March 8 2019
March 12, 1922 – February 27, 2019
William “Bill” Franklin Douce was born to Richard, a farmer, and Elva, a housewife, on March 12, 1922, in Martel, Ohio. The family attended Martel Methodist Church where Bill committed his life to Christ at age 13. After graduating from Martel School, he worked on his father’s farm for two years. During that time, he received his call to missions. It was in recalling this time that Bill wrote, “I felt a very definite call to become a medical missionary and made plans to prepare myself.”
Those plans materialized for Bill over the course of many years of education, local ministry, and service to his country. In October 1942, Bill began serving in the U.S. Army and was enrolled in one year of study at Indiana University to prepare for service as a surgical technician. Bill assisted with surgeries in the European theater, an experience that would undoubtedly prepare him for later endeavors on another side of the world.
The end of the war would provide stories for millions of young Americans who would settle down and never again leave the homeland after returning victorious. But Bill Douce had an eternal perspective, and God was not done writing his adventure story.
Bill enrolled at Asbury College and completed his pre-med degree in 1948, preaching at a mission church in his free time. It was at Asbury that Bill met Ilene E. Mosher, and the two were married on June 3, 1949. They had three daughters together over the next several years: Mary Rebecca, Grace Elizabeth, and Janet Elaine, and two sons thereafter: Philip Earl and Carlos Albert.
After graduating from the Philadelphia School of Osteopathy in 1955, Bill traveled to Dayton, Ohio, for an internship at Grandview Hospital. It was during this time of his life that Bill expressed that he had heard Christ’s call to begin work on the mission field.
Dr. Douce spent a short time developing his Spanish language skills and flew to Ecuador for the first time in 1957. His first project was setting up an urban clinic in the coastal city of Guyaquil. To the south of this big city lay the rough jungles and mountains of Ecuador, populated by indigenous peoples who, for the most part, had not heard the Good News about Jesus Christ. They also lacked basic medical care that Bill knew he could offer.
Thus, Bill and Ilene immersed themselves in the rugged area in and around the town of Saraguro. The Douces dedicated the next three decades of their lives to serving the physical and spiritual needs of the people native to this previously unreached region. This began with developing a medical clinic, where Bill would share a biblical message of hope to all of his patients prior to their treatment.
Dr. Douce also led efforts to organize medical caravans into more remote towns in the surrounding jungle. At times, the journey to and from these towns was treacherous, but God held the Douces in his hands throughout.
In 1962, when a mob of more than 100 indigenous nationals wielding clubs and machetes began beating down the door to the Douces’ clinic, seeking to drive the Americans out of town, several brave townspeople of Saraguro came to their defense. Provincial leaders even sent Ecuadorian Army forces to break up the mob. After just a few years, the Douces were seen as an indispensable part of the community.
A more fortified medical clinic was built in the years following this attack, which provided a platform for Bill to lead more evangelism efforts and to help set up the Carboncillo Bible Institute to develop new disciples in the region.
On March 10, 1993, Ecuador’s Independence Day, local leaders, including the provincial governor, presented Dr. Douce with an award recognizing his decades of service to the people of Ecuador.
Later in life, the Douces would continue to bring more missionaries with them back to this area, and Bill would drive the big red Chevy truck into the jungle for medical clinics and to evangelize the next generation of people around Saraguro. The legacy of Bill and Ilene Douce’s work in Ecuador is one that will undoubtedly continue to glorify God for many more generations to come.
On February 27, 2019, Dr. Bill Douce was surrounded by Ilene, his children and grandchildren. He passed into heaven while his loved ones were singing hymns and choruses and joined a great celebration of souls he had touched through the love of Jesus Christ.
Our OMS family sends our love to you, Ilene, your children, and the extended family. Be assured of our continued prayers during these difficult days. We mourn with you the tremendous loss of your husband, father, and grandfather. But we are also encouraged by the wonderful example of Bill’s relationship with Jesus Christ and for the hope he was able to share with so many lost souls. We can rejoice in knowing that Bill is now in the presence of his Savior, who he has faithfully walked with during his time here on Earth.
With deep gratitude to our Lord for Bill’s example of a life well lived for God’s honor and glory,
One Mission Society USA
If you would like to give a memorial gift in honor of Dr. Douce, you can give here to the Saraguro Scholarship Fund, to help fund indigenous pastors seminary training.
April 24 2018
As we continue on the Manta, Ecuador, construction projects, we are now in the phase of constructing homes for families that completely lost their homes in the earthquake in April 2016. We are currently constructing six homes with the help of Arturo Conde and his building crews. Arturo has been such a blessing to us in this process. He has drawn the plans for the new homes, worked with the government to make sure we have stayed within the regulations, bought supplies, and has overseen the construction. Without Arturo, it would be very difficult for us continue the project in a timely process. We are hoping to finish this phase of six homes within the next two months and then continue with our second phase of home construction.
We are so thankful for the groups that have come down to help, but we are still in need of more groups and funding to complete the three-phase project.
If you are interested in being a part of this ministry, please contact Jim Smith at MFM or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To donate to this project, click here.
Darryl Chambers, Field Director, OMS Ecuador
April 17 2018
In January 2018, a team from the U.S. and Canada traveled to Manta, Ecuador. A major earthquake had hit Manta in 2016 and left the city with some pretty major damage. The main purpose of our trip was to help repair the damage that was done to a church. Pastor Carmelia shared how she had a dream that North Americans would be coming to help at their church. She pondered how this might happen and considered several possibilities, but dismissed each one. Eventually, OMS contacted her and said that a team was coming to help with repairs on the church. This confirmed in her mind that all of this was from God and that he deserved all of the glory!
Upon arriving, we found that some of the walls needed to be repaired. Some of the men from the church were already there working to knock them down. The men in our group jumped in to help finish knocking down the walls. The men from the Manta church were experienced in bricklaying, so we did the grunt work of unloading the sand and gravel off of the truck. We shoveled sand and gravel into bags, and then carried the bags up two flights of stairs.... 34 steps. The cement blocks also had to be removed by hand from the truck and then carried up the stairs as well...34 steps.
We swept and cleaned up debris. The men also poured a small cement pad downstairs. This was all mixed and moved, and done by hand. We made sure to stop and rest and drink. And we counted those steps. Did I mention there were 34?
In the evenings, we enjoyed some great Ecuadorian food, and then shared our life stories. It was good to listen, share, and pray for each other. We also had the privilege of hearing a pastor share his story of the earthquake and how the church worked with OMS to provide a soup kitchen during that time. A time was spent praying for this young man and his family. It is always encouraging to hear how God has worked and is continuing to work in people’s lives!
It was a trip with so many good memories. We loved the international flavor - working together with people from Ecuador, the United States, and Canada. We even learned a little Dutch! Eh?
By Penney Willms, OMS short-term team member from Canada
Do you want to join a future team? Sign up here!
April 9 2018
We’re so thankful for veteran OMS missionaries Jim and Sue Smith, who have agreed to serve as interim coordinators for the Manta, Ecuador, work relief project. The Smiths, who served in Ecuador for nearly 20 years, will serve in this position until Aaron and Kristin Gouge (currently funding) arrive on the field to assume this ministry position full time. Jim and Sue currently live in the U.S, but they travel to Manta as needed with Men for Missions teams. As on-site coordinators, they work closely with the OMS Ecuador field leader, the in-country Manta project manager, and Manta city officials.
Their responsibilities include arranging team accommodations, team work assignments, airport runs, orientation, meal schedules, transportation, currency exchange, healthcare, and cultural/sightseeing trips. They also oversee team dynamics such as daily devotions and debriefing, observing how God is moving in lives of team members and encouraging them in that journey, promoting a willingness to understand the culture and honoring the national coworkers, and challenging team members with ways they can be further involved in MFM/OMS.
The Christian presence in the Manta area is minimal. A long-range plan is to expand beyond the current earthquake-related reconstruction project to include the following types of teams: work, medical, evangelism, and VBS/youth.
Urgent need: Work teams to Manta for the following 2018 dates:
October 27-November 3
We are also beginning to schedule these types of teams for 2019 and beyond. Please consider Manta, Ecuador, as a place to go on your next life-changing journey. We will be happy to help you throughout the process.
Men for Missions
941 Fry Road, P.O. Box A
Greenwood, IN 46142-6599
Office phone: 317.881.6752
April 3 2018
On April 16, 2016, the southern coastal province of Manabi, Ecuador, was hit by a 7.8 earthquake. The death toll was 676, with over 16,000 injured and 2,000 who lost their homes. There was widespread damage in the province, but one of the worst-hit areas was Manta.
One Mission Society responded immediately by taking in bags of supplies, water, and clothes to those in Manta. Along with our local church there, Jesus Christ is the Answer, we ran a two-month soup kitchen, delivering hot lunches to an average of 450 people three days a week.
We also had the opportunity to share the Gospel with hundreds of people each day as we fed them. Many people came to Christ during that time and requested Bible studies. As a result, we have nine new study groups that meet weekly in the areas affected most by the earthquake.
We planned a three-phase ministry of relief work. We have completed phase one of the project, which was helping six churches with rebuilding and repairing the damage from the earthquake.
We are currently in phase two, which is the rebuilding of homes that were completely destroyed. We have the approval to begin building six properties. When we began this project, we had no idea of all of the red tape that would be required by the government. We praise God for sending us Bolivar Conde, an Ecuadorian architect who has taken over as the project manager. He began construction on the first three houses in March. We are praying that God will provide the funds so that we will be able to build 9 more houses, which will complete our initial goal of 15 homes.
Our final phase will be reparations made to homes that were not destroyed but that had severe damage. These homes are habitable but still need major repairs. We are hoping to be able to carry on phase two and three simultaneously.
There are two main needs that we have to help complete this project:
- We are currently seeking groups who would like to come to Manta to help us with phases two and three. Connect here!
- We need funds to help complete the project. Give here!
We are so thankful to all who have offered their time and funds thus far. It is amazing to see what God has done in Manta, not only with the rebuilding of homes but also the restoration of lives. Outreach to those who lost so much in the earthquake continues, and the church is growing.
If you would like to help in any way, please contact Jim Smith, serving with Men for Missions: email@example.com.
June 27 2017
About a year ago, I went with another OMS missionary to check on
our short-term missionaries working in the province of Loja, Ecuador. It was a
trip we made regularly to encourage our short termers. We didn’t know that this
visit would be a God-divine appointment.
A short time after
arriving at the short termers’ house, we heard a knock at the door. Dario and
Isaac, two friends of our short-term missionaries, were welcomed inside. They
sat down and began to ask questions about God. They asked us to share more with
them, thus beginning their faith journey.
Fast forward 12
months and the roles have shifted. Our team of 8 now lives in Loja. Recently, I
was sitting in the home of Dario’s family, listening to him share about the Scriptures.
He presented the plan of salvation and led two family members and a neighbor to
Christ. Dario is the director of one of the main schools in town and is using
his position to spread the Gospel. He has been inviting the students' parents
to come together and listen to us (OMS Loja missionaries) share about godly
parenting. He is casting a vision for children and youth programming so that
all ages can be reached for Christ.
Why such a
difference? Shortly after we began regularly meeting with Dario and his wife,
Dayana, we learned that she was having trouble getting pregnant. In a culture
where family is everything, a couple with no children was considered damaged
goods. They shared their hearts with us, and we prayed together. We assured
them that they were valued and important to Christ.
A few weeks ago,
when our missionaries arrived for the discipleship meeting, Dayana had a sweet
smirk on her face. As greetings were passed around, she motioned for her
husband to look at the paper on the coffee table. Right there, the team and
Dario found out that Dayana was pregnant!
Dayana and Dario
did not choose to ask Christ into their lives to get what they wanted. They
asked Christ into their lives so that they could be transformed by his love.
They went from brokenness to restoration. After giving their all to Christ,
they received the desires of their heart.
God is at work in
Loja Province. This is just one story of how God is moving in the hearts of his
people. Sometimes, the progress is quite slow; sometimes, the progress seems to
come in like a rushing river. Please continue to pray for workers to help us
reach a province full of hungry people searching for the truth of God’s Word.
By OMS Ecuador missionary, BJ Williamson
June 16 2017
Down a steep, one-lane,
curvy mountainous dirt road, across a little river, and up the other side sits
a little adobe and wooden farm house. There are chickens, ducks, dogs, and
kittens running around the yard. A hammock, table, and bench are on the little
porch. Our friend Maria is always ready to welcome us.
We met Maria last
May when she heard about the medical team that was in Chaguarpamba. On her
paper she marked that she would like to receive a visit from us. The first time
we went, we weren’t sure how to find her house. After asking around, we were
told, “to go down the road and, where you see the big tree, that is where her
Maria used to live
in Guayaquil, but when her parents were sick, Maria moved back to their house
to take care of them until they passed, leaving her the farm. One day, she told
us about her sisters in Guayaquil and how they were Christians. She shared that
she used to enjoy going with them and hearing God’s Word. She prayed with us to
dedicate her life to Christ and shared how her heart breaks for others who
place their faith in idols that can't help them. She feels alone because no one
near her has faith in Christ. I handed her a little card with spaces to be
filled with seven names for people God places on her heart to pray for. She was
excited to be able to play a part, through prayer, in the lives of people she
cares about. Every time we go and share a Bible story with her and ask if we
can pray for her she answers, “Sure!”
We loved being a
part of bringing the Good News to her, and we hope to eventually plant a church
she can invest in.
heart means we rarely leave her place empty handed. Even though she doesn’t
have a steady income, she always has something to share, like papayas, oranges,
and bananas. She invites us to go with her to pick the fruit that she wants us
to take home. It is her way of saying thank you.
We are praying
that Maria will have the boldness to generously share Christ like she shares
her fruit; that her family, friends, and neighbors will know her by her
willingness to share Christ; and that one day, there will be a church out in
this little farming community of Achiotes.
By Jennifer Riggs,
OMS missionary, Loja, Ecuador
June 13 2017
Jennifer!” I heard my name being shouted. I turned around to see a
nine-year-old girl with her New Testament open. “Look, I found the memory verse
in my Bible that you taught us last week.” I looked at her New Testament where
she had the verse circled in blue ink. She was so excited to show me how she
had found it on her own.
Christmas program, we gave the kids each a New Testament as a gift, which they
proudly bring with them every week to our Bread and Fish kids club.
Jaclyn, one of our
Loja Challengers who served for a year, started Bread and Fish a year ago while
living in Chaguarpamba. This ministry involved her playing soccer and sharing
Bible stories with them. When she left, we took over what she started and kept
We hold the kids
club every Saturday in the open-air basketball court. Most of the kids come
running or riding their bikes, but some of them are dropped off by their
parents. We sing songs, learn Bible stories and verses, make crafts, play
games, and have snacks. We also have some special events throughout the year,
like a Christmas program and VBS.
The kids are
learning and growing in their faith. They come hungry to learn and desire to be
I was teaching the story about how Jesus healed Jairus’ daughter, and my
heart was filled with joy as I looked at these kids sitting around me with
their open Bibles. I asked for a volunteer to read a verse and was met with a
chorus of “pick me, pick me.” They were so eager to read from their Bible’s
that they didn’t want anyone else to have a turn.
Most of the kids
are between six and ten years old, but there are two older girls who come and
enjoy it as much as the younger kids. One of the older girls, a 16-year-old,
has a desire to be a leader. So, we invest in coaching her. As she grows in her
walk with God and in her ability as a leader, maybe someday she will be leading
the next generation of kids.
God is touching
the hearts of the young.
Riggs, OMS missionary, serving in Loja, Ecuador
June 6 2017
In 2015, God opened the doors for a few OMS missionaries serving around Ecuador to come together with the goal of reaching the unreached
population of Loja Province, a mountainous area in southern Ecuador with less than 1% evangelical
Christians. This team is actively working to make a
difference in the lives of people who may never hear about
Jesus Christ from anyone else.
up the Loja team?
BJ: The Loja
team is made up of BJ and
Andrea Williamson,Tom and
Susan Stiles, and Jennifer Riggs.
OMS: What is
the ministry focus in Loja? What do you hope to accomplish?
BJ: Our focus
is to raise up house churches in areas where there is no church.We do this by discipling new
believers as the leaders of these house churches.We look
for key people who are interested in the Gospel and disciple them in the Word,
them to make a list of people who need to know the Gospel so they can pray for
those people on the list. Each week, we share a different evangelistic passage that they will, in turn, share with one of those people they
are praying for.
OMS: When and
why did you relocate?
BJ: Two years
ago,we prayed about where the Lord wanted us to start a
ministry and found out that the western part of Loja Province is one of the least reached areas of Ecuador. We have since
then relocated to Catamayo, our
center for being able to travel to those unreached areas.
different cities or villages are you
focusing on? How many evangelicals are in this area? How many churches?
BJ: Our focus
is on the Chaguarpamba and Balsas counties and the northern part of Paltas county. Combined, these areas have a
population of roughly 20,000, but they have only one small church.
Even with the church,there
wouldn't be 50
believers. This is truly an area untouched by other ministries.
OMS: What are
the biggest challenges you face? Your
BJ: It is
challenging to travel as much as we do and to adjust
the traditional beliefs held by 99% of the people we are in contact with. The
religion we often see finds its roots in Roman Catholicism, but it has been
mixed with other religions over the years, making it an interesting combination
of beliefs,practices, and superstitions. Most people fear the change that Christianity
calls them to make because the
religion they are familiar with focuses on salvation through practices or tradition.
But, our greatest joy is seeing people reading God’s
Word and getting excited about learning about Christ and putting their faith in
Editor’s note: We will be sharing several
stories of changed lives in Loja in the next 4 weeks, so keep watching for
Also, to learn more about Loja and what the team
is doing there, here’s a video that will help make you see it through the team’s
Loja team interviewed by OMS summer Communications intern, Mykaela Alvey.
August 17 2016
If you’ve ever
wondered what a typical week of ministry looks like for our missionaries, here’s
a quick glimpse from OMS Ecuador missionary, Jennifer Riggs.
many times a week do you visit people?
A: Each week, I spend two to four days visiting people.
Q: How do you know
who to talk to?
A: During the short-term medical team trip we had in May, we asked
patients if they would like a visit from us. We are also following-up with
friends the Loja Challengers made the year.
Q: What’s a sample conversation sound like?
A: Me: Hi, anyone home?
Person: Yes, come on in. Have a seat (pointing to planks of wood propped up to
form a bench.)
I ask about their health.
Me: I am sorry to hear that your knees are still bothering you. It comes from
all of the hard work you have done.
Person: Yes, right now we are harvesting peanuts.
We talk about the harvest for a bit.
Me: The other reason why I wanted to visit you is to see if you are interested
in learning more about what the Bible says about God.
Person: Yeah, that's fine.
Me: Wonderful. I would like to share a Bible story with you.
I share a story from the Bible like the prodigal son. We talk about the meaning
Me: Prayer is talking to God about things. Is there something I can pray for
Person: Yes, my family, finances, and health. It isn't going to take very
long is it?
Me: No. It doesn't have to take long.
I pray for them.
Me: Can I visit you again sometime, and I can share another story from the
Person: If I am home.
Person hands me a bag of oranges recently picked from their tree.
Q: What happens next?
A: We go back and visit those who invited us back. We share
with them different lessons focused on salvation. Each time planting seeds
of the Gospel. We ask them if they would like to accept Christ. If they do, we
Q: Are you partnering with a church?
A: Yes. We have been taking members from the church in Catamayo
with us so that they can be a part of reaching out to their people. We also are
partnering with an association of evangelical churches who have started a
program called "Saturate Ecuador."
Q: What is Saturate Ecuador?
A: It is a church multiplication plan to saturate all of Ecuador with
the Gospel. The idea is present the Gospel to as many as will hear. After each
Bible story we challenge the people to find someone else with whom to
share. Then as their friends and neighbors get curious, they show up to meet
with us and then they go out and share with others. And a brand new house
church is formed.
Q: Where do you go?
A: We travel anywhere between one and two hours away. To get
to the town of Amarillos, we drive on a very curvy paved road for a little over
an hour. Then, we go up a dirt single lane road for another 20 minutes.
Then, some places we hike either up or down the mountain, sometimes
up to 10 minutes. I really enjoy seeing God's creation as we travel to these
Q: Do you go by yourself?
A: No, we have a team of people we work with, including Tom and
Susan Stiles and the Williamson family. We take turns. We usually go
two-by-two. We also sometimes take some of the members from the church here in
Q: What progress have you seen?
A: We have been able to see God transform two women who were
recently baptized. I have seen people who know God start growing more in their
walk with him. We have seen several people accept Christ. And many who are
excited to learn, who we pray for and are expecting to see them come into God's
Q: What do you do on the other days that you aren't out
A: Besides taking a day off, we have team planning and prayer
meetings usually once a week. We also meet once a week with all of the OMS
missionaries in the Loja area for a prayer meeting. On Saturdays, we go out and
lead kids club, called Bread and Fish.
Q:What do you do on your day off?
A: I might paint, draw, work on puzzles, bake, or care for my
potted plants. I have also gone into Loja to catch up and enjoy being with my
friends that I miss. Since Catamayo is hot year-round, we sometimes go to the swimming
pool and go down the water slides.
Q: What is your favorite part of ministry?
A: I enjoy seeing the church realize that they have something to
share with the people. I love sharing Bible stories with people who have never
heard them before. I also enjoy spending time with our team.