Five years ago I went on a mission trip to Cuenca, Ecuador, to assist Pastors Missionaries Steve & Bobbie Clark with the ministries at their Church, Siervos del Señor (Servants of God), Christian Church. I went to serve and little did I know how God was going to use me and the many blessings I would receive. When we walk out in faith, God will honor and support us. The awesome thing about God is that when He blesses, He does so over abundantly. I was able to minister to the small groups within the Church in particular with the Women’s Group, Worship Team and Youth Group. My heart felt so much love for these people who were so hungry for God. The ten days I was there were ones of the happiest in my life.
I got to share my faith, my experiences, love, compassion and teachings but most of all I let the Holy Spirit guide me in all of our meetings. The outcome was more than I could imagine. Several said the Prayer of Salvation and are now serving the Lord.
The Siervos del Señor Youth Group was on fire for the Word and presence of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. They would meet every Friday and Saturday mornings at 5:00 a.m. to pray and worship God. I am speaking of youngsters from the ages of 14 and up. Participating with them, watching them on fire for God was an experience beyond words. Many got filled with the laughter of the Holy Spirit. The sweetness of the Presence of God was incredible. …“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “Jeremiah 29:12-14 (NIV)
This past week I was reunited with Pastors Steve and Bobbie Clark at a dinner hosted by a dear couple, Steve and Moneudy Flores. Others who also went as missionaries in past years to Cuenca were there as well. It was a night of laughter, memories and a flame sparkled in my heart to return and minister.
On Saturday I hosted a breakfast for the Pastors and the Youth Leader, Christian Pesantez and his father Osvaldo. We reminisced over delicious food my time at Cuenca and got another update. The Youth group continues strong and continues to meet on Saturdays at 5:00 a.m. Their fire for the Lord is still burning. The small groups are strong and growing. A facility for the Youth camp and retreats is under construction. God is doing great things at Siervos del Señor Church.
On Sunday we were all able to go together to Church and worship God experiencing His sweet and divine presence at Centro Internacional Aliento pastored by Marcos and Carla Barrientos Aliento. After Church we all parted our ways for Pastors Steve and Bobbie will continue their trip within the States visiting churches and attending Conferences. Christian and his dad will visit with family and then all return to their beloved Ecuador.
How did this all happen? I was connected in a Bible based Church with the mission to go out and serve the Nations. The Pastors encouraged small mission trips. God put a desire in my heart to go to Ecuador, I took the step of faith and God took care of the rest. I poured out God’s love while serving there and the rewards were beyond my expectations. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)
I encourage you to serve wherever you are. Give of your time, your resources and your talents. Read God’s Word and truly get to know Him so you too can experience His sweetness and power.
You can check out two of the Siervos del Señor Youth Group’s videos:
Invitation to Youth Camp and Youth Camp
Learn more Steve and Bobbie Clark and their ministry at: Steve and Bobbie Clark
In Christ’s love,
My time in Ecuador captured in pictures.
Life is full of situations and moments of utter darkness and despair. I have learned during my walk with God that moments of fear, despair and sadness are part of the process we call life. No one is exempt from this. We see this in the life of Jesus during one of His darkest moments, where He felt fear even when He had his disciples around Him. Unfortunately they were oblivious to what Jesus was experiencing.
Mark 14: 33-42 NIV
33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” 35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba,[a] Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. 41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Jesus, being God, felt what you may be feeling at this moment. He had a purpose in life just like you also have a purpose in this life. Jesus felt strength in prayer. In His moment of distress, He lifted His eyes to His beloved Father who understood what He was going through. God the Father gave Jesus what He so needed to carry out His life purpose which was to die on the cross to redeem our sins so we could go from darkness into the Light. Just as Jesus gave His suffering into the hands of His father, you too can also give your fear, despair and sadness to God. Trust Him to deliver you from the abyss you are in. Cry out to Him. God says in Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you…” God is faithful. He keeps every one of His promises. He will fill you with His peace but you need to take that step of faith, believing God can and will deliver you from your sorrow. Believe in His healing and peace. Philippians 4:6-7 “ Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Be attentive. God will open a door, make a way for you. How? It may be through a person, a call, an event… There is nothing impossible for God. Nothing is bigger than He. Put yourself in His loving hands. Trust Him. You will see what God will do in your life if you just give Him the opportunity to do so. Allow Him in your life and you will feel His loving presence around you. You will see how your darkest moment will become one of light and peace. God will not leave you. You are not alone.
I have learned to cry out to God, surrender myself totally to Him and let Him take control over my life. He has been faithful. My moments of fear, despair or sadness have become just another bridge I have had to cross over to encounter a better and wonderful place in my life.
Read His Word which is the Bible and begin to have an intimate relationship with God. Pray. It is your tool in overcoming those difficult moments.
In Christ’s love,