Three-fold Journey, Stage 3

Three-fold Journey, Stage 3

Bruce Rainwater and I had spent 10 days in Peru visiting ministry partners who had worked with CERT over the years. Our next stage of the journey was in Ecuador, where we would visit our church in Manta, encourage the ministry leaders there and present the possibility of CERT assisting in future church planting in the towns and villages surrounding Manta.

We had the privilege of visiting some of the church’s ministry leaders in their homes, where we were welcomed us with typically warm hospitality. We also attended a Wednesday night prayer meeting, and both of us were invited to speak to the congregation.

In the home of Julio and Jenny
Prayer meeting

As in the other stages of the journey, we talked with the men of the ministry team about the importance of discipleship. Intentional men’s discipleship has been one of the key ingredients for establishing a strong church in Manta. We are grateful for the men who continue to serve the church. It was a joy to spend and evening with them. We gave them each a towel as a reminder of Jesus’ method of serving as he led and made disciples.

Geovanny, Cristobal, and Luis
With the men of the ministry team
Towels remind us of service

One of the highlights of our trip was visiting the Bonsai program at Iglesia Bíblica Bautista de Manta. We are thankful for the impact our church has in our community because of the Gospel.

Bonsai after-school program
Three-fold Journey, Stage 2

Three-fold Journey, Stage 2

Cuzco, Peru

After our river journey, Bruce Rainwater and I went to the Andean Region of Peru, to the beautiful old city of Cuzco. While we were there, we met with a number of CERT‘s ministry partners from the towns and villages outside of the city. We continued to encourage, build relationships, and talk about discipleship.

Two of the partners that we spent time with were Pastor Abel Caceres and his brother Abelardo Caceres. They minister in the town of Poroy and in villages in the mountains outside of Cuzco. We attended the Sunday morning service of their church in Poroy.

Pastor Abel and another local pastor
Pastor Abelardo and his wife

Both Bruce and I were asked to speak in the service, and then we had the privilege of hearing one of the young men of the church preach. We saw that people of all ages were attending the church and were being taught to follow Christ. The pastors shared with us about new churches they were starting and took us to visit one of them that now has its own pastor. We were very encouraged by what God has been doing through their ministry.

One of the young preachers
Children sharing what they had learned
Three-fold Journey, Stage 1

Three-fold Journey, Stage 1

In March I (Tony) accompanied Bruce Rainwater of Christian Emergency Relief Teams (CERT) to Peru to visit CERT’s ministry partners in remote areas along the Madre de Dios River and then around Cuzco. After visiting Peru, we would visit our church in Manta, Ecuador. The goals for the trip were to encourage the pastors, to build relationships, and to emphasize the importance of discipling men for stronger churches.

Bruce Rainwater
Bruce Rainwater

After we arrived in Puerto Maldonado, Peru, Pastor Tomás Deza and his wife Norma escorted us up-river several hours by car and then boat to where they serve in Boca Manu. We had the privilege of preaching in the church there, and also in a couple of other locations along the river where they are planting churches. Please pray for these faithful servants who have been laboring for 12 years under very difficult conditions.

Pastor Tomás
Pastor Tomás
Norma teaching children
Norma teaching children

In addition to preaching in church services, Bruce and I had opportunities to talk with Pastor Tomás and men in the churches about the importance of discipleship, of carrying out the primary command of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and reproducing by multiplication as the Apostle Paul instructed Timothy (2 Timothy 2:2). We modeled what this kind of discipleship might look like in their setting with individuals and groups.

Discipleship 1
Discipleship one-on-one
Discipleship 2
Discipleship group

When we returned to Puerto Maldonado, we visited with some of the missionaries there, including Dan and Ruthie Nagao and their children. We hoped to encourage them, and they certainly encouraged us.

Dan and Ruthie Nagao
Dan and Ruthie Nagao family
Church in Manta 14th Anniversary

Church in Manta 14th Anniversary

14th anniversary IBB Manta

Our church in Manta, Iglesia Bíblica Bautista de Manta, celebrated its 14th anniversary in February 2019. We are thankful to God for the way the church has grown and makes an impact for Christ.

The men and women of the ministry leadership team did a lot of hard work in organizing an anniversary dinner. We are thankful for the faithfulness and spiritual growth of those who serve the church.

IBB Manta anniversary 14
ESL Course

ESL Course

ESL Certification Course

Tony recently had the opportunity to take an ESL certification course hosted by Knoxville Internationals Network (KIN). https://www.kin-connect.org/

Carol Waldo of KIN hosted the event, and Susan Bell of Carson-Newman College was our outstanding instructor. KIN offers this course multiple times each year. Many churches offer English instruction to adults as a service to their communities and an opportunity for making disciples of Christ among all peoples.

Trip to Ecuador May-June 2018

Trip to Ecuador May-June 2018

Map Florida to Ecuador

Two weeks in Manta

On May 24, I (Tony) will be traveling from Florida to Quito, Ecuador. The next day I will continue traveling to Manta. I will be busy in ministry during my time there, meeting with church leaders and fellow missionaries, preaching and teaching, as well as taking care of family concerns.  I will hold a meeting with the current members of the church, and will give a seminar for prospective members. While there, I may administer baptisms and baby dedications, and probably will have some office hours for counseling. Another important task will be preparing for a visiting missions team that will be going to Manta in July.

My return to the USA is scheduled for June 6. Please pray that this will be an productive time for the church in Manta, and that I will be healthy and get adequate rest while I’m there.

Please pray for our family while I am away. Joy and the kids will be staying with our daughter Lexi and son-in-law Jonathan Taylor and their kids in Altamonte Springs, FL. Grandpa Wille will be staying with his long-time pastor friend in the same city.

Prayer Needs for May 2018

Prayer Needs for May 2018

Thank you for keeping the Anzalones in Ecuador in your prayers. We are grateful for all the ways you support and encourage us. Please keep these prayer needs in mind as you pray for us during the next several months:

Prayer for Iglesia Bíblica Bautista in Manta

Manta church prayer needs

Prayer for the Multiply Ministry

Multiply ministry prayer needs

Prayer for the Anzalone family

Prayer for the Anzalones

Discipleship and Leadership Training in Manta

Discipleship and Leadership Training in Manta

Doctrine students

Discipleship 2 Training

Eleven students (nine in the photo) in Manta completed the course in Basic Christian Doctrine and took the exam. This is the Thursday night Discipleship 2 Training. The students did a great job of continuing to study and meet weekly in spite of our absence. One of the men in the class, Juan León, encouraged the others to continue, reviewed the study materials that we provided, and led the group meetings. We are encouraged that the people in the church in Manta will continue to prepare themselves for service and for the ministry of discipling others. We are planning the next course for the months of June, July, and August, and expect these and other students to be enrolled.

Theology module

Theology Module

In May, one of our Ecuadorian pastor friends, encouraged the church in Manta with a training opportunity. He taught a weekend theology module on ecclesiology (theology of the church). A good number of people attended the classes, and the students were enthusiastic about the subject matter. We are looking for options for more advanced training for our servant leaders in Manta, and this is a terrific option. Thanks to Pastor Jorge Rodríguez offering his time and expertise for building up the local church in Manta. Everyone looks forward to the next opportunity for similar advanced teaching and training.

Joy’s Mother, Verneta Wille, Now in Heaven

Joy’s Mother, Verneta Wille, Now in Heaven

Ted and Verneta Wille

Verneta Wille

Joy’s mother, Verneta Wille, suffered a very serious stroke early in the morning on March 26, and was immediately transported from her home in Crossville, TN to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Although she received the very best treatment possible, she did not respond well. The Lord took her home on April 3. Family and friends attended her celebration of life service on April 7 at Central Baptist Church of Crossville.

Mrs. Wille was a wonderful pastor’s wife for 50 years, serving alongside her husband, Pastor Ted Wille, in churches in Tennessee, New Jersey, and Michigan. She was an excellent homemaker and hostess. Verneta loved music, singing in her church choir. Joy’s mother excelled as a Sunday School teacher, being very effective with preschool children. Many parents and past students have remarked on the impact and influence she had on her pupils for the Gospel of Christ.

Pastor and Mrs. Wille have been passionately committed to world missions, giving by faith to send and sustain missionaries around the world. Perhaps their greatest sacrifice for the Great Commission was their blessing on their only daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren serving as missionaries to Ecuador for the past 30 years.

Our Time in Tennessee

As soon as we heard about the stroke, we arranged for Joy to travel to Knoxville, though she wouldn’t be able to travel until the next day. Within hours we knew that the situation was critical, and made arrangements for Tony, and the kids to travel as well. We were in Knoxville by the morning of the 28th.

It was good to gather as a family during those final days. Our adult daughters, Amanda, Ashley, and Alexis were also there and were of great help and comfort. We are grateful for the presence of family members and dear friends from all over the United States and around the world who expressed their love and concern. The church family of Central Baptist, where they are members, was amazing. The church staff did a tremendous job in making her celebration service very memorable. The choir provided uplifting and Christ-exalting music. The guests in attendance at the service, and communication from the previous churches where Pastor and Mrs. Wille had served were very encouraging.

Right now, our family is with Joy’s Dad in Crossville, TN, serving him through the adjustments in his life. We are helping with his physical needs, and making sure he is well cared for. Thank you for your prayers on his behalf.

We are also attentive to the work in Manta. Although we don’t have a definite timeline for our return, we are providing guidance in the selection of preachers to fill the pulpit. We are also preparing study guides for the Thursday night Bible classes.  The administrative team is communicating with us about the church’s activities. Please pray for the congregations and it’s leaders as they serve Christ well during our absence.