As I am typing this letter, I cannot stop thanking God for you. Our lives have been impacted and encouraged by your kind notes and prayers. We thank all of you for all of the love offerings, birthday cards for Adriana, and anniversary wishes you sent us during Christmas; we enjoyed reading them all. Although we are already in January of 2014, we still want to bring up some highlights and blessings we experienced before 2013 ended.
During the month of November, we shared the Gospel with 35 people, with 20 people saved. On the 29th, I was asked to preach at the school where I teach English lessons. Many of the students’ parents came for the Thanksgiving Day they celebrated at school. I preached “Reasons to Be Thankful”: (1) family, (2) basic needs met, and (3) my salvation, using this as an opportunity to share the Gospel. I believe many decisions were made that day. After the program a little girl named Viviana came to thank me for teaching her the importance of salvation.
December 2013 was a busy month for us. We celebrated Adriana’s and Alanna’s birthday party together. We officiated at a wedding ceremony for a young couple. We celebrated Christmas Day with our church members, giving away toys, food, and candy. We also worked on remodeling our building and getting it ready so we could start meeting in a better facility for church. On the 20th, my daughter and I were able to be a blessing on behalf of our church. We gave away toys and candy bags for all of the students at Little Flock School, where Adriana attends. It was such an experience for Adriana to be able to wish others a Merry Christmas and personally pass out gifts for others. We were also privileged to preach once again to the people at Iglesia Bautista de Pinllo in Ambato, Ecuador, on the 22nd. (I was able to share the Gospel in English with a professional tennis trainer named Gabriel Otu from the Congo). In addition, my wife and I spent time together before Christmas Day and celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary on the 23rd. On the 29th, we moved to our new church facility, and Luis Acuña visited us for the first time. After the service I witnessed to him, and he accepted Christ as Saviour. We personally saw 12 people come to Christ during this month.
We started this year 2014 with many goals to accomplish. As a young church, we named our emblem “Fruit That Remains.” We want to work harder than last year and produce more. On January 12, we had Pastor Franco Loyola visit us for the first time as an organized church; we had over 80 people in attendance and 8 new visits. We finished the day with 5 baptisms. The last baptism was very special; our daughter Adriana got baptized by her daddy. Amen! We are so glad for the new Christian people God is bringing into our church family. We also had our first missionary family with us on the 23rd, the Valtierra Family, missionaries to Mexico, along with Pastor Franco Loyola. They took time to visit us in Esmeraldas and shared with our church the importance of missions and worldwide evangelism. We are very excited to report back to you what is happening on “the other side of the world.”
We ask you to consider praying for the spiritual growth of this young church. Pray that God would use us to be a blessing to them. Thank you once more for your faithful prayers and financial support!
We love and think of you very often!