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Category: Ministry Update

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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New Disciples Baptized

New Disciples Baptized

One of a church’s key vital signs is baptism. On October 29 we rejoiced to see 6 believers baptized at the end of the Sunday morning service in Manta. Three of those baptized were children from families in our church. This shows that the children are receiving some good instruction at home and in Sunday School. A young married couple was baptized. They are receiving discipleship instruction and starting out the Christian life on the right foot. The sixth candidate was a woman well into the Senior Saint category, she recently became a follower of Christ after many years in a pseudo-Christian religion. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a dynamic, life-changing force at any age.

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Women’s Conference

Women’s Conference

At the end of October, Iglesia Bíblica Bautista de Manta held a one-night women’s conference. Over 60 women, both adults and teens, attended and enjoyed the music, games, fellowship, food, and teaching. Joy was one of the speakers. We are grateful to see many signs of renewed unity in the church since our return.

 

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Back in Ecuador

Back in Ecuador

Anzalone Prayer Report October 2017

Trying Times

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.

Next Step

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.

For information about giving: How to Give

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Returning to Ecuador Soon

Returning to Ecuador Soon

Anzalone Ecuador Prayer Report July 2017

It’s time for us to get back to Ecuador!

This furlough has been a great experience for our family. In some ways we’ve had ample opportunity for rest, recharging, and even recreation; but in other ways it has been stressful and challenging. We have reserved tickets to Quito for August 31, so … ready or not, here we come!

Praise

  • Fellowship – Since we arrived in the USA at the end of October 2016, we have spent 12 to 16 weeks around 3 different churches that invited us to stay in homes provided to missonaries. Their generosity created much-needed stability for our family, and reduced our furlough expenses. It also created a unique bond of fellowship and sense of belonging between our children and the church. We are very grateful!
  • Safety – We have been driving a couple of 2007 vehicles with high numbers on the odometers, but we have had no breakdowns and no accidents. One of our trips with the five of us plus our grandson Crosby Taylor covered 13 states, and over 4,000 miles in 15 days! We’re thankful for God’s mercy over weary travelers.
  • Family – Joy and I are at this stage of life when we value time with our parents, children, and grandchildren over almost anything else. God has been generous with us in allowing us to spend quality time with many of our family members, to enjoy holidays together, and to make memories that we’ll treasure.

Prayer

  • Goodbye and Hello – We have mixed emotions about returning to Ecuador. It is going to be hard to say goodbye to family and friends. Our parents have some serious health concerns and our adult children have challenges to face. On the other hand, we’ll be returning to our Ecuadorian brothers and sisters who love us and to the Manta church that has moved forward during our absence. Pray for us to have grace for both experiences.
  • Extra expenses – Our budget is always stretched beyond the limit! Airfare from Knoxville to Manta will have a total cost around $3,000 for our family. Recently an opportunity developed to have Carla and Matthew professionally tested in regard to their special educational needs. They will be completing the testing before we leave. The testing, plus our usual education costs at this time each year, come to over $2,000. If you’d like to help with either of these needs, you may add an additional amount to what you send through BBFI (mark it Anzalone Ecuador Special).
  • Family – We are starting our new “Multiply!” ministry. Pray for us as we create networks with pastors and churches. Pray for new visions and strategies for discipleship, servant-leadership development, and local church planting. Pray for the sale of our home and the purchase and development of a new home for hospitiality ministry. Pray for God to provide our goal of $50,000 for development of the property. Please pray about giving for this purpose.

 

Thank you for praying and giving.

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Easter Sunday in Manta

Easter Sunday in Manta

Our dear friend, missionary Jeff Davoll, was invited to speak at Iglesia Bíblica Bautista de Manta, on Easter Sunday. He shared a picture with us, and said there was a full house! We’re happy to hear a good report and to see some of our dear brothers and sisters in the photo. It is reassuring to know that the church belongs to Jesus Christ and he is building it whether we are there or in the USA.

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