I never thought I would live to see the day when we would actually commission missionaries from Ecuador to go to the USA. Yet this is exactly what took place yesterday, Monday, as Roberto and Nancy left Ecuador for the United States of America.
Roberto and Nancy Aveiga have been with us for several years. His own testimony relates that he was a discouraged pastor of a tiny church, not having a clue what to do, or how to do ministry. He came to one of our church planting seminars three years ago and has been with us ever since. Roberto and Nancy have pastored churches, planted new works, participated in our TE programs, discipled and baptized new believers, trained pastors of their denomination with materials they have learned from us, and now sensing God's call as missionaries to a distant, foreign land--the USA!
After praying, conversing and counseling with Roberto and Nancy, we feel it is no coincidence that on their FIRST ATTEMPT to obtain the coveted residential/work visas to the USA that millions around the world are desperately trying to obtain, they were not only accepted, but their ENTIRE FAMILY was approved! God doesn't do things haphazardly. There is no such thing as chance when it comes to Kingdom business. We feel this is a "God thing" that He is clearly leading them to go, make disciples, baptize, and teach as "our" missionaries to the USA (Connecticut.)
This past Wednesday at their commissioning service, we heard their testimonies about how God has been preparing them for years. And how crucial their time with the house churches has been. Now they feel the Lord leading them into the next chapter of their walk with Him. God is leading them to leave their country, go to what is the third largest nation on the planet--the USA--and be His witnesses to the masses of lost people coming in the northeastern states.
Roberto and Nancy know it will be a tough road. They aren't expecting things to be easy. They have to first learn the English language. They will have to adapt to the strange foreign foods and cultural ways of the "gringos". Since the house churches here can't afford to support someone living in the USA, they will have to find jobs and work as bi-vocational missionaries. They will lose their network of close family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ. They will no longer be able to pick up the phone and call us with their questions, needs and concerns. In short, it will be difficult.
Will you pray for Roberto and Nancy? They aren't going for a "better life" or to live the "American dream". They are going to make disciples, baptize, teach, and gather new believers into NT churches. Just what they have been doing for the past three years locally. As I shared in their commissioning service this past Wednesday night, in the OT, only the best was offered to the the Lord in sacrifice at the tabernacle/temple altars. The same holds true today. Our Lord calls out the best amongst us to serve him. We are sorry to lose some of our choicest workers, but are filled with joy that we can share our best with the lost and needy of Connecticut.
May God bless these Ecuadorian missionaries sent out by the Guayaquil house churches for the Glory of God.