Ferry's In The Jungle

Ferry's In The Jungle
1 Peter 1:22b "Love one another deeply, from the heart."

Sunday, February 23, 2020

We'd like to introduce to you...

Our new team-mates, Jonathan and Bekah Pifer (and Baby James!)

We met Jonathan and Bekah in 2016 and have collaborated on other projects over the years. Last year Jonathan and Bekah were seeking God's direction for a new full-time ministry partnership here in Shell. After discussions with their mission, their pastors and other wise counselors they decided to join the Alteco/Three Waves Movement team!

We have so much in common with Jonathan and Bekah as we desire to serve in a way that empowers the indigenous peoples of Ecuador to further the gospel in the Amazon. We also share the common goal to be catalytic towards more cooperation amongst missionaries, the local church and the indigenous church to spread the gospel into the Amazon. 

Years ago, when we took on the role of Country Coordinators for Alteco/The Three Waves Movement, we knew the responsibilities were too much for just one couple. We were always meant to create an in-country team. After almost 5 years in Ecuador we are thrilled to have a couple full-time by our side. Already we are thankful for their wisdom, experience and energy. 

Please join us in praying for us to have wisdom as we move forward in this new partnership and asking the Lord to guard our team relationships. Please pray we will honor the Lord with our motivations and actions. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A Time For Everything...Ends and Beginnings

Our little church home, Iglesia Emmanuel, has closed. We've waited to even type these words and openly communicate about this end. You see, our hearts were tender in the transition as any end comes with questions, grief and the need for time to process. 

Our family camped out in the truth from Ecclesiastes 3 - There is a time for everything; a time for death and a time for new life. We prayed with our dear friend, the pastor, from our small tribal church about closing the church doors. We cried with him, waited with him and ultimately agreed with him when the church life ended. 

As you can imagine we were a bit overwhelmed after 3 years serving with the members of Iglesia Emmanuel - to all of the sudden be searching for a new home. But man-oh-man did God show up in this journey! We visited new churches and shook new hands. We prayed together as a family and finally settled on our new church home, Kairos Baptist Church. 

Prayer time for our new pastor at Kairos
This decision was made for many reasons (i.e. our teen girlies had to sign off on our new home!) but ultimately our decision was made because of the church's slogan, "Somos una iglesia misionera." ("We are a missions church.") This may be a common statement in the US church but here in Ecuador the local church is just beginning to engage in missions and thinking outside of their chapel doors; seeing local needs and desiring to be the hands and feet of Christ. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to come alongside this church leadership in a servant leadership role - cheering them on, coaching, and being a faithful presence as they own their role more and more. What an encouragement.

We've also heard many times that the church's desires to build unity in the Body of Christ - to cooperate amongst churches and denominations. This, as you know, is a drum we beat often and look forward to the opportunity to be catalytic to see this desire lived out in day-to-day realities. 

Our little church - beautiful and simple

Leaving our little church - tin roof, wooden benches - and joining the Kairos family - electric guitar, projector, beautiful sanctuary (pictured above) - has been a major shift. But we march forward, hopeful and expectant because we know He who leads us is faithful to provide and work, in and through us, every step of the way. 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Kitchen Tour and Ministry of Hospitality

Our kitchen was featured on one of Tina's favorite expat blogs. During this Thanksgiving Season of celebration around the table we hope you enjoy a "tour" of our kitchen and a glimpse into the great fun we have together in this space. 

In our ministry we seek to open the doors of our home and add as many chairs as needed to the table. So much is worked out with a cup of tea in hand; so many connections made through shared food and slow, intentional time together. 

Just click the link below to read the article!

Monday, July 8, 2019

4th of July Expat Fun!

US holidays sometimes are skipped over in Ecuador. BUT, this year we had a great time celebrating the 4th of July with many of our expat friends. The party was thrown together last minute but we had so much fun. Truly, how can yummy cupcakes, a waterfall, grilling food and friends NOT be fun?! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Death brings new life (Part 1)

It's not uncommon for friends to show up at our gate with a weight on their shoulders or a need on their mind. We do all we can to stop the flurry of life and sit, listen and pray together. Sometimes these visits change the course of our week and we often continue to engage for months to come. This is the case in the story we will tell you today.

One of our friends came by with tear-filled eyes and told us the story of their dying family member. This young man was in his early twenties and the doctors didn't believe he'd survive the week. Confusion marked the story because the doctor had explained the condition of this young man's health and his prognosis but the family, being tribal, did not understand the medical terms and explanation. Spanish is their second language and the environment of the hospital very different from their jungle home. 

Our team of believers huddled up for a plan of attack. A nurse friend accompanied Chris and our friends to the hospital in hopes of hearing from the doctor again and translating the information to decrease anxiety and plan for next steps. Our home filled with kids as their parents passed hard hour after hard hour, hard day after hard day in the hospital. Our couches were converted into beds. Tons of rice was made to fill the non-veggie loving bellies of these precious and confused kids. Our car was full to the brim of family members shuttling to and from the hospital. Our kitchen was busy cooking meals for tired moms coming home only to meet a hungry family. We are honored to serve and support in these ways.

The days to come were more and more sad. The family, desperate for a solution, discussed visiting the witchdoctor for healing. Believing friends prayed for spiritual breakthrough and protection. Our joy was complete as on his deathbed the young father accepted Christ and returned home from the hospital with peace in his heart. He died hours later with his young wife and two daughters by his side. 

At his funeral the gospel was shared. We called Ecuadorian friends who were equipped to share the gospel and asked them to sit with family members. The face of this evangelistic wave wasn't ours; it was the face of our Ecuadorian partners. We were along the side, cheering, praying and facilitating. 

We continue in this roll as the reality of this tragedy unfolds. 

Death brings new life (Part 2)

After the funeral our first concern was supporting and caring for our friends as they dealt with this loss. Times of grief and confusion can make a person very vulnerable and the temptation of past sins and destructive coping mechanisms crouch at the door. We've seen God work mightily in our tribal friends lives and were on our knees begging God for protection and strength during this time. He heard our cry.

In the coming days we heard stories of the brokenness of the family, the regret and the desire to live differently. The parents of this young man shared that at one point they knew the Truth but stopped walking with God when their kids were young. The young man died of complications related to AIDS. He'd lived with this disease, hidden and full of shame for years. The family clearly saw the sad reality of "the wages of sin is death" and grieved that they didn't raise him in Truth. This young man's death served as a wakeup call for the family. 

Our close friends expressed their desire to begin meeting with their family members and neighbors to talk about the things of God, to sing together and provide a healthy community alternative to heavy drinking and more. We were overjoyed to hear this vision and now are supporting them to fulfill this desire. It has been our prayer to see this community have a positive Christian influence and this beauty was being brought out of the ashes of death. AND, the driving force and leadership is tribal! 
Entrance into community

After learning that the young man died of a preventable disease, conversations began to circulate amongst missionaries and Ecuadorian believers about health education and the risks associated with the lack of education. This young man may have lived if shame and fear hadn't driven his choices. Additionally, his death left behind a very young mom and two young daughters. These three are at risk - desperation and fear can make way for the unthinkable. But this story of preventable death and the vulnerability of young women is common in our community. Shame, fear and cultural/language disconnection open the floodgates of risk. 

Again, our friends expressed a desire to meet this need. Yay! So, here we go again. Serving in our role. Mobilize, plan, and facilitate. It seems at this point that the effort will be a partnership between the tribal, national and foreign churches/organizations. But, the door is open and the need is great. In the coming months we will walk this path with our tribal friends. Along the way we will encourage, listen, counsel, and pray. We trust our God who brings beauty from ashes. 

Please Pray For:
- Wisdom and protection for Mateo and Emma as they lead this new venture
- Safety and provision for the young mom and her daughters
- Spiritual breakthrough and lasting impact in this community
- Unity, cooperation and wisdom amongst believers as we support and serve

Monday, March 4, 2019

Heyday in the USA!

After over 4 years living abroad we needed to take 3 months in the US to reconnect with our churches, supporters and friends. Time in the US for foreign missionaries is important but not always easy! It's like cultural whiplash entering the US and then whiplash round 2 when returning to your country of service BUT we sure had a lot of fun on the wild ride. 

Grace, coffee and a good sense of humor was the name of the game!

East Coast
We started our US trip traveling up the East Coast and visiting friends and supporters. During the month of November we visited 13 states and slept in 10 different beds. All that moving and shaking was most definitely worth the connection with dear people. To top it all off we enjoyed the first snow of the season in NYC and soaked up some much needed museum time in DC.

The end of November was spent with Chris' family celebrating Thanksgiving together for the first time in 5 years. We also enjoyed the unexpected opportunity of sharing at Calvary Chapel St George's missions
movie night. Talking about the Current State of the Tribal Church and sharing how we can work to Strengthen the Tribal Church is alway a great joy.

We spent December and January in Colorado connecting with our 3 sending churches. Our days (and nights!) were filled with small group meetings, kids-clubs, Sunday services, luncheons, early morning coffees, breakfasts, and much more. Despite the tight schedule we are leaving with wind in our sails because of your love and encouragement. Seeing God at work in North America only deepens our faith and sets our feet even straighter for the work God has prepared for us in Ecuador.

Meeting with kids is one of our favorite connections in the US. During our time together we are able to discuss their "mission" here in the USA.

To LOVE GOD and LOVE OTHERS ...wherever God places them.