March 1, 2013
If you would like to view the options to help support us financially, click here.
February 28, 2013
March 3-10 2013
"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" (Isaiah 57:12)
Monday, March 4: PACK FOOD: team will be packing food items to take to the various places throughout the week.
Ps. 84:11 "For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly."
PRAYER - Father, we pray today for favor for the team from the Honduran people, especially those at the hotel. We ask that the Spirit of the Living God move among the team members today in a mighty way that they know and feel Your presence with them; and that You give them strength to accomplish the task for the day as they pack the foods. And Lord, may all they say and do be to Your honor and glory.
Tuesday, March 5: GO to CITY TRASH DUMP: food/water/Bible project & take Hope House children to eat.
Matt. 25: 35-40 "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me... Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me."
PRAYER - Father, as the team goes to the city dump today, may the people there see You, may the faces of Riverside Mission radiate Jesus to them bringing the love and hope of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We ask You to bless the team but especially that You direct their steps as they deliver the food to those who are desperate for not only physical bread, but for the True Bread of Life.
Wednesday, March 6: CHURCH on the Mountain: dental, food, baby clothes & Bibles.
PRAYER - Father, we thank You for the direction You will give today for the team. We ask that You go before them, protect them, guide them and use them wherever You would have them to be. We pray again that they emanate Jesus to the many who they will come into contact with today; and that the true "Bread of Life" be supplied and the eternal "Balm of Gilead" be the medicine they give to those in need.
Thursday, March 7: food, water and Bible projects at one of the rivers and deliver medicine.
Psalm 81:10 "I AM The Living God, Lord Jehovah, your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it."
PRAYER -Father, You are a very present help in time of need and You know all the needs of the people. We pray today that You direct the team as the give out food and do dental work on those with great needs. Just as You brought Your people out of captivity in Egypt, please again bring Your people to freedom through our Lord Jesus as the team ministers Your love to them. And Father, may they open wide their mouths to receive literal, spiritual and physical healings today. What a great and awesome God You are!
Friday, March 8: Medical delivery and Cobra Outreach ministry of food, water, and Bible projects
Philippians 4:4-5:"Rejoice in the Lord al\ways and again I say - Rejoice. Let your gentleness be evident to all."
PRAYER -Father, we pray today that the team will rejoice in all that You have done this week and we ask that You would give them a day of relaxation and enjoyment.
Saturday, March 9: Market and party with Hope House kids at Hotel.
Philippians 1:9 "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight..."
PRAYER -Father, we pray that the team will abound in love more and more as they experience the joy of ministering to one another and to the Hope House kids. We pray for safety in the pool and a day of fun for the kids.
Sunday, March 10: pack, fly home. Please pray for safety as the team travels back.
December 17, 2009
Merry Christmas from Matt, April & the girls!
We hope this finds you enjoying the holidays with your family and friends as we are with ours. Seeing Christmas through our girls’ eyes really brings the excitement back! They asked if we could bake a cake for Jesus’ birthday this year. I love it, but they could just be playing me for some extra sugar! Darby-Jewell turns eight right after Christmas. She and Maria (6, our poet & preacher) just finished their school work for this semester. Katherine (4) still speaks with her sweet mousey voice, but is changing from a toddler into a ‘big kid.’ Norah (18 mo.) is our mess maker. As soon as you catch her and stop the destruction, she runs off giggling to find a new target.
We would also like to announce that April is at the end of her 4th month of pregnancy. We heard the baby’s heart beat together last week. The girls are beyond excited! Darby-Jewell and Maria have “asked” for a brother, while Katherine prefers another sister.
As we wrap up this year, I think some of my highlights were: Helping form the new Latin American sending agency…Participating in the Spanish and English minister’s conferences…Teaching at our South & Central American seminaries in Ecuador, Honduras and Colombia…training local pastors and working with our U.S. teams in the orphanages, feeding centers, and clinics in those same countries…and ministering to our former colleagues and missionaries in Costa Rica, once God got me out of Honduras!
Next year promises to be even more exciting with returns to those countries plus some new seminaries and training conferences as well as Mexico’s recently founded missionary school. God has blessed us with so many new connections, friends, and open doors that I am overwhelmed. With more invitations than we have months, we need your support now more than ever. Thank you for your prayers and for helping us get there!
We have begun a new model of going out with local churches on their mission trips, and staying after they leave to teach at that country’s seminary. THIS REALLY IS WORKING! Please let me know if your local church is considering a mission trip this or next year. I’d love to go with you to help work, translate, or preach…then stay a week to help train the pastors and students of that same country.
Christmas Blessings! Matthew, April, Darby-Jewell, Maria, Katherine & Norah
I really mean the following: Write or give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.
We are booking a Spring Tour. Please let us know if your church or special group would like to have us come and speak. We’d love to share with you what God is doing!
Matt & April Jett
101 Springfield Lane
Waxahachie, TX 75165
Facebook: Matt Jett (email@example.com)
Check out one of our websites, e-mail us, or call to find out how you can help or be a part!
August 18, 2009
1st Colombia: I’m leaving today for Colombia and will be gone until the 1st of September. The first part of the trip will be with a team from Real Family Fellowship. I’ll be helping them while they bring a fresh approach on training Children’s and Youth Pastors in the city of Cali, Colombia. We’ll also find some great opportunities for evangelism while building relationships with the local pastors and missionaries there. After the group heads back to the States, I’ll head over to the seminary in Bogata for a few days. I can’t wait!!!!
Pray: It is not the safest city on the planet, but there are some precious souls that need Jesus as well as some courageous missionaries and pastors that need some help. We don’t really know what all to expect, so pray that the Holy Spirit will open the right doors, and protect us along the way. Things not only work out, they get incredible when He steps in!
2nd Honduras: I’ve wanted to go with Kent and the gang from my home church for years to visit the Nuevo Esperanza Feeding Center. They are bringing literally hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medical supplies and food! I’m so glad to get to be a part of their ministry and help in anyway I can. We arrive on September 19th, but I plan on staying over to travel to one of our Bible schools in Honduras after the group leaves.
Pray: Honduras is a country of unrest these days. Our main mission is to give a cup of cold water to the thirsty souls living there. What a great time to declare the love and peace of God during such a time of turmoil! Pray for our protection and favor with the people and the powers-that-be. The new presidential elections are scheduled for October, after we leave. Pray for a peaceful conclusion to a difficult time. I’m still trying to get into one or more of the schools there. I’ve waited as long as I can to buy the tickets, and now I’ll have to make the arrangements from Colombia. I need favor, cheap airfare, good communication lines from Colombia, and some open doors.
3rd Brazil: We’ve been looking forward to the international conference of Christian Educators for a while, FIEL. We will be not only with some of the South American guys that I already know and love, but with all the leaders of the Central American Countries, the Caribbean, and Mexico! More doors, more schools, more influence, more students, more souls saved!!! Need I say more for October?
Pray: For direction and unity during the meetings. Pray for the new Latin American missionary sending agency that you can call “Amy” in English. I’m still looking for a school to teach at on the way home, pray a door opens!
4th Mexico: Mexico is blessed with some great leaders who are as excited about producing Latin American Missionaries as I am. I can’t wait to be with them at the mission conference as well as the new School in Guadalajara! Is Mexico cool in November?
Pray: For the new school, the teachers, the students, and the leaders in Mexico. Pray for open doors for the new missionaries, and for favor. Pray that a cheap route will open up for us to be connected frequently to a school that is only a 2 hour flight from Dallas.
We’re so excited for the season ahead! I love getting to teach and to help other groups minister, especially those who can help us train other pastors and missionaries. We’ll be back in the States for December & January, during the “summer break” of our schools! If you have an opening at your church during this time, please let us know. We’d love to come and share with your church family what we are doing, and how you can help!
facebook: Matt Jett
The following idea is very simple, costs little, works so well with our ministry, and helps you out at the same time!
If you or your church is taking a mission trip to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean Islands, or South America…Take me with you!
Medical missions, construction projects, youth group trips, Senior-Youth-Children’s or Music Pastoral training conferences, or any other mission trip or tour…whatever trip you have coming up!
I can help the group with everything from being an extra translator to preaching, praying, building, advising, counseling, or even serving as an extra chaperone…whatever you need. If this is one of your first trips, I’d be glad to help you plan the trip and place you in contact with some of the national workers.
The only thing I ask is that you pay for my ticket, and let me pick the return date. This can often be rolled into the cost of the trip. If I can stay over a few days after your group leaves, then I can work with the school of that nation! I’ll stay to help train missionaries and Pastors from the very area/country that you just fell in love with.
The last ticket a church purchased for me, allowed me to re-route through the city where the school was located and stay an extra week. It cost $4 extra! Sometimes, the total cost for my ticket can even be less than the others’ by staying later. What a great way to help effect the kingdom of God and give you one more helping hand while doing your trip!
Some of the churches are already helping a specific country or area. For example: If your heart is already in love with Bolivia, then let me go with your group on your next trip to Bolivia, and I’ll help you. Then I’ll stay and further help the people you love in Bolivia for a few more days by helping their pastors and future missionaries.
So, Help me by: Helping me…Help YOU!
Call or write me with questions.
facebook: Matt Jett
A few months ago, I was reminded about the need to pray and fast before a trip. God allowed us to go into the same financial struggle that many have experienced as of late. April and I responded by pushing away the plate, not because we couldn’t buy food…but because we needed direction, a clear movement, and provision. Within just days the provision was there, and He gently reminded me of something I teach my own students but had forgotten for this trip. He reminded me of the hold that Hell had upon the people in the region where I was headed. I had been doing this stuff so long that I was taking it a little too lightly. I was going to the front lines of some major spiritual battles for the souls of that particular place. God used finances that time to remind me to push away the plate, seek His direction, presence, and provision for that mission, as I had been doing for the finances to get to that mission.
I hope that I remember and apply that lesson for a good long time…It was none too comfortable, if you know what I mean!
Well this time, God sent a gentle reminder concerning the bigger picture of what we, as Christians, “do.” He sent it through some good ol’ country gospel singing, or should I say, sayngin. I found a CD of one of my old favorites as a child at one of the book stores, and bought it a couple of weeks ago. It reminded me of all the reasons I started being a missionary in the first place. No, it was not a new song; and yes, I long to sing a new song of praise to God as the poet King David declared.
I can’t tell you that any of those songs took me to the wonderful place of worship where I find myself in His presence in a way that drowns out all the negativity and pain this world has to offer, leaving me in the sheer light of His presence. It often takes a new song, sung to the Great King of Kings who deserves a new sonnet to be scribed every second to do something like that. No, the moment that God sent to me had different intentions. These songs brought me back to a time where I remember hearing not only the song, but the message of the Savior for the first time. I remember what my heart felt when it discovered the forgiveness, the hope and the love of a God, I now call Father.
It did remind me of my first works. It reminded me of the way I felt the first day I met Jesus. It reminded me that “they” need to have a song, a moment to remember when they first met our incredible savior. It will be a different but similar song sung in another language. It will be new to them, and old to the next generation. But, it will declare in their heart what some of these old songs declared in mine.
I can’t wait to sing a new song with other siblings in the faith next week on a day of worship. That new song will be an old song in 10 years and will remind me of what God did for me way back when. But today, I remember through some old sweet songs, my first works…the sweetness of a Savior who left Heaven to pay a horrible price for my healing and forgiveness. I am fed with a new strength for my next mission oversees. A memory of the reason I do what I do.
March 28, 2009
Why? Why was this trip amazing? Was it due to the fact that everything I thought and hoped would happen…did? Was it because God provided for my financial needs for the trip and my family just 2 days before we left, in His incredible and often playful timing? Was it because of the numerous relationships and additional doors opened up to countries around the world that I had not even counted upon before? Or, was it that I had now more clearly grasped the immense plan of salvation that God has unfolded in our Universe, demonstrated in the redemptive story of His beloved mankind. Moreover, that He has invited me to take an active role in such a love story!
That is it! When, I looked at the source of my strength, the source of my joy, and the very reason why I do what I do, I felt that rush of euphoric “amazement.” It was due to the nature of how and who the Great I Am…is. He constantly chooses to work through and in the lives of humankind. He chose long ago to create us for a relationship. He chose to redeem that relationship via His own great sacrifice after we broke and confused it. He still elects fallible men and women engaged in their newly redeemed relationship to accomplish His wonderful will and even allows us a part in the proclamation to others of that very redemptive act by which we are allowed communion with Him. In other words, the fact that God Himself chooses to use my imperfect hands, mouth, and ways is AMAZING! More over, He doesn’t “use” my efforts in the sense of a task master or slave owner would use their servants. Rather, He invites me to join along side of Him in the garden of life, much like that of a father inviting his little girl to get her small work boots and spade (both gifts from the father, enabling the task) and join him outside in the field. Are you kidding me? I can even hear the echo of “YAY” sounding similar to what my own 4 little girls would sing in unison at such an opportunity. However, my soul is the owner of that exclaimed song which rings from my heart to the God that I know as Abba, inviting me to walk with Him.
YES! “Amazement” perfectly describes what I feel…I am overwhelmingly amazed at His invitation!
March 9, 2009
February 13, 2009
For April and me, it has meant one or all of the above at various seasons. However, to give a specific/exact answer: “We are teachers! We make disciples who can make other disciples.” Our goal is to always teach ourselves out of a job. Isn’t that the way Jesus did it? He trained disciples then left them to do their work. Even more specifically, I left Lee University as a professor of World Missions to help train mission students in the Latin world. The vision and call that God gave me years ago concerned the missionaries He was raising out of Latin America and other places that were former mission fields, but are now becoming the mission FORCE!
Now, I teach world mission seminars and intensive courses in our seminaries and schools scattered across South & Central America. My hope is that those students will join the missions program in Ecuador, or be a part of the newly created Latin Missionaries Sending Agency. The bigger picture is that each year we reproduce greater numbers of ourselves with disciples who can make other disciples. This exponentially changes the world faster than one gringo dropped off in the middle of the jungle. We can save 10 to 20 years of language training and cultural acceptance by sending Latin Americans to the remaining strongholds in South and Central America instead of an English speaking gringo. We are also finding that the acceptance for Latin Americans in Asian and Middle Eastern cultures may significantly speed our evangelistic efforts there. Even now, we have former students scattered across the globe sowing seeds in new fields -- multiplying our harvest!
Yes, from time to time God opens other doors, and I love going through them. Our favorite “extra” events came last summer with nearly 80 screaming Campus Choir members from Lee University, with New Hope’s youth group, and with the Bruce family, who gave puppet and children ministry seminars. (You can read about those events in some of our previous postings.) Typically, anything that can help promote Jesus is welcomed. However, we concentrate mainly on events that can help train and equip our mission and pastoral students for their fields and callings.
We are so thankful for the opportunity we have. We love each and every school and are always amazed at what they are able to do with so little. Part of the reason they are able to continue is through supported missionary teachers like April and me. We are NOT salaried, and receive NO reimbursement from the schools in which we teach. 100% of our funding comes from supporters like you who read our articles and posts. If you want to learn more about how to help sponsor our ministry and reach more than just one field with every seed you sow, please click here or you can call or e-mail us.
We are very thankful to play the role that God has chosen for us. We LOVE what we do. Thank you all for being a part of it.
Left: One of my mission classes is taking a 5 minute break. aka: "I'm trying to regroup my Spanish thoughts!"
Right: Although we do have projectors and computers, sometimes a teacher just likes a good ol' white board & markers!
"Doot, Doot, Doot, looking out my back door!" This is the view from most of the class rooms in the new World Missions Building. If it wasn't too cold or too hot, I liked to teach with that huge window wide open! Oh wait, this was Ecuador where it is 70 degrees every single day of the year. So, I liked to teach with that thing open! You'll have to look at some other post about the country. One area where South and Central America does not lack is beautiful landscapes.
We also work with the local churches by offering training seminars, preaching, service projects, etc...
The following are some fun videos that will help give you an idea of what I think is one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. You may remember the WYEA and other projects that many of us supported to help construct some of the buildings you'll see. When I was first there 12 years ago, there were only 2 small shacks on campus. See how it's changed.
Kitchen, Dining Hall, & Dormitories
Library & Auditorium
Garden steps from Dorms: the Dining Hall is on the left & Administration is on the right.
There are park benches, gardens, waterfalls, a sand-pit-volleyball court, and a soccer field scattered across the campus.
February 12, 2009
The most recent moment occurred recently during a 2-week intensive course that I was teaching in Spanish at one of our Seminaries in South America. The class was called “Contemporary Missiology,” and was attended by almost a dozen Master’s level South American graduates headed to the mission field. The moment was not a singular moment realized after the event had passed. Rather, it was a lingering joyful fulfillment that occurred every day during the course of that 2 week event and left me with a clear reflection to remember always.
With every day that I walked to the World Missions Complex from my room in the school’s dormitory, every time I stood up to teach, every answer uttered from my imperfect lips to every question falling on my fallible ears, God seemed to whisper the words spoken to Esther so long ago, “You were born for a time such as this!” Every experience/adventure, every move from yet another home, every foreign piece of food, every long and tiring journey through the night, every friend and family member left, every book read, every long and boring lecture I had endured through college then seminary, as well as the enjoyable ones…all of the task, troubles, trials, triumphs, and trophies were piled upon those moments for the following realization: This is That! That calling, that vision, that hope, that drawing and yearning that has been in my heart for so long. It IS being fulfilled right now…in THIS moment! I did NOT feel like I was in the wrong place. I was there because I belonged. I belonged not because of who I was, but because the GREAT I AM had been working for years to bring me to who I am now.
Every time I looked into the faces of those students about to sacrifice the rest of their lives for the same drawing and calling that I too have felt, it deepened my sense of belonging. The best thing was, I actually had answers for their questions. I actually had insights to their dilemmas, compassion for their sufferings, and hope for their concerns. It was flowing out of me with the same anointing God had poured during those moments of singing, preaching, witnessing, counseling, etc… I loved it! No, this was not even close to my first time to teach. Then why was it so special?
The vision that we have held in our hearts included one of those infamous “one day” statements. It was the reason we had made so many of those moves, spent so much time in preparation, given up so many “other” opportunities, and made so many sacrifices. The “one day” was to be a time when there was a dedicated Spanish missionary training facility, a dedicated Latin Missionary sending agency, and the need to teach intensive training sessions in all of the “networked” schools scattered across South and Central America. I hoped I would see that sooner than expected, but never dreamt it would be during the first decade of this millennium. This session was the first of what I always thought would be step Y or Z in the equation. Now, I have had to redefine step Y from the old track to step A in the new track. In many ways I feel like the training (though never over) has finally led us to the real or BIG race/course. The two facts put together is what overwhelms me. One, that it is already happening, and two, that I’m actually ready/equipped for it. He really has called us for a time such as NOW!
Yes, there is still a lot of work left for Him to complete, but don’t miss what I am saying. This was my pay-off moment. That moment that finally arrives when you open your eyes and look around and say, “It’s really finally happening.” Like a bride and groom trying to look around at the surreal scene before them in order not to let one of the greatest defining moments of their lives pass them by. This is what I have spent all of the time, money, emotions, relationships, and hope on for the past decade!
It may not mean as much to everyone else, but for me, it was a long time coming. The word that God had spoken to me when I felt compelled to leave my favorite University in the mountains of Tennessee to eventually call South America home, was finally and clearly being fulfilled. I left Lee because God had told me if I wanted to keep teaching the mission courses I was teaching, I’d better learn to do it in Spanish. He told me that He was making the former mission field into the Mission Force for this century!
I am so thankful to the godly men and women who share in this task. Part of the reason I have been overwhelmed in the past was that the task was so big. I have recently realized that when God is speaking to you, He most likely has been speaking to others. Yes, there is much work to be done, but God and godly men and women are working on that. I love watching His beautiful orchestration come together, and love serving whatever role I can. So many people have worked hard to get these programs and institutions rolling, and I am thankful to merely be a part of it!
I find it difficult to fully comprehend and to somehow map out on paper all that happened during Campus Choir’s tour with us in
For some of you who don’t know,
Let’s face it, there’s not a lot of love between the Catholic Church and the many
The secular campus of
Unfortunately, one exciting door was closed to us. I was upset at first, but later God did what only He can do. Another door opened for us to sing on
Time doesn’t really permit me to tell about the multiple clinics we ran every morning and the lives that were touched there, or about singing at the seminary, churches, downtown parks, etc… We really may not know the fullness of what transpired that week until we ask Jesus face to face.
I just want to thank Jimmy & Johnna Phillips, Jonathan Kerley and the other Doctors, nurses, assistants, choir members, leaders, and musicians who poured out of their hearts the love of God upon the people of
Thank you God for an Awesome time!
We had a great time hosting New Hope Church’s youth group from Texas. They showed the love of God to the people of Ecuador through different forms of service projects. They blessed some feeding centers, orphanages, churches, and got to see some different faces of Ecuador. To read more or watch their video, visit their website at: newhopeforever.com. I really look forward to seeing how many missionaries that trip produced!
December 7, 2008
After their “Manu,” (Grandma) had given all the girls their popsicles, Darby-Jewell became noticeably squirmish. Her face reminded me of times when I knew I needed to do something, but wasn’t totally comfortable. She quickly overcame her shyness for a greater fear of not sharing the greatest treasure and information for her new beloved friend who so desperately needed it. “Laura! Do you know God?” She exclaimed! Laura, partially caught of guard because of the timing and volume, replied in her sweet and soft-toned voice, “Yes, I know God.” Darby-Jewell scratched her head and paused for a brief moment with a puzzled look on her face. “But, you’re from China right?” “Yes, we’re from China,” replied Laura, “and we have God in China.” Darby-Jewell started with, “But…” then paused again.
After some confused and brief discussion between the two girls, Darby-Jewell exclaimed, “I just don’t know if we’re talking about the same GOD or not!” At this, Maria put down her popsicle for a moment and interjected, “Look…we’re not talking about some Rock! Some rock shaped like a FAT guy!”
The soft spoken Laura finally understood the confusion and spoke up. “My parents moved here from China 20 years ago. After they arrived, someone introduced them to Jesus, and they have loved Him ever since. I have gone to church all my life, and I DO know Jesus.”
A greatly relieved Darby-Jewell shouted with a smile, “Now that’s what I’m talking about!”
October 18, 2008
my two front teeth,
see my two front teeth!
The Jett family has had lots of exciting things happening in our lives lately. However, not much tops this when your 5 and 6 years old and you and your sister can't say "Sally sells shells by the sea shore" without cracking the whole family up!
Wonder if they will all come in by Christmas?
September 6, 2008
June 26, 2008
June 25, 2008
June 21, 2008
June 1, 2008
I love you sweetheart!
May 25, 2008
There is a newer hospital in the other valley called Cumbaya, "my Lord, Cumbaya!" It is in one of the prettier countrysides of Ecuador, and we both really like it. All of its facilities are new and it has a lot of amenities. Like a playground for our other girls to hang out in, Pizza Hut downstairs, and a water-birthing facility... ;)
You may not understand the stress of delivering outside the U.S., but for mommy, it has been a sigh of relief to find this place.
Please keep us in your prayers for a safe and healthy delivery of our baby girl!
May 23, 2008
I recently found out that not only did one of our earlier updates not get sent, it was erased forever. So, one of the most powerful stories was lost, but I’ll try to recreate it. If you want to skip to the main event, scroll down to #1-5!
Hopefully, everyone knows that our vision is to make disciples, who can make disciples, who can… When a pastor and friend of mine said he wanted to come over with a team, my first thought was, “I don’t really do teams, but I don’t want to say ‘NO,’ so…” We talked about his gifts and callings and what he could accomplish here in Ecuador. He is one of the top Puppeteers in the U.S. He gives seminars and classes concerning “Children’s Ministry” all over the country, and about 1/4th of his church is made up of children.
2. The 2 couples besides the Mills are from Bolivia and Argentina. April and I met them almost 12 years ago on our first trip to Ecuador from Lee. They are now graduates from the Seminary and are working here in Ecuador as missionaries, making disciples on the coast!
3. We spent the first day or so teaching the leaders and new converts how to make puppets. Puppets are so expensive and most often the people here depend on mission groups to bring some from the States as gifts. We removed that excuse! Now they know how to make Sesame Street and Disney quality puppets out of materials in their own town.
4. We spent the next day or so teaching them how to use the puppets correctly, and how to declare the Gospel with them. They also learned how to make balloon animals, drawings, and other clown tricks for the kids…anything to help declare the Gospel!
5. After spending another afternoon with just the leaders discussing Children’s ministry in general, we devoted an entire Saturday to actually using their new found gifts and talents (what an idea)! We went to the 3 local parks that the missionaries had been working with for the past half year. Then we went up into the mountains where my real story begins:
5 continued: Josué had just found the place a few weeks before. It was a small village that had no church and had NEVER heard of Jesus the Christ, Son of the living God. It is becoming more rare in Latin America to find such places, but they are there, usually among the outcast, racially unaccepted or poverty stricken areas. Josue went up the week earlier to get acquainted with some of the locals so that we could have some acceptance when we got there. We took the long bus ride up, walked up a difficult trail full of unpleasant smells and strange mud.
When we got to the village, we found what you might call the town center and park deserted. As some of us set up the small puppet stage and got out the balloons, the others went around asking people to come out to the “show.” Our little battery operated boom box and animal balloons eventually called the people and their children out of hiding. I translated again while my friend did a small portion of the service. After he was finished, we stepped back and let the newly equipped team do the rest.
I cannot describe fully what happened during that next half hour. I stood breathless as I watched a hand full of newly trained disciples using the puppets they made themselves declare in a simple and understandable way the name of my Savior to a people who had never heard. The sweet name of Jesus filled that stale air that had never carried such a beautiful sound before, like a perfume.
Then I looked at the leaders of these new disciples. Graduates and disciples themselves from the seminary that I love, and it dawned on me! I was literally watching the dramatization of the vision God gave me over a decade ago. I was watching Disciples make Disciples make Disciples! I started to weep.
May 19, 2008
Now after almost 3 years and 4 canceled dates, we are still in a court battle. We can not sell the car to anyone because we’d then be liable, but we cannot get Fast Freddy to give our money back. Needless to say, this was the opposite of curbing our mission deficit that has averaged $2,000/mnth over the past year. The court date was the main reason we returned to the States in March. For the 4th time, the court case was postponed, and yet we were in the States!
However, God is into redemption. He knew of many details long before we bought the return airfare for the court date. Read the other post about the passing of April’s grandmother which God knew of and perhaps turned into one of the main reasons we were there.
My parents also sold their home and the garage housing all of our “worldly goods.” The sell of their home is an incredible testimony as to what God is doing in their lives, but I’ll let them post that on their own blog. We were forced, but thankfully able, to move all of our things-as well as theirs-to their new 40 acres on the hill (cattle included).
We were happy to come home to Ecuador and rest after a difficult and totally different-than-planned trip to the States, but we are thankful to God for redeeming the time there.
May 5, 2008
It was such a special visit with her. She was waiting for me the night I arrived in her chair in the living room. She greeted me with a hug and her special smile and, of course, patted my tummy aknowledging our baby girl on the way.
The next few days were filled with caring for her and spending time with her until she was asleep for the night. I especially remember the day I had my turn caring for her alone when we read her healing scriptures together. I feel blessed to have had that special "moment" with her.
The days passed, and I was able to experience her death on Palm Sunday and her funeral and burial on Good Friday. I am so thankful for the timing of God to give this gift to me. It is a visit with my family I will cherish forever.
I love you Grandma!