives, and whatever you have planned to accomplish with the help of Christ.
Tatiana Segovia, attends the church regularly
Ever since I attended the Church, my life is more organized and communication has improved at home. When I attend the preachings at the church, Pastor Alexander always emphasizes the gospel and the praises are very good because they encourage my Spirit. These preachings have helped me learn to trust God more and have helped me solve problems at home.
My husband agrees to attend church activities, because he also likes to attend and get involved. He believes that the new church is a good idea for the children to get to know God and meet new friends who share the gospel.
My son Davis is very fond of praises, Bible classes, crafts and painting; he has told me that he is very excited because the Church will have new classrooms to deliver classes.
When I attend the Church, I speak with other parents and everyone is happy about the construction because the children will be educated in the paths of the
Lord to get to know Him better. All the people are very happy with this construction because their children are in a safe place.
When I talk to my neighbors about the activities of the church, they are very interested to attend; however, because of their work schedules they cannot. Everyone thinks that the new church will be a great blessing for the children because they can share with one another and interact with people who believe in Christ.
Personally, the construction has impacted me because we have a safe place to call our own. There will be more regular preaching and this will impact more people in the community.
Gabriela Chacha, tutor
The building of the Church will contribute to the spiritual growth of the children so that they may grow in Christ and in the future they will be young people guided in the Word. As a project team, it is a privilege to help them grow spiritually.
I decided to become a tutor because I heard a preaching from Pastor Alexander Yapapasca, who delivered a message about the Word of God. I felt that he spoke to me, and made the decision to serve the children, by encouraging them and sharing with them the Word.
Parents say they agree with the construction, because in the project, the children have had great changes in their behavior, since they are being educated according to the Bible. The little ones have learned to pray before every meal and they know that in the future they will become young people on the right path.
The construction benefits the parents because the new church will be of great impact, since this great building will have plenty of space to carry out more activities concerning the Word and will especially benefit the parents and their children. There are many positive changes in the lives of families today.
The children also comment that the building is a blessing to them because they feel happy to have their own church, a place to play and make more friends, and have their own newly painted classrooms.
Praise and Prayer Requests
• As Pastor, I thank you for your help, for all the investment you make and for the trust you put in us. Be assured that we are giving everything to fulfill your expectations by restoring families and delivering the message of salvation to the families of the children of the project. God bless you always, abundantly, and exceedingly in your lives. Many blessings to you and your families.
• For the consolidation of a leadership group in the Church, for those who have more strength in God and perform their work with the purpose of serving the Lord.
• For the spiritual life of the Pastor of the Church, so that God gives him more strength and wisdom to help the community.
In the past few months, our ministries have been very active. Services are carried out every Saturday afternoon, with a group of 15 people who are taught by Pastor Alexander Yapapasca to share about the identity of children, self-esteem within the family, and how parents must raise their children. Now, couples get along better and their children are more obedient, parents are no longer involved in addictions such as alcohol, and there is better communication at home.
Every Saturday afternoon, the cell groups are held in Chasojuan (a community next to San José de Camarón), where 10 people attend to learn evangelistic subject matters about the new life in Christ from the pastor. Thanks to these meetings, a mother welcomed Christ in her heart, converted to the Lord, and maintained an intimate relationship with God. In addition, the people who live in the surroundings feel motivated to listen to the Word.
Every day, the Pastor and the tutors visit 4 to 5 households of the project’s children in order to share the gospel with the families, encourage them to seek God even more, to convert and to recognize the emotional, social and cognitive reality of their children. Now, parents are more motivated to attend the Church and are able to encourage their children to learn the Word.
Every Wednesday in the project, nearly 100 children from the project attend to receive teachings about the Book of the Great Adventure, which describes the creation and birth of Jesus (what Jesus did in the world, the resurrection, and that He should be accepted as their personal Savior in their hearts). The children are always motivated when they are called at the end of their activities and about 30 children have accepted Christ. From that moment onward, Pastor Alexander follows up closely so that the children keep their motivation alive and maintain an
adequate growth in the paths of the Lord. In addition, parents witness the transformations that their children have and are interested in attending the Church.
On Saturday, May 20, nearly 100 people between mothers and children (sponsored and non-sponsored) attended. This activity was put together to celebrate Mother’s Day. Everyone there tasted a delicious meal, children sang to their moms, they played games, and Pastor Alexander preached on “The Virtuous Woman.” All moms felt very special because they admitted that it was a very special time. Currently, more people are attending the services and also the cell groups.
In our construction, mingas [community work] have been carried out on a monthly basis, in which 20 to 25 parents attend to place bordering sticks (plum sticks from a thick branch, which are placed to set the borders of the pieces of land) and to clean the orange plants (to clean the moss of the plant, so that the fruit can grow properly). In addition, parents cooperate in the activities of the project and help serve the food to the children.
We have faced a few challenges in the past couple of months. The weather has caused some difficulties, because welding (with electrical energy) is needed to place the roof and if it rains, the people in charge of this work can be electrocuted. However, this will be done at the end of July, as soon as the weather gets better. Even with this challenge, a multi-purpose room and 3 classrooms have been built, although the walls have yet to be plastered, the floor has to be poured, and the roof has to be placed. In the kitchen and bathroom areas, there is still a wall to be built.
In the next few months, doors and windows will be placed in all the new construction.
As Pastor, I want to encourage you and tell you that God is always with you. Please continue to look for more children who need your help and always have Christ in your hearts. All this help you provide will be rewarded in heaven, as it is of great blessing to these communities who need a spiritual revival.
Angelita Segovia, cooperates in the mingas and attends the Church regularly
Thank God, my life has changed and I am well, since I did not know the Word before. I did not pray and I did not attend any Church. Currently, I have a good relationship with God, because since I met the Pastoral team, they encouraged me to congregate and when I heard the first preaching, I was very struck by the teaching because it served me to stop fighting with my husband and keep a proper communication with my children.
My husband attends the Church with me and he told me that he is very happy about this construction because the people of the community will have a place to learn more about the Word, and he collaborates in the mingas to keep the land clean.
My daughter is sponsored, she is very happy when she attends the project because she makes crafts, learns about Jesus, and memorizes verses. She is excited about this construction because all the children will have new classrooms to learn more about God.
When I attend Pastor Alexander’s preachings, I talked with other mothers and they admit that they like this construction very much. Furthermore, when the construction is finished, it will be a very impressive and beautiful building.
My neighbors and relatives have commented that the construction of the Church is being done in the most favorable way and that the children will feel at ease in these new facilities. It will also benefit the people because the community will have a safe, proper place to pray and study the gospel.
PRAISE AND PRAYER REQUESTS
• As Pastor, I thank the Donors for the investment they are making in order to benefit the children, and for the Church team to be able to serve them in all the areas they need. Thank you for all your help, so that the project and the Church keep moving forward.
- For all the families of San José de Camarón and for the children, so that we continue helping them and working for their benefit.
- For our work team so that God may give them the strength and be able to guide the children in the paths of the Lord.
We have been very fruitful in our ministries in the past few months. Sister Irma (tutor) and Pastor Alexander Yapapasca carry out 15 visits to the parents’ homes on a weekly basis, and they deliver topics such as salvation, family restoration, and evangelistic matters. People have shown to be very open to the Word of God despite their ideologies and traditions.
Every Thursday at 6:30 p.m., services are held with an attendance of 16 parents who receive the Word delivered by Pastor Alexander about topics such as the effort to face family problems and find help in God through the Word. Thanks to this activity, there are some testimonies of people who used to drink alcohol every day and ever since they became acquainted with God, they no longer do it, because He touched their hearts and they no longer find pleasure in doing those things. Also, there is someone else’s testimony who wanted to commit suicide in the past, and now that he has accepted the message of salvation, he opened the door of his home to start the cell meetings. A few such changes have taken place in the lives of people who attend because, despite their struggles, they have faith and are aware of God’s help.
Every Thursday afternoon, a cell group is held in the Chasojuan area (a community alongside the one in San José de Camarón), attended by 6 to 7 parents, conducted by Pastor Alexander, who talks about the gospel. Although the cell has just started in late March, the results have been really good, because the people are satisfied and happy. Furthermore, they say that the praises are beautiful and that the message helps them in their daily lives.
In the project, every Wednesday afternoon, the meetings are held with 101 sponsored children, who are taught by Pastor Alexander and tutor Irma through the book “The Great Adventure.” The children make crafts with the help of two tutors who bring the cut pieces so that the children can put together the figures according to the subject being taught. For example, when they learned about having “a new heart,” a necklace was made with a heart and they explained to the children how Jesus loves them. In addition, the children get their lunch and they do dynamics and choreographies.
In March, the Samaritan’s Purse boxes were given to sponsored children and Pastor Alexander delivered the lesson on the Plan of Salvation using different colors, by explaining to them how a child is born with the original sin and upon meeting Christ they have a new heart. As a result of this activity, the children showed happiness because they enjoyed a very new and visual day as images were used for this purpose. The church was specially decorated so that the children would accept Christ in their heart.
Finally, during the month of February, Pastor Alexander, together with a group of 12 parents, carried out mingas [community work], which was attended by 6 parents in the morning and 6 parents in the afternoon to help with the construction.
We have faced several challenges in the past two months. Because of the poor weather, the construction has been halted due to the rains that have caused flooding in the community, but the construction will resume in May as soon as the rainy season is over. There have been no difficulties in previous months, and there has been a lot of support from all the households in the community to continue the construction. The parents have helped and the authorities have become involved with the community, since a landfill was necessary in the lot of land and it was very expensive. They used 80 dump trucks to carry the material and thanks to the parents’ cooperation who spoke with the authorities, we were provided with this machinery (dump trucks). This land was filled in February and now the land is levelled to continue construction. Since the land was filled, the construction has already reached a 60% progress. The columns and walls of the temple are already built, as well as the classrooms, kitchen and bathrooms.
In the upcoming months, the ceilings will be laid and the walls of the temple, the kitchen, and the bathrooms will be plastered. In addition, the finishes of doors and windows will be completed.
As Pastor, I ask you not to lose that fervent love and to always have it. We are very grateful to you and we continue to pray for your lives. We know that those who invest in San José de Camarón are Christian people like us and that if at any time they feel discouraged, I encourage them to continue trusting in God, to believe in His promises, and to continue showing their interest in helping children. And remember that the Bible says that those who wait on Jehovah will have new strength.
María Cadena, helps in the kitchen area
Personally, I have felt supported since I have a child with hydrocephalus and the project has helped me with the doctors’ prescriptions. The mothers of the sector, together with Sister Marina and Pastor Alexander have carried out mingas. They also invite us to the services and ever since I attend them, God has changed my life, because before listening to the talks, I used to drink alcohol and go dancing; but now, it has been 7 months that I have been devoted to the Church and now I work as a kitchen assistant. When the Pastor and his wife came to this community of San José de Camarón, it was amazing, I received Christ in my heart and that brought about a great change in my life.
My husband assists me with the activities of the Church and my son attends the project, he likes to learn and read the Bible. Thanks to the Pastor, my son belongs to a musical group, where violin workshops take place. Ever since my son goes to the project, he has made friends because due to his illness he could not go out and make any friends.
When I attend the services, parents have remarked that they are looking forward to seeing the construction finished and they want to start going to the new Church. Also, when I share with people in my community about God, I use children’s books with illustrations to explain to them better, and they are interested and want to attend the Church.
PRAISE AND PRAYER REQUESTS
• As Pastor, thank you very much for the investment you make in the community of San José de Camarón to help children and their families to get out of physical and spiritual poverty. Thank you for the confidence you have placed in us as a Church and together with the Church Leadership, we are grateful for all that you have given us.
- For the physical and spiritual health of the families and children, so that the gospel will spread and all the families may meet Jesus Christ, affirm themselves in Him, and become spiritually mature people.
- For the Church to have an impact on the community of San José de Camarón.
- For God to give us the strength and help us to fulfill his purposes by using all the tools we have as a Church and as a project.
In the past few months, once a month, meetings are held with a group of 10-15 parents. During this time, Pastor Alexander Yapapasca preaches on topics like the importance of marriage, domestic violence, and other biblical themes. The purpose is for parents to meet the Lord, to accept Him as their personal Savior, and to be a part of the Church.
On Thursday, January 26, a special service was held at the Mother Church in Echeandia, which was attended by 290 people from the Sabanetillas and San José de Camarón projects. This service was held by the Missionary Eduardo Mesa (Pastor in the city of Guayaquil). The goal was to strengthen the relationship between spouses so that they understand that God must govern their lives and maintain a solid family.
Pastor Alexander works daily with six parents in the community to participate in mingas (community work) to aid in the construction and maintenance of the church.
In the project, every Wednesday, 95- 100 children of the project come together. During this time they learn about Biblical themes, learn choreography, and perform dynamics and games. Tutors use several strategies to teach children and better understand their classes, such as visual material and role plays. The result has been incredible because the children at first did not have much confidence with the tutors, but, over time, they have shown more confidence and love towards their tutors. Now, they are happy to become involved with the project and participate enthusiastically in the activities of the project and the church.
Every day, a tutor of the project, makes three or four different visits to the children’s homes. During the visits, she talks with parents about biblical and family issues, and at the same time she verifies how the child’s physical and emotional situation is doing. Furthermore, during these visits the tutor prays with the family for their needs. Parents have been motivated by these visits and have even been encouraged to attend the church activities.
Finally, on December 22, Pastor Alexander, his wife Sister Marina Gamarra and the Tutorials organized a special program to celebrate Christmas for the children of the Sabanatilla, San José de Camarón and Echeandia projects. The program was attended by 570 sponsored children and 50 non-sponsored children. In this event, the children performed a play, Pastor Alexander gave a message of the Word to all the attendees, gifts were distributed to the children, and they had a delicious snack.
We have faced some challenges recently. The weather conditions have been one of the difficulties during the construction. The rainy season has been hard this time, impeding a faster advancement of construction. Another one of the challenges has been to fill the land, since it did not have the necessary resources to carry it out. For this reason, one of the mothers of the family who faithfully attends the Church assisted in the management with the authorities of the Municipality and the Provincial Council to provide a backhoe and a dumper, and from the river to collect stones to fill up the land, with the collaboration of the staff of the Church and some parents. Because of all this work, 60% of the construction is almost complete. Currently, columns and walls are being built in the multipurpose room, classrooms, kitchen and bathrooms.
In the next few month, we expect to finish the construction 100%, by placing the ceilings, doors, windows, plastering walls and floors.
As Pastor, I want to encourage you to continue to trust in us as a Church, because we give everything so that through the children the mission and vision of bringing children out of spiritual and physical poverty can be fulfilled. Many thanks to you, who are the godparents of these children. We encourage you to trust even more and more in God, so that He will prosper his ways and bless you much more.
María Cadena, serves food for the project
The building of the Church will be a blessing. Children are assisted at the Church and the project and they are taught good habits. This is very good because they take care of the people of the community. Pastor Alexander and his wife, Sister Marina, are always supporting us, and I personally helped them to deal with the Municipality with the request for dump trucks and machinery to fill the land, because we have a good friendship and they are very welcome in this community. The people are very happy for this construction that benefits all. We are happy and agree with the construction of the Church and the project. Thanks to Sister Marina, who has allowed me to cook for the children and serve this way in the Church, I am very happy and grateful for this opportunity and for the Leadership of the Church.
The preachings of the Pastor have helped me because everyone knew me as a person who had a bad temper, but ever since I listened to these messages, I just smile and I do not get angry anymore. Furthermore, the Pastor always invites me to the services and I learn a lot. I look and ask what days the meetings are in the Church, because I like the way they treat me and I continue to invite more people. With other parents, we do mingas [community work] and more activities in the Church, because there are many people who like to attend as it is something beautiful that has never existed in the community. We are all very grateful.
Praise and Prayer Requests
• As Pastor, thank you for your generosity and effort to invest here in the sector of San José de Camarón for the benefit of children. We have always been focused on the children who need the Lord, to bring them out of physical and spiritual poverty. Thank you very much for the generosity you show towards this community, towards children and parents, so that the children develop their activities much better and have a greater performance in the areas in which we work with them.
- For the Church, so that it grows and impacts on the community so that the people meet Christ and give their lives
- For the families to reconcile and for the marriages to be restored.
- For children to grow up healthy in the four areas, especially in thespiritual area, so that they may get to know Christ personally.
- For the spiritual life of the Pastor and his family who work with children. We are from another country and we have come to serve in Ecuador upon leaving our places of origin.
In early November, a meeting was held with the parents, because a sponsor visited us and taught the Word of God together with Pastor Alexander. This activity was attended by 30 parents who gladly welcomed it. The result has been favorable because the parents are highly encouraged to attend the Church.
Pastor Alexander visits the households on a daily basis to share the Word of God on specific topics, such as how to build a spiritual family, as there is a huge lack of the gospel in this area. Thanks to these visits, the families are helped spiritually and have reduced intra-family problems as they solve them with the help of the Word of God.
Every Wednesday, the pastor’s wife and some of the Project’s teachers share with the children of San José de Camarón several activities such as choreography, theater, singing and prayer. In addition, the Pastor delivers Bible classes to a group of 90 children on the Word of God, according to a strategic plan that has been put together as a project. The life of Joseph is currently being studied. The result of these meetings is very favorable, because the children accept with great interest these teachings on biblical stories.
Pastor Mario together with Pastor Alexander looked for several land options, at first they were not so successful. However, thanks to the cooperation of a group of parents who were better acquainted with the area, they were able to seek more land options. On November 14, Pastor Mario Paredes purchased the piece of land. On December 13,all
documents were submitted to the Town Hall for the award of the land. Since these are communal lands, all the legal process for the purchase of the piece of land must take place at the Town Hall. Thanks to God, on December 19, the construction started, because while we waited, we had purchased much of the material we would need to begin construction. Finally, on December 20, the town hall delivered the documentation, thus concluding the legal process of the land purchase. Because everything is now taken care of, we hope to be finished with the construction in the first few months of the new year.
As a Pastor, I am very happy when you visit our country. Never forget that the doors of this Church will always be open to welcome you and to work with you as we want you to witness our work. You are a true blessing, because through you, God is working and raising more Church Plants.
Pastor Mario Paredes, legal representative for the denomination
The construction of the Church will help the community members, as this gives hope to the inhabitants of these rural areas to believe in these type of church plants and to be able to offer them a greater knowledge in the Lord. Through the project and the construction of this new Church, God may change their lives, because in San José de Camarón, people need much help from the Word of God, since some children live in dysfunctional homes, full of problems and there are mothers who must have a double role as mother and father as well.
Personally, I am passionate about the constructions and Church plants, because working for Christ and helping people is my reason for living. I thank God for allowing me to work from the beginning not only with this Church of San José de Camarón but with other Churches planted with the support of the donors who have enabled this process and the development of the Province of Bolivar and the Amazon Regions in Ecuador.
For the children, it is a great blessing to have this space to grow and their parents too, because they feel that they are an important part of the Church and have been explained that at the end of this construction, this will be intended for them to learn more about the Word of God, to watch and care for their children.
PRAISE AND PRAYER REQUESTS
• As Pastor, I thank the donors for all the love shown towards this Church that is under construction. Thank you for your support and we hope as a Congregation that one day they will visit us again. We are very happy for their great support, because they allow us to share pleasant moments with the children of this community and their parents, since being part of their lives and serving God fills our hearts with joy.
- For the Church to continue growing in San José de Camarón and for the parents to be able to bring their children to God’s feet, so that He manifests in them with power and glory.
- For more leaders to rise up in the church Photo Description*NOTE: Photos were taken prior to the beginning of construction
We are happy to be able to send you a report, though unfortunately, our construction has been delayed. When we found out with joy that our project was going to be funded by your generosity, we put money down on a piece of land, with the official sale to occur when funding was in our hands. We were told the down-payment assured sale of the land. However, once your gift arrived and we were to sign the paperwork, the landowner doubled the price he had originally sold it to us for. We wanted to be good stewards and use our funding not just on land, but on building a space that the community could use to learn about the hope of Jesus. For that reason, we had to search for a new property. This was a very challenging task, but thanks to God, we have found a site that we will close on this very week, God willing. Thanks to your support, we already have all of our construction materials purchased, so that when our land purchase is finalized, we can begin building within a week. We believe we can have the construction nearly completed within two months of beginning. We are so sorry for the delays. Unfortunately, this kind of dishonesty in business is not uncommon here, but we praise God for your patience and for the good work our ministry is already doing, though the ‘rulers of this world’ have tried to work against us.
In our ministry, though we have already faced challenges, God is faithful. The Pastor, his wife and the tutors organize the visits to the families of the community in order to share time with the children and their parents. The topics delivered during those visits are a presentation of the salvation plan and evangelism. These visits have been carried out since June and as a result we can observe that a higher access to the Word of God has occurred as well as a raise of awareness within the families. However, many families still have not taken the step to have a personal relationship with Jesus.
In the project, every Tuesday, the children from the project come together at 1:00 p.m. They have lunch at the community’s house (where the Church is currently located). Later, they carry out activities such as listening to Bible stories from the Pastor or dynamics and songs with the tutors. 60 children attend and the outcome has been evidenced in kids who have learned about food hygiene, praying, gratitude for the food, and obedience to God.
As a Pastor and as a church, we continue to pray for you all. May the Lord bless you enormously, and may the passionate wish of helping people in getting over spiritual poverty always remain in you all. You are not alone because we pray for you and you pray for us.
María Cadena, church attender
I was Catholic but I liked to go to the Christian church much more because in the Catholic church there is selfishness. The church from project 499 is different because in the preaching they talk about real things, I feel more relaxed and can get things out of my chest, something that has helped me out in my life. I feel like God talks to me and that is nice.
At the church they have taught me how to have a relationship with God, Pastor Alexander has told me that I should not be selfish but instead be creative and get closer to God. I have attended the church for three months and have made good friends with whom I can talk about different things and I have already accepted Christ as my Savior. My mind has changed, I do not get mad easily and I no longer fight with my husband.
I help out sister Marina (the Pastor’s wife) at the church. When they put together programs and are busy, I look for ways to help them out with the activities.
The church benefits people from the community by giving us a place where they help us out and where we can go. People in the community says that
this is something good because it changed the children’s and young people’s way of life. It prompts them to think differently because they behave much better today, they have quit their rebelliousness and they now obey their parents.
Praise and Prayer Requests
- We are grateful for the gesture of love and generosity that the donors show to the poor children in this neighborhood who have not only material poverty, but a spiritual one. Thank you for giving us a tool that help us reach the children and their families in this enclosure.
- For finalization on our piece of land so that we can begin the construction and see the fruits of the church.
- For the households of the community.
- For the project and the Church to be more accepted in the area.
The San Jose de Camaron area consists of 1,787 residents with an average household income of $150 USD per month. The surrounding neighborhoods have 12,114 inhabitants. In the region, approximately 12% of the population is between the ages of five and nine and another 8.6% are below the age of five. 55% of the working people in the region work in agriculture and small-scale fishing. Others work in informal commerce and transportation. Many people are unemployed.
There is a critical lack of healthcare, water treatment and educational opportunities. Many children are abandoned as parents leave to try to find work. The lack of work has also led to an increase in alcoholism and drug abuse that leads to child neglect and abuse.
The Nazareno Church has planted several churches in the region. There are 187 churches in Ecuador and many projects with Compassion. There is a mother church for this particular project located in Echeandia. Leaders are trained at the Echandia church before being sent out to plant new churches. The church focuses on preaching a message of holiness and making Christ-like disciples. The mother church provides accountability as well and performs annual audits on the plants.
Pastor Alexander (planting pastor) lives in the San Jose de Camaron community and will be supported by the mother church. Within three years, it is expected that they will be able to begin to receive some support from the new church plant. He will also receive ongoing education and support from the mother church for as long as it is needed and helpful.