Wow! We took a look at our account and couldn’t believe it!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
To give, please click here: First Love International.
It’s been a month since we first announced the trip, and we couldn’t be more grateful for those of you who have chosen to partner with us!
Over this past month, we’ve been working hard on the different materials we will be using. One aspect we’ve been really focusing on is the devotions we will be leading with the church in Ecuador.
Here’s what Kim, the Co-Pastor there, wrote to us a few weeks ago:
As I am doing devotions this morning God has shown me a great truth about the worship in Pallatanga. AW Tozer points out that it’s one’s idea of WHO God is that drives how we worship. (Not a new thought, just one that clicked in my heart today). The people of Pallatanga have been taught that God is judging, punishing, damning God who hates sin. But they are only recently being taught that God is all loving, merciful and fully Good.
When they begin to understand who God really is, they will understand how to worship Him. Pray that Pallatanga will experience who God really is.
We are so excited to partner with these pastors and create space where the people of Pallatanga can experience the Father’s heart for them.
In Ecuador, our “plan” is to spend time with both the youth and the adults, teaching on different aspects of the Father’s heart, and then creating space to experience it.
We aren’t going with songs that are already written, but we are expecting the Lord to write new songs… melodies, chords and lyrics that come from a fresh experience with Him, grounded in the Word. Songs that will flow from our times together. Songs that will remind us of who He is when we’re tempted to doubt.
This will be new for the people of Pallatanga, as they haven’t really been able to connect the Lord through current worship music. The old style songs that were taught by missionaries of the past are sung out of tradition, but not with any meaning. And the majority of music that is available to them is either translated or seems copied after current styles that just don’t connect.
Our prayer is that the new songs will be birthed with THEIR melodies, chord structures and patterns… the words sing the way THEY would pour their hearts out to the Lord.
We will also be teaching piano and ukelele classes so that they have some kind of musical knowledge to continue writing after we leave.
Our last weekend with them, we will host a “worship on the square”, partnering with the Quito Vineyard. In addition to Leo and I and the Quito Vineyard leading some original songs, it will be beautiful for them to worship Jesus with their brand-new songs!
I know that our 3 weeks there will fly, but we are so excited to have this extended time with this brand-new church plant. We are praying that all of our moments are marked with the Father’s heart.
Leo’s elbow surgery went better than we could’ve expected. We were expecting that the surgeon would have to scrape away scar tissue and clear the nerve that was causing Leo so much pain; but in reality, Leo had an anomaly of a weird muscle that was sitting on top of his Ulnar nerve. The surgeon simply cut the muscle and the nerve was no longer compressed. Leo immediately felt better than he has in years! We are so grateful!!!
I was looking up requirements for our (Elias and I) Bolivian visas and realized that I need to get my passport renewed (it expires in October) before I can apply for the visa. I am so grateful I figured that out now, while we still have time!
We are almost done with our bilingual worship album! 4 songs are done, 3 more to finish up!
We are meeting with some folk this week to plan out some fundraising events.
Quality time to work on the different materials we’re going to take with us: a family devotional, kid’s Bible reading devotional, and the songwriting journal.
Our church is sending a team to Ecuador about a month before we arrive. I know the pastors are so happy to have all the different voices joining with theirs in speaking the message of the Father’s heart. Please pray for their time together.
We are still looking for people to house sit/dog sit while we are gone.