On April 1, 2017, Iglesia Bautista Vida Abundante was born in the city of Loja, Ecuador. We thank God for all He is doing! The first service we held was in a warehouse of Bro. Ruder Carpio. I’ll never forget that prayer meeting we held at 6:00 a.m. There was such a great spirit. We started the church with 13 people, but the Lord has blessed us with many more.
Many brethren in the faith have been such a great help to us during the starting of the church. The city of Loja is probably the most Roman Catholic city in the whole country, including Cuenca. We have faced much oppression, not only from our neighbors but also from people living near the church property. Through it all, God has still showed His hand of mercy upon our congregation and has protected us from being attacked. Not many souls have been saved, but we have constantly preached and shared the Gospel.
So far, we have baptized our first 4 converts; one of these was our son Emmanuel Alexander, and this week we will baptize 4 more. We have been providing discipleship classes, both in our church services and in homes. We meet three times a week for church services and Bible studies, and on Saturdays we meet for personal evangelism. Every week we have seen our own people bring visitors to church. They have such an incredible sweet spirit, and they all get involved in church. Our congregation has now grown to an average attendance of 40-50, and we just had our biggest attendance of 98.
On April 14, 2017, our son Alberto Ezekiel was born. Thank God for His provision and for good health for both my wife and baby. We are so glad that our family has grown.
On May 10, the church family celebrated my 37th birthday, and on May 23, we celebrated our son Emmanuel’s 6th birthday. I’ve been so honored to pastor such a humble congregation; they love the Lord and want to do what’s right. Also on May 14, we celebrated our first Mothers’ Day special service. On this day we had several visitors, and two new families have now joined our congregation since. In addition to all this, I was privileged to be a part of the inauguration service of a brand-new church building for the church we started in Esmeraldas.
On June 4 and 5, we held special services for the kids of our community and for the kids of our church. Since they celebrate Children’s Day here in Ecuador every June 1, we took advantage of the occasion and went to the main park to hold an evangelistic service. More than 80 kids were able to receive a toy, food, and surprises; but many of them took the most important gift of salvation. This particular Sunday was the biggest attendance we have had so far. Praise the Lord!
We ask you to continue to pray for this ministry. We still need God to use us, protect us, and guide us. Thank you for all these years of financial support you have provided. We are so very thankful.
Alberto Perez and Family