Monday, December 03, 2012

Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  We wanted to express appreciation for your prayers and support and for partnering with us in World Missions.  Thank you!  We hope you and yours have a very blessed Christmas enjoying each other's presence. 
   Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the Caribbean Islands.  We are hoping to be a blessing to our churches this coming year with construction teams and offerings.  Please keep us and them in your prayers.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Church Dedication - July 2012

We attended a church dedication in  the islands where we helped build a church with a MAPS construction team from Indianapolis, Indiana.  Over 1,100 people attended the dedication service and the following Sunday over 400 were in attendance.  This church has been in construction for over seven years.
Paul prayed over several babies dedicating them to the Lord during the service.  We enjoyed the island food and the warm hospitality of the pastor and congregation.  


Friday, March 30, 2012

Island Ministry Spring 2012 News

Paul, along with John and Mary Ann Martz, Lead Pastors of Blue Springs Assembly of God in Missouri, worked on River of Life Church (Island Ministry).  The team spent a week working on the church laying block walls and pouring concrete.  Everyone pitched in and worked so hard, more was accomplished than expected.
   There is a great need for teams to work on approved projects for (Island Ministry).  Please contact Paul by email to schedule a construction team or to find out details.  Teams have to be scheduled at least four months in advance to allow sufficient time for processing of government paperwork. 

   The team was great, jumping in to both work and build friendships with the Island Brethren.  During Sunday service so many commented on the exuberance of the worship and wonderful prayer times.  The thing that touched the team the most was the day spent visiting the house churches, praying with the pastors and hearing their stories of the faithfulness of God.  God is doing an awesome work! 

Jenifer Vera's Testimony

Jenifer Vera – Testimony (March 2012)

Jenifer is the wife of deceased Pastor Wilson Vera of Ebenezer Church, Quito Ecuador.  Pastor Wilson died in September 2011 after falling from a roof in Quito.  Wilson had been touched in a special way by the Lord in the weeks preceding his death.  He had been gathering with several men for early morning prayer at the Church on Thursdays.  God had given him a special burden for young men in the barrio and he was talking with a number of young guys about their relationship with God, their wives and children.  They were beginning a new ministry which involved several men of the Church all who seemed to feel that Wilson should lead their group.  He kept insisting that he was not supposed to be the one to lead.  A few weeks later Wilson got up on morning, like any normal day he kissed his wife goodbye and headed out for work.  That day he would fall from a roof structure landing on his head on a concrete floor, although he was rushed to the hospital, the brain trauma was significant and he was pronounced dead.
What an incredible shock for Jenifer, Isaac and Kelly as well as the entire local church body.  It is one of those situations that we will never understand this side of eternity.  Pastor Alberto and Silvia Ospina gave their all in ministering to Jenifer and the family.  Many gave special offerings to help Jenifer during this time and God used those offerings in a wonderful way.
Jenifer and her children, Isaac and Kelly returned to the Church recently and gave testimony to the grace and mercy of a compassionate God who has sustained them.  It was such an unbelievable blessing to have the funds for living expenses, relieving them of worry and giving time for healing.  Jenifer and the children have been living with family in south Quito since the funeral.  Amid many tears and tremendous emotion Jenifer shared how God had sustained them and shown himself faithful.  It has not been easy but Jenifer is now considering moving back to north Quito to the home she and Wilson shared and working in the Church again.  She graduated from the Assemblies of God Seminary in Quito just a few weeks after Wilson’s death.  She attended the graduation ceremony and received her diploma and there was a time of honoring Wilson for his work and labor in the Lord.
Wilson was a good father and his children were suffering with the loss of their Dad.  Isaac is now 16 recently celebrating his birthday.  He shares how he was so sad on his birthday that he had prayed and told the Lord “Jesus, all I want is a hug from my father.”  That night as Isaac slept it was like an angelic visitation; Jesus woke him and showed him his father.  Wilson was there to wish him a happy birthday and give him a big hug.  “I love you son” Wilson told Isaac.  Heaven is wonderful, more wonderful than you can imagine, I cannot come back.  Isaac shared this dream with his Mom and sister Kelly and it was a point of supernatural encouragement for them and seemed to begin an upward turn and the beginning of the healing process. 
Many other compassionate touches from the Lord have brought the family to this point.  Recalling the funeral, a number of young men that Wilson had been talking to, came to his funeral.  Upon hearing the Word of God and sensing the amazing love of God several of them received Jesus as their Lord and Savior at the funeral.                        (Adapted from several reports from the field by Paul Duda)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

LAC Commission on HIV/AIDS

Paul and I, along with David and Paula Stanislaus, Peggy Pyatt, and Bill and Dorothy Smith taught a group of Haitian Pastors and church workers representing 16 churches in the Port-au-Prince area of Haiti, a seminar on HIV/AIDS.

The newly revised Global AIDS Partnership materials were introduced.  Some of the material was translated into Creole before the seminar and the rest was in French.  All can read the French materials, however, having it in your own dialect is even better.  The translation of the materials continues, so that all materials can be in Creole in the future.

Haiti has a very high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS.  Jesus commissioned the church to reach out in compassion to those that are hurting and suffering.  Those present at the Training of Trainers Seminar  had a heart to reach out to the community with good education, compassion, and with the love of Jesus.