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Category: Ministry Update

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
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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
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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
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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
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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.

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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

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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.

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Property Purchase and “Multiply” Ministry

Property Purchase and “Multiply” Ministry

Planning for our “Multiply” Ministry

For the past year or more we have been making plans and taking steps to get the next stage of our ministry, “Multiply,” up and running. The emphasis of our ministry vision is multiplication of disciples, servant/leaders, and local churches. We want to help pastors and churches around Ecuador to be more effective in multiplication. The vision has a few aspects that we are planning and getting underway:

  • 1) Make simple discipleship and training materials available to pastors and local churches.
  • 2) Provide short-term teaching and training on-site in local churches around Ecuador.
  • 3) Offer hospitality to pastors, ministries, and short-term missionaries at our home.

For part 3 we have located a property in a rural area outside of Manta where we can build our family home and a guest house, with some space for relaxation and recreation, as well as an area for small group meetings.

Anzalone property

Where is it?

Here are the coordinates. Clicking on them will take you to the right spot on the map.

1°04’33.7″S 80°50’53.3″W

It is just a 20 minute drive southwest of Manta, near the small town of El Aromo, where you leave a very arid climate zone and enter a much greener, more tropical environment at the edge of the Pacoche Wildlife Refuge. Near a semi-humid forested area, and a short distance from the Pacific Ocean, the temperature is cooler than Manta, and the plants and trees are abundant.

Property seller with Anzalones

We have an agreement to buy about 2 acres for $27,000. So far we have paid $11,000. So there is just $16,000 left to raise. You can help us to reach the goal of buying the property by giving especially for this project and the Multiply ministry.

Meanwhile we have a design for our home, and some ideas for developing the rest of the property. Much of the cost of our home construction and site development will come from the sale of our home in Manta, but we will also need your help.

How can you give?

You can help us with this project by giving to our ministry through Baptist Bible Fellowship International (BBFI) and designating your gift for the Multiply ministry. You may give by mail or on-line. The How to Give page on our website provides the address for BBFI and instructions that are easy to follow. Click here to go to the How to Give page.

Be sure that your check or online donation is directed to the “Anzalones in Ecuador — Multiply.”

 

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Bible Studies in February and March

Bible Studies in February and March

Men’s and Women’s Bible Study Groups

Bible study has been central to the program at our church for the past several weeks.

Women Bible Study

February and March were months for Bible Study at the church in Manta. Two groups met each Friday night. Joy led a women’s group for a study of The Armor of God from Ephesians 6. The study included a video segment and take-home work. It was a very intense course about Spiritual Warfare. Joy had led the study for two women’s groups last year in our home. About 15 women completed the study at the church.

Men Bible Study

The other Friday night group was a men’s group. Tony led a study of the qualities essential for pastors and church leaders from 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Each weekly study included in-depth word study of three or four of the qualities listed in those chapters. Discussion and participation from the students was an important element as we tried to apply the Scriptures to our own lives as Christian men. Three men were especially faithful throughout the series.

Basic Christian Doctrine

On Thursday night we hold Bible Institute classes that we refer to as Discipulado 2 (Discipleship 2). In February we started a course called Basic Christian Doctrine. We are studying 20 essential biblical doctrines that all Christians should know and believe. The goal is to know what the Bible teaches about these subjects, such as the attributes of God, the meaning of the atonement, the resurrection, and the Second Coming of Christ. Seventeen students are participating in the course which requires outside reading and completing a weekly study guide.

“Romans” Sunday Sermon Series

On Sundays in February and March, Tony began preaching an expository sermon series from the Epistle to the Romans. Paul’s explanation of the Gospel in Romans is in-depth and detailed, so it is very interesting to prepare sermons and preach in a verse-by-verse format. The initial chapters include a personal introduction from Paul himself, and, more importantly, of Jesus Christ as the very central person in the Good News; then Paul points out the necessity of the Gospel — because all of us are sinners in need of a Savior.

Bible study has been an important part of our work in February and March.

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Vision for the Church in Manta for 2018

Vision for the Church in Manta for 2018

Thank you for your prayers for our church in Manta. Our Vision 2018 theme is “Lift up your eyes!” We want to lead the church to look to God for leadership, power, and presence. Psalm 121 says, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills — from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” In John 4:35 Jesus told his disciples, “Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” We pray that the church will see the great opportunities and needs for service in the church and in our community. This is a time of change in many ministry areas of the church including children’s ministry, youth and adult discipleship, and administration. Thank you for praying with us about these things during the coming months.

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