We have great students in our ministry!

  • Last night we had our Ecuador Share share service. First off, our crowd was off the chain. We had between 250 and 275 people there last night. WOW!
  • We tried to gear everything around missions last night. Our worship team played “Where The Streets Have No Name” by U2 and we had video footage of the mission trip in the background. It was powerful.
  • We are producing a video of the service. I hope to get it online by next week sometime. Make sure you check our student ministry page to watch it.
  • We had 8 students from our Ecuador team share last night: Allison, Ashlee, Catherine, Collin, Holly, Michael, Parker, and Taylor. They did an amazing job. I am blessed to have such a great group of students who #1 are willing to give up their spring break to do missions, and #2 share about their experience on a Wednesday night to get other students fired up about missions. What they said last night had 10 times the impact of anything I could have said. After all, I’m “paid” to encourage people to do missions. They are not. And to hear how their personal walk with Jesus was impacted by the trip was awesome. I’m ready to run through a wall right now.
  • Oh, and here’s a picture of me kissing a cooked guinea pig while in Ecuador. I hope my wife doesnt see this or she’ll never kiss me again. 🙂
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Band Practice, Organizing Worship, and our Dream House

  • Just got home from band practice. It was great! I am really excited about our student worship service this week. Our team that went to Ecuador will share with their fellow students how God worked, how their life has been changed, and why other students should do missions. It will be powerful. I think it will be even more powerful because we tried to plan our worship songs to go along with the theme of missions Wednesday. The students know there is one theme- sharing Jesus- on Wednesday night. They will not be able to escape it. The Holy Spirit will deal with them as they are focused on that one theme. The worship and the message should ALWAYS have one central theme. Your service should head one direction, not multiple ones.
  • Our set list this week is: Where The Streets Have No Name (U2), All Over The World (Matt Redman), Lord Of All (the new Kristian Stanfill tune off the Louder Than Creation cd), We Fall Down (english and spanish version), and There Is Nothing Like (Hillsong United).
  • We got to see our dream house today. If our house had already sold, I would have made an offer today. It was everything we want in a house. It is huge- 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, and plenty of room- two living rooms and a bonus room. It is a phenomenal deal because it is in forclosure. ANybody have 200,000 they want to give us? Pray that our house sells!!!!!!

Email from Steve the Missionary

  • Hey everybody! I just received an email from Steve Thompson, the missioanry we worked with in Ecuador. It sounds like God is continuing to move in Ecuador. I can’t wait to go back!
  • Dear Chad,

    Thank you for the note.

     We are fine and are preparing for a week of ministry in the eastern jungle area of Ecuador. The group arriving Friday is from Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL. They will be leading in conferences for our leadership from our evangelism project in the jungle. They will also be doing a medical clinic and a few will help with the construction of our new dorm at the jungle camp (UNPES).

     This past week we ministered in Poatug, the mission where we visited on Wednesday night. The group was from FBC Orange, Texas. They worked as you did in VBS and construction. They also had a conference for the ladies of our mission points around Patate. We had a dentist from Greenville, SC and utilized a dentist friend from Pelileo. The dental clinic was very successful. The VBS was also well received. Pray for the decisions that were made during the week and our follow up in discipleship training.

     We hope to be back in Sucre to start the first bible studies in a couple of weeks. There is a great opportunity there and we don’t want to miss it. I’ll send to you an update soon.

     Thank you for all that your group did while here. Please tell those that wish to donate to the ministry at this time that we will be using the funds to purchase a bus for the camp. We have felt led in that direction for some time but the timing was not right. God has opened the door to purchase a 2001 bus (almost the same style we used for our travels). The cost will be $ 28,000. We have stepped out in faith believing that God has already provided. Pray for the rapid ability to pay for the bus. It will facilitate a greater area of ministry for the camp and for volunteer teams such as yours.

     Hope to see you soon,

     Steve

Thursday Morning Download

  • God is STILL doing amazing things through our Ecuador team. Several of them got invited to share with their Spanish classes about sharing Jesus in Ecuador.  All of them are telling people about their missions experience. All of them are getting students stoked for the trip next year. I can’t tell you how many students have told me, “I’m going next year!” We might just take 60 people next year. Seriously.
  • Last night’s service was awesome. God was really there. We did a new song called Praise And Adore by a group named Wavorly. Go download it on iTunes. It’s a good song.
  • Next week we’re doing a really cool service called Silent Worship. The whole thing will be led from the. It’s going to be really neat- invite a friend!
  • If you didn’t know, Katie and Charlie are at the beach (I’m so jealous! But I’m going to meet them Monday.) While I’ve been at the house by myself this week, I’ve been trying to get some projects done. I’ve already painted our dining room a light blue color from Sherwin Williams called Tradewinds. (Don’t worry- Katie picked out the color beforehand!) It looks awesome. It is so relaxing and neat looking. Right now, I’m working on painting our kitchen a burgundy red color. It’s just hard painting around stuff in the kitchen. I’ll try to post pictures soon.
  • I even bought plants for our front porch. If HGTV doesnt call me about a tv special, I’m gonna be upset.
  • I’m going fishing again today. Could lightining strike twice in the same place and could I catch another big one? I’m going with Joel Forbus, so I probably won’t catch anything. God will look down and see his Auburn hat and curse our boat. 🙂
  • Make sure you sign up ASAP for our parenting conference that is taking place in a couple of weeks. I’ll talk more about it next week, but it’s going to be great!

Back In La Grange (Spanish for “The Grange”) Part Two

  • Thanks for giving me a couple of days off from the blog. I was worn out when I got home, then had to preach Sunday.
  • To say that Friday was a LONG day was an understatement. We got up between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. Friday. We ate breakfast at the camp and then said our goodbyes to the camp staff. I just want to give a shout out to Esther, Esteban, David, and Freddie. You guys were great and I definitely saw Jesus in you this week.
  • After breakfast, we loaded the bus and began the long drive back to Quito.
  • Along the way, we saw the Cotopaxi, which is the world’s tallest active volcano.
  • We arrived in Quito around noon. Guess what we had for lunch? DOMINO’s PIZZA and COKE! It was absolutely the bomb.
  • After lunch, we headed to the teleferico, which is the highest point above the city of Quito at 13,500. You had to take a gondola ride to the top. To give you an idea of how high that altitude is, if you were in a small aircraft the oxygen masks would have already descended from the ceiling. In fact, we saw several aircraft BELOW us while we were at the top. We were literally among the clouds and it was one of the most amazing views I have ever seen.
  • Teleferico
  • After going to the teleferico, we went to the artisans market. The market was really cool. It consisted of a lot of open air booths with hand made products. They had some beautiful jewelry, clothes, etc. I bought Katie two dresses/coverups to wear to the beach, some jewelry and some Ecuadorian coffee for myself. Outside the market, I met this guy who had a good sale on Rolex’s going on. I talked him down to $30. Not too bad for a genuine Rolex. 🙂
  • After the market, we went to a mall in Quito to eat dinner at TGIFridays. We destroyed the American food. And let me tell you, the mall this place was in rivaled Phipps and Lenox in Atlanta. It was nice.
  • After dinner, we headed to the airport. Our flight was delayed for an hour, so we didnt leave until 10:45 p.m.
  • Here’s an interesting fact about the airport in Quito: The runway is really short and you can’t take off with a full tank of gas because you will crash into the mountains and die. So we had to take a 35 minute plane ride to the airport in Guyaquiil, land, and re-fuel. This means we hd to exit the aircraft, go back through security, and re-board the aircraft. It’s now about 11:45 and we have been up almost 18 hours. It was hard to sleep on the plane, so we were zonked when we got home.
  • The trip was absolutely amazing. God definitely has put the people and country of Ecuador in our hearts. We plan to return next year and continue our ministry. Maybe God is calling you to go with us!

Back in La Grange (Spanish For “The Grange”) Part One

  • Wow! I have so much to write about to get you caught up. I left you Thursday at lunch time. We had been in Sucre in the morning to pass out the pictures of the children we took.
  • We went back to Sucre Thursday afternoon for our last day of VBS. We had a tons of kids there. We shared the Gospel with the children that afternoon. The craft for the day was a necklace that explained the plan of salvation. We don’t have a numerical figure of how many children accepted Jesus, but I am excited about what God did during the week. I am most excited that the new church is starting in Sucre this week, and I believe that our work opened the hearts of the people to the new church.
  • Our goodbyes that day were very sad. We had all latched on to “our kid” and we were saddened to have to leave them. Here is a picture of Guillermo and me.
  • Guillermo and me
  • I even got to say goodbye to the unofficial mayor of the town.
  • The Mayor
  • It was a quiet trip back to camp. Many of our team members were crying about leaving the children. The only good thing about getting back on the bus was our bus driver, Hector. I believe I have posted about Hector earlier, but he might be the greatest bus driver to ever live. Here is a picture of Hector and me.
  • Hector
  • I was so proud of my team this week. They worked hard, prayed hard, and were the hands and feet of Jesus to the people of Ecuador. Stay tuned and I will update about our last day tomorrow.

Fun Friday

It’s Kate!  I can’t believe how fast the week has gone by!  I just spoke with Chad and thought I would give you an update.  They are on their way to Quito.  Chad had just bought a Coke at a convenience store and he said it was wonderful – apparently they have only been drinking water all week.  Chad said they all drank a lot of water actually – because of the high altitude they were trying to stay hydrated to avoid the “funk”!

I just wanted to remind you all to pray for traveling mercies.  They are traveling by bus currently and will be in the air most of the night.

Also, pray for the Team as they left behind little pieces of their hearts with the the children of Ecuador.  Last night when I spoke with Chad he said that there were a lot of tears as they loaded the bus yesterday after serving the children all week.  Pray that the seeds planted on the trip will grow and that the team will remember, with affection, the children and people of Ecuador. 

Looking forward to their return!!!