February 13 to 17, we had the privilege of being in Manta, Ecuador. We truly enjoyed being reunited with our church family at Iglesia Bīblica Bautista de Manta. We were invited to join a meeting of the pastors and deacons. Joy spoke with the wives and Tony with the husbands. We talked about teamwork, communication, and solving problems in ministry. We shared about our new ministry roles, and how the Live Global Team might be of service to them in the future. On Sunday, Joy spoke to the women’s Bible class about the Servant of the Lord in Isaiah, and Tony spoke to the men about the church in Antioch from the book of Acts. The congregation filled the building with joyful worship. Tony preached about “The Door God Opened to the Nations” emphasizing global Christian missions. It was a brief but encouraging trip to visit people we love.
Several years ago, Stephen and Robin Wright visited our church in Manta. They were recent retirees from Missouri, working on their Spanish and getting settled in the community. Steve and Robin said that they were Members on Mission from their home church, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty, MO. Their plan was to lend a hand in churches and ministries, and to be available to assist missionaries however they could. Since then we’ve grown to love and appreciate the Wrights. They have become our friends, and have become part of our church family. The Wrights have assisted Iglesia Bíblica Bautista in Manta to build a relationship with their home church.
Short-term missions with a purpose
During the past few years Pleasant Valley has sent visitors and teams to observe, to pray, to serve, to assist, to evangelize, to train, and to build relationships. Their philosophy for short term mission trips is not to do things “for” the national church. They want to do things “with” the national church. They hope to enable and inspire our IBB Manta church family to reach their community for Christ. Then the church can extend its reach, and do missions as they’ve observed and participated with the Pleasant Valley teams. Cultural barriers erode and bonds fellowship have developed.
In September, PVBC sent a medical team to do outreach with the Manta church in the communities immediately around the church building. Medical professionals form Missouri worked with their colleagues from Manta. The Manta church family took responsibility for evangelism and follow-up of every person who came to seek medical attention. People’s physical needs were cared for, and their spiritual need was addressed too. Several people came to faith in Christ as a result.
From June 22 to July 6 our family made a trip to Ecuador. All of us attended church services at Iglesia Bíblica Bautista in Manta. We spent time with church leaders and encouraged the church family. It was a joy to see the church moving forward and God working in people’s lives. Most of our family possessions were still in our home in Ecuador. We chose some items for the trip home in our suitcases; packed others for shipment; sold furniture, appliances and household goods; and gave away the rest. It was hard work and was emotionally challenging, but it served to provide some closure for all of us. Thank you for your prayers for our family.
Starting on July 1, 2019, financial support for our ministry should go through Mountain View Chapel. (BBFI will no longer be receiving support for us.) Checks may be directed to MVC/Anzalone, 732 Covered Bridge Dr., Madison, VA 22727. You may also choose to give online at: http://www.mountainviewchapel.net/ (designate: Anzalone). We are grateful for those of you who are staying in partnership with us and helping make it possible for us to minister to our brothers and sisters in Ecuador and wherever else God may open doors for us to serve.
Trip to Ecuador
Please pray for our family as we all travel to Ecuador from June 22 to July 6. Joy and I will be speaking at the church on June 30. We’ll be encouraging and counseling the pastors and ministry leaders personally and in group settings. Our family prayer need is to be able to sell some of our possessions in Ecuador and to pack others for shipment to the USA. We need to prepare the BBFI missionary home for sale. We are thankful for our home in Manta. It will be difficult to say goodbye. Your prayers will help and encourage us.
Update on our Kids
We have posted updates on our website about each of our teen-aged children. Teddy just finished 11thgrade and is working and serving. Carla received a good report on her heart health. Matthew has been fighting through some serious emotional difficulties. Thank you for your prayers for our kids. To see the full post follow this link: https://home.anzalonesinecuador.com/updates-about-our-children/
Manta Church Reports
Also on our website find information about recent outreach activities undertaken by the church in Manta. We’re thankful for the church’s commitment to mission and evangelism.
Another post shows some new improvements to the church building in Manta. We are thankful for those who have given for the church building project begun 10 years ago. We will always be grateful for those who have made our missionary partnership a high priority.
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The church in Manta has been creating and pursuing outreach opportunities in neighborhoods near the church and also in areas outside of the city like La Revancha where they started a church a few years ago. The young adults and teens are especially involved in these activities. It is great to see them investing their time and energy in bringing the Gospel and the love of Christ to children through music, games, stories, and handcrafts. We are grateful for the impact that Iglesia Bíblica Bautista is making.
Recently we received a large donation for the purpose of making improvements to the church building in Manta. The donor indicated a desire to improve the exterior areas of the building. The project provided improved walkways, new benches, plants, a cook-out area, and a secure garage entrance with a parking area. Now the interior patio of the church building is a comfortable place to gather for fellowship before and after church services, and makes a much more appealing impression than it did before. We are very grateful.
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.