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From Weeping to Joy

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Lucrecia invited us to join her under the plastic canopy that covered her outdoor living area to get out of the rain. We spoke with her about the fire she had going, her only means of preparing food and the corn shucks by the fire. the few stalks of corn she grows provide her little food she told us. Her chickens provide the only other food she has. She has a 4 year old granddaughter living with her and one of her sons comes from the town where he lives to cut wood for her fire. My (Liz) thoughts to God were of what could we possibly share with this woman that would relate to her need. He brought the story of the widow and Elijah to mind. We shared how God cared for the widow and how much He loves her. After sharing the gospel using the evangecube, Lucrecia invited Jesus into her life. She then took the cube and began turning the panels trying to find the picture of Jesus on the cross. As she looked at that panel, she began to weep and touch the picture. “He had to die on that cross because of all of our sins” she said. We told her that he is no longer dead and read the resurrection story to her. With that news, she became joyful. As she attended the I am Second Bible study with us a few minutes later, the joy and peace of God could be seen on her face.

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Soccer Field Conversion

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We stopped to speak to a couple about to play soccer yesterday…needless to say their desire was to play soccer and not be interrupted. They gave us 3 minutes to share. As we began to share – they snickered, giggled, and kept looking away. Then suddenly it all changed…the whole facial expressions of both changed. They heard the truth and suddenly they wanted to hear more than 3 minutes. They listened and accepted Christ in front of their friends on the soccer field. It could have easily been a missed opportunity, but the Lord allowed us to cross the paths of a couple that we will one day see again in heaven!

There is always a reason…

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This morning our group was at the hotel waiting for the nationals to arrive and escort us to the mission site.  Most of the other groups had already left, or were on the verge of leaving – our escorts were late.  We were not impatient because we’ve learned that time is a foreign concept in Central and South America – but then something very interesting happened…

An elderly lady approached us looking for some financial aid.  She was covered in black ink markings – her hands, arms, legs…even her face.  It was what you could imagine as native indian markings.  Brother Sam concluded she was a witch doctor and immediately singled me out to witness (Tony) to her right before he left for the field.

My translator (Xavier) and I had a wonderful conversation with this woman – her name is Luce.  She was well dressed, and carefully adorned with beautiful jewelry.  The only thing unusual was the markings – because we were in downtown Puyo.  It would have made sense 30 miles away in the jungle, but not here.

I learned about her background and the why behind her appearance – it was family tradition.  I used the tradition as an angle to tell her about our “tradition” of telling people about Jesus.  Something interesting happened – as I began desribing the Gospel story to Luce she started telling it ahead of me!  Right as I flipped to the section of the cube that displays Jesus on the cross Luce got excited and started to tell us – Xavier at one point early on told me point blank “she knows the story” and she would tell him the steps, interpret to me and I would flip to the section she was on.  We confirmed that she does put her faith in Jesus and then spent 10 minutes are so encouraging her to tell others about Jesus just like we do.  We equipped her with an evangi-card and taught her how to use it.

Sorry for the long story but it was the only way I knew to draw the picture of how God uses unexpected situations (like lateness and unique appearances) to bless us and others.  We thought we were going to tell Luce about Jesus but instead he gave us a chance to bless her in different ways and love on her all while she taught us about how not to assume something based on how someone looks.

Amazing Faith

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We had a great day today in a village I can’t pronounce. We were blessed with a large group of people gathering to discuss how they could secure land to grow tea and fruit. The government now owns the land they previous used to earn a living. We were able to approach groups as they were waiting for the meeting and share the gospel with them. The pastor of a new church in a neighboring community then gathered a good portion of the village for a time of preaching. One precious lady asked us to pray with her because of her health. The lady poured her heart out to us and expressed faith in God to help her through all of her struggles. I am blessed and convicted by people like this precious lady who experience such struggles and still express great faith in God to help them through. She may not have a hospital like we do, but she has the same Lord. May we learn to trust God like this in our lives.

Jason Jarvis

Can God Use a DRUNK?

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Today in Los Angeles our team started a bit slow.  We were told no, not now, I need to speak to my husband, etc….. THEN CAME THE RAIN.  After finding some shelter we used this time to get to know our translators better.  They shared their testimonies with us.  A man came into the middle of our team and sat down and listened.  When the translators finished we spoke to him, his name is Luis.  We could smell alcohol on him.  During this conversation he shared his life story.  He pleaded for help, he wanted to be a better person, to have a better relationship with his wife and family.  One of our team mates, Jessica had a similar situation with her father.  Jessica felt an overwhelming feeling to strongly encourage this man to give up alcohol.  She shared with him what alcohol did to her family.

The rain subsided and the team started evangelism again.  While in a home we heard a familiar voice crying out.  It was Luis.  He wanted us to go and see his family and share with them what we had shared with him.  Three of his family came to Christ.

Can God use a drunk as a person of peace?  Well, in this case he did.

Lorie Parten

Ramon-A Person of Peace

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During training we were taught to look for a person of peace. I asked my friends to pray that we would find a person on peace. On my very first visit, I presented the gospel and Ramon said that he was a Christian. A little later we ran into him again. This time the question was asked differently and this time he decided he needed to ask Jesus in his heart. He and his children attended our evening meeting. He actively participated in our Bible study and even agreed to walk with our team this week. I really believe that Ramon is that person of peace.

Bringing e3 to the Amazon – Sicha Puma

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Our first village is in the middle of the beautiful Amazon jungle.  The people of Sicha Puma don’t live with much, which makes it easier for us because there are fewer distractions.  These people are not without personal troubles and its already evident that there is much work for God to do in their lives. We also came to realize that what seemed like chaos to us, is a plan to God.  El presidente de Sicha Puma, came walking out of the jungle just when we thought that we were delayed.  Jack Roberts shared a similar burden with this man (Napo) which God used to opened the doors to his heart and his village.  We had lots of children show up, but we need yall to be praying that their parents will also join us.  Two chicken coops were built in the village today, which we hope will open doors to more folks in that community.  Here are some pictures from today.

Alex and the Sicha Puma team,

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