We returned to Ecuador on August 30, and arrived in Manta on September 1. We have encountered a number of challenges during the past several weeks. We are very aware of your prayers for us as a family, for the church in Manta, and for our minsitry in general.
We have been disappointed to learn that the ministry leadership team in Manta was very dysfunctional during our long absence. There was unresolved conflict, a lack of pastoral care and leadership, and evidence of dishonesty with church funds. Several members of the team left the church. Within a week of our return, the pastor resigned. Soon the remaining leaders asked us to guide the church through this difficult time, and the entire church membership gave its approval. We accepted the challenge and are once again preaching, teaching, leading, and counseling at Iglesia Bíblica Bautista de Manta. We have no idea how long we will be serving in these roles, but we believe this is God’s will for us now and until he makes it clear that we should step aside for others to lead.
We are faithfully directing the congregation to focus on the core truths: the saving message of the Gospel, the supremacy of Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the sovereign plan of God. We ask you to pray that this difficult time would be a starting point for revival and spiritual growth; and a catalyst for the multiplication of disciples, servant-leaders, and local churches. Pray with us for repentance, restoration, and renewal. Pray for new believers and young disciples to be confirmed in their faith, and for more mature disciples to renew their commitment to fellowship and service. We are seeing some positive signs: seven people are ready to be baptized this month. We are grateful that God has allowed us to be here at this time, and that you stand with all of us in prayer.
Our home in the city is for sale, and we are actively seeking property in a rural area about a half-hour from Manta. We looked at a beautiful two-acre site just outside of a nature reserve. The owner has offered it to us for $27,000. It would be perfect for building our home, as well as a guest house, recreation area, and a pavillion for small group gatherings. This sort of property is a key part of our vision for serving Ecuadorian ministry families. We wish to provide hospitality to those who serve Jesus. Please pray with us for the sale of our house in Manta, and for God’s direction and provision to the place he has in mind. Please pray about giving especially for this project by designating an offering through BBFI (designate: Anzalone Ecuador Multiply).
Thank you for praying and giving.
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