One Faith Nurtured

January 7 2013

One Faith Nurtured

Note: part two is posted January 14, 2013

“Can anything good come out of Salango?” In the 1930s, Salango a fishing village was so insignificant that it didn’t even appear on a map of Ecuador. Life in Salango was very simple; there was no electricity and no running water. 

In 1936, a boy born in Salango was likely heralded with joy by his mother, but with no sense of the extraordinary plans God had for this new son of a fisherman, no hint of the impact that would be made when Enrique Guillén responded many years later to the Master’s call: “Follow me, and I will make you a fisher of men!” (Matthew 4:19).

After many years of hardship growing up, including the death of his mother, Enrique moved back to Salango to live with his father, the man who for so many years had refused to recognize him. 

OMS missionaries working in the area were invited by Enrique’s father into his house. Fast forward to March of 1961 when the Word of God reached Enrique’s heart through a message preached there in the living room of his father’s house. 

Pastor Guillén says, “I was not convinced, I was converted!” He remembers that his life changed completely from the inside out; from that moment, his loyalty belonged 100 percent to the Lord Jesus. 

In the same year he married Esther, a radiant young Christian woman. Later, Enrique who was determined to serve the Lord decided to go back to school – he studied in the same classes as his son, David. 

David remembers with a grin that each term, Esther, he and Enrique compared grades, which was a great motivator for his son. “It filled me with great pride to have a father who didn’t believe in limitations … and still doesn’t to this day.”

After high school, Enrique’s desire was to study in the seminary. But committee members told him that a poor fisherman from Salango would never find success in the academic world and that he shouldn’t waste the time and resources with his futile dreams. 

But OMS missionary mentors elected to sponsor his studies. This generosity and vision on the part of the Mission continues to move Pastor Guillén to deep gratitude, even these many years later. 

When Pastor Enrique is asked about the motivation for his sacrificial search for training, he responds: “There is a people that demands our witness and a Lord who impels us forward. We have a debt of love and there is no room for discouragement!” 

Difficulties and rejection helped to shape within Enrique a special perspective of discipleship: with great intentionality, he seeks, finds and develops the potential in his disciples. 

He says, “I identify greatly with what is said of Peter in Acts 4:13—he was an unschooled, ordinary man, but they took note that he had been with Jesus! The Lord by his grace saw the potential in me and by his grace called me and equipped me for His service. I try to do the same with others.”

Next: The rest of the story…


Tags: faith multiplied, life change, servantmissions in ecuador

Servant of God

December 31 2012

Servant of God

At first glance, Pastor Prakash is not likely to impress you. No chance that he would be voted most likely to succeed in his graduating class. His big smile reveals crooked teeth. His eyes sometimes squint through the over-sized glasses perched on his face. His hair hangs over his ears and is often disheveled. A paunchy mid-section and well-rounded cheeks let you know that physical fitness is not his passion! However, it would be a big mistake to draw conclusions about Pastor Prakash based on his appearance.

This dynamic servant of God is a mover and a shaker. He leads with his heart, and his heart is abundantly filled with love. He came to faith in Christ from a Hindu background at age twenty. His sick mother was miraculously healed when all hope for her recovery seemed gone. Consequently, he quickly determined to accept Jesus Christ as the living God.

Since then he has been pursuing ministry among unreached Hindu people in a northeast region of India. His determination to share the Good News of Jesus is combined with a practical compassion. He seeks ways to find help for people by taking advantage of a variety of grants and programs geared to benefit the uneducated and the poor. Through the Every Community for Christ ministry, he is actively doing evangelism and training ordinary people to do the same. Thirty house churches in many villages have already been started. He has begun implementing the Train & Multiply strategy we are sharing. God’s people are being used powerfully by the Lord!

Pray for blessing and protection upon Prakash and his family. Ask God to anoint him with the Holy Spirit, imparting wisdom, power and guidance. Pray that the Lord will provide for much abiding fruit and for many villages to be reached with Christ’s salvation.

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: servant, dynamic service, life change, evangelism, trainingtrain & multiply

A Family Transformed

December 24 2012

A Family Transformed

Venu is just 21 years old, but he has recently begun serving as an ECC volunteer. He is helping his father who, though previously a drunkard and a worshiper of idols, is now a member of our ECC team. In the last few months, they have helped start nine evangelistic Bible studies, eight discipleship groups and nine house churches in several villages. There are also 24 laypeople who have also begun training to participate in the Train & Multiply ministry. 

Venu’s family was transformed by Christ eight years ago, and they have embraced the ministry of ECC, equipping lay people to become pastoral workers. A house church of 40-50 people regularly meets in their home. Despite significant financial needs, the family is faithfully serving God. Their legacy will probably go unnoticed according to the standards of this world, but in the service of Jesus, Venu and his family will be rewarded for their faithful obedience!


Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: church multiplication, house churchfaith multiplied

A Devoted Church Planter

December 21 2012

A Devoted Church Planter

Pastor D. is a church planter who was brought by a friend to the Church Multiplication Workshop.  Impressed by what he learned, he returned to his country and began to implement the plan he had formulated during the workshop.  

Ten months later, using the principles and strategies of church multiplication, he had eight house churches in operation.  Then one Sunday, radicals from another religious group attacked four of the churches, killing several, including Pastor D’s brother.  

Later the same day, when his aged mother heard the news, her heart was broken and she died.    Even later that day his father followed his dear wife and son to heaven.  Despite these developments, Pastor D., discouraged and downcast, returned to the next installment of the workshops.  

Once again he heard the voice of the Spirit speaking a fresh challenge to his heart.  During the finishing exercises, the participants were asked to submit fresh training goals for the following three months.  

Pastor D’s goals read: “In the next three months I will initiate the training of six new house church leaders, (and) begin nine new churches plus two in the outer villages.”  With fresh vision and fresh resolve he returned to his country and resumed his church planting ministry. 

Three months later, I returned to our training location and inquired of Pastor D’s overseer regarding his progress.  The answer came: “He is doing well.  He is already training seven new house leaders.”

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: church planting, church multiplication, house churchtraining

One Life Shared and Multiplied

December 10 2012

One Life Shared and Multiplied

Endla and Tamara have been believers for a long time but were not active in the church other than filling a seat each Sunday morning. In fact Tamara had become so bored with church that she spent most of the time looking for people and things to criticize, and eventually she had stopped attending altogether. 

That was until they started attending the women’s small group led by Piret Saard. As Piret quietly and steadily fed into their lives, they saw that God had work for them to do and that the Christian life could be one of dynamic service. Each week they were led not only to study the Scripture together, but also to apply it in concrete practical ways. This resulted in life change for both of these women. They came to understand that God had given them a life and relationship with Him that needed to be shared with others. Together they asked God to open the doors to non-believers that they could pray for, care for and share with.  

God answered their prayers and inspired them to approach the Rapla care home to see if there was some way they could help there. This home houses both pensioners and others who have fallen on hard times or have some kind of disability.

They were not sure exactly what they should do there, but God again answered their prayers and gave them the idea to take along a cassette player and some Estonian Christian music. This was a great hit and gave them the chance to discuss the meaning of the songs with the 6 or so who come regularly. They have also found other ways to serve by baking cakes to help celebrate birthdays or other special events. The word has gone out around the home that these ladies love us and pray for us and care when most feel that there is no one in the world who needs them.  They are slowly getting the message that it is not just Endla and Tamara who care, but that God their Creator also loves and cares deeply about them and seeks a personal relationship with them.

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: dynamic service, life change, answered prayerperson of peace

Mountaintop Experience

December 3 2012

Mountaintop Experience

360 degrees of God’s Grace or The Rest of the Story

Jesus says that we can worship God anywhere when we worship Him in spirit and in truth. The city of Azogues rests high in the Andes Mountains in southern Ecuador. Outside of the city, high on a mountaintop, a statue of the Virgin of the Mist was recently erected. Pilgrims visiting this statue are promised blessings from God when they petition the Virgin to mediate for them. Located on another mountaintop near the city are Inca ruins, where the sun and moon were worshiped many years ago. 

One morning Pastor Sergio and Every Community for Christ workers Pablo and Jacob took us up another mountaintop north of the city to tell us how God is answering prayers to reach every household in this area with the message of Christ’s salvation. As we drove up the mountain, we followed many switchbacks; each one seemed to reach the top, only to turn a corner and find another one. Finally, we came to a stop and got out of the car. There before us was a 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Although the sun was shining, the breeze was brisk and cool at roughly 9,000 ft. above sea level.  

Sergio began showing and sharing God’s story. “See that village half way up that mountain?” he would ask. “There is a Bible study group meeting in a home there.” Then after a slight turn, “See that group of homes down in the valley? God has raised up a person of peace who is being discipled.” Looking back toward the other side, “A house church meets in that town, and up there on that mountainside lives a family who has recently asked for more information about what the Bible says.” We were overwhelmed as he continued to share with us how the ECC team has been working to reach rural areas with the Good News and how God is responding. We had a prayer time together praising God and asking Him for wisdom for these young men. It was a mountaintop experience that will remain in our memory for a long time.

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: spirit and truth, answered prayer, person of peacehouse church

A Divine Appointment

November 27 2012

A Divine Appointment

Anil, an ECC trainer in the north of India, recently gave this testimony when asked to tell about their experience with a person of peace – a person whom God had prepared to receive the Gospel.

My wife and I were returning by train from a worship center in another town. I told her that she was singing the hymns too fast, and I pulled a hymnal from my bag and began singing a hymn softly and slowly to demonstrate what I meant. A man sitting close by asked, “What is that beautiful song?” My wife and I then sang the hymn and told the man about Jesus.

He then asked, “Where are you people from?” When we told him, he exclaimed, “That is only three kilometers from my home. You must come and tell me and my family more about this!” Two days later we received a phone call from the man, “Where are you? We are waiting for you.”

So on the next day, my wife and I went to the man’s house. As he invited us inside, he saw an old woman sitting outside. “Auntie,” he called, “please come inside and hear this.” Then he saw four men working in a nearby field, and he went over to them. “Stop what you are doing and come to my home. You must hear this!” They followed him into his house, where my wife and I taught them many hymns and told them about Jesus.

Now there is a house church meeting in that man’s home.

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: missions in kenya, redeeming hymnsperson of peace

ECC Kenya- Our Beginning

November 26 2012

ECC Kenya- Our Beginning

I recently made a trip to Kenya to help launch a church planting effort with our missionaries, Silas and Rahab Waweru.  This year one of our target areas is the Kawangwari slum.

During my stay, we did several days of house to house evangelism in the slum.  A walk in a third world slum is not a walk in the park.  I threaded my way through rows upon rows of tiny dirty hovels, stench and piles of filth, and hundreds of thousands of people living in despair.  My eyes filled repeatedly as I saw half naked toddlers, obviously malnourished, and covered in flies.  I wondered, “How do they survive?”

The good news is that many were receptive to hearing the Gospel and prayed to receive Christ! We are working with eight young men who are sharing their faith every week in the slum.  They are doing wonderful follow up with those who pray and forming them into house churches.  Chai, tea with milk, is the favorite drink of Kenya so the house groups are called, Tea Groups.  When I left, they had six tea groups meeting!  

Pray for the success of the house, (tea) groups in Kenya.  Pray we can recruit many more ministry partners to help us spread the Gospel and use Train and Multiply Materials to disciple converts and begin house churches.  We are just beginning but our vision is great and the possibilities are enormous!

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: missions in kenya, evangelismchurch planting


November 12 2012


This is a test.

Tags: test-tag

Test Post 1

November 10 2012

Test Post 1

This is a TEST of things. This is only a test post.