This past Friday, our mission team arrived home from Ecuador. Needless to say, we were extremely tired and ready to see our families. The trip to Ecuador had been saturated in prayer, planned out from months back, and was designed to accomplish two objectives.
1. Exploratory Trip
The exploratory aspect was designed to find out information about Zhud, their need for a church, and to spend time interviewing Lucas, the perspective native preacher who God may be raising up to pastor this church plant. After we arrived, we had a meeting with Lucas and his wife Maria Jesus. From the opening prayer, the Holy Spirit overwhelmed us with confirmation and a flood of emotion broke out during our time of prayer. Many tears were shed and it was apparent that God, in His providence, had brought us together for this church planting project. That was further demonstrated by the answers that Lucas gave regarding his doctrine and positions regarding Scripture and church government.
That afternoon, we had another such moment when Dr. Manuel, a native medical doctor who was working with us as a translator, took a drive with our team around the mountain to see the Inca Indian ruins. He informed us that he had been praying for over 20 years for the people of El Tambo and Zhud. He often asked God, who will you send to reach “The People of the Hill?” He then turned and looked at us and said, “It was you!” That was a powerful moment for our team to realize that God had been putting together a church plant for 20+ years (really before the foundation of the world to be exact) and had brought our paths together in His divine providence for the glory of His name among the people of Zhud!
Just four years ago, evangelical Christians were being rejected from the village of Zhud. However, God has been doing a work in the lives of the people there in recent days. He has saved the President of the village and other key leaders in their community. It is apparent that God has been setting the stage for His church to be built among the mountain region of Zhud. During our time there, we saw six people saved by God’s grace and were able to meet many others and establish key relationships.
You can view the video below that is a combination of pictures and video clips from our trip to Ecuador. Please continue to pray and fast as we seek to raise the money over the next 25 days in order to finish this project that the Lord has placed in our hearts! May God be pleased to ignite a great awakening among the people of Zhud and surrounding villages for His glory and praise.
Pastor Josh Buice
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