Here is a brief outline of my trip:
Dec 29 (Thurs): Arrival in Quito by Air
Dec 30 (Fri): Orientation in Quito
Dec 31 (Sat): Service Ministry Project
Jan 1 (Sun): Acclimatization climb
Jan 2 (Mon): Service Ministry Project
Jan 3 (Tues): On the Mountain (Cayambe or Cotopaxi)*
Jan 4 (Wed): On the Mountain (Cayambe or Cotopaxi)
Jan 5 (Thurs): Service Ministry Project
Jan 6 (Fri): Departure from Quito by Air
Here are a few things to bring before the throne of Grace:
1) Effectiveness in Ministry to Ecuadorians: I speak about thirty words of Spanish (of which most are of limited usefulness, such as the words for ‘orange’ and ‘mouse’), plus a couple memorized Bible verses. This, combined with the fact that our time of ministry is very limited, makes effectiveness in sharing the gospel the biggest uncertainty for me. Pray that God causes people to repent and believe by the Holy Spirit, through my limited words and actions.
2) Effectiveness in Ministry to team mates: I know the three team leaders, and three of my several team mates ( I got to know them in California this past summer). I enjoy interacting with all of them, so I am looking forward to some really good group dynamics. Pray that God will use this sinful Saint to minister to each of them, and especially the other team mates I don’t yet know in the ways He has prepared them.
3) Equipping for the future: I hope to gain skills I will need in the future for adventure oriented ministry. Pray that God will open up new doors and cement the things I am taught in my mind.
4) Safety for all of us. Quito, like most cities, has unique and fabulous opportunities for sickness. In addition, mountaineering, while not what I would call dangerous, does have inherent risk.
Great news: I am going to Ecuador! God orchestrated everything to provide for me to go, in a way that built my faith in Him and my ability to wait in peace for Him. He reminds me of the verse "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, take heart, and wait for the Lord." I don't think Ecuador is the land of the living that God is pointing to in this verse, but God's actions warrant as much confidence in His continual, tangible goodness in this life as in the reality of heaven. This God given confidence puts a strength of spirit in us, and gives us the ability to wait.
So, now I am scheduling a doctor's visit for a required physical, rounding up the last of the checks from wonderful, faithful supporters, and looking for a plane ticket. I'll also be practicing Spanish and running more often as well.
"Great is thy faithfulness, oh God my father. There is no shadow of turning with thee. Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not, as thou hast been thou forever shall be."
With five days left until my deadline of December 1st, I have $1,720 (received and committed). This is 78% of what I need to go. I pray that God moves His saints to provide the last $480, and if He does not I will send back the checks and praise Him for His guidance. Please pray with me for God to move his saints to support me with prayer and finance, and to bring about what will bring Him the most glory.
This week I have been focusing on the virtue of wisdom. As part of this focus I am studying Proverbs. Proverbs 19:21 is especially applicable in this season of my life: "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." I have many plans for school, vocation, ministry, and other aspects of life. This week God has led me to dedicate and offer all of them to Him. I pray that He will bring them to pass, and I know that if He does not, He will bring about even more wonderful things.
So far God has provided $1,070, and a couple gifts beyond this have been committed. I have begun the process of making follow-up calls to those on my mailing list, and I pray that God will use these to move those who He has called to give to do so, as well as to motivate everyone to pray.
Please pray with me that God will mold my will to be His will, and provide according to His abundant grace.
God continues to provide through His saints. Thus far I have recieved $920 - that is 42% of what is needed. Also, I met with the missions committee of my church (Tates Creek Presbyterian Church) today, to let them know more about this ministry and share my vision. It went well, and I was very encouraged. It is good to be a part of a body which is committed and passionate about missions.
Please continue to praise God for his provision and pray that He will move the saints to give the remaining $1,280 before December 1st.
"So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:7-8
It is now one week after word has gone out, and God has caused several people to give of what He has given them, $400 in total. This is 18% of the $2,200 necessary to allow me participate in ministry and training in Ecuador.
-Praise God with me, for these dollars are His, and the people who gave them are His.
-Pray to God with me, that He will provide the remaining $1,800 before December 1st.
"Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth." - 3 John vs 5-8